When you have a breast augmentation, the result is typically more voluminous breasts that create a sexier, more youthful harmony among all your body’s natural features. Between the beginning and end results of your breast augmentation is the recovery stage, one of the most important aspects of the whole process.
When we talk with patients at our practice about breast augmentation recovery, we’re often asked, “Will it hurt?” Because every patient experiences a different healing and recovery process, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. In general, yes, you will experience some discomfort after just about any surgical procedure. The great news is that plastic surgeons have decades and decades of experience specifically managing pain after breast augmentations, and that’s where we like to focus the discussion when asked if a breast augmentation is painful.
The Recovery Timeline for a Breast Augmentation
The average recovery period for most breast augmentation patients typically lasts about 6-8 weeks. In the immediate hours after your surgery, you’ll likely be groggy, and you’ll need someone to drive you and make sure you get home safely.
In the first few days after your surgery, your surgeon will determine the best approach for dealing with residual pain and discomfort. The pain you’ll experience should be very manageable. You’ll likely have some swelling and inflammation near the incision sites, and you’ll wear a wrap to support your breasts. Your doctor will likely use narcotics for pain control. They also may use pain pumps—a device that slowly drips pain medication to a specific area—or direct pain medication injections.
After about a week, your doctor will pull back on the use of narcotics and may recommend over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, to dull any lingering discomfort. During this period, with the surgeon’s approval, you might try short walks to boost your body’s production of endorphins, which are its natural painkillers that also aid greatly in the healing process.
After a few weeks, you should be able to gradually resume non-strenuous activities. Most people who work jobs that aren’t too physically demanding start thinking about returning to work a few weeks after their breast augmentation surgery. You’ll still need to take it easy with activities like running, lifting heavy objects, and other types of exercise until about the 6-8 week mark.
Why it’s Good to Feel Some Pain After Surgery
Doctors can’t make surgery a totally pain-free experience when incisions are involved, but that’s not necessarily bad. When your body feels pain, it causes it to start manufacturing and releasing a whole bunch of hormones and some chemicals called neurotransmitters.
These hormones and neurotransmitters are essential to your body’s natural healing process. Many are crucial in the rebuilding of new, healthier tissue following surgery. Although plastic surgeons can’t completely remove pain and discomfort from the breast augmentation experience, we can help you manage it safely and as comfortably as possible.
Considering a Breast Augmentation Surgery?
People have breast enhancement surgery for many different reasons. If you’re considering one, we recommend speaking to several board-certified plastic surgeons experienced in a variety of breast augmentation approaches before making your decision.
Schedule your consultation at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery by calling our practice at (410) 744-0900. You can also contact us using our website if you have questions or need more information about breast augmentation.