What can I expect after my breast augmentation surgery?

Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after breast augmentation surgery as smooth as possible. 

How long will it take to recover?

 You will stay in the recovery room after surgery until you are alert, breathing effectively, and your vital signs are stable. You may have tubes attached to your breasts to drain fluids. Your surgeon will usually remove them within three days. You may have a sore throat if a tube was placed in your windpipe during surgery. This is usually temporary, but tell your care team if you are uncomfortable.

Patients often go home on the same day if they are recovering well. In other cases, a hospital stay of one day is required. Your surgeon may recommend private nursing care to help you recover safely.

Recovery after surgery is a gradual process. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, type of anesthesia, your general health, age, and other factors. You may need to wear a surgical support bra for several weeks after your surgery. Full recovery takes a couple of weeks to a month.

Will I feel pain?

Pain control is important to healing and a smooth recovery. There will be discomfort after your surgery. Your doctor will treat your pain so you are comfortable and can get the rest you need. Call your doctor if your pain gets worse or changes in any way because it may be a sign of a complication.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after breast augmentation surgery. Contact your doctor for questions and concerns between appointments. Call your doctor right away or seek immediate medical care if you have:

  • Bleeding
  • Change alertness, such as passing out, dizziness, unresponsiveness, or confusion
  • Chest pain, palpitations, or uneven heart beats
  • Fever. A low-grade fever (lower than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) is common for a couple of days after surgery and not necessarily a sign of a surgical infection. However, you should follow your doctor's specific instructions about when to call for a fever.
  • Inability to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Pain that is not controlled by your pain medication
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, or wheezing
  • Sudden change in size or shape of your breast or breasts
  • Unexpected drainage, pus, redness or swelling of your incision

How might breast augmentation surgery affect my everyday life?

Breast augmentation surgery may improve satisfaction with your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Surgeons caution that it is important to be realistic about how much breast augmentation may improve your self-image. 

Be aware of what cosmetic breast augmentation surgery can and cannot do for your overall appearance. Time, gravity and aging will eventually affect the size and shape of your breast implants, just as it does natural breasts.

It is important to tell all your healthcare providers about your breast augmentation surgery. It can make it more difficult to feel a breast lump or see one on a mammogram. Breast augmentation can also complicate breastfeeding.