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Medically Reviewed by:

Robert Applebaum M.D.

Breast Augmentation Recovery: A Guide

A breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that increases breast size using either silicone gel or saline implants. These implants come in various sizes and shapes and are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles. While breast augmentations can increase the size of your breasts, this procedure alone doesn’t address drooping breasts. 

If you’re looking for fuller and perkier breasts, you may want to consider a breast augmentation alongside a breast lift

What Is Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?

As with any surgical procedure, a breast augmentation procedure comes with a recovery process. And while recovery differs from patient to patient, here’s a quick guide to help you know what to expect after the procedure: 

Immediately After Surgery

Breast augmentations are mostly performed under general anesthesia, meaning you’ll be asleep during the procedure. You will wake up in a recovery room and may feel groggy from the anesthesia and sore from the procedure. Since most breast augmentations are performed in an outpatient setting, you will be able to go home shortly after the procedure — after being monitored by a team of medical professionals for a few hours. 

Before you are cleared to go home, your plastic surgeon will prepare the surgical site with a special surgical bra or wrap. This will protect and support the breasts throughout the recovery process. You will not be able to drive after the procedure, so you will need a trusted family member or friend to drive you home. 

A Few Days After Surgery

  • Just as you need help getting home after surgery, you will also need help in the days after surgery completing basic tasks such as eating, bathing, going to the bathroom, etc. 

Your plastic surgeon will likely prescribe pain medications for you to take to ease your post-operative pain and discomfort. Be sure to take these medications as directed to minimize your pain and make your recovery process easier. 

You may also experience minor bleeding at your incision sites. While small episodes of bleeding are nothing to be concerned about, be sure to contact your plastic surgeon for longer or heavier episodes of bleeding. 

A Week After Surgery

You should be able to switch from prescription pain medications to over-the-counter pain relievers about a week after surgery. At this point, you should feel able and comfortable resuming most of your daily activities. Many patients with desk jobs should also go back to work after about a week. 

However, you should still take it easy and avoid any strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting. 

A Few Weeks After Surgery

A few weeks after surgery, you should be feeling little to no physical pain or discomfort and should only take over-the-counter pain medications as needed. You will be able to resume more of your daily activities, including light exercises like walking. 

However, you should still avoid strenuous exercise as you’re still healing. Keep wearing your surgical bra as directed by your plastic surgeon to continue healing.

Six to Eight Weeks After Surgery

Six to eight weeks after surgery, you should be mostly healed from your breast augmentation procedure. With clearance from your plastic surgeon, you should be able to resume all of your daily activities and regular exercise routine. Patients with labor-intensive jobs should also return to work with no issue. 

Breast Augmentation Recovery Tips

While breast augmentation recovery may not be easy, the process can be made easier with these helpful tips: 

  • Prepare ahead of time: One of the best things you can do to ease your breast augmentation recovery process is to prepare ahead of time. Set up a recovery area in your home — whether it’s your bed or the couch — with plenty of comfy pillows and blankets. 

    Stock your kitchen with healthy foods that will sustain your body through recovery. Be sure to buy any necessary heavy products and do any heavy lifting before your procedure. 

  • Get enough sleep: After your procedure, you will need to rest a lot to heal properly. Pain can make it hard for you to sleep, so make sure to take your pain medications as directed. Also, make sure to sleep on your back — using pillows if necessary to stay comfortable. 

  • Eat and drink properly: It might also be hard for you to eat after your procedure, as post-operative nausea isn’t uncommon. However, be sure to eat vitamin and protein-rich foods while staying hydrated with water while recovering. 

A Smooth Recovery Process Starts With Your Surgeon

Another thing you can do to ensure a smooth breast augmentation recovery process is to choose the right surgeon for the procedure. Experienced surgeons have low complication rates and have recovery down to a science. So make sure to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience not just in plastic surgery but with this specific procedure. 

Dr. Applebaum is a board-certified plastic surgeon with nearly 30 years of experience. He has extensive experience with reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery and was nominated as one of the Best Breast Surgeons in America in 2016. 

Wrap Up on Breast Augmentation Recovery

If you’re looking for the best breast augmentation surgeon who can help guide you through a smooth recovery process, reach out to Dr. Applebaum today to schedule a consultation! You can either come to his office in Beverly Hills or meet with him online to get one step closer to achieving the breasts of your dreams. 


Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum
Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.



2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Breast Augmentation Guide | American Board of Cosmetic Surgery

Breast Implants: Saline vs. Silicone | Mayo Clinic

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