If you’re considering breast augmentation, you may be wondering what the recovery process entails. In particular, you may want to know how long it will take to get back to your normal routine. This is an understandable consideration when determining the timing of your procedure since most women would like to minimize the impact their surgery has on work life, social functions and other regular activities.
While everyone heals at their own pace, most women find the recovery process to be fairly easy. That being said, there are certain guidelines to be aware of that will help you set realistic expectations for your recovery timeline.
Plan on Taking a Week Off Work
You should expect to spend a lot of time resting during your first week of recovery, particularly during the first couple of days after surgery. In most instances, you will need to take about a week off work following breast augmentation. If you have limited ability to take days off, you can minimize this time by scheduling your procedure right before a long holiday weekend. Thanksgiving week and late December provide great opportunities to avoid using your PTO after breast augmentation.
Keep in mind that this timeline for returning to work is somewhat dependent on your job responsibilities. If you have an office job or work in an environment that isn’t physically taxing, this one-week timeline will be fairly accurate. However, if your job requires heavy lifting or serious physical exertion, you may need to take a little more time off to ensure your body is sufficiently healed and can handle the physical demands of your job. Our plastic surgeons will closely monitor your recovery and let you know when it is safe to return to work.
Limit Physical Activity for 1-2 Weeks
While our plastic surgeons encourage you to begin light walking as soon as you feel up to it, you will be somewhat limited in your ability to engage in physical activity for the first 1-2 weeks of your recovery after breast augmentation. In most instances, you should be able to resume most routine daily activities during your second week of recovery. However, we encourage you to listen to your body and not push yourself if you don’t feel ready.
Keep in mind that it will take some time before you can engage in heavy lifting and other strenuous activities. This can be a concern for women who have young children since it may take a few weeks before it is safe for you to pick them up. Make sure you arrange for someone to be around the house to assist you with your children for the first few weeks of your breast augmentation recovery.
Strenuous Activities and Exercise May Take Up to 6 Weeks
While it’s understandable that you’ll want to resume working out as soon as possible in order to keep your body looking great, it’s important to wait until you are fully healed before doing so. In most instances, our plastic surgeons recommend waiting up to 6 weeks before resuming strenuous activities, including:
- Lifting weights
- Cardio exercises
- Contact sports
- Heavy lifting
- Any exercise that can place a strain on your chest muscles
Patience during your recovery is essential. Resuming these strenuous activities too soon can potentially increase your risk of complications.
Final Results May Take 3-6 Months
While you’ll notice an immediate improvement in the appearance of your breasts, it’s important to remain patient regarding your final results. It can potentially take 3-6 months for your final outcome to be noticeable for several reasons:
- While most swelling and bruising subsides within a couple of weeks, there may be some residual swelling for a few months that may obscure your final breast appearance
- It takes time for your breast implants to settle into position, and your final breast appearance won’t be visible until this occurs
We expect that you’ll find the wait to be worthwhile. The overwhelming majority of our patients are extremely satisfied with their breast augmentation results. The improvement in your appearance can significantly boost your self-confidence, which will pay huge dividends in every area of your life.
Contact our St. Louis Plastic Surgeons
Please contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call 636-896-0600 today to schedule your breast augmentation consultation. We serve patients in the St. Louis, Missouri area.