Breast Augmentation Post-Op Care Patient Q&A

Here are frequently asked questions and answers for patients of the New York Group for Plastic Surgery following breast augmentation with implants:

Q: When will my implants settle?

A: The implants will settle into the breasts over the course of 12 weeks. You will notice a dramatic difference in the implants by 4 weeks and this continues to improve; they become softer, more mobile, and positioned just behind the nipple areola complex.

Q: How long do I have to wear the surgical bra? When can I buy regular bras?

A: You should wear the surgical bra until your surgeon advises that you may switch into a regular bra; this is typically at 2-4 weeks post-op depending on your healing. We advise patients to wait to purchase new bras until 8-12 weeks out from surgery so that the sizing is accurate after swelling has resolved and implants have settled. If you would like to purchase one or two bras for the time period between wearing your surgical bras and the final fitting, you may do so —but don’t buy too many as your bra size may be less accurate in the beginning.

Q: When can I begin exercising?

A: You may walk at any point, but strenuous exercise where you may raise your blood pressure should not be done for 2 weeks. After that period, you may begin to work up to your normal exercise routine. If your implants were placed sub-muscularly, we advise that you avoid activities that directly involve the pectoralis muscle for 12 weeks (examples: push ups, chest press, chest flies, yoga positions where your body weight is supported by the upper arms).

Q: My nipples or scars feel numb or hypersensitive, is this normal?

A: Yes. Sensation changes right after surgery are very common. You may experience numbness or tingling or may be extra sensitive. Either way, the areas will return to baseline sensation within 3-6 months.

Q: When can I begin using scar treatment remedies like Mederma or silicone scar sheeting?

A: We recommend that you begin this type of treatment once the scar has fully healed, and this is typically around 2 weeks after surgery. You may purchase Mederma at any pharmacy and silicone scar sheeting is available for purchase at our office or online. Scar treatment remedies are best used for 6-8 weeks after surgery.

Q: When can I drive?

A: You may drive when you are off pain medication and can safely and comfortably maneuver the car; typically this is 10-14 days after surgery.

Q: When can I travel?

A: You may go on long car rides or fly on a plane at 2 weeks after surgery but you need to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours if possible, and be careful not to lift more than 15 lbs.

Q: When can I get in a pool, submerge in a bathtub or go to the beach?

A: You may be submerged in water at 3 weeks post-op as long as you don’t have any open wounds. It’s best to wait for 1 month before going in hot tubs because they typically harbor more bacteria than pools.