My Breast Augmentation Journey
A personal documentation of my journey from pre to post-surgery, and everything in between.
I have wanted breast implants for a very long time; I finally decided to get them done when I met Dr. Murray at Absolute Cosmetic Medicine. I had multiple consultations with him, the first was to discuss size and shape, the second was to watch a DVD about all the information regarding expectations, limitations, and risks associated with breast augmentation surgery.
It’s important to read your consent forms and go through all the information provided before your consultations and surgery date that way you can discuss any questions with your surgeon. There are limitations and possible risks associated with breast augmentation surgery that your surgeon will discuss with you. For example, not being able to sleep on your side/stomach for a long time, not being able to lift your arms above your head, limitations to working out, needing to have two weeks full rest, and to cease smoking to those who smoke. There are also surgery-related risks that I have provided in more detail below.
In most cases, Breast Augmentation recovery lasts for about 6-8 weeks, below is my recovery timeline.
I was admitted by the lovely staff at Absolute Cosmetic Medicine. Dr. Murray and the anaesthetist saw me before I went in. Most breast augmentation surgery involves a general anesthetic, so you will be asleep the whole time during the procedure. Once surgery had been done, I was transferred to recovery where I was slowly woken up, to my surprise I wasn’t in any pain at all. The post-operative nurses dressed my wounds and put on my compression garment, this needs to be worn for at least 6 weeks full time and is encouraged to be worn at nights for up to 6 months. (I know that might sound like a long time but it actually made a huge difference in comfort wearing it at night) You need to have a carer look after you for the first 24 hours, but let’s be honest it’s more like 2 weeks as you can not lift your arms above your elbows for a minimum of 2 weeks. When discharged I spent most of the day in bed resting/sleeping. The best thing that I found helped with pain and swelling were ICE PACKS (or packs of peas). I constantly had ice packs sitting on the top and sides of my breasts for a whole 2 weeks. I took my prescribed analgesia and antibiotics when needed/directed. Dr. Murray also called my partner that night to check in and see how I was going.
I wasn’t in pain but I could feel more pressure on my cheat, it wasn’t uncomfortable though. The biggest thing to remember during recovery is to not use your arms or chest muscles, you will probably feel better than expected and think you can move around the bed using your arms but trust me you will feel it and it’s a BIG reminder to not use them. I had my first post-operative appointment with Dr. Murray and the nurses; this is where you get the first glimpse of your new boobs (so exciting) as they take the compression garment off. It’s important to remember when you see them for the first time they won’t necessarily look like how you imagined them to. They will be VERY swollen, sitting very high, can look slightly asymmetrical, shiny, firm to touch, and will have large bandages that may or may not have dry blood along the scar line. But trust me, all of this is normal and every day they will change and mold to your body and look more natural. Dr. Murray came in and assessed how I was feeling, looked at my breasts; this is where he may request extra padding or straps to be used to ensure they are sitting in the correct position. Although I didn’t need any padding or strapping, it was requested that I open my compression garment halfway as it was pushing my implants to close to the midline of the chest, if not corrected early, the compression garment can push your implants to close together and can begin to touch giving you no cleavage at all, making it look like a uni-boob and we don’t want that.
The nurses changed my dressings and encouraged me to continue with the prescribed pain relief and antibiotics.
I slept on and off for most of the day, swapping out new ice packs every hour or so. I was able to eat and drink normally. I did however wake up at 3 am the following morning with bad nausea.
I started to feel a lot more pain today, probably because I had been more active and moving around more. I had another appointment with Dr. Murray and the nurses, they did their normal assessments, everything was on track. They advised you to stop taking the strong pain killers and to just take Panadeine Forte, they advised starting drinking Movicol to help encourage bowel movements, because if this doesn’t happen for 5 days you will need an enema.
I continued to rest with my ice packs for the remainder of the day.
Each day was getting easier, I had my pain under control and the swelling was starting to slowly subside.
By day 7 I was experiencing nerve pain to the sides of my breasts and nipples, Ill be honest it was quite painful, I did need to call Dr. Murray to ask for advice on how to help ease the pain as normal pain relief wasn’t working. He advised numbing cream and provided me a script to ease the sensation. I experienced nerve pain for about a week. This is also normal and to be expected from breast augmentation surgery as your nerves have undergone a lot of stress.
Handy Hint: If you don’t have a partner or family member to help wash your hair, the best way I found to do this without lifting your arms above your head is to flip your hair upside down with your body at 90 degrees. You will get lots of water in your face but it does the job.
Two Weeks After Surgery
During this time you will still experience some minimal pain and have swelling, but it will continue to get better as the days go on.
Intimacy can be quite difficult, you will feel confident and sexy with your new boobs, but when it comes down to it, let’s say not a lot of work gets done on your end. By the 6-week mark, you will feel more confident in this area as your healing has improved and your pain and swelling will be minimal.
If you have a physically demanding job, Dr. Murray may require you to take more time off work, otherwise, it is a minimum of two weeks recovery, and trust me you need it. Most people think breast augmentation surgery is easy and not demanding on your body, but it is, it’s essential to rest and let your body recover to minimize the risk of post-surgical complications.
At this point, you will also need to avoid any heavy lifting and intense physical activity like running, until cleared with Dr. Murray.
Possible Complications with Breast Augmentation Surgery and Recovery
As with all types of surgery, breast augmentation poses potential complications.
General surgical complications can include scarring, wound infections, and bleeding issues.
Anesthesia can also trigger an allergic reaction but this is generally rare.
Complications specific to Breast Augmentation surgery include:
- Scarring, that can change breast shape
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Breast pain
- Breast numbness
- Changes and sensation in nipples
- Breasts may become saggy and require a breast lift at an additional cost
- Reaction to medications
- Bleeding and infection
- Swelling and bruising may take several weeks to disappear
- The implant is seen or felt through the skin
- Scar formation around the implant (capsular contracture)
- Early or late-onset pain that needs further investigation
- Adjacent structure damage to nerves, vessels, or lungs.
- To heal some of these complications you may need further surgery to replace or remove the implants.
Tips to a healthy recovery
- Successful augmentation surgery depends on how well you heal. To increase your chances of a smooth recovery you should:
- Read all documentation provided by your surgeon thoroughly
- Wear your compression garment
- Take care of your incision sites and follow post-operative instructions provided by your nurses.
- Take your prescribed medication
- Prepare your home before surgery
- Wear loose clothing – Dr. Murray recommends shirts with buttons for the first 2 weeks so you’re not lifting your arms above your head
- Avoid any physical activity
- Eat nutritious foods
Remember, Dr. Murray and his staff are always there to support you!
3-Months After the Procedure
I am currently now three months post breast augmentation surgery and all I can say is that I am EXTREMELY HAPPY with my results. I have found a whole new confidence that I didn’t know was missing. They look so natural and fit my body perfectly. They have dropped and softened making them feel more like natural breasts. Dr. Murray and his staff were absolutely amazing; I cannot recommend them more highly.
Thank you ACM!