Aftercare is a really important part of your recovery following a breast augmentation. Your plastic surgeon (and/or their clinical team) will see you a number of times after your breast surgery to check you are healing well and that your implants are settling in. But, when are these follow-ups and what do they involve?
There isn't actually a minimum schedule of follow-ups after a breast augmentation.
Guess what? Every plastic surgeon is different in how many times they follow-up patients after breast implant surgery!
But don't take my word for it, as Dr Jeremy Pyle explains "Like many things in plastic surgery, there is no right answer".
That's because it depends on your plastic surgeon, your surgery and your recovery.
First Post-Op Follow-Up
Your surgeon should check in with you after you've come out of surgery and before you're discharged.
After that, your first follow-up may be the day after breast surgery but generally within the first week after your procedure. Some surgeons will even do both!
Seeing your surgeon the day after your procedure is obviously a no-brainer if you have an overnight stay but may be a bit of stretch if you've gone home the day of your surgery.
You may just want to rest and recuperate... not get back in a car for a short visit to see your surgeon!
A follow-up the week after your breast surgery is more important because your plastic surgeon will want to:
- Remove (and possibly replace) any dressings
- Check your wounds
- Remove stitches (unless you have the dissolvable kind - but sometimes even they need a helping hand!)
Be sure to use this post-op to ask any questions you have about your recovery so far and to remind yourself of any post-op instructions you need to follow.
6 Weeks Post-Op
Most plastic surgeons seem to offer the next follow-up at 6 weeks post-op. This appointment is important because your surgeon will check that you are progressing well and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
This post-op follow-up can be quite a magical touch-base with your surgeon!
You'll be feeling back to normal and your breasts will have done some settling and be starting to take shape AND this is the time most women are cleared to wear underwire bras and resume exercise.
Also, be prepared! Most surgeons like to take the first 'after' pictures at this appointment so wear something so your bottom half is covered.
After my first surgery I attended the 6-week follow-up in a dress and had to stand their in just tights for my after photo as the dress wouldn't roll down to my waist! 🙈
Before you have your breast surgery your surgeon should give you a rough idea of when you'll be having follow-up appointments. Every plastic surgeon is different, and there is no 'standard' follow-up schedule following a breast augmentation, but there will definitely be a number of follow-up appointments.
After the first couple of follow-ups surgeons seem to offer follow-ups at 3-6 months post-op, 1 year post-op and some even like to see their patients annually after that.
Some of us travel for surgery and if this is the case your follow-up appointments may not always be 'with' your surgeon... a follow-up might be by Skype call for example (or you emailing photos/questions to your plastic surgeon for feedback).
Virtual follow-ups are okay, but any early follow-up appointments are best face-to-face with your surgeon so they can check your breasts are healing and settling.
Your Follow-up Checklist
Follow-up appointments with your surgeon are very important. These visits allow your surgeon to make sure that you are healing and settling and that you're happy with your new breasts.
Before you sign on the dotted line check with your plastic surgeon:
- What their follow-up schedule is (and what to expect at each appointment)
- What's included in your surgical costs - postoperative care should be included in the costs that you're quoted
But MOST importantly:
- How you can contact them if you have concerns (short and long-term), and
- How you can see them outside of any follow-up schedule they have
More importantly than any 'routine' follow-ups after your breast surgery is...
...access to care when needed.
Your surgeon should see you as often as needed to help guide and counsel you during your recovery. It's really important that you can contact your plastic surgeon (or their clinical team) if you have any concerns and know that you'll be seen and supported if you need their care.
Your relationship with your surgeon shouldn't end the day of surgery!
Follow-up appointments are a big time commitment in your boobie journey. They are an important part of your recovery but also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have (which you most likely will!).
When picking your surgeon, check their follow-up schedule and make sure all your post-op care is included in the cost of your breast augmentation.
Getting breast implants is a big decision... and a long term one so, ultimately, make decisions you're comfortable with :)