After a Breast Augmentation Revision: Pain, Scars, Bras and Exercise

You’ve just had your breast augmentation revision surgery–now the true adventure begins. It is time to rest and recover for a few days and, as you feel ready, slowly return to full speed. Provided you follow your instructions and don’t rush your recovery, you will look and feel better than ever! At Cohen/Winters, we’ve heard from numerous patients that they are very pleased with their breast augmentation revision results after they have recovered.

This is because we do our best to see you through your corrective breast surgery from beginning to end. Dr. Stephanie Cohen and our team are dedicated to your success and will continue helping you through your breast revision journey. You may still feel sore and off-kilter for the first day or two following your surgery. As your recovery progresses, the will fog will lift.

Here is a basic outline of what you can expect immediately following your breast augmentation revision and throughout the recovery period. By day two, if your surgery was a fairly straightforward implant replacement or implant removal only, you may feel quite well, despite it being early in the recovery process.

What to expect: Immediately Following Surgery

  • As you awake in the recovery room, you may be aware of bandages, a small drain tube and a compression bra. You will need a friend by your side to drive you home and get you comfortable to rest.
  • At home, you’ll find yourself in bed with your torso propped up on your wedge/pillows. You should have picked up your prescription (and purchased/arranged pillows, magazines and a phone next to your bed, etc.) before surgery day in preparation.
  • You should have post-surgery instructions printed out and by your side. You would have been briefed on your after-care prior to surgery, so there won’t be any surprises in the instructions.
  • Remember to contact Dr. Cohen at any time if you have questions or concerns. If there is something bothering you, don’t worry about “bothering” your doctor. It’s likely there is nothing wrong, but worrying is enough to delay healing—so make the call!
  • Depending on how long ago your first procedure was performed, some or most of the recovery process will be familiar to you. Be sure to follow instructions from Dr. Cohen. It is very likely that your previous breast surgeon probably had a slightly different recovery plan. In fact, your instructions may differ greatly if your prior breast implant procedure was done many years ago.
  • You’ll feel some discomfort and soreness and you may feel groggy. Never fear, you were given a long-acting pain medication as surgery ended that will allow you to sleep upon arriving home. You should take your prescription pain medication when you wake up. Take the pain medication as needed, according to the label and your doctor’s instructions. In a few days, when you feel ready, you can move to over-the-counter medicine.

Arriving Home After Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

Your friend should remain with you for the first 24 to 48 hours to make sure that you don’t strain yourself reaching for a glass of water, the remote, your phone or a magazine.

You should also be guided to the bathroom as needed, even if it’s only a few steps away. Besides being sore, you may still have some grogginess, so let your friend help you to the bathroom to avoid any dizziness and injuries. Then—back to bed to continue sleeping and resting!

Hospital Stays:

For complex breast augmentation revision procedures or those where patients have concurrent health conditions and for insurance-covered procedures, a hospital stay may be advised. We will arrange for same-day admission to Hackensack University Medical Center.

For Travelers

Many patients travel into town for breast implant revision at Cohen/Winters. Our office is more than happy to assist you with your arrangements.

  • Travel with a friend’s assistance.
  • Do not carry (or push or pull) your own luggage on your trip home! You will be examined immediately after surgery and again before being released to go home.
  • Your surgeon will evaluate your initial healing and typically remove stitches and drains (if any were needed) before giving you the OK to travel home.

Flying home after breast augmentation revision:

  • You should stay in the area for at least one week before flying, and in some cases, 2 weeks may be required. However, this timetable can vary significantly. Don’t make plans until you consult with your surgeon about your specific procedure.
  • Consider getting a flexible return ticket or one that allows you to change your travel dates without much difficulty. (Or make return reservations after you get the OK to fly)
  • Think about travel insurance. Check to see if your credit card offers some benefits as to flight changes.
  • If your flight is more than 4 hours, you must stand and walk through the cabin for a few minutes during the trip, when it is safe to do so.
  • You must drink lots of water on your trip home to remain hydrated.
  • Start your journey with enough time so that you are not rushed getting to the airport, through parking, check-in, security and onto the plane.

Driving home – when you live several hours away:

  • We recommend staying overnight in our recovery suites or at a nearby hotel, such as the Hilton, with a private nurse that we can help arrange for you.
  • Your friend or relative must do the driving! They should also do any lifting of your purse or luggage.

Breast Implant Revision Recovery: The Day After Surgery

  • Your surgeon at Cohen/Winters will check in on you via phone, text or email.
  • You can expect itching, swelling and bruising. There may also be numbness and tingling when a breast lift is done at the same time.
  • If your surgery involves larger implants, the chest and skin surrounding the breasts will feel tight for a while.

Week One to Three and Beyond

  • In the few weeks following surgery, as the new implants settle into the final position, the numbness, tingling sensations, bruising and swelling will gradually begin to decrease.
  • You will be following wound care instructions given on your after-surgery instruction sheet.
  • Don’t shower until your surgeon gives you the OK – definitely not on day one.
  • Although it varies a bit based on the individual patient, your in-person follow up schedule will look something like this: Post-op Day 1, Day 7, Day 21 (stitches are often removed at this point, 3 weeks after surgery); next visit at 3 months, then 6 months and perhaps a one-year visit, if your surgeon recommends this.
  • The visit of smiles. The most dramatic point of recovery may be at about 3 weeks (or when stitches are removed and sterile-adhesive strips are removed from nipples.) At this point, some swelling has gone down and the shape of your new breasts is evident.
  • During later visits, Dr. Cohen will evaluate your scars and may offer options to minimize scarring even further.
  • You or your surgeon can opt to schedule additional visits as needed.
  • Your surgeon will be in touch with you between visits and you should never hesitate to contact Cohen/Winters, anytime 24/7.

Your Recovery Period: How long does it take to recover from breast implant revision?

Although breast augmentation revision is, by definition, a more serious surgery than your initial implant procedure, you likely won’t feel any worse during this recovery compared to your first surgery.

Remember not to rush things during the healing process; rest and take it slow to ensure the best possible outcome.

  • Recovery, in some cases, can be much shorter than your initial breast implant surgery. A fairly quick recovery might be expected from a saline implant rupture with the replacement of similarly sized new (saline or silicone) implants.
  • Recovery can be expected to take longer in round two, however, if you have had the (fairly common) internal pocket modification and capsular removal if scar tissue has hardened and crowded your prior implants. This is done to make a proper place for the new implants and to ensure healing.
  • Internal sutures, if needed this time, may restrict your movements a bit more and for longer than your prior breast surgery.
  • If you transitioned from subglandular to submuscular pockets, your recovery period may be extended.
  • Also, if your new implants are much larger than the original implants, it may extend healing/recovery.

Returning to Work:

  • This can vary greatly from patient to patient. On average, you can return to work in 1 to 3 weeks. Although, if surgery is extensive (or your work is more strenuous), you may be out for longer.
  • Your post-operative bra must be worn at all times, except in the shower, for at least 4 weeks. (No showering until the day noted on your post-surgery instructions. You will not be allowed to shower on day one.) Try to have someone assist you so that you do not slip while in the shower. There are also rubber-footed shower chairs that may be helpful during the healing process.
  • No heavy lifting (over 10 pounds) for 8 weeks or more.

The Cohen/Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery practice in Bergen County, NJ exists to help patients reach their goals for a healthy and attractive body. Surgery is our calling.

Dr. Stephanie Cohen is a noted specialist in breast surgery of all types, including breast augmentation revision and she charges no fee for your consultation.

Find out if you’re a candidate for breast augmentation revision, learn more about your options and about exciting advancements in breast implants and augmentation. Please contact our office for a no-charge consultation today.

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