How Long Does It Take To Recover From Cosmetic Breast Surgeries?

Cosmetic breast surgeries are procedures performed to change the appearance of breasts for aesthetic purposes (via WebMD). Examples of such surgeries include breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lifts, and breast reconstruction. Each of these procedures serves a different purpose. Breast augmentation is done to increase breast size or enhance contour and is sometimes performed following pregnancy for those who wish to adjust breast changes caused by increased hormone activity (via Medical News Today).

Breast reduction involves the surgical removal of tissue, fat, and skin to reduce the heaviness and size of the breasts (via WebMD). Some opt for this surgery due to pain experienced in the neck or back from the excess weight. Breast reconstruction involves the recreation of the breast and is commonly performed following a mastectomy.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, recovery time post-surgery will be different for everyone and can be influenced by procedure type, the presence of health conditions, or doctor skill level. Generally speaking, however, each of these procedures has estimated recovery times.

Recovery times will vary by procedure

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that recovery following breast augmentation surgery can take anywhere between four to six weeks, while Healthline states it could be as long as eight weeks. Pain is most intensive in the 24 hours immediately following surgery. Bruising, swelling, nausea, chest tightness, oversensitivity, and numbness are among the possible side effects during this time. Within a week, pain should begin to subside, although you'll want to limit your range of motion to protect against bleeding. By the sixth week, you should be able to resume normal everyday activity.

Similarly, patients generally make a full recovery from breast reconstruction surgery within six to eight weeks' time (via American Cancer Society). Soreness may persist for the first week or two, and patients often remain in the hospital for the first few days following surgery.

Common side effects following breast reduction surgery include feelings of weakness and a lack of energy, according to Alberta Health. Patients may be cleared to return to work and resume everyday activity after about two to three weeks. Until that time however, it's important to refrain from lifting any heavy objects or using a hot tub for the first four weeks following surgery. Remember, recovery time from cosmetic breast surgery will be different for everyone, depending on a variety of factors, so be sure to consult with your doctor and follow their specific recovery instructions.