Breast Implants and Augmentation: An Aftercare Guide

By: Dr. Sean Kelishadi, M.D. FACS



Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures today. Women seek this cosmetic procedure for its capabilities to dramatically enhance not only their body but their self-esteem as well. One of the biggest concerns women in Newport Beach, CA, have before surgery is how long it will take before they can resume their normal routine. Every patient heals and responds at a different pace, and there are many variables involved, including incision location, implant size, and whether a patient adheres to their post-operative instructions.


Choosing the right, highly skilled plastic surgeon is an essential part of your recovery process. Dr. Sean Kelishadi is a board-certified plastic surgeon and the president of SSK Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA. He has the experience and training his patients can rely on for fantastic results. Today’s breast implants are safer than ever and highly customizable to enhance a wide variety of body types. Below, Dr. Kelishadi provides detailed tips on augmentation surgery aftercare that will help keep your recovery on track.


Make a plan

Prepping for your recovery ahead of time is essential. If you are a smoker, quit now, as smoking is known to hamper the body’s ability to heal. Also, discuss any preexisting health conditions or medications during your consultation, as they may affect your surgery and recovery. 


During your initial consultation with Dr. Kelishadi, he will explain the different styles of implants used in breast augmentation. The method chosen will have an impact on your recovery time. For example, "gummy bear" (also known as highly cohesive gel) or silicone breast implants may require an incision along the inframammary fold, where the breast meets the chest wall, which may take a bit longer to heal than incisions made elsewhere on the breast. The skin edges will be sealed with either skin glue or Steri-Strips™, which usually fall off on their own once the skin has healed sufficiently. 

Get ample rest

Your body will need plenty of recovery time following breast augmentation surgery. Plan to take it easy for several days after your procedure. Someone will need to drive or escort you home from surgery, and most patients will require assistance or care for up to 48 hours after a breast augmentation. Most patients can return to work in a few days or a week, depending on your job and comfort level. Routine exercise can usually be resumed about four weeks post-surgery, with restrictions on lifting anything over 10 pounds until your doctor’s clearance is given.


Your surgeon knows best

You will be provided with post-operative and recovery instructions that are specific to the type of breast augmentation you had as well as your health needs. These should be followed precisely. For example, patients will be allowed to shower the next day and even get the incisions wet. However, Dr. Kelishadi prefers that his patients not submerge their incision in water (such as in a bathtub, pool, or ocean) for 3 – 4 weeks. Be sure to take any prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications at the scheduled intervals recommended by your surgeon. Icing the area as frequently as possible during the first 2 – 3 days following surgery may help minimize swelling. However, take care to avoid icing the sensitive nipple area directly. 

Certain movements, such as lifting your arms above your head, will be discussed in further detail. Typically, this type of action is to be avoided for up to two weeks so your body can build the tissue surrounding your new implants to keep them in place. Attending all follow-up appointments allows Dr. Sean Kelishadi to monitor your progress and advise you on the next steps in your recovery.


Wear your post-surgery bra

Dr. Kelishadi and his talented Newport Beach team will also let you know the type of bra they want you to wear post-operatively. This garment is essential as it prevents the implants from moving and aids in minimizing swelling. Once you are fully healed, you can buy beautiful lingerie to show off your new figure. 


Patience is key

Patience is the key to a successful recovery. By allowing your body time to heal, your breasts will fall into shape nicely. Some swelling and soreness for several weeks following the procedure is normal. Many women find that sleeping on their back or supported with several pillows is the most comfortable. Initially, your implants may feel firm or hard and rest a bit higher than you might have imagined. It may take up to six weeks before you become adjusted to the look and feel of your implants.  

The experience of healing from breast augmentation with implants surgery is different for every woman. The key is to prepare mentally and physically ahead of time so you can maintain realistic expectations about your outcome. To learn more about breast augmentation surgery, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi at SSK Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.