The first few hours after breast augmentation surgery are spent in the recovery room. When the patient is fully alert, she will be able to go home with a friend’s or family member’s assistance. It is essential to sleep with the head and back elevated to reduce the swelling in the chest. Two days after surgery, the patient may remove the bra and any dressings to take a shower. The bra—and, if used, the compression band—should be put back on immediately after showering. There will be instructions given for suture care.
The discomfort after surgery is mild to moderate. The pain and discomfort are more noticeable if the patient has had the breast implants placed underneath the muscle. These patients will notice more tenderness and fullness around the chest region until the muscles stretch and adjust to the breast implants’ presence. This process takes a few days, and the prescription muscle relaxant is very helpful for this.
The recovery period is approximately two weeks in length. Once the bruising and tenderness are gone, the patient can return to normal activities.
It is strongly recommended that patients avoid lifting anything of significant weight for at least two weeks following surgery.
Most patients can drive a car and return to work and social activities within a week. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks following surgery, as it can increase swelling and discomfort.
During this early post-operative period, the patient is ideally seen three days after her surgery. The patient will be instructed in breast massage techniques to soften and relax the breast implant pocket at this visit. Ultimately, this massage regimen’s conscientious practice daily can reduce the risk of encapsulation in the future.
About seven days after surgery, the sutures are removed. Subsequent appointments will be scheduled at two weeks, six weeks, and three months. For any of these post-operative appointments, the patient can be seen at either Dr. Delgado’s San Francisco office or his Marin County office.