A Timeline Of What You Can Do — By When — After Your Procedure
Breast augmentation surgery is a truly transformative process. Patients can take one of the most rewarding steps on their confidence journey with just one visit to the operating room.
But it’s no secret: this procedure comes with some downtime. All surgeries do! We wanted to lay out what you can expect when it comes to getting back to the things you love to do in your everyday life after having a breast augmentation.
Click Ahead To Get Your Question Answered:
- Taking Ibuprofen — 1 day
- Showering — 2 days
- Driving A Car — 5 – 7 days
- Going Back To Work — 1 – 4 weeks
- Drinking Coffee — 1 week
- Flying — 2 weeks
- Doing Laundry — 2 weeks for most activities
- Drinking Alcohol — 2 weeks
- Performing Yoga Poses — 4 weeks
- Swimming — 4 weeks
- Sleeping On My Side — 1 month
- Exercising & Lifting Weights — 4 – 6 weeks
- Wearing An Underwire Bra — 6 weeks
- Using A Tanning Bed — 1 year, if not longer
A Quick Note About These Timelines
Every individual body is unique. Some patients may recover faster than others based on their genetics, preparation and dedication to aftercare. We are using our multiple decades’ worth of experience to paint the most accurate picture of what you can expect. These timelines are also based on just breast augmentation surgery — if you choose to combine this procedure with another, like a tummy tuck, labiaplasty or full Mommy Makeover, that can widen the recovery window for specific activities.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Take Ibuprofen?
We advise using Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.) 1 day after surgery on a schedule instead of the typical as-needed use. We recommend alternating Ibuprofen with Tylenol every 4 hours — for example, 8 a.m. – Ibuprofen, noon – Tylenol, 4 p.m. – Ibuprofen, 8 p.m.- Tylenol. This schedule can help minimize the total doses necessary to achieve relief and reduce the side effects of taking just one of the medications.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Shower?
You can shower 48 hours after your surgery. Take down all of your dressings, leave the glue on and gently clean your body. Be sure that your shower head is set to the lightest setting and avoid directly spraying your incisions.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Drive?
5 – 7 days after surgery is a good rule of thumb when it comes to driving. However, it is critical that you discontinue narcotic pain medication before getting behind the wheel again. Anesthesia will also keep you impaired for at least 3 days, so even if you opt for an opioid-free recovery, you still must wait 3 – 5 days.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Go Back To Work?
This depends heavily on what type of work you do. Most patients take 5 – 7 days off work and either go back with restrictions in place or, if sedentary work, resume work life as normal. Some patients have even picked up their laptops for work-from-home tasks after just three days — as long as they’re not actively taking prescription pain medications.
However, if your job involves heavy lifting or strenuous activity, you shouldn’t expect to be back in full force for the first 4 weeks.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Drink Coffee?
You can resume coffee consumption 1 week after your surgery. Some patients may experience a caffeine withdrawal headache during this time and that is completely normal.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Fly?
It is safe to fly 2 weeks after your breast implant surgery. Flying is typically a low-effort, low-strain activity, but you still want to avoid lifting bags into the overhead storage pins or lifting your arms to the side. Keep movement to a minimum and get to your destination safely!
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Do Laundry?
You should abstain from performing household chores for two weeks post-op, especially if the task involves lifting more than 8 – 10 lbs. or if it elevates your heart rate. Folding laundry is alright after 24 hours, but that’s about as much as you should tackle this early in recovery.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Drink Alcohol?
You can have a drink around week 2 of your recovery. However, you must ensure that you are completely off of your pain medications or other mood-altering medications before doing so.
Light alcohol consumption should be OK you’re healthy, hydrated and functioning well. You should not drink alcohol in excess, as this increases the risks of falling or re-opening an incision. The longer you can wait, the better!
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Do Yoga?
Patients should wait at least 4 weeks before resuming yoga. During your recovery, we ask that you abstain from raising your arms off to the side or making any big movements for the first couple of weeks. You can begin easing back into your natural range of motion around week 2 or 3.
We teach each patient about the value of breast massage in an effort to help everything comfortably settle into place.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Swim?
Four weeks is a good rule of thumb when it comes to swimming. You want to be sure that the incisions are completely closed before hopping into the lake, public pool or hot tub. We like to see patients back at their 1-month follow-up appointment to ensure that everything is closed up to avoid any infection risk.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Sleep On My Side?
Patients recovering from breast augmentation surgery will usually sleep in a propped-up position to aid the healing process. After 1 week, you can begin lowering your sleep position until you’re flat on your back. At the one-month mark, you can safely begin sleeping on your side as long as you know to expect additional swelling on whichever side you choose.
Stomach sleeping is fine after 6 weeks, but it may be uncomfortable at first.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Work Out?
Cardio exercise and some resistance training may be resumed at week 4, but you must ease back in to minimize the risk of injury or disrupting your results. More intense strength training, along with chest and core-specific exercises may be resumed at week 6.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Wear An Underwire Bra?
Six weeks after surgery, you are free to ditch the compression bra and choose any style, size or wear you want — underwire, sports bra, bralette or even go braless.
After Breast Augmentation, When Can I Use Sunbeds?
We do not recommend the use of tanning beds. If you choose to use one and it is within the first year of surgery, you risk hyperpigmentation (darkening) of your scars. Scars remodel for an entire year after surgery. They are considered “immature scars” at this point so UV rays can negatively play into scar healing.
If you will be out in the sun or insist on using tanning beds, we cannot stress the need for SPF enough. But for the best result: stay away and keep out of UV light.
How Functional Medicine Speeds Up The Recovery Process
Unique to Donaldson, we offer a complete catalog of functional medicine and integrative medicine solutions to gracefully complement our surgical procedures. Proper diet and nutrition can optimize the body for surgical recovery, and following a protein-rich diet after your breast augmentation can speed up the entire process. Customized weight loss programs may also help enhance your results by highlighting your existing natural beauty.
Our functional medicine team often leverages in-depth testing to help patients better understand their own bodies and what to expect well before their surgical date!
About The Author
Jeffrey Donaldson, MD is a distinguished board-certified plastic surgeon in Columbus, Ohio. With a commitment to enhancing the lives of his patients, Dr. Donaldson has established himself as a renowned breast augmentation surgery specialist. His extensive expertise and dedication to precision have made him a sought-after practitioner for those seeking breast enhancement procedures.
His compassionate approach and dedication to patient care have earned him a reputation as a top choice for patients looking to become their most confident selves.
How To Prepare For Breast Augmentation
Planning for an upcoming breast augmentation surgery often requires both mental and physical preparation. These guidelines will help ensure you're ready for the big day and the recovery period after!
How To Prepare For A Chemical Peel
Preparation for a chemical peel is fairly simple and straightforward. If you're following a proper skincare routine, you're most likely already in the clear!