Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting breast implants but am concerned about the time it may take to recover. I have a 7 year old daughter and need to take care of her daily needs so I can not be limited afterwards. How long will my recovery actually be after surgery?
A: In regards to recovery after breast augmentation, I place all my patients on a rapid recovery program. This means that there are no physical restrictions after surgery and there is nothing you can not do if you feel comfortable. Patients start on arm exercises the first night of surgery to help recover quite quickly. Will you be sore…yes. But will you be limited from doing anything for your young daughter…no. In recovering from getting breast implants, the main source of discomfort from the submuscular dissection for the implant pocket, the lifting off of the pectoralis muscle from the chest wall. Therefore, recovering from breast augmentation is really about taking care of a big pulled muscle. What is the fastest way to recover from a pulled muscle? How do athletes recover quickly when they pull a muscle? Early range of motion and stretching is the key. This is why lifting the arms and stretching them, starting within hours after surgery, will get the discomfort to lessen quicker and range of motion of the arms come back quicker. Breast implants primarily affect lifting and moving of the arms as the insertion of the pectoralis muscle is on the upper humerus and not on the shoulder.
Dr. Barry Eppley