Caring for Your Breasts After Surgery

Jun 01, 2023
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If you’re considering breast surgery but worried about what to expect during recovery, this post is for you! Here, we discuss how you’re likely to feel immediately after surgery and in the days and weeks to follow.

Breast surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures every year. Feeling great about your appearance and being more confident is crucial for a successful career, healthy social life, and personal growth. 

Dr. Stephen Chen and his staff have performed hundreds of breast surgeries. Whether you’re interested in augmentation, reduction, a breast lift, or a combination of those procedures, Dr. Chen can help. We’ve found that many women hesitate to have breast surgery because they’re concerned about recovery. 


When you have breast surgery, you’re under general anesthesia to remain comfortable during the procedure. That means you’re asleep. 

When you have general anesthesia, you need to be in a recovery room as you wake up so that our staff can monitor you. As you wake up, you will most likely feel groggy and have some aches. 

Within a few hours, you’ll begin to feel more awake, and we’ll release you to go home. We’ll likely wrap your breasts in a bra or elastic band to support them as you recover. We also both tell you how to care for your incision, and we ensure you have written instructions to refer to. 

You will need someone to drive you home from the facility. 

The week after surgery

The first few days after your surgery are the most uncomfortable. Your body is healing from the surgery, and some pain is likely. Dr. Chen may suggest prescription pain medication during these first few days, or you might take over-the-counter pain relievers. 

By the end of the first week, your pain should have subsided. You may still feel some mild pain or discomfort, but at this stage, most people can return to most of their normal activities—other than strenuous exercise or work. Raising your arms above your head can lead to irritation or bleeding, so you must avoid that. 

During this stage, if you’ve had breast augmentation, your implants are settling into place. Dr. Chen provides detailed instructions that you should follow, such as massaging your breast tissue to help reduce swelling and relax your muscles. 

A month after surgery

By week three, any pain or discomfort should be completely resolved. Swelling and bruising should be mostly gone. Dr. Chen may suggest you return to light exercise but continue to avoid strenuous activity. You should still be wearing a post-surgical bra. 


After six weeks, you should be able to return to all normal activities. All swelling and bruising should be resolved. Dr. Chen will want you to return to the office for a post-surgery follow-up visit around this time.  

Find out more

Don’t let worries about recovery stop you from reaching your goals. Cosmetic surgery is a positive and life-changing experience for most women who choose to go through with it. Schedule your appointment today and find out whether it’s the right choice for you.