What to expect after breast augmentation surgery

April 07, 2022

With nearly 300.000 breast augmentation surgeries performed annually in the US, breast augmentation is undeniably one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures nowadays [1]. Although breast augmentation is primarily used to enhance the appearance and figure of breasts, there are a number of different – and often surprising – factors behind the decision to undergo this surgery. Restoring lost breast volume after breastfeeding, reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy, adjusting asymmetry, and correcting problems from a previous surgery consist of a few factors that make women of all ages consider breast augmentation.

Breast implant

What to expect after a breast augmentation surgery

Knowing what to expect post-surgery can help prepare yourself mentally and physically, plan your schedule, and prevent any unnecessary stress. Although the post-op experience can differ greatly from individual to individual, this article will give you a general timeline of what to expect as well as tips for an accelerated recovery.

The first 24 hours

Immediately after waking from anesthesia, you will likely feel discomfort, soreness, fatigue, and tightness around your chest. Make sure you have someone drive you home after your surgery as you’ll be feeling sleepy and lightheaded for a few hours.

The first week

The first week is typically the most uncomfortable, however, the intensity of pain should decrease day after day. Over-the-counter medication can help you manage the pain and upon your surgeon’s clearance, you can gradually return to light activities like walking or working if you have a desk job.

The first month

Although you might still feel some soreness and swelling, pain should be minimal at this stage. You might resume your normal activities, while still refraining from strenuous exercise, rigorous workouts, and running. 

Your surgeon might also suggest a breast massage regimen to accelerate the healing process. 

Full recovery

After about 2 months, you should start feeling like yourself and be able to resume all normal activities, though this depends on your body’s ability to heal. It’s important to follow your doctor’s care instructions closely to avoid any complications.

How long will full recovery take?

While recovery time differs depending on the procedure, the patient’s health, and after-care, most surgeons agree that full recovery takes on average four to six weeks. [2] Yet, considering that every woman’s body is different, it’s best to talk to your surgeon for a more definitive guide to your recovery.

Recovery tips after your breast augmentation surgery

While your body will need some time to heal, the following tips will help speed up your recovery, provide comfort, and set up your breast augmentation for success.

  • Take your pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during the first weeks of recovery.
  • Take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal. Plan to take at least a week off work or school so you can let yourself recover.
  • Sleep on your back with pillows propped underneath your upper back to help blood flow to the surgical site [4]
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water to stay hydrated
  • If you have kids, plan for assistance in the weeks following your procedure.
  • Eat healthy and nutrient-rich meals to accelerate the healing process.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, high-impact exercise, and heavy lifting
  • Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes. It’s advised to prepare your wardrobe before the procedure.
  • Wear support bras to reduce breast pain and swelling for up to 6 weeks following your surgery, according to your doctor’s advice [1]


A stress-free recovery with Calla by Qualiteam

Postoperative bras are critical for your recovery after breast augmentation surgery. The right bra can increase blood circulation to the area, prevent swelling, reduce fluid retention, and help you return to normal activities as quickly as possible. 

Calla Cozy Post Surgery Bra is specifically designed to provide optimal support and comfort during your recovery after breast augmentation surgery. Crafted from comfortable and breathable materials and featuring a combo front opening with velcro and hook closures, Calla Cozy Post Surgery Bra offers the comfort and stability women are looking for during their recovery. The bra is free from seams and underwires in order to feel comfortable enough to wear all day long while still protecting the implants from movement.


Feedback from Surgeons: 

Dr. Pagano: "I’ve used the Calla Cozy bra on my patient after her breast augmentation and mastopexy. She found it very beautiful, easy to wear and adjust, and very comfortable, especially in the swollen underarms area.
I will use Calla Cozy bra with all my patients now! "

Dr. Moliver: "Loving these post op surgical bras."

Dr. Manconi: "A bra is part of the procedure. For my patients I require efficiency and safety of the product, comfort and customer service. All aspects present in the Calla Cozy!


What bra size will I need after breast augmentation?

Choosing the right bra size after your breast augmentation surgery can be a daunting and stressful task. Although you and your doctor might have already agreed on the cup size you want to be, different factors might affect your optimal bra size such as the shape and size of your implants, your bust size, and the intensity of the swelling during your healing.

Our size chart will help you get the right bra size based on your bust measurements. However, if you require some expert advice, reach out to us and our advisors will be more than happy to help you choose the right fit for you.

post operative bra sizing chart


There is no international agreement of standardization of bra cup sizes, nor between the various manufacturers of bras. e.g. a cup C in Germany may be different from a cup C in UK, Spain etc.
Calla Cozy overcomes this issue since there is no preformed cup size in the design. Instead we use 4-directional firm elastic material that conforms to the shape of the breasts and is available in 3 sizes (XS-S, M-L, and XL-XXL).
It is important to measure the underbust size, AND consider the increase in breast size which means the size of the implant, usually measured in cc’s.
We have developed a guideline to help choose the best size of Calla Cozy:

Calla Cozy Postoperative bra reference to implant cc size

If the underbust band measure is 80 cm and the implant volume is between 300 to 550 cc the correct size would be Calla Cozy size XL-XXL and not XS-S or M-L.

If the underbust band measure is 85 cm and the implant volume is between 300 to 550 cc the correct size would be Calla Cozy size XL-XXL and not XS-S or M-L.

If the underbust band measure is 95 cm and the implant volume is between 300 to 600 cc the correct size would be Calla Cozy size XL-XXL and not M-L

If the underbust band measure is 100 cm and the implant volume is between 250 to 430 cc the correct size would be Calla Cozy size XL-XXL and not XS-S.



Armed with the right knowledge and equipped with the right garments, breast augmentation recovery is more manageable than you would imagine. Although this article serves as a general recovery guide, it’s important to recognize that each woman will experience recovery differently, depending on the type of procedure, any health problems, and adherence to post-op protocols. Your surgeon will provide you with a post-operative care plan, tailored to your needs and the type of surgery.



Reference List

[1] Demetrius M. Coombs, MD, Ritwik Grover, MD, Alexandre Prassinos, MD, and Raffi Gurunluoglu, MD, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine February 2019, 86 (2) 111-122; DOI: https://doi.org/10.3949/ccjm.86a.18017

[2] American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2022. How long is the recovery for a breast augmentation?. Available at: www.plasticsurgery.org

[3] American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2022. Breast augmentation recovery – what you need to know. Available at: www.plasticsurgery.org 

[4] Moraitis Plastic Surgery - Palm Harbor Plastic Surgery. 2022. Breast Augmentation Recovery Do’s and Don’ts | Dr. Moraitis. Available at: moraitisplasticsurgery.com

[5]  Plasticsurgery.org. 2022. Available at: www.plasticsurgery.org

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