Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline Now Available

At Cruise Plastic Surgery we know just how important it is to understand what to expect when recovering from breast augmentation surgery.  This not only allows you to properly plan when the best time is to have it done, but helps to prevent any unexpected surprises, which could cause unnecessary stress.

Orange County Breast Augmentation Patient

Orange County Breast Augmentation Patient

There are many important factors that go into choosing when to have breast augmentation.  Timing is just one of them. Here is a brief list of just some of things you want to take into consideration when planning for breast augmentation:

If you work, how much time can you take off? Is there a better time of year to take off than another?

What type of work do you do (desk job or something more physical)? This will be a factor when determining when you will be ready to go back to work.

Is there someone available to help you the first few days after surgery and do they need to take time off work?

Are you trying to have breast augmentation in time for a big event (i.e. wedding, vacation, reunion, etc.)? If this is the case, give yourself more time rather than less time to recover, if at all possible. If you plan to wear a strapless dress or clothing that is revealing, 6 weeks is most likely the earliest you will look “acceptable,” however 3-4 months is optimal.

Do you want to have surgery before summer arrives? Most patients choose to have surgery right around the summertime, but they don’t realize that they need to start planning months in advance. Winter or early spring is the best time to have breast augmentation if you want to be completely healed and bikini ready by summer.

Take a look at our healing progression timeline w/ visual aids showing you what to expect as you recover from your breast augmentation.

breast augmentation healing

Below you will find more information about what can typically be expected following breast augmentation surgery.

1 day post-op

  • Implants look high and compressed.
  • They will be very firm and tight.
  • Nipples will most likely appear very low and could be pointing downward.
  • There will be little to no side rounding or bottom breast rounding.
  • This is typically the phase where breasts look like pecs. Squared at the top, not showing much outward projection, and little to no fullness at the bottom.
  • Swelling on the breast bone.
  • Mild to moderate bruising depending on the patient.
  • Placed in a non-support sports bra to be worn 24/7, except showering.

1 week post-op

  • Implants will still be high and compressed, but may have a little more projection.
  • Breasts will still be firm and tight.
  • Nipples will still appear low.
  • Slightly more bottom rounding and still no side rounding.
  • Swelling on the breast bone should be mild or gone.
  • Bruising will be mild or could be gone completely.
  • Breasts will still resemble pecs more than natural breasts.
  • Can begin sleeping flat on your back but not on your sides yet.
  • May start feeling itching or burning sensation. This is normal.
  • Can start walking, even brisk walks, as early as a couple of days after surgeyr. Just monitor for increased pain and/or swelling. Back off if this happens. Give yourself more time to heal and try again in a few days or so.

2-3 weeks post-op

  • Implants will still be high, but will start to become less compressed.
  • Still firm, but not quite as tight.
  • Nipples may still be low, but starting to elevate upwards.
  • Bottom rounding is becoming more pronounced, but are still much more rounded at the top of the breasts. Very little side rounding, if any yet.
  • Bruising is typically gone.
  • Could start noticing more shooting pains and itching.
  • May notice one breast dropping faster than the other breast. Asymmetry issues will be obvious, but is normal.
  • Some patient’s implants may be dropping at this point, while others may still be high. This varies patient to patient.
  • Surgical tape and glue to incisions.
  • Patients will start being evaluated for bra management.
  • Okay to begin additional physical activity. Biking, walking, lower body workoutsNo bouncing. Stop if painful or increases swelling to breasts.

6 weeks post-op

  • Implants are starting to look more like breasts and taking on a more attractive appearance.
  • Breasts are starting to soften, however could still be firm on the sides.
  • Nipples are rising slowly to center of breasts. May not be perfect at this stage, but should have good improvement.
  • Side breast rounding is slowly starting, but not pronounced.
  • Shooting pains may still be present, but less frequent.
  • One breast could still appear higher than the other. Asymmetry is normal.
  • Patients will again be evaluated for bra management at each appointment.
  • Okay to sleep on your side, but stomach sleeping is not recommended after breast augmentation.
  • Surgical tape and glue to incisions.
  • At this point in the healing process, you will most likely be able to wear a bathing suit or strapless gown/dress and look acceptable.
  • Incisions should be completely closed. If so, you can go into the water fully submerged.  Be sure the incisions have been closed for a minimum of 1 week.

8-9 weeks post-op

  • Breasts are looking much better, but will likely not be 100% of expected result.
  • Breasts are softer than before, but for some, may still need more time to settle.
  • Nipples should be in good position, but may still be slightly low and uneven from side to side.
  • Side rounding becoming more pronounced at each visit.
  • Bottom rounding filling in and becoming more pronounced.
  • Surgical tape and glue to incisions.
  • Bra management will be evaluated at each appointment.
  • One breast may still be slightly higher than the other, but should be slowly improving.
  • Depending on how you are healing, you may be cleared to increase your physical activity to include: running and other high impact activities, upper body work outs, etc. Ask your surgeon first.

12 weeks post-op

  • Breast will have nice attractive shape. Some patients may be almost completely healed at this point. Others may still need a month or two for further softening and dropping of the implants into their ideal position.
  • Breasts are continuing to soften as swelling is almost gone.
  • Nipples should be almost centered, if not already.
  • Side rounding is good, but may not be perfect depending on the patients muscles and tissues. Some patients round over a 6 month period.
  • Bottom rounding much more noticeable, but will continue to improve.
  • No more surgical tape on incisions. Will begin Scarless scar gel treatment.
  • Okay for upper body workouts and running. Will need a fitted sports bra with support.
  • Bra management evaluation continues.

6 months post-op

  • Breasts will be in optimal position.
  • Breasts will be much softer to the touch.
  • Side and bottom rounding has good definition.
  • Scarless scar gel on incisions, if still needed.
  • Underwire bra will be recommended for most patients at this point.
  • Fitted support sports bra will still be recommended when engaged in high-impact sports.

This breast augmentation timeline has been made available to help you make an informed decision about when to have surgery. All of the factors we listed, and more, should be taken into consideration when making plans. Think about what works best for you, as well as for anyone who will be helping you during the healing process.

Interested in having breast augmentation? Learn about Joseph T Cruise, MD and his full muscle coverage breast augmentation technique.

If you have questions or would like to schedule a breast augmentation consultation, please call (949) 644-4808 or email: 

cruise plastic surgery