Breast augmentation is not only one of my specialities, but it also happens to be one of my favorite procedures to perform. As a surgeon, it requires technical precision while also allowing me to flex my artistic eye. Your breasts work in conjunction with the rest of your torso. So, creating the right size and shape for your individual anatomy can transform your entire body contour, making your waist look smaller, your abdomen look flatter and your hips look trimmer. It all comes down to restoring proper proportion.
But the other thing I love about a breast augmentation for my patients is that it delivers a lot of bang for its buck. Its effect on the body can be profound. Furthermore, it doesn’t require a huge investment in terms of downtime for recovery or scarring. Potential breast augmentation patients always want to know how fast they can be out and about in a bathing suit, for example, after surgery. Barring some unforeseen complication, you could get breast implants in July and be filling out your bikini by August.
Choosing the Right Size Implants & Recovery
However, a fast, easy recovery is dependent on a few factors. The most important is choosing the right size breast implant. Every breast augmentation patient wants bigger breasts, sometimes much bigger. While my job is to help you achieve your dreams, placing implants that are:
- Too big for your chest wall
- Into tissue that is stretched out and weak
This will only lead to complications which, in turn, will delay your recovery and not give you the long-lasting results that we both want. The width of any breast implant has to fit within the parameters of your chest. And your breast tissue has to be resilient enough to support its weight. The latter can often be a problem in patients who have had multiple children and/or gained and lost a significant amount of weight as the skin on their breasts has stretched. For these patients, I will typically recommend a combination of a breast augmentation with a breast lift. This does require more time for recovery and scarring, but it will also deliver the best looking and longest lasting result.
Meticulous Surgical Technique
The other factor that helps ensure a fast recovery is to see a surgeon with extensive skill, training and expertise in breast implant surgery. I perform a lot of breast augmentations. Also, as a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, I stay apprised of the latest and most cutting-edge innovations in my field. My experience, attention to detail and continuing education means that my surgical technique is meticulous. This is important because precise, meticulous surgical technique means less manhandling or trauma to your breast tissue. And less trauma during surgery translates to less bruising and swelling after surgery.
Respect Your Breast Augmentation Recovery
The last factor to consider when you want to make sure that you’ll have the fastest breast augmentation recovery possible is to actually respect the recovery. During your initial consultation, I will be very honest with you about what your recovery will entail. I want to make sure that your expectations are realistic as this is one of the key components to a happy outcome. You will also be sent home with a detailed list of post-operative instructions so there is no excuse for not following directions. Generally, those patients who complain about a slow recovery are the ones who push things too quickly. Your body has undergone surgery. You need to give it the time and respect that it needs in order to heal.
What to Expect Post Breast Augmentation
In terms of exactly what you can expect post-surgery, I will wrap your chest in gauze and/or a support bra. This will help reduce swelling and diminish any post-operative pain. Most breast implant patients, however, describe the recovery as more uncomfortable pressure than pain. They typically don’t need to take anything stronger than Tylenol or Advil after 24-48 hours.
The two biggest side effects of breast augmentation surgery are:
- Temporary pressure
The pressure resolves within 24-72 hours and the majority of the swelling is going to clear up in 2-3 weeks. This is when I allow patients to return to normal activities such as:
- Working at a computer
- Light exercise
- Going to the beach in that new bikini
I do ask all of my breast augmentation patients to avoid strenuous lifting and upper body work outs for 4-6 weeks, but it’s ok to pick up your toddler after 10-12 days. While it may take anywhere from 3-6 months for your implants to fully settle into position and for all the swelling to subside, most people other than you won’t notice. So, really, why wait?
To find out more about a breast augmentation with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.