What to Expect after
Breast Augmentation



A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY

Breast augmentation recovery

At Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center, it is our goal for every patient to have a safe and speedy recovery, as well as the plastic surgery results they desire. It is important to follow all of the instructions provided by our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Richard L. Nesmith and Dr. Brad Nesmith.

If you have any questions regarding your recovery, our office is ready to answer them. Please contact our team.

General do's and don'ts after
breast augmentation

  • Rest well. Any surgical procedure is a major ordeal for your body. You should allow yourself 3-5 days off work, and listen to your own body before returning to your normal routine.
  • Sleep in a recliner, or on your back (elevated by a pillow).
  • Perform breast massage as instructed by your surgeon. This helps breast implants settle and promote the look and feel of a natural breast.
  • Take pain medication as instructed by your surgeon, even if it means getting up in the night to take a dose.
  • Eat healthily and stay hydrated. It's important to take care of your body following surgery.



  • Sleep on your stomach. This will likely be painful and puts stress on the new implants.
  • Lift anything heavy, including pets and children. Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds until cleared by your surgeon.
  • Participate in strenuous activity. You should avoid any activity that causes the breasts to move excessively for around 4 weeks.
  • Swim in a pool, lake, or ocean. You should avoid baths until your incision is healed and your surgeon gives the ok. You can shower the day after your procedure.
  • Smoke or use tobacco products. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends you stop smoking prior to cosmetic surgery (ideally, for good). We recommend no smoking 3-5 weeks before and after surgery.
  • Drink alcohol while taking your pain medications.


Frequently asked questions
after breast enhancement

How long is it to recover from breast augmentation?

Whether your procedure involved saline implants, silicone gel implants, or silicone breast implants, your recovery time will be about the same: 4-6 weeks. The first 1-2 weeks may be the most straining. However, we strongly recommend following your care instructions even as you begin to feel normal in the following weeks. Your body is still healing for a month or longer following surgery.

When can I go back to work after breast augmentation?

It is a good idea to take a week off from work. Most patients begin feeling well enough to return to normal routines after 3-5 days. If your work involves strenuous activity or heavy lifting, talk to your surgeon about when would be the appropriate time to return.

How should you sleep after breast augmentation?
There is not a right way to sleep after breast augmentation, but there is a wrong way. Avoid sleeping on your stomach for the duration of your healing (4-6 weeks). Sleeping on your stomach places undue stress on your implants and could prevent them from settling correctly. Not to mention, it will be painful to sleep this way immediately after surgery.
Find a sleeping position where you feel comfortable. For the first week, we recommend you sleep slightly elevated to promote good circulation and minimize fluid build-up. This could mean sleeping:
  • On your back, elevated
  • With a wedge pillow
  • In a recliner
You can usually go back to sleeping flat after one week when your swelling has minimized.

When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation?

Side sleeping can put pressure on your implants and incisions. If you are naturally a side sleeper, we advise at least two weeks before sleeping this way while wearing a supportive bra.

When can I sleep without a bra after breast augmentation?

You will be cleared to sleep without a supportive bra at your final post-op check-up, usually 6 weeks following your breast augmentation procedure.

When can I wear a normal bra after breast augmentation?

Patients can wear soft cup bras and sports bras during the healing process but should not wear any bras with an underwire. The wire may irritate the sensitive breast tissue following a breast augmentation, breast lift, and other procedures. You may wear an underwire bra after fully healing, approximately 4-6 weeks.

When can I work out after breast augmentation surgery?

Patients are encouraged to walk immediately after their surgery to increase circulation and promote healing. After 4 weeks, you can resume most physical activity like running or other cardio. You should wear a supportive bra while doing so. You should not resume lifting more than 10 pounds until cleared by your surgeon after 6 weeks.

When can I fly after breast augmentation?

There are small pockets of air in the surgical site following surgery. These can expand at high altitude, so we recommend not flying for 7-10 days after surgery.

When can I swim after breast augmentation surgery?

Your surgeon will instruct you to avoid soaking in water because this could allow water or bacteria into the incision site. This applies to swimming as well as baths. Usually, this restriction will be lifted when your incisions have fully healed in 4-6 weeks. We recommend waiting until after your final post-operative appointment in our office.

How to reduce scars after breast augmentation surgery?

Usually, your surgeon will choose a type of incision to minimize scarring. However, this does depend on the type of implant and procedure. Incisions will be more visible while healing but will fade in time. You can reduce the appearance of scars by following breast massage instructions from your surgeon.

Ask the surgeons at Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center


To learn more about breast augmentation preparation, surgery, and recovery, you can schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons. We will ensure all your questions are answered so that we can provide the best care and optimal results.

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Board-certified plastic surgeons