Recovery from a breast augmentation is known for being simple, uncomplicated, and “easier than wisdom teeth.” Also known as breast enhancement, augmentation mammoplasty, or even “boob job,” this plastic surgery procedure enhances your natural breast size and shape. At Capizzi MD, our surgeons cater to each patient’s ideal goals. They take into account the individual’s wishes, physique, and health history in order to provide a beautiful result with minimal interruption in day-to-day life.
Why does each practice have a different recovery protocol?
This is one of our most common questions that we get when we are chatting with patients over the phone. And you are correct, each surgeon is going to have a different recovery protocol because of the way that they operate and place implants. Some surgeons will have specific post-operative garments that zip or strap, others will instruct taking a week off of work, some may even ask for you to stay in the hospital overnight. Each practice you talk to will have their own instructions and this is totally normal!
At Capizzi MD, our surgeons use specific techniques prior to, during, and after surgery to provide what we call: “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery.” This is something Dr. Capizzi developed over 20 years. You’ll notice other surgeons have longer recovery timelines than ours – this is fine too! It is simply the difference in experience and skill. When our surgeons perform these techniques, our patients notice less swelling and pain, which means they are back to their normal routines sooner.
So, what does a recovery with Capizzi MD look like? Let’s check it out…
- Day 1: Rest rest rest! You will be tight and swollen, but the pain is minimal (similar to the feeling of being “engorged” while nursing). Optional post-operative bralette.
- Day 2-3: Move about as you feel comfortable. You will be able to shower, wash your hair, do light chores, and dress yourself.
- Day 3-4: Driving and returning to work is common at this point (if you haven’t been comfortable enough to do so already).
- Day 5-10: Tightness still exists but swelling begins to subside. Most activities aside from heavy lifting or walking large dogs have been resumed.
You will receive a Coobie bralette in your pre-op bag. This will provide comfortable, minimal support should you desire it. It is completely optional, and we do not require our patients to wear anything after surgery if you do not want to.
The main goal of wearing a Coobie bra is to allow your implants to settle into place and for the swelling to subside. It’s normal to experience a little discomfort immediately after surgery – this is your body’s natural reaction to the procedure. Your body sends excess blood to your breasts to promote their healing, which results in excess fluid building up in surrounding tissues and causing them to swell as well. The Coobie bralette supports the proper placement of your implants and can ease the recovery process by accelerating healing, minimizing swelling, and reducing the risk of infection.
Upon waking up from surgery, your breasts will be tight and swollen. You will have tape over your incision site that will stay over the area until your first follow-up appointment. Swelling will begin to subside after the first week. Breasts will soften over the next 2-4 weeks.
Returning to work
Most patients can return to work 2-3 days after surgery. If you have surgery with us on a Thursday, you’ll be back at work on Monday! This is also specific to your job type. Non-physical jobs that don’t require much movement or heavy lifting require less time off than more physical jobs.
It might be difficult to refrain from your normal exercise routine, but it won’t last long! Preventing your blood pressure from rising will help with swelling and will reduce the risk of a hematoma or capsular contracture. Our patients can begin low-impact, low-intensity workouts as early as two weeks after surgery. This includes walking, cycling (stationary), and other lower-body exercises. For upper body exercises, our surgeons recommend you wait until you’re at least 4 weeks out from surgery.
Once you’re 4 weeks post-op, you may begin activities like weightlifting, yoga, running, and engaging in intimacy with a partner. For patients with larger dogs, we recommend waiting until the 4-week mark to resume walking dogs on a leash.
You will be back to all parts of your normal routine, workouts, and life at 6 weeks post-op!
Lymphatic massages after your surgery are helpful for alleviating swelling and providing comfort. At Capizzi MD, we offer a lymphatic massage after surgery to accelerate your recovery journey. Many patients find the lymphatic massage very soothing and relaxing.
Your lymphatic massage will take place at your first follow-up, usually a few days after surgery. Your provider will gently use a heated, ultrasonic handpiece to distribute a moisturizing balm over your breasts. The combined heat and vibration from the handpiece help release fluid build-up and pressure on the affected tissue and skin. This is also effective in lessening the strain placed on your incisions.
It’s common to experience nipple hypersensitivity during your recovery. As your healing progresses over the course of the next few weeks, the nerve to the nipple returns to normal and nipple sensation returns to normal as well.
Once your incision tape is removed, you can begin to take care of your scars. It can take up to a year for scars to fully mature depending on your age, skin type, and scar care. You will receive Biocorneum, an advanced silicone scar gel to reduce redness, and texture, and to protect incision scars from harmful UV rays. Your scars will start out red and raised. They will fade to pink and flatten over the course of a couple of months, before eventually fading into the rest of your skin.
If you are getting a breast lift with implants, then you may have an additional scar around your areola (mini or modified breast lift) or what is called the “lollipop” scar that encircles your areola and then extends to the bottom crease (full breast lift).
Still, have questions about breast augmentation recovery? Contact us! Call our office to speak with our Patient Care Coordinator or fill out an online consultation form. We are happy to answer your questions and get you scheduled for a consultation!