After Breast Augmentation
In the excitement of finally getting breast implants, it’s easy to forget about one of the most important aspects of your breast augmentation: your recovery. Taking care of yourself and your body immediately after surgery is essential for seeing the best possible long-term results.
Request a consultation to meet with Dr. Joseph J. Castellano and learn more about what to expect both before and after your breast augmentation. A Tampa Bay native, Dr. Castellano is well-known as one of the best cosmetic surgeons and breast augmentation specialists in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
What to Expect after Surgery
Although Dr. Castellano will go over what to expect during your surgery and recovery at your initial consultation, many women understandably tend to think more about the results themselves rather than the steps taken to achieve those results. Yet, recovery is just as much a part of your breast augmentation as the surgery itself.
Immediately after surgery, you can expect one or several of the following:
Breasts commonly heal at different rates, so one implant may drop faster than the other, or one breast may appear swollen for longer. Some initial asymmetry is perfectly normal, especially in the first few weeks after surgery.
Your breasts may feel as if they’re swollen or tight, and you may feel discomfort at the incision sites as well.
Swelling is an aspect of your body’s natural healing response, so your breasts may look larger at first than you expected.
Dr. Castellano will have you wear a special post-surgical bra to help you feel comfortable and support your implants in their proper placement as you heal. He may also prescribe pain mediation, although many women are comfortable enough after a day or two that they don’t finish their full prescription. Dr. Castellano’s staff will schedule your first follow-up appointment, and give you a detailed list of post-operative instructions.
What to Expect during Recovery
While every woman’s body responds to breast enhancement a little bit differently, you can plan the stages of your recovery according to a rough timeline:
The First Few Days
Right after surgery, you may notice swelling and discomfort, along with bruising. Fluid retention is also common. Gentle movement, like walking, can help promote healthy circulation and decrease swelling. It’s a good idea to have someone helping you around the house during this time, including assistance with any task that requires you to raise your arms over your head, such as washing your hair.
The First Week
Swelling may develop in your belly or other areas of your body. Discomfort should be less noticeable during the daytime, yet may worsen at night. Dr. Castellano may recommend post-operative breast massage immediately after surgery or a few days into your recovery. Some women return to work within the first week, while others may wait a few days longer.
The First Month
You can slowly increase your physical activity level as recommended by Dr. Castellano, as long as you avoid chest-specific exercises. Swelling should be noticeably decreased, and any diminished nerve sensation should start to return.
The First Few Months
Your implants should move into their final placement and position as scar appearance continues to improve. Swelling will continue going down as your breast tissues relax and allow the implants to settle.
6 months after Surgery
By 6 months after breast augmentation, you should have a good idea of your final breast shape and implant placement, with all or nearly all of the post-operative swelling resolved. Your implants should be soft to the touch, feeling and moving like natural breast tissue.
1 Year after Surgery
Scar appearance continues to improve dramatically for at least a year after surgery, and sometimes up to two years. Your scars should gradually flatten and fade, becoming less conspicuous over time.
This guide does not encompass every stage of recovery, as your breasts will continue changing in size and shape throughout your lifetime due to factors like weight fluctuation, pregnancy and the normal aging process. However, you can expect to enjoy your new look for many years to come, especially when taking a comprehensive approach to the consultation and planning process that addresses concerns before your breast augmentation all the way through your recovery.