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Sieber Plastic Surgery San Francisco

Breast Augmentation Recovery: All You Need to Know


While breast augmentation is both an exciting and thrilling experience, many people are still unsure about it — especially when it comes to recovery. Patients often express worry and reticence about how they’ll feel after surgery and how long they’ll have to take off from work while refraining from doing the things they love.

In the following post, we’ll go over the most important things you need to know about recovery from breast augmentation, including breast augmentation recovery process tips, a timeline for healing process, picking your breast augmentation surgeon and frequently asked questions.


Let’s start with the basics. Breast augmentation (also known as mammoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure that changes the shape and volume of your breasts. Unlike a simple breast lift, which only lifts and changes the position of the breasts using your own breast tissue, breast augmentation surgery places implants beneath the chest muscle or in back of the breast tissue on the breast. This adds overall volume and will ultimately increase your bra size.

How the procedure is performed will largely depend on your current breasts, overall physique, and what you hope to achieve. One of the most important elements of planning for breast augmentation is selecting the most natural looking option

There are many implant options to choose from, including different materials, shapes, and sizes. This is something your plastic surgeon can help you decide before your surgery.


Breast Augmentation RecoveryThe majority of women take three to five days off work in order to recover from breast surgery. During this time, it’s important to take it easy and relax, especially at the beginning. Everyone heals at a different rate.

After a few days, many patients can return to driving and the majority of their routine activities. After approximately two weeks, you should be able to return to exercise. Ultimately, it may take up to one year or longer for all swelling to disappear, at which time you will be able to see the full results from your surgery.


After surgery, it’s simply time to rest, recover, and look forward to your new results. Be patient. With each day that passes, your breasts will drop into their intended positions and become less sore. This will also help you see more of the results you’ve longed for.

Again, make sure that directly after your surgery you have someone to take you home. This person should stay with you and help you get around the house, get dressed, make meals, etc. — especially for the first few days when you experience the most pain.

Naturally, you will need to take time off from work and/or school. If you have children, it’s best to have them looked after by a trusted friend or relative while you recover for the first few days. This is because you’ll be very tired, but also because you won’t be able to lift anything over 10 lbs. during the initial stage of your recovery process.


In the first 24 hours recovery is where your breasts will look very different during the first few weeks of your recovery than they will after several months. At first, they may appear high, squarish, and tight. This is normal.

To see, for yourself, the various breast augmentation procedure recovery stages pictures are indispensable. Do a quick search of “swelling day by day breast augmentation recovery” or “pictures of breast augmentation recovery week by week,” and this will help give you an idea of what to expect.

Briefly, here is a breakdown of the weekly progress you can expect from this surgery.

Week 1

The first week will be the hardest. Because of Dr. Sieber’s Rapid Recovery Technique, however, it should not be too difficult.

Some patients are even able to return to activities of daily living within 24 hours. You’ll feel some soreness, hypersensitivity, and numbness over the first few days. Swelling, bruising, and tightness are also expected symptoms.

Weeks 2-3

Throughout weeks two and three, you should see daily improvements. Random shooting pains and possible itchiness are quite normal. Although you should not exercise yet, you may start to notice more range of motion in your arms and torso.

Weeks 3-4

You should be feeling relatively normal at weeks three and four. Throughout your recovery, you will meet with Dr. Sieber for followup appointments. He will check your scars and help you with scar management to ideally improve their appearance with silicone. Continue wearing your compression garments as directed, and look into a supportive transitional bra and you can return to strenuous physical activity.


All swelling should be gone after six months to a year. But some patients may need to wait longer (up to two years at most) for scars to optimally fade and flatten.


When undergoing breast augmentation surgery (also known as getting a boob job), planning ahead is critical. This means assessing the time period you expect to be recuperating, buying groceries and planning meals ahead of time, preparing an area in your home for your recovery, and purchasing some items that will make your recovery more helpful.

Below is a list of breast augmentation procedure recovery essentials:

  • Comfortable clothes: 

    Make sure you have comfortable, loose-fitting clothing available. Your outfits should be easy to put on and take off.

  • Special recovery garments: 

    We will send you home with a recovery garment that you’ll need to wear consistently. However, some patients like to purchase additional garments as well.

  • A comfortable place to sleep: 

    You will be required to sleep on your back with your upper body slightly elevated during the initial period of your recovery. Some patients decide to purchase wedge pillows to help accommodate this position.

  • Meals and snacks: 

    Spend time before your surgery doing meal prep of healthy foods and assembling healthy snacks. Other than avoiding alcohol and too much caffeine and sodium during your recovery, you should not have any diet restrictions. Still, consuming healthy meals is always a good idea.

  • Pain Medication: 

    If possible, talk to your surgeon about picking up any necessary prescriptions for pain medication ahead of time.

  • Entertainment: 

    Plan to watch some movies or TV, read books or magazines, or perhaps do some easy crafts while in recovery. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activity, so now is the time to prepare some simple and fun entertainment.

  • Recovery essentials: 

    Lastly, don’t forget to prepare a recovery area that is complete with tissues, wet wipes, hair ties, lip balm, phone and/or computer chargers, bottled water, recovery bras, surgical tape and other essentials.



The procedure itself is not painful as you will have anesthesia. After the surgery and when the numbness wears off, you will experience some slight tightness and soreness. This should be most intense over the first few days.


You should be able to perform light daily activities after a few days to a week post-surgery. Light exercise can begin around two weeks after surgery.

Many patients want to know how to speed up breast augmentation procedure recovery. In reality, every patient is different, and everyone recovers from surgery at a different pace.


Swelling, soreness, tightness, and bruising are to be expected over the first few days of your recovery. Day by day breast augmentation recovery should become easier and easier.

After the first few days of soreness, you should see your swelling, bruising, and soreness decrease with each passing week.


This depends on the patient’s age and fitness level, the extent of surgery, and whether other procedures were performed. Most patients can return to light physical activity around two to three weeks after surgery.


The majority of patients will have a breast lift and augmentation recovery period of around two or more weeks. After two to three weeks, many patients can return to light physical activity, and this activity can be increased around week four.

Can I return to work 3 days after breast augmentation?

It is generally recommended that you take at least one week off from work after breast augmentation surgery to allow your body to rest and recover before you resume normal activities . However, the exact amount of time needed may vary depending on several factors such as the type of work you do, your overall health, and the specific surgical technique used.

If your work is physically demanding or involves heavy lifting, you may need to take more time off before returning to work. On the other hand, if your job is primarily sedentary, you may be able to return to work sooner.

It is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and to listen to your body. If you experience significant pain, discomfort, or swelling, you may need to take additional time off before returning to work.

In summary, it is best to discuss your specific situation with your surgeon and follow their recommendations for when to return to work after breast augmentation surgery.

Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation Today

Dr. David Sieber is a board certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco. Dr. Sieber’s reputation speaks for itself. With a long list of happy cosmetic surgery clients, he is one of the best and most sought-after plastic surgeon working in San Francisco today.

If you have been considering breast augmentation to fix asymmetry, change shape, increase breast size, or alter something else about your chest, Dr. Sieber can help you achieve the results you desire. The first step is to book a consultation to learn about breast implant recovery . Simply contact us today, and we’ll be happy to set up your appointment!


Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

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