Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. There are multiple different techniques for breast augmentation including the placement of silicone and saline breast implants. Breast augmentation includes different approaches for placement of the breast implant as well as the different locations of breast implant placement.
What can I do ahead of time to improve my recovery before my breast augmentation surgery?
- Implant choice: conservative sized breast implants that fit the chest appropriately have a significantly smoother recovery than compared with larger implant volumes, likely from decreased stretch and trauma to the chest.
- Bromelain, is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory supplement derived from pineapple. This is started 3 days ahead of time and continued after the surgery for 3 days.
- Protein Supplementation can help speed healing and improve scarring. The addition of 30 grams of protein per day starting 3 weeks prior to the procedure can help recovery after surgery.
- Good physical health including good nutrition, healthy physical condition (no smoking or vaping), realistic expectations, and adequate rest and hydration prior to the procedure
Important points to improving recovery after breast augmentation
Recovery after breast augmentation is very straightforward. The operation does take under one hour and is typically performed with a short general anesthesia without the need for muscle paralytics. The recovery time in the operating center after the surgery is typically about an hour. It is advisable to have someone drive you home and stay with you for 1-2 days.
What can help decrease discomfort after breast augmentation?
- Before the final breast implant is placed the breast pocket and muscle is injected with bupivacaine, a long lasting local anesthetic, which helps to provide long lasting local pain relief, which helps to make the recovery process for the first 8 to 12 hours very comfortable.
- Early movement including arm activity and ambulation is encouraged and helps to prevent stiffness and soreness
- Anti-inflammatory medication including Motrin (ibuprofen) or Alleve (Naprosyn) are beneficial in the first 10 days and can be started the day of the operation
What are my activity limitations after breast augmentation?
- You may shower the day after surgery. No submerging the incisions or breasts for at least 3 weeks after surgery.
- Gradual return to activity return to cardio within 2 weeks after breast augmentation is recommended with proper support.
- Chest exercises including yoga, swimming push-ups, and lifting can be resumed gradually at the 4 week point if the implants have dropped and the muscle is not in spasm.
- Bra support for the breast implants can help limit stress and strain on the pectoral muscle and the implant pocket. Bras that are athletic and fasten in the front can help comfortably support the augmented breast in the post-operative period.
- Breast implant massage should start after your first post-operative visit. Dr. Trussler or his staff will show you how to perform these breast exercises and an illustration will be provided. You should be committed to doing these exercises on each breast three to five times daily for approximately 6 weeks.
- Driving may be resumed within 5-7 days. Make sure you are comfortable with the steering wheel and not taking pain medication.
What to expect after Breast Augmentation:
- You may expect to have some numbness in your chest as Dr. Trussler does inject long lasting numbing medication into the breast area during the procedure. As this wears off, you may experience feeling tight with pressure in your breast area. This will resolve over time, but may worsen over the first 2 days.
- You will initially feel like your implants are too high and too large. This will resolve over the first 4-6 weeks post operatively as the muscle and soft tissue of the breast relax.
- Bruising and swelling are normal for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Sensations like numbness, sharpness, and burning are common during the healing process. These sensations may last several weeks and will gradually disappear.
Recovery from silicone and saline breast implants is the same
Recovery after secondary breast enhancement is easy as the breast soft tissue envelope is already accustomed to an implant
Andrew P. Trussler MD is an experienced plastic surgeon in Austin Texas with advanced training in cosmetic breast surgery including secondary correction of breast implant malposition, including capsular contracture and breast ptosis.
Dr. Trussler’s Austin plastic surgery office can help guide you in correcting commonly seen cosmetic breast complaints. A breast augmentation with breast implants is a plastic surgery procedure in Austin Texas that should be a smooth and straight forward process that will improve appearance and self confidence.