20th of February 2014

Breast Augmentation Recovery - A Guideline

This information is intended as a guideline only

Following Discharge from Hospital

It is normal to leave the hospital feeling a little tired or ‘groggy’, which is due mainly to the anaesthetic. This can take up to 24 hours to be eliminated from your body, and is the reason why you should not drive, operate machinery or sign legal documents within the first 24 hours following a general anaesthetic.  You will not be discharged from the hospital if you are not ready (strict discharge criteria must be met before you are allowed to go home).

When you arrive home read over your post-operative instructions again

Sip or drink some liquids and eat something light, such as, biscuits or a plain sandwich. Rest and make yourself comfortable on a couch or in bed.

It is normal to feel discomfort at the incision site and/or between or around the breast implants. Remember the surgeon has made a pocket in or around the muscles so expect some soreness. Most people find that one side is more comfortable than the other, and again this is perfectly normal to experience.  Take your regular pain medication as instructed by your doctor or discharge staff. Keep your post-operative bra on for support.

If you do not feel sick, eat and drink as you feel hungry or thirsty.

The Next Morning

You may find that when you wake you feel stiff and sore, and this is normal because you may not have had any pain relief during the night.  Have a light breakfast and take your planned pain relief, then relax in a chair, couch or back in bed.

It is ok to lift your arms around and lift them past your shoulders and up towards your head gradually, and you will have done this a couple of times before leaving hospital as you got dressed.  Gently raise your arms a little higher each time, or as you are able.

First 2 weeks

Some bruising and swelling is perfectly normal following any operation. You will visit your surgeon one week after the operation and have the dressings changed, and receive our post-op pack for scar management therapy.  At this stage light regular pain relief may still be required, depending on your surgery. You may choose to wear a good supportive sports bra and this is fine too.

Most people feel ok to drive after 4 – 5 days although sometimes a week is best. Lower body exercises, such as, stationary bike riding in the gym or walking are exercises which can be resumed. Listen to your body and keep active increasing your exercise to what it was before your operation. If you feel tired you might find that having another rest day off in between working out is better at this stage.  Aerobic or strenuous activity should be avoided in the first 3 weeks.

Your breasts will feel tight for the first few weeks and will begin to decrease a lot after the first week.  For those that have very tight, small breasts the tightness may remain a little longer.

First 3 Months

After 3 – 4 weeks the skin will begin relaxing and the upper breast fullness begins to decrease. You may think that your implants are decreasing in size, however the swelling and bruising has now resolved and the implants are settling into your tissues.  Remember too that you are viewing them by looking down on them, look at them in a mirror, side on. Notice how the upper fullness is relaxing and the bottom of the breast is now forming a nice soft curve.

After 6 – 8 weeks your regular exercise can be re-introduced, such as, upper body weights, swimming and running.

It is important to keep in contact with your surgeons and make an appointment should you have any concerns. It is always best to attend an appointment rather than try and explain or describe symptoms or appearances over the phone.  This will lead to a safe and enjoyable outcome for you.