Your Breast Augmentation Timeline

March 15, 2021

Breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure year after year in the United States because of its increasingly natural results for breast enhancement. However, it’s important to remember that if you’re considering undergoing this highly effective procedure in Atlanta, you won’t see your final results right away, as the breast implants need time to settle and look their natural best.

So to help you manage expectations for surgery, here’s what you need to know about your breast augmentation timeline.

Immediately After Surgery

The first day following your breast augmentation procedure, your breasts will more closely resemble pectoral muscles rather than the full, feminine figure you will have later on. In addition:

  • Breasts will be firm and tight
  • The breastbone and the breasts themselves will be swollen
  • There will be little rounding and fullness toward the bottom of breasts
  • You must sleep elevated on your back for about a week
  • A non-supportive athletic bra needs to be worn 24/7

A Week After Surgery

Dr. DiFrancesco usually encourages breast augmentation patients to begin regular, short walks as soon as a few days after surgery, as this encourages healthy blood circulation. At one week post-operation, the breasts will still be tight and high, with some improvement in bottom roundness. Other characteristics of this stage of recovery include:

  • Some improvement in bruising of the breasts and breastbone
  • You can start sleeping flat, but only on your back
  • Breasts may feel itchy or have a burning sensation

Two to Three Weeks After Surgery

By two or three weeks after breast augmentation, you will begin to see the first signs that your breast implants are settling into their natural position. This means that, although they will still be abnormally high and tight, you’ll see some relaxation and fullness beginning to appear. Other changes at this point include:

  • Implants may begin dropping, or settling, in some patients
  • Bruising is typically gone
  • Light exercise and normal activities can be resumed, but be cautious and stop if breasts begin to hurt or swell.
  • One breast may be dropping faster than the other, which is normal
  • Itching and shooting pains may increase

Six to Eight Weeks After Surgery

By this point, many patients feel almost back to normal, although the implants may still be settling into their final, natural position. You may be cleared by Dr. DiFrancesco to sleep on your side, but stomach sleeping should still be avoided. In addition:

  • Breasts will show more fullness in the bottom and sides
  • Breasts will be softening, but still be a little firm
  • Pain and discomfort will be less severe and less frequent
  • If incisions are fully closed for one week, you can go into water fully submerged

12 Weeks After Surgery

Most people are nearly fully recovered and happy with the results of their breast augmentation by 12 weeks after the procedure, although the breasts will continue to settle and improve in appearance for up to two more months. Patients can return to their full, active lives, including upper body workouts and normal bra use. Other characteristics of this stage are:

  • Bottom and side rounding look almost normal
  • Breasts feel like natural tissue and have achieved a natural appearance
  • Swelling is usually gone
  • Nipple placement looks normal
  • Scar treatment can begin for optimal results

Schedule a Consultation for Breast Augmentation Atlanta, GA

Having good expectations for the duration and requirements of your breast augmentation recovery timeline can help you better prepare for this highly sought-after procedure. To learn more about your unique options for breast augmentation in Atlanta, don’t hesitate to reach out to double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lisa DiFrancesco. Contact us by calling (404) 531-2478 or by filling out our online contact form.

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