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Normal Bruising After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Annabel A.

What To Expect After Getting Breast Implants

Most patients can expect a certain amount of bruising and swelling after breast augmentation surgery, regardless of whether they have chosen saline implants or silicone implants. This is the natural way for your body to respond to the surgery, and it forms part of the healing process. It is, however, important to know what to expect after your first breast augmentation surgery, so that you can prepare and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

Generally, you can expect more intense bruising for at least a week after surgery. The worst of your bruising should fade within the first few weeks, and the more minor bruising should gradually subside within a month. Most of the major swelling after breast augmentation should subside in the first three weeks, and after which the minor swelling will gradually fade over the next several weeks or even months. This is normal.

There are, however, some ways to speed up the recovery process or shorten the recovery period.

Breast Augmentation

Steps For A Quicker Recovery Process

Enough Rest

Perhaps one of the most important parts of any healing process is getting enough rest. The recovery process after a breast augmentation is no different. Take some leave from work and avoid any strenuous activities. It is best to stick to taking a short walk each day, to improve blood circulation and avoid blood clots. But beyond this, make sure you are well-rested.

Bruising and Swelling

Different ways to reduce bruising and reduce swelling after your breast augmentation should be discussed with your qualified plastic surgeon, and it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions very carefully.

Avoid Smoking

If you are a smoker, you will likely have been told to cease smoking at least three weeks before your surgery. Smoking is also discouraged during your time of healing, as it delays the healing process and can lead to nasty scars. It is best to discontinue smoking for another three weeks after your breast augmentation surgery.

Medications and Supplements

There are some types of medication or supplements that can delay your healing process, or can cause additional problems. It is best to avoid things like blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medication, and any supplements that have not gotten the green light from your surgeon.

Your plastic surgeons will supply you with a detailed list of pain medication and other drugs that you will be allowed to take after your breast surgery, and will also indicate to you which medications or supplements you should no longer be taking.

Less Sodium

It is best to reduce your sodium intake after any major surgery, as a diet rich in sodium can cause water retention in your body, and this slows down your healing process.

To reduce swelling, it is best to follow a low-sodium diet in the weeks before and following your breast augmentation. No more than 1500 mg per day is recommended.

Natural Remedies

There are many natural or herbal supplements that could help to reduce bruising and swelling after breast augmentation surgery, such as Arnica and Bromelain.

Discuss these with your surgeon before you undergo your plastic surgery, and follow their instructions during your breast implant surgery recovery period. Your surgeon will be able to recommend the best natural remedies for you.


Some physicians recommend massaging your implants and the surgical site. However, it is important not to do so unless instructed by your surgeon, or checking beforehand that it would be okay to do so.

Surgical Bras

Some doctors may recommend the use of a surgical bra after your breast augmentation.

A surgical bra is an undergarment specially designed to be worn after undergoing breast surgery, such as a breast lift, breast reduction surgery, a top body contouring procedure, or in this case, a breast augmentation. These bras are meant to support your breasts and chest muscle, and help your breast tissue and skin heal effectively. They can also reduce the risk of many complications.

How long to wear the bra depends on each person. It is best to discuss this with your surgeon and follow their instructions.

Cold Compress

Cold compresses can help reduce swelling and severe pain in the surgical site effectively if needed. It is best not to use these compresses or ice packs directly on the skin, and it is best to also discuss the use of these with your surgeon.

Remain Elevated

For the first few weeks after your breast augmentation, it is best to remain in an upright position. Use pillows to prop yourself up at about a 45-degree angle. This improves blood circulation and helps the breasts to remain in the correct position while they heal.

Baths and Showers

Another thing to avoid during the recovery process following your breast augmentation is hot baths or showers. The heat can cause additional swelling or inflammation in the surgical area. Instead, opt for sponge baths using warm (but not hot) water. Avoid saunas and hot tubs, and continue to use warm (but not hot) water when you resume taking regular baths or showers.

Follow-up Visits

Be sure to make use of the services of an experienced plastic surgeon when undergoing a breast augmentation, and don’t skip any of the follow-up visits. the appointments are meant to monitor your recovery, discuss your overall results, and prevent any complications. It is best not to miss these.

In the case of any complications, it is also a good idea to schedule such a meeting as soon as possible, so that your surgeon can take a look at and solve the problem.

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Your Final Results: What To Expect

It may take a long time for your breasts to recover and for them to settle into their final, natural position. Because of this, for the first month of recovery after a breast augmentation, their appearance can’t really be assessed.

Only after about three months, once the healing process has concluded and the swelling subsided, and the breasts have had a chance to “drop”, can you truly assess their final result. But it is also important to note that for the next year, your breasts will continue to heal and settle.

There are some things that can be expected, however, namely, stretch marks and scarring.


There is no way to completely avoid scarring after a breast augmentation, but there are methods to lighten the existing scars.

The size and severity of your scars will also depend on the methods used by your surgeons during your plastic surgery. Saline implants, for example, leave smaller scars than silicone implants, as they can be filled up once already underneath the skin.

There are also different kinds of incisions that each have their own characteristic scar, and it is best to discuss these concerns with your surgeon before going through with your surgery.

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are not uncommon after a breast augmentation, especially in the case of a larger implant. Because the skin on your chest needs to be stretched in order to accommodate your new breasts, it’s common for your chest to be left with some stretch marks. This depends on the size of your implant and will differ from patient to patient depending on their skin.

However, scars and stretch marks tend to fade naturally over time. Tissue oil en specialized creams could also help reduce the appearance of both scars and stretch marks, however, so discuss this with your surgeon in one of your plastic surgery follow-up appointments.

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation Surgery FAQs

How to know if I have a hematoma after breast augmentation?

Hematomas are usually more severe than bruises. While the broken blood vessels in a bruise leave the skin looking discolored, a hematoma is a pooling of blood beneath the skin, and can sometimes be felt.

Hematomas are not necessarily a cause for concern, but it is best to consult with your physician or plastic surgeons if you suspect that your breast surgery has left your incision site with hematomas.

Will my breast implants appear bigger after dropping?

It takes time for most patients’ skin to stretch after a breast implant surgery, and so the implants may appear high and small on the chest. However, after some time, the skin on the upper body will stretch and the implants will “drop” into a lower, more natural position. The stretched skin will also help the breasts appear fuller and plumper.

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