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recovery after breast augmentation

Recovery times by treatment – part one

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Here at Reshape & Restore in Gloucester, we understand that undergoing surgery is a big decision for our patients and one that has many implications. One of the most common questions we are asked is how long is the expected recovery time post surgery.

This is a really important question as it can impact what type of surgery you would prefer, when that surgery should take place for as little disruption to your life as possible, or even if you decide to go ahead with surgery at all. At Reshape & Restore we have a range of surgical options that are frequently requested by our patients, each one with its own definition of ‘recovery’. So we’ve decided to address this in a small series of blogs that explain what you can expect when recovering from some of our most popular surgeries.

Breast Augmentation:

Able to drive: Following breast augmentation surgery, we would expect most patients to be able to drive around 10 – 14 days post surgery. The reason that this may seem a long time is that you may not notice quite how much pressure driving can put on the upper arms and across the chest. Because breast augmentation surgery is focused on the chest area, actions such as steering (particularly if you have a car that is not supported by power steering) can put strain on chest muscles which will impair healing. We also suggest this time period to ensure the breasts are sufficiently healed and the implants have had enough time to settle in place, otherwise wearing a seatbelt may interfere with the implant’s positioning.

Back to work: This really depends on what you do for a living. If your work is less physical, then you ought to be able to return to light work in around a week. However, if your occupation is demanding on your upper body (such as lifting, personal training or sports for example) then sensible consideration should be given to when to return to work. We would suggest for the latter, that you refrain from returning to work for at least two weeks and certainly not before your follow-up appointment. During these sessions we will discuss an appropriate time for you to return to work, depending on the type of work you do and how your healing is progressing.

Return to the gym: Returning to the Gym can mean different things for different people; whether you regularly use the pool, participate in a high-impact exercise class, lift weights or do yoga. Our recommendation for when your specific exercise routine should resume should be used as a guide, which often also depends on how well your body is healing. Whichever form of exercise you do, it will generally mean working the muscles on areas of the body which may be weaker than usual as the body is using its energy to repair and recover from its recent trauma. Exercise and high-level activity will put added stress on the body and the muscles, which can impact the rate at which you heal, or may even rupture your healing wounds.

Typically, we’ll recommend staying away from the ‘gym’ and high level activity for up to 8 weeks after having breast augmentation. Our follow up care, carried out through a series of appointments, will assess how well you’re healing. This will allow us as medical professionals to recommend if your body seems like it’s ready to raise its activity levels. And, it’s important to recognise that as there has been a period of rest, you may need to ease back into your exercise regime and gradually increase your levels. This will also give you an indication as to whether your body is ready, and if it causes some discomfort, then it’s advisable not to push it.

Completely healed: Complete recovery from breast augmentation surgery, is another area that depends on you, the individual patient. We usually suggest a period of up to 8 weeks may be needed before returning to work. For the breast augmentation, it’s generally at around this time that the body has made a full recovery and your everyday routine has resumed – including being able to drive, returning to the gym / exercise regime and going back to work. As with all surgeries, Reshape & Restore will closely monitor your healing and recovery at your follow-up appointment, making specific aftercare suggestions according to our professional judgement.

Mummy Makeover:

Able to drive: As the Mummy Makeover is a series of procedures that improve the appearance of the entire body, when you’re able to drive will largely depend on which procedures have been carried out. Breast uplift and abdominoplasty are most commonly performed as part of this treatment, which will put stress on the muscles in the mid and upper body – which are needed for controlling and manoeuvring the car. At Reshape & Restore we may suggest waiting for around 2 weeks before you are comfortably able to drive. You may also need to consult your insurance company, as they may have stipulations within their terms and conditions.

Back to work: There are two things you should consider before going back to work: the type of job you do, and how well you’ve healed so far. Your recovery will also indicate your personal level of comfort, and if daily tasks are still proving to be strained, then you may need to consider staying at home for a little longer. We would typically suggest that you’ll need to take up 4 – 6 weeks off work if you do a manual job, and 2 – 3 weeks for a non-manual job.

Return to the gym: The suggested period for avoiding the gym, and strenuous exercise, is between 8 – 10 weeks. Once again, the specific procedures that you’ve undergone will determine how quickly you can resume your preferred exercise regime. Exercise often works the entire body; legs, arms, stomach and buttocks. As the Mummy Makeover is likely to have addressed these areas, it is sensible to allow the muscles to concentrate on supporting the boy’s recovery and not to hinder the process, or cause complications.

Completely healed: The Mummy Makeover can be extensive and puts a lot of strain on the body. Each procedure will have its own rate of healing, which can take longer when the body has experienced multiple procedures in a relatively short space of time. At Reshape & Restore we may suggest allowing 3 – 4 months before you can consider yourself to be completely healed, which may of course depend on whether the procedures required have been spaced out over a longer period of time.

An important part of your treatment plan is to ensure you have been given thorough aftercare advice. No matter which surgical procedure you have undergone there are certain instructions that need to be followed to help aid your healing and reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as: ensuring that you move the body regularly, being careful not to overdo it; caring for your wounds appropriately; maintaining the body’s hydration; eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of nutritious foods; taking suitable pain relief – avoiding aspirin and brufen to reduce the risk of post-surgery bleeding; not smoking (or drastically cutting down) – as this increases the likelihood of poor healing and bleeding, post surgery. Our thorough aftercare ensures your individual rate of healing is monitored and the appropriate advice is given to enable a full and speedy recovery.

We hope you’ve found this blog has been useful, and has helped you to understand a bit more about the recovery times of the Breast Augmentation procedure and the Mummy Makeover.

In part two (covered in next month’s blog) we’ll be looking at the recovery of Liposuction and the Full Body Lift.

You are always welcome to contact Reshape & Restore if you have any further questions, or to book a consultation.