Posted in Breast on December 3, 2023

Updated: December 21, 2023

Breast augmentation is a transformative procedure that empowers individuals to enhance their appearance and boost their self-confidence and it can yield fantastic results. However, like all surgeries, it necessitates a proper recovery period to ensure optimal results and maintain patient well-being. Given the common misconceptions about how long it takes for people to recover from breast augmentation, it's essential to understand the expected timeline and the dos and don’ts post-surgery. 

At Ennis Plastic Surgery in Boca Raton, FL, Dr. L. Scott Ennis, a board-certified plastic surgeon, emphasizes the importance of adhering to your surgeon’s post-operative instructions for a smooth, comfortable healing process.

What Does Breast Augmentation Recovery Look Like? 

Implants are typically positioned under the muscle, which can lead to a tad bit of soreness. Nevertheless, patients are often pleasantly surprised to learn they can return home on the same day of the procedure. '

The surgery itself is swift, taking only about 30 to 40 minutes. Post-surgery, the feeling can be likened to the muscle stretch you experience during a workout. If the muscle area feels particularly tight or stiff, gently moving your arm upwards and stretching can provide relief.

When Can I Go Back To Work and Daily Activities?

Though the procedure is brief, the body needs time to heal. It's advisable for patients to take 3 to 4 days off work to rest and recover adequately. Within a week to ten days, they can typically return to their jobs, granted the nature of their profession doesn't involve heavy lifting or intense physical activity.

When Can I Resume My Exercise Routine? 

A major concern for many is when they can get back to their fitness routines. Light exercise, such as lifting minimal weights, can be reintroduced around the 7 to 10-day mark. If you're into cardio, jogging or running can be resumed after two weeks. However, patients should approach their return to physical activity with caution.

While it's beneficial to stay active and promote blood circulation, overexertion can be detrimental. Specific exercises, like bench presses, planks, and pushups, should be completely avoided for the initial six weeks to protect the healing tissues and implants.

Actual patient before & after breast augmentation with Dr. Ennis.

Before and After transaxillary breast augmentation Ennis Plastic Surgery Palm Beach Boca Raton Destin Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline

Below lists a standard breast augmentation recover process timeline. The actual timeline will vary depending on the patient, type of breast augmentation performed and how well the patient follows the surgeons post operative recovery instructions.

Days 1-5 Post Breast Aug

During the first few days following surgery, you should expect to experience the most pain and swelling. It is normal during this time to have some bruising and water retention. You are at the highest risk for bleeding during the first 24-hours. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to arm movement.

Take prescribed medication to help reduce pain and prolong comfort. You should limit your activity and focus primarily on resting your body.

Days 5-10 Post Breast Aug

At this point, you should be able to shower and move your arms naturally. Be careful not to allow your wounds to remain wet for an extended period of time. You should begin to massage the breasts to promote proper healing. Pain should be manageable, and you should be able to go longer periods of time between doses.

You should pay close attention to your body to make sure that there is no bleeding or infection. Consult with your doctor if you indicate either.

Days 11-21 Post Breast Aug

You should be able to resume normal activity, but be careful not to perform resistance exercises that involve your arms or chest. Infection during this phase is not likely, but report any changes to your physician. Pain may still occur occasionally.

Days 22-42 Post Breast Aug

You should be feeling yourself by most accounts. You should be able to take over-the-counter medication to help with any discomfort. You will most likely be ready to perform more strenuous exercises, but be careful to start out slowly and gradually increase over time.

Day 42-on Post Breast Aug

The last bit of swelling should be subsided. The breast implants will now have a softer and more natural appearance without the inflammation. This is the time that the actual size of the implant will be visible (it will appear much larger during the period of high swelling). Patients should keep this in mind while they choose their implant size.

Remember, each person will heal at a different rate and speed. This is only a loose guideline for what a person should expect as they go through the process. However, infection, bleeding and prolong swelling are the things you should stay most aware of. Consult your physician with any follow-up questions or if your body shows signs of hazardous change.

What Influences Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Recovery is as unique as the person who is going through it. Some things you can control, while other aspects you simply can’t. However, the following are some things that may impact healing time.

Pain Management

It is important to take the prescribed medication to help curb pain. Not only will it help you stay more comfortable, but it will also promote a faster healing time.

Size and Placement

A larger implant placed below the muscle may lead to more pain. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t get the size and placement that you prefer. You should simply be aware that the type of procedure that you have could mean a longer recovery process.


Smoking is overall bad for your health, but can also make for a slower recovery time. Ideally, you should quit smoking altogether, but definitely at least for the first few days of recovery.

Taking Advice

Be sure only to participate in activity that is guided by your doctor. Do not overwork your muscles or stress your body during the early days of healing. Focus on taking it slow and allowing yourself to ease into regular activity.

Visit Ennis Plastic Surgery Today For A Breast Augmentation Consultation

Undergoing breast augmentation is like turning the clock back on one’s appearance. But the key to maintaining that youthful, rejuvenated look lies in diligent post-operative care. Recovery is an integral part of the journey, and by adhering to these guidelines, patients can enjoy the fruits of their transformation without any complications.

For those seeking expert care in the realm of plastic surgery, Dr. L. Scott Ennis at Ennis Plastic Surgery in Boca Raton, FL, offers an array of treatment options to suit diverse needs. With a reputation for excellence and a keen eye for detail, you're in safe hands. To know more or book a consultation, feel free to get in touch with the clinic directly.

To book a consultation click here or call 561-405-9020.

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Dr. L. Scott Ennis uses his natural talent as a scientist and as an artist to create an individualized treatment plan to address each patient's unique concerns providing natural looking results.

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