Breast Augmentation Recovery Checklist | DPS

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By Jeffrey Donaldson, MD |

The Ultimate Breast Augmentation Recovery Checklist

Everything You Need For A More Efficient Post-Surgery Process 

Post Op Appointment

Breast augmentation recovery has come a long way in recent years, and it is now one of the easier plastic surgery procedures to recover from. Everyone is different, but there are some things you can do to prepare for breast augmentation recovery that will make things go smoother no matter who you are. 

Remember: preparing ahead of time will put your mind at ease a bit. A relaxed mind will make for a more comfortable and efficient recovery!

Breast Augmentation Recovery Must-Haves

What should you have at home before having a breast augmentation? This is what our postoperative experts and board-certified plastic surgeons recommend to our patients:

Front Closure Sports Bras 

No underwire for the first 4-6 weeks post-op

After your surgery, you will go home in a compression bra that is provided by your plastic surgery team. We suggest that you purchase some additional bras to alternate in and out as they are washed. These bras should fit snugly but not too tight. It’s important that they do not have an underwire. The bras should be front-closing as well, so you don’t have to bend or twist after your surgery.

Breast Augmentation Recovery Checklist


Gauze is inserted between your incision and your surgical bra. It is normal for your incisions to seep for the first week or so. You can also use a product like a maxi pad in place of gauze. We recommend changing your gauze at least once a day or as needed to remain comfortable.

Note: if your incisions open, be sure to alert your patient care team, so they are aware of your healing progress and can advise on the proper next steps.

Comfy, Front-Closing Shirts

You should avoid lifting your arms above your head for 2 weeks after your breast augmentation. Have some soft front-closing shirts on hand for this time in your post-op experience. Make sure to wear one of these to the surgery center so you can return home in it.


Your patient care team will prescribe your pain medications and any other prescriptions about a week or two before your surgery. Once they let you know those have been sent, make sure you pick them up before your surgery. Get familiar with the timing and dosage so you don’t have to stress about it on the day of your surgery. Of course, if you have any questions about your medication instructions, please reach out to your team! 

Opioid-free recovery plans are also available at the request of any patient. 

Extra Pillow To Prop You Up 

You won’t have to sleep sitting up after breast augmentation, but you will want to sleep slightly propped up to help alleviate the swelling. An extra pillow or two will make you feel comfortable while sleeping on your back for those first two weeks. After that, you can begin sleeping on your side, but avoid belly sleeping for at least six weeks.

Protein (50+ grams a day)

Protein is so important for all surgical recovery! We recommend taking in at least 50 grams of protein every day for at least the first month after surgery. Your body is still recovering internally for the next several months, so be sure to maintain your protein levels throughout this period.

Scar Gel

Given at 1-week post-op – the incision is typically in the fold under the breast

Your breast augmentation scar is typically hidden under the breast fold. Even though it is mostly undetectable, we still want to minimize its appearance as much as we can during the healing stages! We will provide you with our favorite scar gel at your first post-op appointment which is one week following surgery, and you should apply your scar gel once your incisions are fully healed.

Optional Supplies For Breast Augmentation Recovery

Here are some optional items that you may have thought about or things that maybe slipped your mind. They may make recovery a little easier, but aren’t totally necessary for everyone:

Meal Prep or Meal Delivery

Breast augmentation has a relatively short downtime compared to other body surgeries, like Tummy Tuck surgery. However, you should still take it easy for the first couple of days. Healthy meal delivery or meal prepping are some options you have to ensure you are well-nourished during your recovery.

Again, make sure you are getting at least 50 grams of protein a day!


Discussing Breast Augmentation Surgery Recovery Supplements

While your body is repairing and rebuilding, we want to give it as much assistance as possible. For some, that might mean investing in quality supplements. Multivitamins will help ensure you are getting what you need to heal. Talk with your doctor to see if they recommend additional supplements for you, especially if you have deficiencies.


Melatonin isn’t just for falling asleep! Studies show that melatonin can also help with healing the body after surgery as well as managing some pain.

Vaseline or Aquaphor

Petroleum jelly products, like Vaseline or Aquaphor, can be applied if your incision is scabbing or if you have a bit of a wound in the area. This is only occasionally recommended by the patient care team for some situations, so please contact the team before moving forward.

Pet Care

You’ll want to avoid lifting too much or putting arms above your head

Our pets are one of our strongest support systems — but they aren’t always the most helpful after surgery. After a breast augmentation, we want to make sure that cats or dogs aren’t jumping on your incisions and that you aren’t jumping to stop them from knocking a cup of water off the table. Pet care is often something that is overlooked, so ensure you have someone available to tend to them while you are resting.

You Can Do This! Are You Feeling Ready Yet?

Our pre-op videos and documents offer a wealth of helpful information about how to prepare for surgery and what to expect during your recovery. Of course, it is normal to have questions or want clarification. That’s why we have set up intentional check-ins throughout your journey with you to make sure you feel comfortable and confident.

Jeffrey Donaldson, MD Author Bio

About The Author

Jeffrey Donaldson, MD is a renowned breast augmentation surgeon in Columbus, Ohio. Throughout his tenure, he has completed upwards of a thousand successful breast-related surgeries. Dr. Donaldson is always working to hone his craft to ensure the greatest results and improve the patient recovery process. As president of Donaldson Plastic Surgery, he has invested ample amount of resources in postoperative care and continues to provide accurate education for patients throughout the country. 

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