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How long is the recovery period after breast augmentation surgery?
Six weeks for complete recovery with unrestricted activity.
Breast augmentation recovery
The recovery from subpectoral breast augmentation used to be a rather unpleasant experience, but it no longer has to be. A space for the implant must be developed behind the pectoralis major, and a portion of the muscle's inferior origin must be released. Surgery on a muscle in most cases produces significant postoperative pain, and that is certainly true for breast augmentation. However, by using a local anesthetic infusion device (the On-Q 'Pain Buster') for the first two to three days after surgery, the pain associated with this procedure can be reduced quite dramatically.
While breast augmentation patients in my Raleigh, NC plastic surgery practice receive a prescription for a mild narcotic pain medication for use after surgery (just in case), most of them never take it. Most patients report little to no pain in the evening following surgery, and perhaps some mild discomfort on Postop day one and two. Patients can resume all normal, non-strenuous activities of daily living immediately after surgery, and can begin pec major range of motion exercises on the evening of their procedure.
Patients are seen in my Raleigh, NC Plastic Surgery office the day after surgery, and again on Friday for removal of the Go-Pump catheters (which is painless). Patients working outside the home usually return to work the Monday following the surgery; stay-at-home moms may need some help with toddlers for the first two to three days after surgery. Exercise is limited to walking only for the first two weeks; in weeks three and four some light exercise is permissible. Patients can gradually increase their exercise/workout level in the second month (weeks five through eight), however it is a full eight weeks before patients are allowed to return to activities that require forceful, repetitive, sustained pec major contraction - such as pushups and heavy weight lifting. It is important to ensure that the breasts are well supported in snug fitting sports bra (or two) when returning to impact exercise such as running or aerobics.
Recovery after breast augmentation varies greatly among individual patients. As a general rule after Sub-glandular breast augmentation, that is placement of the implant beneath the breast on top of the muscle recovery average is 10-14 days. When sub-muscular breast augmentation is done recovery can be longer. Most patients cannot resume vigorous physical activity for at least 3-4 weeks. It is important to follow the explicit instructions of the plastic surgeon who performed your breast augmentation.