Enhancing the size and shape of the breasts with breast implants is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures worldwide since it was first performed nearly 60 years ago. The breast augmentation procedure records high satisfaction rates and patients often find their confidence and self-esteem are transformed post-procedure.

While it is natural to be excited about the expected results, many patients feel slightly apprehensive about what to expect in terms of scarring, whether there will be any pain and when it’s possible to get back to work or your normal activities. Here is our guide to best breast augmentation recovery with a timeline and tips.

Our breast augmentation recovery timeline

Every patient heals differently, and breast augmentation recovery can also depend on the size of your implants or where they are placed. We always give you comprehensive aftercare instructions and are always on the end of the phone, but here’s a general guide to your breast augmentation recovery:

The first 24 hours: breast augmentation is a relatively quick procedure, taking between 30 and 40 minutes, and most patients return home the same day. You may feel some soreness and tightness in the chest area when you wake up. You may also feel slightly disorientated from the general anaesthetic.

The first week: the first few days after a breast augmentation are the most uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be very painful. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories are very effective in easing any discomfort. You should fully rest during this first week, although your energy levels should return to normal towards the end.

The first month: most women find they can return to work after a week, depending on their type of employment, and can resume most normal activities. We discourage any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise until you are fully recovered, but you should be able to resume low impact workouts after a few weeks. Continue to wear your compression garments or sports bra to ensure your breasts are fully supported.

Full recovery: you can expect all swelling to have subsided and your breast implants to have settled by three months. Scarring can take up from 12 to 18 months to fully fade and flatten.

Breast augmentation recovery FAQs

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about the breast augmentation recovery process:

Once you are fully healed, there are no restrictions on the type of exercise you can do after a breast augmentation, except maybe boxing or martial arts that involve blows to the chest! Low impact cardio can actually boost your recovery as it enhances blood flow, stimulating the healing process, but we discourage any heavy weight training or strenuous upper body workouts like tennis for the first six weeks. Always listen to your body.

Although the swelling typically peaks in the first three days post-breast augmentation, it can take up to three months for it to fully subside. If you overdo it, then you may notice a temporary increase in swelling. As the swelling subsides, the breast implants ‘settle’ and the upper part of the breast will appear softer and more natural.

We have recently relaunched the Karidis Clinic App, which supports you throughout your patient journey. A successful cosmetic surgery procedure goes beyond the operating room and the app provide invaluable advice on how to optimise your recovery process as well as sending you alerts for all your post-op check-ups.

At Karidis Clinic, all breast augmentation procedures are carried out by one of the best known breast surgeons in London, Mr Alex Karidis. For UK-leading aftercare, get in touch today.