How long does it take breast implants to heal?

Breast implant surgery is a common and popular cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 30,230 people underwent this procedure in 2008. Patients who choose to get breast implants can expect to go through a healing process.

Healing time after breast implant surgery varies, depending on several factors.


Breast implants come in many sizes to accommodate all body types. During your consultation at your plastic surgeon's office, you may have the opportunity to "try on" implants under your clothes to get an idea of size and weight. Many offices may even let you bring a few sample implants home with you to get the opinions of your friends and family. The size you choose is ultimately a personal decision, but feel free to ask your surgeon what size he thinks would best fit your body type and lifestyle. Larger implants for your frame are often associated with more discomfort and may take longer to fully heal.


Your surgeon will place the implants in two possible areas of your body: subglandular or subpectoral. Subglanduar placement means that the implant "pocket" or space is created under your breast tissue, but above the chest wall muscle. Subpectoral placement means that the implant pocket is created underneath the breast tissue and the chest wall muscle.

Implant placement can have an effect on healing time. Patients who choose a subglandular placement may take less time to heal and experience less pain, since the surgeon does not cut into the chest wall muscle. Proper placement for your body and lifestyle is an important aspect of the surgery, so be sure to ask your surgeon to determine if subglandular or subpectoral is appropriate for you.

Surgeon's Instructions

Prior to your surgery, you should receive several detailed instructions from your doctor or a member of his staff. The instructions will outline your care before and after your breast implant procedure. Following your surgeon's instructions exactly is essential for speedy healing. Surgeons generally recommend resting for a few days with no driving and no lifting, pushing or pulling anything more than about 2.27kg.

After this crucial period, normal activities can be resumed slowly. Many people are generally advised to refrain from engaging in high impact activities that jostle the implants (such as running, skiing or aerobics) for six to eight weeks. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new activity. Generally, after eight weeks, the healing process is considered complete.

Healing and the Individual

Healing time after breast augmentation also depends on the individual. This is similar to the healing pattern for many ailments. For example, after catching a cold, some people rebound in a few days. A different person with the same cold may be sick for a few weeks. So, healing time after implant surgery can vary. Some women heal quickly and are back to normal activities within a few weeks. Some women experience more swelling, bruising, and discomfort and can take months to fully heal and recover.


The doctor and staff should be monitoring you closely the first few months after your surgery but it's also your responsibility to listen to your body and inform them of any concerns.

The decision to get breast implants is exciting for many people, so it's quite normal to feel anxious and tempted to return to normal activities sooner. Your doctor will warn you against pushing your body before you are fully healed, because rushing the process can delay healing and negatively affect your results. Relax, follow your surgeon's instructions, and soon enough you'll be able to enjoy your new assets.