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How to Care for Your Breasts After Breast Augmentation

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Updated June 09, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgeon applying a protective bandage round the client's breasts after surgery.
Ian Hooton/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Taking good care of your breasts after breast augmentation will help you achieve the best possible results. Here are some tips:

  • Swelling and mild bruising of the breasts are normal after surgery and will gradually subside over the next several weeks.
  • Around 24 hours after surgery, you may remove the dressings, except for the skin tapes (also called steri-strips), which are directly over your incisions. Because the steri-strips have been applied with a skin adhesive, you may wash over them without removing them. Just blot them dry with a clean cloth/towel. The steri-strips will eventually fall off on their own.
  • You may continue to cover the incisions with gauze dressings, as needed, for one week.
  • While most plastic surgeons will allow you to shower 24 hours after surgery, they will request that you avoid any water that is still (not running) for two weeks after surgery. This includes bath water, swimming pools, hot tubs, whirlpools, lakes, oceans, etc.
  • Do not wear an underwire bra. The wire in the bras can affect the position of your breast implant. Your surgeon will provide either a soft, yet supportive post-surgical bra or a wide, elastic bandage (Ace wrap) around your breasts. The bra or elastic bandage/Ace wrap may be removed for showering/bathing, but should be reapplied snugly afterward.
  • If you are sent home with drains, empty the drainage bulb and record the amount of fluid three times per day. It is important to record the amount because this will tell your surgeon when the drains are ready to be removed.
Learn More About Breast Augmentation Recovery
Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures

Sources:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breast Augmentation Recovery. Accessed May 22, 2011.

Slavin SA, Greene AK. Augmentation Mammoplasty and Its Complications. In Thorne CHM, Beasely RW, Aston SJ, Bartlett SP, Gurtner GC, Spear S, eds. Grabb and Smith’s Plastic Surgery, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2007.

Spear SL, Bulan EJ, Venturi ML. Breast Augmentation. In McCarthy JG, Galiano RD, Boutros SG, eds. Current Therapy in Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2006.

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