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Breast Augmentation: Post-Operative Care Instructions

The healing time for your breast augmentation procedure varies between different patients.  The following represents a general idea of what to expect after breast augmentation surgery. Individual patients may experience variations from this course.

When you awake from your surgery you will be in the recovery room.  You will  have a bra on (and possibly a tensor band around your upper breast). If you are not staying overnight (most patients), you will be able to go home when you have fully recovered from the sedation.  You will be given a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics. It is extremely important you take the antibiotics to prevent infection during your breast surgery recovery time.

Pain and Discomfort Following Your Breast Augmentation Surgery

You may feel some discomfort and pain after breast augmentation, but this is generally well controlled by pain medications. Most patients experience a moderate degree of discomfort for up to 7-14 days.

Nausea and Vomiting During Breast Surgery Recovery

A few patients react to the anesthetic after surgery with nausea and vomiting. This usually lasts less than 24 hours and should be treated with lots of fluids, Gravol and rest.

Swelling and Bruising

Maximum swelling occurs at about 3-5 days post surgery breast augmentation. Most bruising and swelling will resolve within 14 days.


You can start taking showers on the second day after surgery. When taking a shower, remove the bra and tensor bandage. Take off the gauze + vaseline mesh that is taped over your incision. The small white tapes (called steri-strips) that are under the gauze directly over your incision should be left on.

Wet and soap yourself everywhere, including the tapes and your incisions. Use a mild soap such as Dove, Ivory, or Zest. Pat yourself dry using a towel (do not rub) and put your bra and tensor back on.  You don’t need to cover the small white tapes over your incision.  This daily routine will help keep the incisions clean, and will promote wound healing.

Do not submerge yourself in a bath, swimming pool, or whirlpool for 2 weeks.

Activity and Exercise After Breast Augmentation

For the first three days following surgery you should try to restrict your arm movements.  Move your arms slowly and avoid sudden jerky movements of the chest and breast area.

We encourage you not to spend all your time in bed during your breast augmentation recovery. This will minimize the risk of deep clots in your leg veins.

After three days, we encourage you to resume relatively normal non-strenuous activities.  Avoid strenuous exertion or lifting activities.

You may begin your regular exercise routine 3 weeks after surgery, except upper body weight training. Upper body weight training and push-ups should not be done until 6 weeks. Particularly when implants are placed under the chest muscle, upper body weight training before 6 weeks could cause bleeding and subsequent hardening (capsular contracture).

You should plan to be off work for up to 5-7 days, although this can vary from person to person.

Although implants can rupture in extreme circumstances (eg high speed car accident), normal physical activities, contact, and sexual relations will not significantly increase the risk of rupture and should be enjoyed after three weeks.


It is VERY uncommon, but a soft drain may be placed under your breast that will be removed within a day or two. This helps to minimize the risk of blood collecting around the implant in patients who appear to bleed a lot during the surgery. However, this is unusual, even when the incision is placed in the armpit (trans-axillary).


You should wear the bra day and night for the first eight weeks in your recovery from breast augmentation.

You may be required to wear a tensor bandage wrapped around your chest at the top of the breasts for the first 2 weeks as well.

Avoid using an under-wire bra for the first 2 months.


Sutures are dissolvable so there is usually nothing to remove. Occasionally, the ends of the suture need to be trimmed off after 10 to 14 days.


Although it is best to sleep on your side or back initially, sleeping on your front should not cause injury or rupture to the implant.

Breast Monitoring

Implants do not cause cancer but may obscure its detection. Mammograms should be performed at a facility familiar with the special techniques needed for implants. Remember to tell the technician you have implants.

Massage Exercises following Breast Augmentation

The purpose of these exercises for post breast augmentation care is to keep the scar tissue that forms around implants as soft as possible to prevent the development of significant capsular contracture (hardening).

Since the rate of capsular contracture in Dr. Edelstein’s practice is low, you do not need to do any massage unless he tells you so.

The quality of your Canada breast augmentation may be compromised if you fail to return for any scheduled post-op visits, or follow the pre- and post-operative instructions and breast augmentation recovery tips provided to you.

Don’t hesitate to report any unusual or concerning changes while healing after breast augmentation. If you are unable to contact your plastic surgeon and you have an urgent post-operative concern, contact the plastic surgeon on call through the hospital paging system, or, proceed to your local emergency department.


    Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon.
    Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-5614 or by filling in this quick form.

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