Your breast augmentation recovery will be a time of anticipation and excitement — new and improved breasts are finally yours. But patience and composure as you recover are vital to making sure that you heal well and heal quickly. Treating yourself with care, following your plastic surgeon’s directions and taking enough time to recover goes a long way towards ensuring your results are optimized. At Banff Plastic Surgery, we know that one of the best ways to make sure our clients recover completely is by giving them the tools and information they need to feel comfortable and confident while they heal. Here, you can learn more about what to expect during your breast augmentation recovery and steps you can take to make your recovery a smooth and simple process.
Will I be able to go home right after my surgery?
Most patients can leave our Banff facility and begin their recovery either at home or at one of our local hotels in Banff or Canmore. You will need a trusted friend or family member to pick you up — you will not be able to drive due to subsiding anesthesia and restricted movement.
Occasionally, for various reasons, we perform breast augmentations at the nearby Mineral Springs Hospital. In some of these cases, we may ask that you stay overnight for monitoring if there are particular concerns due to your health history. Otherwise you can go home or to a hotel with your caregiver.
Will I be in pain after my breast augmentation?
Immediately following your surgery and after your anesthesia wears off, you will experience mild pressure and even a slight burning sensation. Patients often describe the pressure as similar to when your milk comes in after delivering a baby. This level of pain discomfort will only last a few days, but we will give you prescription medications to manage your pain for a short amount of time. We use a “multimodal” approach so that your need for any narcotics is minimized. You will continue to experience some discomfort and tenderness for a few months after surgery. This can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activities for two weeks and then gradually resuming your normal exercise level.
What should I do if I feel like something is wrong?
The moment you feel symptoms that you do not think are typical, we want you to call us. The Banff Plastic Surgery surgeons and staff are always available to help you if complications arise or to soothe your worries if your symptoms are normal. A few signs to watch for are high-grade fevers or excessive swelling with pain especially on one side.
What will the first few days be like?
The first days of recovery should be spent somewhere you are comfortable and with someone who can help you around the house. We recommend stocking up on essentials leading up to your surgery to avoid multiple trips out of the house. We do not want you to do much lifting. You will be able to resume driving once you are no longer taking narcotics. If you have young children we recommend having them climb up themselves into their car seats and then you can buckle them in.
What about the first few weeks?
Depending on your job or normal activity levels, you may feel well enough to resume some responsibilities after your first week. Factors like age and health prior to surgery can also have an impact It is better however to get up twenty times a day for one minute rather than once a day for twenty minutes. You need to rest but not spend too much time in bed. Any discomfort after the first week should be manageable with readily available pain medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen. You will notice that bruising and swelling begin to subside and you will be more comfortable trying different garments (a cami, a soft bra (or even no bra) and eventually even an underwire bra – all depending on your comfort level). You should also expect to have a follow-up appointment with us sometime during your first month or so.
When can I go back to work?
Returning to work will depend on what type of work you do. Many patients can go back to desk work in a few days to a week, but work that involves more physical labour will take at least a couple of weeks. Time off work may be a bit longer for patients who have their implants placed under the muscle.
How long do I need to wait after my surgery to start exercising again?
Heavy lifting and exercise that agitates your breasts — such as running or jumping — should be avoided altogether until advised otherwise by your surgeon. It is difficult to say exactly how long this will be, since it very much depends on your surgery and your health. Most of our patients can return to light to moderate exercise after a month couple of weeks of recovery, and to more strenuous activities after six four weeks. Patients who have the implants placed under the muscle must wait longer to resume exercise, especially upper body exercises. However, it is essential that you talk to us your plastic surgeon about your abilities and healing process. If you put strain your new breasts before they are ready, you can risk internal bleeding (called a hematoma) around your implants. Injuries of this nature may require further surgery to drain the blood, setting you back to square one of recovery.
How will I know if I am healing properly?
It might take longer than you want or expect to really feel like you are recovering. It is important to remember that it can take weeks and months for visible signs of your surgery to subside, and up to a year for sensitivity and scarring to plateau. Over time, you will notice pain and discomfort decreasing, bruises fading and sutures becoming less prominent. We will also schedule follow-up appointments to make sure that everything is healing as it should, but you can feel free to call us with any questions in the meantime.
What are other steps I can take to make sure my new breasts heal well?
We often recommend taking steps to reduce your risk of infection, minimize scarring and maximize longevity. We may usually prescribe an antibiotic alongside your pain medications to prevent infection. The paper tape will usually stay on your incisions for three to four weeks even with daily showers. You can shower as often as you would like, but we advise against baths or hot tubs because the water may not be as clean as we would like. Other important steps include keeping your sutures clean, changing your bandages as instructed and protecting your sutures and scars from sunlight or tanning bed lights. We do not recommend any topical antibacterial or anti-scarring treatments but if you choose to use some, we ask you to wait until the tape has come off. Scar massage and even using paper tape for 6 months can help scarring – but only slightly. Wear loose, breathable clothing whenever possible, and avoid wearing undergarments that rub against your inframammary folds.
What if I am planning to have children soon?
If you are planning to have children soon, or already have a child and are planning to have more, you may want to wait until after you are finished having children since pregnancy and breastfeeding can make significant changes in the size and shape of your breasts. So much depends on your timing and how much you want to improve your breasts. There is no right answer.
Will I be able to breastfeed after an augmentation?
Barring rare complications, your implants will not impede your ability to breastfeed. The implants are placed through the inframammary fold under your breast, which means it does not interfere with the connection between your nipples and milk ducts. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding can noticeably change your breasts, which may result in your implants getting shifted or their size and shape no longer looking natural. This may require a revision procedure to reposition or replace your implants. Will my breasts/nipples feel different after my surgery? Silicone and saline implants do feel different than natural breast tissue, though most surgeons agree that silicone feels more natural similar than saline. Depending on your implants’ size and how much breast tissue you had before your surgery, your implants may be very noticeable to the touch or hardly noticeable at all. At Banff Plastic Surgery, we pride ourselves on achieving natural-looking results for breast augmentation clients.
Most of our patients see very little change in nipple sensation after they have fully healed. We typically hear more reports of heightened nipple sensation rather than numbness, and these changes usually return to normal over time. During recovery, hypersensitivity in the areola and nipple are common, but this should fade quickly as you heal. It is not uncommon to experience sudden sharp shooting pains as the nerves recover. The best way to treat any hypersensitivities is to put pressure on the area or massage the skin. This desensitization may sound counter-intuitive but it actually does work well to make your recovery easier.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
If you are interested in breast augmentation at Banff Plastic Surgery, do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about our services and recommendations for surgery and recovery. We pride ourselves on our first class reputation for surgery and patient care. Dr Hall-Findlay is respected around the world for her contributions in breast surgery and she is known for thoroughly discussing your needs and questions with you during your visit. Call You can call us at 403-762-2055 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation.