Recovery – What to Expect

As soon as you’re taken to the recovery room, your healing can begin. Optimal healing includes all of the following things.

Time off

Be sure to plan for a minimum of one week recovery time. While you can get back to your basic routines around the home after a few days, anything more strenuous than moving around the home and making basic movements should be avoided until you’re back at work. If your job requires any kind of major lifting or strenuous movement, you may need to take more time off.

When to buy new bras

After the breast augmentation, we will recommend a soft compression bra. A bra will be properly secured for you after the surgery in the OR.  Once the six week period is up, you can buy new bras with confidence.

Working out

Exercise after a breast augmentation should be approached with caution. Light exercise is fine once the initial recovery week is completed, but nothing more difficult than walking at a reasonable pace. Jogging, running, and other aerobic activity should be cautiously eased into after three weeks. Any strenuous exercise should be completely avoided for six full weeks for the optimum recovery and results .


While many patients are already aware that they should avoid blood thinner drugs, aspirin, and NSAIDS, when they have a breast augmentation, they may not realize that vitamins should be restricted as well.

Dr. Rau will have already provided you with a list of medications and supplements to stop before the surgery, but it is important that you don’t take these things after surgery, either. The following vitamins and other medications could potentially cause excessive bleeding or blood clots after the surgery. Dr. Rau will tell you when it is safe to resume taking them.

  • Vitamin E
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Fish Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Wintergreen
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Bilberry
  • Bromelain

What Not to Take

Patients who take Phentermine, a popular diet pill, must completely stop taking the drug at least four weeks before surgery. Dr. Rau will advise you when you can safely resume taking this medication after recovery. There may be other medications that you’ll need to stop before surgery, so make sure that Dr. Rau has a complete list of every medication you take, even if you don’t take it every day.


It can be much more difficult to heal after a breast augmentation for women who smoke. Whether it’s tobacco cigarettes or e-cigs, both send nicotine into the blood. Nicotine can decrease the blood flow to the breast tissue, and this in turn can significantly inhibit healing and recovery. Look at this as a great opportunity to quit smoking for good – and if you can’t do that, wait until you get the go-ahead from Dr. Rau post-recovery.


Tanning beds should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks after surgery. If possible, wait even longer. Tanning beds aren’t good for your skin in general, and they can make scarring from the surgery much more visible.