You may have spent lots of time preparing for your breast augmentation surgery, but don't forget about your recovery. Breast enlargement, reconstruction, and lift procedures have similar recovery periods. The post-surgical process may be painful, but you must allow your body to heal before you start showing off the new, beautiful you!

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Ask your surgeon about your estimated recovery time, based on your health and medical history. Be sure to take enough time off from work, and ask your family, friends, or others to help with childcare and household tasks. 

Be sure to discuss with your physician the types of bras and supportive clothing you’ll need following surgery; purchase these items in advance so they’ll be there when you need them. Request post-surgery bathing instructions so you can equip your bathroom appropriately in advance.

Especially if you will be alone for long periods of time during recovery, prepare with essentials like a well-stocked refrigerator, a stack of books or magazines and a list of important numbers near the phone.

Immediately After Surgery

Your doctor will probably want to watch your progress for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours post-op. After you wake up from the anesthesia, you will be wearing a surgical bra or another similar garment. Depending on the procedure, you may have a pain pump and a small tube remaining under your skin to aid with fluid drainage.

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Going Home

Although the anesthesia will have worn off by the time you are discharged, don’t drive yourself home; you’ll risk compromising your sutures and you’ll likely be sore. 

Once you’re home, carefully follow the discharge instructions provided by your surgeon. He’ll have given you information on medications, instructions on keeping the incision site clean. Avoid heavy lifting and other strenuous physical activity for a few days to a week. If you did not do so before surgery, schedule a follow-up appointment with the physician.  Some degree of soreness and swelling is normal for as long as a month after surgery.

To decrease swelling, you can reduce your sodium intake and softly massage the area to help with circulation Call your doctor if at any point you are concerned about specific symptoms. Remember, cosmetic surgery does not guarantee the exact look you were hoping for; if you are unhappy with the results, talk to your physician.


Any type of surgical procedure comes with the risk of more serious complications.  If you experience chest pain, rapid or irregular heart beats, or difficulty breathing, immediately go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility. If you continue to be in substantial pain after a week, see your doctor; prolonged pain could be a sign of capsular contracture.