The process of recovering from breast surgery begins as you awaken after the surgery. Expect to feel groggy and tired for several days as the anesthesia wears off.
During this time, pain medication will help to manage the side effects of surgery. Still, expect to feel some swelling, tenderness, pain, bruising, and bleeding. These common side effects will start to dissipate soon after your procedure. However, a dull ache or pain often continues for several weeks.
It is extremely important to follow any instructions your doctor has provided during the healing phase. After surgery, your chest will be wrapped in surgical dressings. You may also be directed to wear a surgical bra or compression garment, which will help your breast tissue to heal correctly. If drains or sutures have been used, they are usually removed at the follow-up appointment, about a week after the procedure.
Plan to take at least one to two weeks away from work to recover from breast surgery. Many patients have someone stay with them for the first couple of days to help them complete daily activities like making meals and washing their hair. Get plenty of rest to help your body heal, and avoid strenuous exercise. In particular, avoid bending over, reaching over your head, or heavy lifting as you recover from breast surgery.
Your breasts may not settle into their final shape, position, and size until six months have passed since the surgery. However, you will begin to see the results within a week or two, as the side effects subside.