Breast Implants And Recovery after Surgery

Breast Implants AustinIt’s hard to prepare yourself for what it will feel like after a breast augmentation. In most cases these implants are placed beneath the muscle and the expansion of the muscle and tissues results in changes that are fairly common amongst patients. I recently asked all of my breast implant patients to describe what they felt during the first week after their procedure, consolidated in the list below.

  1. Pain. This is universal but can range from mild to pretty bad. It’s best controlled with pain medications and finding the right position to rest and wearing the right support garments. Reactions to commonly prescribed pain medication may vary, so make sure you consult your surgeon if it does not provide sufficient pain relief or you have nausea.
  2. Gurgling sound. This is weird, yet normal. The movement of fluid and air around the implant causes this sound, but it is harmless and will go away on its own.
  3. Nipples on Fire. This can be one of the most bothersome aspects of the recovery and can last up to two weeks. The nerves on the nipple are stretched from the procedure, which causes enhanced sensitivity. Use an ointment or nipple cover to prevent your nipples from rubbing against your bra or clothing. This too shall pass.
  4. Swelling. This is guaranteed. All surgery comes with some swelling, so this is normal. It usually takes several weeks for this to subside and the breasts will soften and look better.
  5. High riding breast implants. Implants take time to settle, which means they will drop from a higher position to a normal place behind the breast. Sometimes you may need to wear a breast band for a while or massage your implants to make this happen sooner.
  6. Chest tightness. Essentially, you have placed a balloon beneath your breast. As the muscle and tissues relax over a few weeks, this will go away.
  7. Shiny skin. Swelling of the tissues and tightening of the chest result in skin that appears shiny. This will turn normal after two weeks.
  8. Breasts feel heavy. Implants are additional weights that your chest must gradually be more accustomed to. Your back also needs to adjust to this new weight distribution. This will feel normal after about two weeks.
  9. Itching. By the time your breasts start to feel itchy, you are out of the early phase of changes and you are heading to the light at the end of the tunnel. Almost there—we are at 10 days or so.
  10. Beautiful breasts! This is what you have been waiting for. Usually two weeks after your procedure, you will be able to see why you went through all this and you won’t even remember those early days experiencing all the above. You have made it and now is your time to enjoy your investment!
procedure video - How To Lift Saggy Breasts - The Story Of A Breast Lift With ImplantsWatch

Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Founder of Westlake Plastic Surgery