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.


You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work

From the get go the professionalism and expertise I had received far surpassed those from other consultations I had done. I had gone in for a breast augmentation and am amazed from the results. You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work. He had stated that afterwards my breast would look “perfect”, I figured anything would be better then what I had. Unbelieving then, here I am now absolutely thrilled with the results. I had a tattoo where the implant incision would be, to my surprise Dr. Shortt was able to work around it as well.

Breast Augmentation – What an Amazing Doctor !

From the get go the professionalism and expertise I had received far surpassed those from other consultations I had done. I had gone in for a breast augmentation and am amazed from the results. You can tell the enthusiasm and passion Dr.Shortt has for his work. He had stated that afterwards my breast would look “perfect”, I figured anything would be better then what I had. Unbelieving then, here I am now absolutely thrilled with the results.

I had a tattoo where the implant insission would be, to my surprise Dr. Shortt was able to work around it as well.

The day of my surgery Dr. Shortt and his team made me feel very comfortable and well taken care of. Thank you again !

Dr. Shortt has a great eye and is a creative visionary

Everyone reacts differently to a diagnosis / treatment of breast cancer. For me, after the mastectomy, I no longer felt whole. I decided reconstructive surgery was the answer which was very intense – but no regrets. The results were good but I still felt a little mismatched. My surgeon referred me to Dr. Shortt. Like so many others on this site, I felt like he knew exactly what I was looking for and how to get there. Dr. Shortt has a great eye and is a creative visionary that can determine what need to be done, coupled with the skill to do it. What really differentiates him from the rest though, is his empathy and understanding. You don’t often find doctors who are good at combining the science with compassion. This was a surprising and greatly appreciated aspect of my care. I am 4 weeks post op now and I have to say the results are spectacular. I feel like the sisters have been reunited and I am whole again. If you have had reconstructive surgery and feel you need a little more finessing, take my advice and make it happen. You will be glad you did. I would highly recommend Dr. Shortt to my closest friends and family and to anyone looking for cosmetic improvements.

Thank you again,


Amazing plastic surgeon

Amazing plastic surgeon who was initially referred to me by another plastic surgeon. From my first consultation, Dr Shortt immediately knew what surgical procedures were the best option for my situation. No hesitation in diagnosis and recommended plan of action. I’m a breast cancer survivor and I thought a breast reconstruction was a lost cause for me due to my extension radiation treatments and consequential skin damage. Dr Shortt was very methodical and professional throughout the entire 18 month process. Before each surgery, I witnessed assertiveness and confidence with a sure hand mapping my body with his sharpie pen. He made me feel at ease with his good sense of humour and music.
My breast cancer journey is at long last over and I am quite happy with the final results. I feel rejuvenated and have gained my confidence back. I am so glad that I didn’t hesitate with my initial decision to go forward with the breast reconstruction. Thank you so much Dr. Shortt.

Nicest doctor ever

Dr. Shortt made my experience so wonderful and easy, he listened to all my concerns and was so helpful with everything. I had small implants put in to correct my tuberous breast and didn’t want too much of a visible change in size, he did exactly that and was so helpful throughout the whole process and made things very easy. I can’t thank I’m enough!

Amazing Experience with Dr. Shortt

I had an amazing experience with Dr. Shortt and his staff. I am so thankful to have had such a skilled surgeon and I am extremely happy with the results and I am glad I went through with the procedure/ chose Dr. Shortt as my surgeon. When I went for my pre-op check-up with my GP he asked who my surgeon was and when I told him it was Dr. Shortt he said that Dr. Shortt is a very good surgeon/ “one of the best.” The consultation process was excellent, I had more questions than the average patient. I asked specific questions about the procedure and the techniques that he uses for the surgery and he was more than happy to answer all my questions and let me know that I could come back for further consultations if I had more questions etc.

I highly recommend Dr. Shortt

I highly recommend Dr. Shortt. I recently had laser surgery on my face and am very pleased with the results. Dr. Shortt was patient, understanding and answered all my questions during our consultation. I later had some concerns about the surgery and Dr. Shortt listened to them and modified the procedure for me. I felt completely confident in his skill, expertise and professionalism and am very glad I went ahead with the surgery.

Feel and look better than ever before.