Breast Augmentation Recovery Pain: What to Expect

The most common question asked by plastic surgery patients is concerning breast augmentation recovery pain levels. People who are considering breast enhancement surgery are worried about the amount of pain they will experience and the length of time it takes to subside. Fortunately, the pain associated with this surgery is manageable. The worst of it is typically experienced during the first week after your surgery. Your doctor will make recommendations as to the best ways to alleviate pain. This will likely include various pain medication and depending on your condition, may include a pain pump or pain injections. Below we outlined everything you can expect from the breast enhancement procedure through the entire recovery process.

Does breast augmentation hurt?

If you are undergoing breast augmentation surgery, you can expect some level of associated pain. However, most patients report that the pain after surgery is manageable. It typically reduces significantly after the first week. Various applications, including medication and injection, treat this pain. Your doctor will recommend the right pain management option for your unique case.

Breast augmentation surgery: the procedure

Step 1: Anesthesia

Your doctor administers medication prior to surgery to ensure your comfort.

Step 2: Incision

Your doctor makes incisions in the necessary areas. There are many options for the placement of the incision. You and your doctor will discuss this at the consultation appointment.

Step 3: Inserting and placing the implant

After the incision is made, the doctor places the implant either under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue. Placement depends on the size of the implant, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendation.

Step 4: Closing the incision

The doctor closes the incision using sutures. Skin adhesive or tape may be used to close the skin.

Step 5: Recovery

You will wake up from the anesthesia and begin your recovery process.

Typical breast augmentation recovery time

It’s important to note that every woman will have a different experience with breast augmentation recovery. The recovery time varies depending on the woman’s individual health condition, her goals for the surgery and how well she follows her doctor’s instructions post-surgery. That said, most plastic surgeons say that full recovery from breast augmentation surgery takes about two months. Some women recover in four to six weeks while others need the full eight weeks to feel back to their normal selves. During your initial consultation, make sure to bring up your concerns about recovery time and pain with your doctor.

Recovery from breast augmentation breakdown

The typical timeline for breast augmentation recovery is outlined below.


Immediately after surgery, you will wake from anesthesia. As a result, you will likely feel groggy and sore. It is normal to feel drained immediately after surgery, however, these effects should wear off in a few hours. Make sure that you plan for someone to drive you home from the facility and to stay with you the first night.

One week post-surgery

For most women, the first three to five days are the most uncomfortable. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication. Sometimes, extra-strength ibuprofen suffices. However, your surgeon may recommend something stronger, such as a narcotic. If the breast augmentation recovery pain is at a very high level, your doctor may recommend a pain injection or pain pump.

After the initial 72 hours, most women manage postoperative discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers. Patients can typically return to their desk jobs one week after the procedure.

One to two months post-surgery

Patients should slowly ease back into light exercise and a normal daily routine. Any pain or discomfort should be minimal at this stage. However, your doctor will likely advise that you refrain from any strenuous activity like running, heavy lifting or other rigorous workouts.

Your doctor will recommend that you refrain from any labor-intensive jobs for at least three weeks.

Full recovery

After two months, typically, patients may resume all normal activities, including exercise and work. This determination, however, is made during follow-up appointments and is based solely on your progress. As a result, follow-up appointments are crucial. Make sure you schedule them in advance and tell your doctor about any unusual pain or discomfort you might experience.

How long until I can go back to work after breast augmentation?

For patients with desk jobs, they can return to work one week after the procedure. Patients with labor-intensive jobs should wait three weeks to return to work.

Find the right breast augmentation doctor

If you are concerned about breast augmentation recovery pain, choosing the right doctor is paramount. The best surgeon for you will be able to answer all of your questions, ease all of your concerns and support you during your journey through recovery.

For over 20 years, Dr. Berlet performed breast augmentation surgery for women in the northern New Jersey and New York City areas. Board-certified in both plastic and general surgery, Dr. Berlet is capable of providing a wide range of expertise to ensure a healthy recovery and top-level results for his patients. Contact us today to learn more about how Dr. Berlet can help with your breast enhancement surgery.

By |2019-09-25T08:41:24-04:00September 25th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments