Do’s and Don’ts After Breast Augmentation: Everything to Know

Having success with breast augmentation depends on what you do after the procedure. Here are the do’s and don’ts for after breast augmentation.

May 2, 2021

6 min read


If you’re due to undergo a breast augmentation in the near future, you’re not alone. Across the United States, breast augmentation surgery is among the top 5 most popular body enhancement surgeries today. In 2020, over 193,000 breast implant surgeries were conducted. 

Despite its popularity, breast augmentation is a unique experience for every individual. It may be exciting for many, but also extremely daunting, while some people may recover quicker than others. But when it’s all said and done, it’s what you do after breast augmentation surgery that really counts. 

Here’s what you need to know about recovery and all the things you should and shouldn’t do… 

The Top Things You Should Do After Breast Augmentation Surgery 

Let’s face reality for a second — breast augmentation surgery is major surgery. You are put under anesthesia and will need some dedicated time to recover. It’s not exactly a ”walk in the park”, but there are some things you can do to make your recovery comfortable and speedy: 

1. Schedule Some Time off Work 

Before you undergo your surgery, you want to make sure that you have spoken with the appropriate people at work and you’re cleared to take some time off. This is an essential part of your recovery. 

Ideally, you should take 5-6 days off work to let your body recovery from major surgery and to allow for the pain to subside and the swelling to settle. In many cases, you won’t have to stay overnight in the hospital after a breast augmentation.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can get up and go about your normal routine the next day. During this recovery time, you should only take on small amounts of responsibility/activity — this time is for rest, first and foremost! 

2. Put a Halt on Your Exercise Routine 

Post-surgery your body is going through a lot. It has already endured a good amount of stress, so the last thing you should do is put it under even more stress with exercising after surgery. 

In the first few weeks of recovery, rest and recuperation should be your top priorities — not your exercise regime. After the second week of post-op recovery, you can begin to incorporate light exercise back into your routine, such as walking or light housework. 

It’s best to wait for the all-clear from your surgeon before you launch back into your old workout routine. Ultimately, they will be able to properly assess your recovery and how much activity you can handle. 

3. Always Wear a Supportive Sports Bra In Recovery 

Support is absolutely crucial during the first few weeks of recovery after your breast enlargement. While it may be tempting to forgo the sports bra, you don’t want to jeopardize your recovery and prolong it even further. 

You may also be offered a post-surgical compression bra to keep your implants in check for the first couple of weeks. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations and stick to either or for the best possible support. 

After 2-3 weeks of your recovery, your surgeon will advise whether you can graduate to normal bras and will advise on the best size bra to buy. 

4. Regularly Massage Your Breasts

Now, this may sound like an odd one, but breast massage is also an important part of your recovery. This will help to reduce the swelling in the area and also promote good blood flow. And you only need to massage each breast for about 5 minutes per day. 

Your surgeon should instruct you on the best massage technique to use and how often to massage, too. You won’t have to do this forever, just in the first few weeks after your recovery. During the first week, your breasts may be too tender for a massage. But as the pain subsides, these massages are encouraged.

5. Contact Your Surgeon if You Have Concerns 

Before you leave your surgeon’s offices, you want to make sure you have their contact number on hand. This is because it’s never wise to keep quiet about things that could be concerning you during your recovery. You want to bring them to your surgeon’s attention, even if they seem minor. 

You know your body best, and if something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s best to reach out for help and advice from a professional than keep it to yourself. Your surgeon will advise on whether to meet for a follow-up or not.

6. Limit Your Sun Exposure 

The weeks following your breast augmentation are not the best time to lay out in the sun and catch a tan. During your first few weeks of recovery, you want to avoid excessive sun exposure and protect your chest area as much as possible. 

This is so that you can avoid skin irritation, which can only prolong your pain levels and recovery. Make sure to apply an SPF to your chest area before leaving the house if you want to wear a sleeveless shirt. It’s also wise to refrain from using sunbeds for the first few weeks, post-op. 

7. Maintain a Balanced, Healthy Diet

When you’re recovering from any form of major surgery, this is the time you want to concentrate on nourishing your body with healthy, fresh foods.

While a healthy, balanced diet is important throughout your everyday life, surgery or not, it’s crucial when your body is healing itself, post-op. Eating well will give your body the fuel it needs to heal and this will help to boost your recovery time, too. 

The Top Things You Shouldn’t Do After Breast Augmentation Surgery 

Now that you are aware of how to take care of your body during your recovery, it’s also wise to know about the activities that could jeopardize your recovery time. Here are a few of the most important things to avoid in the first few weeks, post-op:

1. Don’t Lift Anything Heavy 

If you enjoy lifting weights at the gym, now is not the time to be doing so. The truth is, you probably won’t want to anyway as your chest area will feel a little sore and tender in the first few weeks after your surgery. 

The same goes for being a mother and lifting your children. Your surgeon will tell you to avoid picking up your children for at least the first 3-4 weeks post-op. Try not to lift and carry heavy grocery bags, do arduous housework, or gardening, either. 

To add to this, you also want to avoid strenuous exercise for a good few weeks, as mentioned. This includes activities such as running, HIIT workouts, weighted workouts, etc. 

2. Don’t Smoke, Drink or Take Drugs During Recovery 

Remember what we said about feeding and nourishing your body during recovery? This means you want to avoid unnecessary toxins such as alcohol, cigarettes, and other recreational drugs.

The last thing you want to do is put extra stress on your body by adding these types of toxins to it. Alcohol and cigarette smoke have a particularly strong impact on your body’s ability to recover.

Don’t make your recovery longer than it needs to be — try to avoid these things for as long as possible and follow your surgeon’s recommendations closely. 

3. Don’t Expect To Love the Results Right Away 

First thing’s first, you ought to know that what your breasts look like in the first week after surgery are not what they’re going to look like forever. This is because there is plenty of swelling in the area and it will take time for your breast implants to settle into a ”natural” position. 

In some cases, your final results after a breast augmentation only show themselves a good few months after surgery. So, it’s important to be aware of this and not feel bad if you’re not 100 percent in love with the results right away. 

Bear in mind that your breast implants will sit a little high up in the beginning. But after time and once your body has healed, they will adapt, drop down, and soften up a little too. 

4. Don’t Sleep or Lie on Your Tummy 

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll have to find another comfortable way to sleep at night. This is a very important part of your recovery — you don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on your implants and chest area at all. 

Not only will it be very uncomfortable and even painful, but unnecessary pressure can affect the position and shape of your implants in the first few weeks of recovery, too. 

For the first 4 weeks of your recovery, you will have to sleep in your back to give your breast implants the best possible chance of settling as they should. 

5. Don’t Be In a Rush To Recover 

Finally, you want to keep in mind that you have undergone major surgery. Recovery from breast augmentation does take time. And for the best results, you don’t want to rush this recovery time. While each person may respond differently, the general consensus is to allow your body 4-6 weeks to fully recover. 

You may not feel your best self during this time. You may struggle with some pain, tenderness, and feel groggy due to a few sleepless nights. This is the reality of breast implant surgery — but ultimately, the results are well worth it! 

Breast Augmentation Experts at Your Fingertips 

Life after breast augmentation surgery is anything but ”normal” during your weeks of recovery. If you’ve always dreamed of breast implant surgery, it’s important to be prepared to follow your surgeon’s instructions and commit to your recovery for the best results. 

At the Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery, we offer world-class plastic surgeons to help you find the confidence you crave with breast augmentation surgery. Using the latest generation breast implant materials, learn more about what your results could look and feel like, with us. 

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