How Long To Recover From Breast Augmentation

Placing breast implants is typically done through a surgical procedure called breast augmentation. As an elective surgery, patients have the opportunity to plan their time off before undergoing their surgery. Breast augmentation–like any surgery–requires recovery time and healing. Therefore, one of the most common questions our Bellevue plastic surgeons are asked at consultations is, “How long to recover from breast augmentation?”

There are many factors that impact how long a patient will take to recover after breast augmentation in Bellevue. Some of these variables include the patient’s age, overall health, medical conditions, and if they have had previous breast augmentation surgery. Additionally, the incision location, implant placement, and specifics of the surgery also impact the length of recovery.

Also, the time frame for recovery has two different scopes. Patients feel back to normal and return to most activities much sooner than when their body finishes healing and the implants have moved into their final positions. Dr. Ludwig Allegra of Northwest Face & Body is happy to discuss these nuances with you during a consultation for the best breast augmentation Bellevue offers.

General Timelines For Breast Augmentation Recovery

Immediately after surgery, patients usually take anywhere from one to two weeks to see side effects resolve. Minor side effects like swelling, bruising, pain, and discomfort are normal and usually become manageable within a couple of weeks. Dr. Allegra commonly clears patients to return to work about five to ten days after surgery. If you have a job that requires intense physical labor or lifting, you may need to return on light duty for the first two weeks. 

At about six weeks, patients can return to nearly all of their activities. Some forms of exercising and lifting may still be restricted depending on your individual recovery. However, most of the time, patients can exercise with fewer restrictions after six to eight weeks. 

Some residual swelling can last for months. This is normal and generally not noticeable after the first few weeks. Due to this swelling and the muscle being pulled over the breast implants, the breast implants will take several months to fall into place. This varies from patient to patient. Usually, breast implants will drop within nine months, though some may take as long as one year to reach their final position. A year after surgery is generally when plastic surgeons consider breast augmentation results final.

Factors That Impact Length Of Recovery

The best Bellevue breast augmentation at Northwest Face & Body may have a differing recovery period based on various factors. As previously discussed, there are two aspects that most affect how long breast augmentation recovery will be: the patient’s medical history and the specifics of the surgery.

Patient Factors

Patients with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, HIV/AIDS, and other immuno-compromising conditions can mean that your body takes longer to heal. This does not immediately disqualify you from breast augmentation surgery. However, you should be prepared for recovery to take a little longer than average. Dr. Allegra can discuss this during a consultation.

Some aspects of a patient’s lifestyle also impact healing. For example, smoking or vaping of any kind constricts blood flow and slows down healing. In most cases, Dr. Allegra will request that you stop smoking well before and after the surgery to promote the best results and recovery.

Surgical Factors

The top surgical factor that impacts the length of your breast augmentation recovery is whether your breast implants are placed over or under the muscle. The majority of breast implants today are placed fully or partially under the muscle. This does result in a slightly longer recovery time, however, it tends to yield better, more natural results. It also decreases the risk of some complications like capsular contracture.

Some incision locations may also impact recovery time. For example, a transaxillary incision (aka through the armpit) can place an implant under the muscle without cutting through the muscle. This can reduce pain and overall recovery time. 

Dr. Ludwig Allegra at Northwest Face & Body offers the best breast augmentation Bellevue provides. To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 425-576-1700. You can also reach us online at

Elaine Allen
the authorElaine Allen