Despite the past year’s negative news coverage on medical devices, implant-based breast augmentation continues to be the most commonly performed aesthetic surgery across the world. But with the spotlight placed over the medical device industry (and rightly so), women interested in the procedure have more specific, detailed questions on what the recovery process entails.

We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions (both old and new) that women ask their plastic surgeons about recovering from a breast enhancement.

When will I be able to get back to work and driving?

Do not drive for at least two days after surgery, or until cleared by your surgeon.

Most patients with Motiva Implants® have been able to resume work and mild to moderate physical activities after two weeks. If your work involves some amount of physical activity (unlike a typical office job, constantly working with screens), you may have to wait longer, until your surgeon clears it.

When can I start lifting things and exercising again?

Avoid any strenuous activities until cleared by your surgeon. If you’re not sure if something qualifies as “strenuous”, don’t go ahead and risk it – ask your surgeon about it, and be specific.  

Keep your arms and elbows close to your sides and avoid lifting anything until allowed by your surgeon.

Once you’re cleared for exercise, slowly introduce lower-body exercises into your routine, progressing to full-body muscular activity. Don’t expect you’ll be able to go right back to the intensity or weight you were used to pre-op – start with less than usual and gradually ramp back up where you originally left off.

With Motiva SmoothSilk®, patients typically resume full activity earlier than with other implants, especially textured kinds – at around six weeks post op.

How long does it take for breast implants to settle in place and all swelling to resolve?

Don’t panic if your breasts appear higher up or larger than expected right out of surgery. Your skin and surrounding tissues need time to heal and adjust to your breast implants – a process often described as “settling” or “dropping and fluffing”. If you’ve got implants on both sides, it’s not uncommon for one to settle in place more quickly than the other.

While the majority of post-op swelling should resolve quickly, your breasts may remain swollen for at least three months. But because each patient’s case can vary considerably – for example, some may choose very large implants or have firmer-than-average tissue – recovery periods vary as well, sometimes even taking up to six months.

How do I get a good night’s sleep without damaging my new breasts?

You will have to sleep on your back for the first couple of months to limit swelling and avoid straining your stitches. If you’re not usually a back sleeper, practice ahead of time to acclimate yourself, using extra pillows to help keep you in position or trying other ways to train yourself.

How long should I wait till I can have sex again?

You’ll need to avoid all vigorous activity – including the sexual kind – until your surgeon clears it. Raising your blood pressure in any way before you’ve fully healed from any kind of surgery increases your risk for internal bleeding, incision strain, or other complications that could jeopardize your health and results.

Once you’re cleared, start out gently and avoid positions that put pressure on your chest area.   

Will there be pain or sensitivity after surgery?

Tingling, numbness, or even sudden shoots of pain in the chest area are to be expected in the first few to several weeks as your nerves repair themselves after surgery. Initially occurring more frequently or intensely, these sensations should gradually taper off. If they persist or increase, visit your surgeon for a checkup.

Will I need follow ups after I’ve fully healed?

Breast implants are not intended to be lifetime devices. Even after all post-surgical healing is completed, you will still need regular follow ups and screenings. Your surgeon will be able to brief you further on the follow-up process.


The above answers are intended to be informational and offer insight on the recovery process after receiving breast implants. Each patient’s case differs greatly, so always defer to a certified and experienced plastic surgeon familiar with your history for your specific requirements.

 

*Motiva Implants® are not yet commercially available in US and are undergoing clinical investigation pursuant to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for investigational medical devices.

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