Life After Breast Augmentation: What to Expect in the Months that Follow
Your breast augmentation surgery takes up just one day in time. The effects the surgery has on your body and mind will last a lot longer. Your body will go through many changes in the months after your surgery. Most will be subtle. Knowing what to expect, and look out for, in the months after your breast augmentation surgery will help you get through the healing process.
No Pain, No Gain
You may feel phantom pains, tingles, and warm sensations in your breasts for several months after your surgery. Your body is busy forming a network of collagen around the implant to keep it separate from the rest of your body. (Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin.)
Breast implants> do not drop overnight. It may take several months for your implants to drop, or "fluff." Breast implants often appear high after surgery because they have not dropped into their eventual position on your chest. This can take weeks or months depending on how they were placed, their texture, and your original breast size. Sometimes one breast drops before the other. Massaging can help your implants to drop.
Your breast augmentation scars will take a while to fade. Exactly how long this takes depends on your skin type, the size and placement of your incisions, your smoking status (smokers are more likely to heal badly), and whether you had any complications. In general, it takes a year for scars to fade. If you are concerned with the appearance of your scars, ask your surgeon what you can do to minimize them. Read our article on scar treatment to learn what scar-minimizing treatments are available.
Other Postoperative Effects
Some women who have breast augmentation find that they lose some natural breast tissue in the year after their surgery. This may be due to the pressure of the implant.
It also takes time for your bruises to heal, and for the swelling to go down. Wait a minimum of three to six months to decide if you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts.
In addition, you may experience some emotional changes in the weeks and months following your breast augmentation surgery. These feelings of sadness may be very surprising because they come at a time when you expect to be happy about your new body. Feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression after plastic surgery can occur for many reasons, including the aftereffects of anesthesia, medication side effects, postsurgical traumatic stress syndrome, sleep loss and pain.
You will likely have a series of follow-up visits with your surgeon. This schedule varies, and is based on how quickly you recover from your surgery, as well as your surgeon's standard method. If you have any concerns about how you are healing or how you are feeling, discuss them with your breast surgeon during your follow-up visits.