How Long Does it Take to Recover

from Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Scott J. Zevon, MD

NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In this age of instant gratification, we all want exactly what we want when we want it. That may be possible when all you desire is a decaf mocha latte, but it doesn't work for everything.

Breast augmentation does allow a woman to make a dramatic and gratifying change to her body in a fairly short time; just don't expect instant gratification. Recovering from breast augmentation surgery takes longer than hailing a taxi cab; it's a real surgery. Your recovery can be short and smooth, however, if you follow some simple steps.

Rest and Heal

Recovery rule #1 is to get plenty of rest. Follow your plastic surgeon's instructions to the letter. Don't do anything that might impact your results. Since every woman recuperates at her own pace, give your body the time it needs to recover from surgery.

In the first week, you may feel impatient for the recovery to be over. Bruising, swelling, and some soreness is normal. Keep the stitches dry and be gentle with your scars, avoiding movement that could stress the incision sites. With proper care, scars will heal well and fade.

During this initial recovery period, you may experience emotional ups and downs, even questioning whether you should have had the operation. This is normal. You can overcome these anxieties by surrounding yourself with supportive friends or family to help with everyday things. Distract yourself by reading, watching TV, or browsing through catalogs for the new styles of lingerie and clothing you'll soon be able to wear. "Keep your eye on the prize," as the saying goes.

When You Resume Normal Activities, Take It Easy

If you're a healthy non-smoker with no medical issues like high blood pressure or blood-clotting problems, you can expect to return to work in 3 or 4 days. But that's not the end of your recovery. It takes months to heal completely, even if you can return to work within a week.

You should not lift heavy objects for about a month. Stay out of the sun, apply the provided silicone strips to your scars, and don't overdo your physical exercise. Most of the obvious swelling will subside in 3 to 5 weeks.

How to Time Your Surgery for When You Want to Show Off

Winter months are typically the best time for breast augmentation surgery. It allows time for your breast implants to settle into a natural position before bathing suit and sundress season. Recently augmented breasts have a less natural appearance, which may be more apparent in summertime's skimpier clothing. It takes about 6 months for the implants to completely settle and soften, and that's when you'll see the results you've been waiting for.

With proper recuperation, no one will be able to tell.  Your results will remain natural-looking results are why planning for adequate recovery time is worth the effort.

Whatever time of year you choose to have breast augmentation surgery, you're likely to feel terrific about your decision after just a few months of healing. Larger breasts complement the rest of your body's contours. You'll find you can wear things you didn't dream of wearing before. You'll catch yourself in the mirror and smile.
About the Author: Scott J. Zevon, MD, FACS, has been featured in New York Magazine as one of the Best Doctors in New York and is listed in the Castle Connolly directory Best Doctors in New York . The Central Park Plastic Surgery offices and AAAASF-accredited ambulatory surgical facility are located at 75 Central Park West, New York, New York 10023. He can be reached by phone at 212-496-6600 or at

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