5 Tips to Help Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Immediately following your breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to focus on your healing and allow yourself time to recover. 

You will be prescribed pain medicine to manage the tenderness, aching, and pain following the surgery as the skin around your breasts, chest, and underarms will likely feel tender, bruised, and be in an inflamed, healing state.

To support your healing process, we’ve come up with 5 tips to aid your recovery and reduce swelling and bruising following your breast augmentation surgery.

What are Normal Pains and Feelings to Have After Surgery?

During and immediately after your surgery, you will feel no pain due to the anesthesia used. As the general anesthesia wears off, you will feel achiness and tenderness in your breasts.

You will also notice a weight change in your breasts, as you become used to the new sensations of the breast implants. 

The first week of recovery will be the most uncomfortable. But after the first week, the pain and discomfort will greatly subside. From this point, you’ll likely experience mild discomfort and tenderness for a few weeks. 

After a month, all discomfort should be gone, and at this point, you can begin resuming more activities. However, wait at least six to eight weeks before resuming strenuous activity or lifting heavy objects.

Tips and Tricks for Reducing Swelling and Bruising

Your first two weeks of recovery are the most important. Bruising will naturally result from injured blood vessels caused by your surgery, resulting in dark red, blue, or black skin. Swelling will occur as your body’s inflammatory response, sending more fluid and blood to areas that need healing. However, within a couple of weeks, bruising and swelling will be greatly reduced.

Here are five tips to reduce your swelling and bruising immediately after and during your recovery period.

#1 Wear a Post-Op Surgical Bra

After your surgery, you will be advised to wear a post-op surgical bra. 

Surgical bras closely resemble sports bras over the traditional bra, as they aren’t underwired.

They offer compression support to help reduce chest, breast, and underarm swelling and inflammation. This reduces the chance of infection after surgery and helps the implants settle into place safely.

Also, you can use an ice pack to apply to your sore breast tissue to further reduce swelling. Just remember not to place the ice pack directly on your skin.

#2 Don’t Lift Anything Over Your Head for Two Weeks

Because your breasts and surrounding skin are inflamed, you should avoid any movements that place unnecessary strain on this area. Allow your incisions to heal before placing stress or excessive stretching or lifting.

Breast augmentations are usually either subglandular, under the breast tissue, or submuscular, under the breast muscle. Recovery time will take a bit longer if your implant was placed under your muscle.

Washing and drying your hair, putting on shirts, or reaching for things will also require some assistance from a friend or a partner. It’s important not to strain yourself during this time. 

#3 Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is important for healthy skin, especially after surgery. Remember, your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it requires a good amount of water to keep its elasticity and to heal itself.

Six to eight glasses of water are recommended daily as a general rule. And consider taking a multivitamin or collagen supplement to help your skin’s elasticity improve more quickly.

#4 Take it Easy for at Least Two Weeks

The full recovery for your breast augmentation will last anywhere from six to eight weeks. 

You should take it as easy as possible during your first two weeks. Absolutely no strenuous exercise or weight lifting. However, you are encouraged to take light walks, as exercise improves circulation, which has a healing effect.

After the first two weeks, you can start to increase your exercise to more moderate walking or light stationary cycling, but no jogging. You don’t want to do any sort of exercise that can cause your implants to shift before they’re fully healed. Don’t feel the need to push your exercise intensity prematurely, continue to take it easy until you feel ready.

After six weeks to eight weeks, your recovery should be finished and you can begin to resume strenuous activities like running or weight lifting.

#5 Sleep in an Upright Position

For the first week, and possibly up to two weeks, you should sleep in an upright position. Sleeping upright will use gravity to pull the excess fluids away from your breast area to reduce swelling. 

If you’re not used to side sleeping, it might take some getting used to, but it’s crucial for reducing fluid accumulation and placing unnecessary strain on your breasts. And definitely avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Find yourself a wedge pillow that can comfortably lift your upper body away from your bed. Wedge pillows also allow you to get out of bed easier, which will reduce pain and stress on your healing tissue. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

A fully healed recovery usually occurs after at least six to eight weeks after surgery.

Many women start to feel much better after the first few weeks of surgery, but should still take it easy until recovery’s completion.

After you’ve finished recovering, your breast implants will still be settling into place. It can take several months for your breast implants to realize their full potential. However, you can go back to living your life as before, knowing you’re healthy and fully recovered. 

Questions to Ask During the Consultation

Breast augmentation isn’t a one-size-fits-all operation. Dr. Emmett will talk to you during your consultation to come up with an operative plan that meets your goals and expectations and takes your health history into consideration.

Here are some questions you should ask during your consultation:

  • Should I get silicone or saline implants?
  • What will my scarring look like? How long does it take for scars to heal?
  • What complications could arise during or after surgery?
  • What incision site is recommended for me?
  • What implant size would be most suitable for my body?
  • How long will it take for my implants to fully settle?
  • Am I healthy enough for surgery?

Schedule Your Private Consultation Today

Dr. Jennifer Emmett M.D. is a top-rated Double-Board certified plastic surgeon in the Denver area with over 20 years of experience.

Dr. Emmett specializes in breast augmentations, breast lifts, body sculpting, and facial surgery.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Emmett call (303) 955-7545 today.

Posted in: Breast Enhancements

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