Skip to content


How Painful Is Recovery After Breast Implants/Augmentation?

Recovery after breast augmentation involves some “manageable” pain for the first two to three days after plastic surgery. Pain is often relieved with pain management medication prescribed by the plastic surgeon. This article discusses what to expect in the post-op days and offers you helpful tips for speeding up the healing process.

bandaged breast

Handling Pain Three Days After Breast Augmentation

The first three days after breast implants surgery is when the patient feels the most pain.

The number one way to handle pain and relieve discomfort in the first days of recovery is narcotics. However, some plastic surgeons suggest pain injections or pain pumps instead of relying only on strong pain medication.

Pain pumps (Intrathecal Pump Implant) offer patients numbing medication directly at the source of pain. They look like a tiny balloon that “drips” through a catheter into the breast area. They stay in the breasts for about three days to alleviate intense pain and discomfort.

As for the pain injections (e.g., Exparel), these are injected into the implant pocket at the end of surgery and last up to 14 hours.

Alleviating Pain Seven Days After Breast Augmentation

Strong pain medication, like narcotics, usually lasts up to seven days post-op, because their prolonged use may cause lethargy, constipation, or even extend the healing process. Once the patient starts feeling less pain, the use of strong anti-pain drugs should be discontinued. If the patient wants to continue taking pain medication after the seventh day, the doctor might recommend paracetamol or other light painkillers.

Yet, the feeling of pain is not the only issue for some patients. Cramping and tightness are also typical symptoms for breast implant patients, affecting the breast area, the back, neck, and shoulders. Muscle relaxants, such as Valium, might control these symptoms effectively. However, muscle relaxants should not be taken together with painkillers, as this drug combination may cause drowsiness and lethargy. Ask your doctor if you can take muscle relaxants an hour apart from painkillers intake.

In about a week after surgery, the patient can return to normal activities and desk-job. Intense workout should be avoided for at least three weeks after breast augmentation. Light exercise, like a few short walks during the day, would be a good idea for facilitating recovery.

The stages of breast augmentation recovery might be different from patient to patient. For this reason, it is important to follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations which are tailored to your unique health and recovery requirements.

When Does The Pain Stop After Breast Augmentation?

Most patients feel little to no pain at around two to three weeks after breast implants surgery. Some mild tenderness in the breast area may be present for a bit longer, though. However, in one month post-op, the patient should feel no pain or discomfort anymore.

Tips To Speed Your Recovery After Breast Augmentation

After breast augmentation, patients feel more confident and comfortable with their bodies. For the final results to be successful and recovery to run smoothly, here are the top 10 tips that all breast augmentation patients should follow:

  1. Apply the prescribed medication to the surgical incisions and keep them sterilized, as instructed by your doctor.
  2. Wear a comfortable, sports or lightly supportive bra to avoid incision inflammation or pain to your swollen breasts. Ask your doctor about when to go back to underwire bras.
  3. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol during the healing time.
  4. Sleep on your back so that you won’t irritate the incisions or make your implants shift or droop.
  5. Avoid bathtub or swimming until your wounds have fully healed.
  6. Stay away from strenuous upper body exercise, like lifting weights.
  7. Take time to relax and allow your body to rebuild and repair.
  8. Wear loose, breathable clothing to prevent injury to the incision site and increase comfort.
  9. Consume nutritional and protein-rich foods to speed up your recovery.
  10. Listen to your body and consult your plastic surgeon if you feel unexpected pain.

Learn about Breastfeeding With Implants After Breast Augmentation Surgery.

Make An Appointment With Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgeon Dr. Stavrou, in Nicosia, Greece & Malta

Experience the confidence of being in expert hands that will make you look and feel more beautiful than ever. Book an appointment with our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon in Nicosia, Limassol, Athens and Malta, Dr. Stavrou. He will answer all your questions and concerns about breast augmentation plastic surgery, and ensure a safe and successful procedure.


Dr. Demetris Stavrou

Dr Stavrou is a board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeon in Cyprus, Greece and Malta, with a keen interest in informing patients about the latest updates on reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.


Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents