UNDERSTANDING YOUR BREAST AUGMENTATION RECOVERY TIMELINE
At Cruise Plastic Surgery, we know how important it is to understand what to expect when recovering from breast augmentation surgery. It can be overwhelming to think about recovering from surgery and all the steps you’ll need to take. Conversely, it can be easy to simply focus on your results and gloss over the important recovery process. For these reasons, it’s important to spend time learning more about your recovery and the different phases in the weeks after breast augmentation. This not only allows you to properly plan your schedule, but helps prevent any unexpected surprises and unnecessary stress. Here’s what to know about your breast augmentation recovery timeline.
Breast implant recovery timeline
It can be helpful to know what to expect after your procedure, but it can be difficult to find specific information about the weeks and months after breast augmentation. The more you know about your recovery schedule, the more you can plan accordingly. Take a look at our healing progression timeline with breast augmentation recovery photos showing you a typical breast augmentation healing process.
Below you will find more information about what can typically be expected following breast augmentation surgery.
1 day after breast augmentation
- Implants look high and compressed
- Breasts are very firm and tight
- Nipples will most likely appear very low and may point downward
- There will be very little side rounding or bottom breast rounding
- This is typically the phase where breasts look like pecs. This means they are squared at the top, don’t show much outward projection, and have little to no fullness at the bottom
- Breastbone is swollen
- Breasts have mild to moderate bruising
- Wear a non-support athletic bra 24/7, except while showering
1 week after breast augmentation
- 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
- Breasts will have slightly more bottom rounding and still no side rounding
- Swelling on the breastbone should be mild or nonexistent
- Bruising will be mild or nonexistent
- Breasts will still resemble pecs more than natural breasts
- You can begin sleeping flat on your back but not on your sides yet
- You may start feeling an itching or burning sensation— this is normal
- You may begin walking (even brisk walks) as early as a couple of days after surgery. Be sure to monitor for increased pain and swelling. If this happens, give yourself more time to heal and try again in a few days or so
2-3 weeks after breast augmentation
- Implants will still be high, but will start to become less compressed
- Breasts are still firm, but not quite as tight
- Nipples may still be low, but will start to elevate upwards
- Bottom rounding is becoming more pronounced, but the breasts are still much more rounded at the top. Very little side rounding, if any yet
- Bruising is typically gone
- You may notice more shooting pains and itching
- You may notice one breast dropping faster than the other breast. Asymmetry issues may be obvious, but this is normal
- Your implants may begin dropping at this point, but this varies by patient
- You will start being evaluated for bra management
- You may begin additional physical activity. Biking, walking, and lower body workouts are acceptable, but without bouncing. Stop if it’s painful or increases swelling in your breasts
6 weeks after breast augmentation
- Implants are starting to look more like breasts and taking on a more attractive appearance
- Breasts are starting to soften, but could still be firm on the sides
- Nipples are rising slowly to the center of the breasts. They may not be perfect at this stage, but should have good improvement
- Side breast rounding is slowly beginning, but is not pronounced
- Shooting pains may still be present, but are less frequent
- One breast could still appear higher than the other. Asymmetry is normal
- You will again be evaluated for bra management at each appointment
- It’s okay to sleep on your side, but stomach sleeping is not recommended after breast augmentation
- At this point in the healing process, you will most likely be able to comfortably wear a bathing suit or strapless dress
- Incisions should be completely closed. If so, you can go into the water fully submerged. Make sure the incisions have been closed for a minimum of 1 week
8-9 weeks after breast augmentation
- Breasts are looking much better, but will likely not be 100%
- Breasts are softer than before, but may still need more time to settle
- Nipples are in a good position, but may still be slightly low and uneven from side to side.
- Side rounding becomes more pronounced at each visit
- Bottom rounding fills in and becomes more pronounced
- 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, high impact activities, and upper body work outs. Ask your surgeon first
12 weeks after breast augmentation
- Breasts will have a nice, attractive shape. You may be almost completely healed at this point. However, some patients may still need a month or two for further softening and implant dropping
- Breasts continue to soften, and swelling is almost gone
- Nipples should be almost centered, if not already
- Side rounding is good, but may not be perfect depending on your muscles and tissues. Some patients round over a 6-month period
- Bottom rounding is much more noticeable, but will continue to improve
- Surgical tape is no longer needed on incisions. You can begin Scarless scar gel treatment
- Upper body workouts and running are now okay. Be sure to wear a fitted sports bra with support
- Bra management evaluation continues
6 months after breast augmentation
- Breasts will be in optimal position
- Breasts will be much softer to the touch
- Side and bottom rounding have good definition
- Use Scarless scar gel on incisions, if needed
- Underwire bras are recommended for most patients at this point
- Fitted support athletic bra will still be recommended during high-impact activity
When should I schedule my breast augmentation?
This breast augmentation timeline can help you make an informed decision about when to have surgery. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when making plans, and it can be helpful to think about what works best for you, as well as for anyone who will be helping you during the healing process. This can help you plan the ideal time for your breast augmentation and recovery.
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 things you’ll 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 you plan to wear a strapless dress or clothing that is revealing, 6 weeks is likely the earliest you will look “acceptable,” but 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.
Dr. Cruise can discuss these factors at length so you understand your timeline and plans for recovery. He can also answer important questions about how long until the swelling goes down after breast augmentation, when you can return to your normal schedule, and how long you can expect to take off work after breast augmentation. It’s important to be honest about your lifestyle and the effects that surgery might have on it since you’ll need to make significant changes to your daily routine for an extended period of time.
Schedule a Consultation
Breast augmentation is consistently one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries each year. 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 contact us by calling (949) 446-1421 or filling out our online form.