Recovery Series Vol.2: What to Expect Following a Breast Augmentation

by | Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants, Breast Lift, Recovery Series

Previously, I wrote about the Mommy Makeover and what the recovery process entails. Today I am going to do the same for breast augmentation. Breast augmentation is one of the most satisfying surgeries to perform as a surgeon. It gives women a fuller, beautiful breast with minimal recovery time. It is a surgery that has a high satisfaction rate for patients, but it is important to make sure that you are getting the right breast implant for you. I take a lot of time with patients to make sure that they choose the perfect size. There are four key steps that I use to ensure that the perfect breast implant is chosen. It takes a little extra time, but it is well worth it. To date, I have never had to change any implants on my own patients. (Unfortunately that is not always true when I have patients come to me from other offices where they were “told” what size they will get, or rushed to pick an implant and sign on the dotted line.) I believe in taking time over a couple visits to help ensure my patients get beautiful results that exceed their expectations.

Here are some of the common questions that I get when people see me for a breast augmentation:

Q: What is recovery like?

A: It is really not too bad. I give my patients prescription medication but it would be rare that they would ever need a second prescription. If the implants are placed below your muscle, it will be a bit more tender, but nothing that can be easily managed with medicine. I do like people moving right away and walking. I don’t like running or other chest activities for 6 weeks. The reason for this is that you form a scar around the implant (known as a capsule). This can grow into the implant to help keep it in an ideal position for years to come. It takes a bit of time for this to happen. So although you feel up to it, I modify the activities that people do in the early recovery phase.

Q: How long will I be off work?

A: You should be able to return to office work in a week or so, and a more active job in two to three weeks, depending on what it is that you do. Some people return to office work sooner; for those that can work from home this is especially true. For extremely physical jobs, you will need a bit more time to make sure everything is fully healed before you over do it.

Q. Can I have other surgery at the same time?

A: It is very common to have other surgery at the same time. The most common procedures done at the time of your breast augmentation would be a breast lift (mastopexy), liposuction or a tummy tuck.

Q: How do I know if I need a breast lift?

A: Your surgeon will help you to decide what is the best surgery for you. Essentially, if your nipples are at a good position or a little low you may not need one. If they are very low, then you would most likely look nicer with a breast lift. Your surgeon’s advice is most helpful, when you are uncertain if you may or may not need one. They will help you to consider your choices carefully, to ensure you make the one that is best for you.

Q. What kind of help will I need?

A: If you have small children, then having some support at home for the first few days is helpful, but not imperative. If your children are over 5 years, then you will be pretty good early on. I suggest people get things done ahead of time so they don’t have to do it after surgery. This includes getting your prescriptions, preparing meals, and laundry, etc. If you have kids that need to be driven around to different activities, then find people to help with that. You can drive after coming off your medications, but that could mean you need some help with that for the first few days. Sort out who at work will be covering you, so you aren’t taking phone calls and emails when you should be resting and recovering.

Q: Will there be a drain?

A: I virtually never use a drain in this type of surgery. Most surgeons do not use drains but there are some that may.

Q: Do I have to wear a special garment?

A: A bra that provides support while you heal is important over the first 6 weeks. I spend a lot of time in surgery creating the perfect pocket for the implant. I want the implant to create a beautiful breast shape and I want it to stay like that for years to come. By supporting the breast in the first 6 weeks, it helps secure its position.

Q: Is there bruising?

A: All surgeries produce some bruising. I take meticulous care to prevent bleeding in surgery and to make sure that the implant pocket is quite dry prior to closing the incision. However, some bruising is possible.

Q: When can I shower? Or go swimming?

A: Showering can be done a few days after surgery. I use a water proof dressing, but just to be safe, I recommend against showering for a couple days. Some patients like a dry shampoo for the days that they cannot shower. I do suggest waiting closer to 2 weeks for swimming, to really allow incisions to seal over to prevent infection risk.

Q: Can I go out in public?

A: All your surgery will be well concealed with clothing. Other than the first few days when you are may be a touch tender, people should not notice that you had anything done. Some patients having a breast augmentation, may start to wear a fuller padded bra weeks in advance of their surgery so that it is less noticeable afterwards.

Q: What are the risks?

A: There are risks with all surgeries from the biggest case to the smallest. I spend a lot of time going over the common and severe problems that could arise during the consultation. I feel very strongly that my patients are well informed, so that they can make the right decision for them; so that they can help prevent problems from arising; and, if there are any problems that they understood how they came about. With that being said, complications are very rare. Some typical concerns could include bruising or bleeding, infection, poor scar or cosmesis, slow healing, and tenderness. These are usually easily dealt with. Asymmetries can be present especially if present prior to surgery. More severe things could include blood clots, heart attack or stroke and anaesthetic concerns. These are extremely uncommon! With that being said, the only way to not take on risk is to not have surgery at all. More long-term risks include tightening of the capsule and an extremely remote chance of ALCL of the breast. I spend a lot of time going over these risks in detail when I see patients in consultation.

If you are interested in learning more or having a private consultation please click here or telephone 905-849-4282

Dr Rodger Shortt strives to be the best plastic surgeon in breast surgery, tummy tuck surgery and mommy makeover procedures. He is committed to providing high quality patient care and achieving excellent results. He is considered one of the top plastic surgeons and one of the few plastic surgeons in Canada that has the top rating of five stars in Realself, Rate MD, and Ontario Doctor review. Dr Rodger Shortt is a specialist plastic surgeon who graduated from Queen’s Medical School in 2004 and became certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2009. He received further sub-specialty fellowship training with international plastic surgeons in micro-vascular breast reconstruction, cosmetic plastic surgery, and body contouring after bariatric (gastric banding) surgery, significant weight loss or post-pregnancy.


Dr. Shortt preformed a gynecomastia gland removal on me

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I had sought a breast reduction to ease the back and neck pain

I had sought a breast reduction to ease the back and neck pain I had endured for years. I had met a few other plastic surgeons over a year period. I had never been comfortable or confident enough to make the decision to have surgery…not until I met with Dr Shortt. I had been afraid of surgery and never felt convinced it was worth it. After my consultation with Dr Shortt , I was excited about how he could help. He made me feel very comfortable. During the initial examination we also spoke about the large deposits of skin and fat under my arms – a constant source of embarrassment and discomfort. I had not worn anything sleeveless in years as they spilled out. He spoke to me about “auxiliary breast tissue removal”. I was thrilled there was something that could be done and both surgeries could be performed together When explaining what the procedure would entail and the recovery time, he spoke with me not at me. He acknowledged my fears and concerns. All my questions had been answered and I knew that surgery was the right decision and he was the right surgeon for me! ( I was so excited about the prospect now that I shared with my daughter now amazing he was – she had also meet other plastic surgeons for implants for herself – she met him and was also so impressed – she had her surgery performed by him as well!) The surgery went well. At all the follow up appointments, he was always timely. You would think being exposed and examined would be uncomfortable, but is wasn’t. He is such a professional and put you at such ease with him that I never had the chance to feel uncomfortable He would exam the areas and scars and instruct how to best take care of them. He shared in my joy and excitement for the difference this had made! I feel better and look better I also want to mention what an amazing team he has as well. Everyone I came into contact with at his office were amazing! I can’t come up with one thing that I feel he could have improved on. Without any hesitation I would, and do, recommend him!

I selected Dr Shortt based on his credentials and experience

At 51 years of age and many, many years of pain, I sought out a Surgeon who would perform for me an OHIP covered Breast Reduction and after a great deal of research, I selected Dr Shortt based on his credentials and experience. Reviewing his past surgery accomplishments, I soon wanted the “Mommy Makeover”. At my first appointment, I was pleasantly surprised by the Dr Shortt’s demeanor. He was found to be very approachable and empathetic. He took the time to explain everything that I needed to know and also answered all of my questions without making it seem a burden. He went through step by step what I would go through during and after my surgery. As a very self-conscious person, he was able to make me feel very comfortable being fully exposed and was professional every step of the way. His Support Staff are all so very courteous and professional. As far as the surgery itself, I would have to say I think that not only is he an excellent Surgeon, he is a Sculptor. I am extremely pleased with the results. The few people that I have shown my stomach and newly formed belly button are astounded at the results. Currently I am 9 weeks post op and feel wonderful and able to go back to the gym. Dr Shortt being a Perfectionist wants another 6mth appt to ensure that I remain am as happy as I am today and that the scarring is as minimal as possible. He has changed my life and I am very grateful. I would and have recommended him to several people already.

I am currently 5 weeks post op and am extremely pleased with my results

I am currently 5 weeks post op and am extremely pleased with my results so far and Dr.Shortt told me if I’m happy with the results so far, wait until I’m finally healed. Dr Shortt is an amazing doctor, his bedside manner is impeccable and at every step of the way he made me feel comfortable and you could tell he genuinely really cared. He took his time to listen to me and my concerns and reassured me he would do his very best, and the results so far are amazing, I am extremely happy and feel amazing. With any big surgery it can be scarey and nervous but Dr.Shortt is very knowledgeable and most of the time had already answered all my questions I had for him and he put me at ease. His staff are amazing to work with too, especially Joanne. Thank you guys, from my very first consult to today you have made this whole experience absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend you definitely go see Dr.Shortt his professionalism and the fact that he actually treats you like a person first shows he really cares.

I am very pleased with the excellent work of Dr. Rodger Shortt

I am very pleased with the excellent work of Dr. Rodger Shortt. His expertise and great manners helped me a lot through the difficult times and multiple operations I went through. As a cancer breast patient, I had two mastectomies for my right and left breasts. Dr. Short joined the surgeon on my second mastectomy and started his wonderful work of inserting the breast tissue expanders. I visited Dr. Shortt’s clinic several times to inject the saline into the breast expanders. During these visits, I appreciated the staff pleasant attitudes and Dr. Shortt recommendations. At the last stage of the process, Dr. Shortt removed the breast expanders and inserted the breast implants and he reconstructed my nipples from my breast skin. I am very pleased with the wonderful job Dr. Shortt has completed. I highly recommend Dr. Shortt and wish him every success with all the patients.

I am so very grateful for all the hard work he did

About 8 years ago I had a lumpectomy leaving my breasts very unbalanced. It has made super uncomfortable about my appearance especially in a bathing suite. Dr. Shortt did an amazing job fixing this. I am so very grateful for all the hard work he did. My girls look like twins instead of cousins. Also, his staff is excellent and caring. I am so happy and recommend him to anyone who needs a good Plastic Surgeon who listens and get the best possible results for his patient.

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