Depending on what you do for a living, going back to work after getting a breast augmentation can definitely be a stressful time. It’s completely normal to have several unknowns, and we want to encourage you not to worry too much about it.
There are a lot of variables to account for after breast augmentation and what to expect in the recovery process. The following is an outline based on some of these variables.
1. Pain: In general, breast augmentation is tolerated very well. When the implant is placed sub-facial or sub-glandular, i.e. above the muscle, there is very little pain post-operative. When this technique is used, women often have surgery on Friday, and are back to work (as long as they are not lifting heavy objects) on Monday. When the implant is placed sub-muscular, then there is more pain and soreness as the muscle has been elevated which is similiar to having a pulled or torn muscle. This creates more swelling and takes longer to heal. In these case, most women take at least a week off of work.
2. Swelling and Size: It is very common to be about a size bigger right after surgery than what your final result will be. Swelling starts to occur right after surgery and tends to peak in the first week. After about a month you will have lost most of the swelling, but still not completely at baseline. After about another 3 months or so, you will have lost 99% of your swelling, but still have a pretty good idea of your final size at 1 month. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on bras until 3 months though, as they might not fit perfectly after all the swelling goes away. Also, the more activity you have, the longer the swelling stays, the more that needs to be done as far as lift etc. with surgery, the longer your swelling stays. As stated above, going below the muscle tends to produce more swelling and lasts for longer.
3. Scars: The natural healing process undergoes multiple phases, but in general, the first phase is the inflammatory phase were any scar will be firmer and may turn red or darker initially. This tends to last for 3 months. After this phase is the resolution phase where the scar inflammation goes away and all scars will be at their baseline at 1 year. The scars are mostly at their baseline at 6 months. The scars should be minimal if placed well, and sutured properly.
With all of these factors in mind, it is important to remember that every woman is different. But more than likely you are completely normal. Depending on the type of procedure you have, you may be back at work many is a little as a few days and back to life as normal in a few weeks. Good luck!