How Does Your Body Change After Breast Augmentation?

Medically Reviewed on 5/6/2022
How does your body change after breast augmentation?
Following breast augmentation, your breasts may look bigger, have proper contour, look rounder, or become tighter.

Breast augmentation certainly makes you look more in shape. Though your body does not change much after breast augmentation surgery, the breast area looks bigger, thus changing your overall posture. The surgery changes the shape and appearance of your breast. The contour of the breast makes your body look slightly different near the chest area.

  • Depending on what you expect to get from the surgery and convey to your doctor, your breast may look bigger, have proper contour, look rounder, or become tighter.
  • The surgery might enhance your body image and boost your self-esteem. You may feel more confident moving around. However, have realistic expectations and do not expect to have a perfect breast shape or body for a lifetime.

Make sure you discuss your expectations with your doctor, who can tell you the pros and cons of each type of breast augmentation surgery and which one will be most suitable for you.

How long does it take to recover from breast augmentation surgery?

The recovery time depends on the kind of breast augmentation procedure, your overall health, and after-care. However, it may be anywhere between three weeks to three months depending on the technique used.

  • You recover within three weeks from a subglandular and within three months with submuscular technique.
    • The subglandular technique is used when the implant is placed under the glandular tissue of the breast, above the muscle layer.
    • The submuscular technique involves cutting the pectoralis major chest muscle and stretching it over the implant so that the implant is partially under the pectoralis muscle.

What is the aftercare following breast augmentation surgery?

In the first week of the surgery, you need to rest and use ice packs to keep the swelling down and help control the pain. Rest here means not doing any activity that puts pressure on your breast. As you feel better, start moving and exercising because it improves the blood circulation to your breasts, which speeds up the recovery process. Do not confine yourself to the bed; this can make your breast stiffer and cause more pain.

Your doctor may put a drain to remove the wound fluid for a faster recovery process. However, the breast tissues help absorb the fluid anyways. So, a drain may not be a necessary thing.

You may experience itchiness around the incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours.

Most people can start doing their routine activities and even resuming their desk-job within three to five days. However, it is recommended to take a week off from your job after surgery. If you have a physically demanding job, you will require more than a week’s leave.

Keep in mind that your breasts would not find fit as expected until two months after surgery, so stay patient for at least two months.

You may have increased sensations over the nipple for a few to several weeks after the surgery. Do not worry. It is just the stretching and irritation of the nerves caused by the surgery. This is a temporary issue and usually subsides soon.


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How to take care of your breast implants

Breast implants typically do not last for a lifetime. However, some tips can help them stay longer without going for another breast augmentation surgery.

  • Wear a surgical bra during your breast augmentation recovery. You will need to wear surgical bras for at least two weeks after the surgery. Insufficient support to your breast can lead to increased sagging of the breast over time.
  • Give yourself time to heal. You will need to rest for 7 to 10 days at home before resuming work. However, do not start some activities, such as lifting heavy things within four to six weeks of the surgery. Activities that put pressure on your chest may cause your chest muscles to become sore. The summary is not to rush and give yourself the space to recover.
  • Have regular follow-ups and self-checkups. You need to get regular checkups according to your doctor’s advice and undergo tests, such as a mammogram or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if needed. For example, for silicone implants, the U.S. Food and Drug Association recommends getting an MRI breast three years after the initial breast implant surgery and then, every two years thereafter. You will be taught to self-examine your breasts to check if there is any rupture of the silicone implant.
Medically Reviewed on 5/6/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Shacknai G. What to expect after your breast augmentation surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.