How Long is Recovery From Breast Augmentation

May 28, 2021

Breast augmentation surgery is a cosmetic procedure to give women who have smaller breasts an improvement in shape and volume. Since 2006, breast augmentation has been the most popular of all cosmetic surgeries. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that in 2019, more than 299,000 American women received this cosmetic treatment. If you are planning to undergo breast implant surgery to improve the contouring and appeal of your breasts, this article highlights what you should expect breast augmentation recovery stages. 

A few days after breast augmentation

Breast implant surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed at an accredited medical facility. Most patients are allowed to go home on the same day as the surgery. During the first few days in recovery, the breasts are very tight and firm. Implants look high and compressed, and the nipples tend to appear low (pointing downwards). There is hardly any noticeable rounding on the side and bottom of the breasts. In fact, many women notice that the breasts appear squared at the top. These observations should not concern you because your implants have just been inserted and are yet to assume their final position. Keep in mind that your breast may be swollen, and you will likely experience mild bruising. Patients are required to wear a special support bra at all times.

1 week post-op breast augmentation 

Pain and discomfort are typically experienced within the first week after breast implant surgery. Your surgeon should have prescribed narcotic pain killers to alleviate these side effects. Some patients may experience minor bleeding at the incision areas. While this is normal, get in touch with your surgeon if you are overly concerned. You may start to experience an itching or burning sensation around this time. Most patients are also able to walk (even brisk walks) after the first week following augmentation breast surgery. 

2 weeks post op breast augmentation 

At 2 weeks after breast augmentation, the bruising is usually gone. Most patients are able to get back to light activities. Your doctor will likely recommend that you return to regular daily activities and get back to work. You may also start engaging in light lower body exercises with approval from your surgeon. At this stage, patients are still required to stay away from any form of strenuous exercise, including heavy lifting, and intense aerobic activities. In terms of appearance, you may notice one breast dropping faster than the other one. This may give the impression of breast asymmetry but is very normal during recovery. 

3 weeks post-op breast augmentation 

Three weeks into your breast implant surgery recovery, your doctor will likely advise that you continue with your displacement exercises. However, strenuous activities and heavy lifting are still off the table. At this stage, your doctor will start evaluating you for bra management. You may also be allowed to engage in more intense physical activities such as brisk walking, and biking (provided three is no bouncing). 

6 weeks post-op breast augmentation 

At the 6th week in your breast implant timeline, implants are now looking more attractive with a resemblance to natural breasts. Your breasts will also be softened (although they may be still firm on the sides). Nipples will also rise slowly to assume their desired position at the center of the breast. While shooting pains may manifest every now and then, they will be less frequent. Some patients will still notice asymmetry at this stage, which is perfectly normal. It will be okay to sleep on your side, but not on your stomach. Incisions should be entirely closed off by now. You may also be able to wear a strap-dress or bathing suit about now. 

3 – 6 months after breast augmentation

Within the 3rd and 6th months following breast augmentation surgery, your breasts will have a nice and attractive shape. You may be entirely healed at this point. The breasts should continue to soften and nipples should be centered. Both side and bottom rounding of the breasts will be very prominent at this time, and application of scar ointments can begin because the incisions have fully healed. Most patients are also able to engage in whatever form of upper body workouts, and wear fitted sports bras with support. 

5 Tips for recovery after breast augmentation 

Doing the right things can help shorten your breast augmentation recovery time, and make sure that your breasts heal without any interruptions. Below are a few great tips for recovery following breast implant surgery.

  • Get someone to help out – you will need someone not just to drive you home after surgery but also to assist with basic chores at home. This is more so important for patients who have kids or pets at home. Getting a helping hand means that you can focus all your physical and mental energy on recovery.
  • Get plenty of rest – getting enough rest during your breast enlargement recovery may sound like a no-brainer, but it is easier said than done. 
  • Sleep on your back – although your surgeon will have let you know what position to assume when sleeping or resting, it is important to reinforce this tip. Make sure to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this could lead to pain and interfere with recovery. A lot of us are used to a busy lifestyle and the boredom of hunkering down for up to 6 weeks can be something else. Nonetheless, you need as much rest and sleep so you can regain your strength after breast implants surgery. 
  • Prevent constipation – many patients complain about constipation after undergoing a surgical procedure. This is usually due to the narcotics pain medication that is prescribed to improve your comfort level during recovery. While your Phoenix plastic surgeon will prescribe a stool softener, it is up to you to avoid taking food items that cause constipation. 
  • Focus on a healthy diet – your body needs a lot of nutrients in order to rebuild after the breast implant surgery. This is the right time to specialize in a nutrient-rich, healthy diet. Make sure to stay hydrated as well in order to support healing and reduce the possibility of common complications of surgery. 


Doing the right things during recovery is important so you can attain a favorable procedure outcome, while also minimizing the risk of complications. In addition to taking proper care of yourself and getting adequate rest, it is also important that you strictly adhere to your surgeon’s recovery instructions, and attend all post-operative appointments.