I was looking back through my Twitter account this morning, and I realized that I'm always being asked how much it hurts to get breast implants — and I've never done a good job of answering that question here on the site. Let's change that!
So... does it hurt to get breast implants?
Wondering how much pain is associated with getting a breast augmentation is a totally legit concern. It's something I wondered about myself, and this is one of those questions that most plastic surgeons can't answer from experience.
For me, the pain was different in different blocks of time, so that's how I'm going to tackle it. I'm going to write a much more detailed post on each of these timeframes in the future, but I thought you'd like to have a quick flyover first.
The First Hour After Getting Breast Implants
I had quite a bit of pain after waking up from my procedure. It was an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, but thankfully I was given some pain medicine that quickly reduced everything to a dull ache.
I was also extremely nauseous.
This is very normal for me after having anesthesia, but it's never a fun process. I've heard from a lot of women who have breast implants that they shared in my experience of feeling pukey. Thankfully, I didn't throw up in the surgeons office or on the car ride back to the hotel. (I traveled for my augmentation.)
But as soon as husband rolled me into the hotel room, I threw up right into my lap. Classy. I took my 2nd of 3 doses of Arnica Montana as soon as I got into the bed, and I'm convinced it helped keep my pain and bruising at bay.
Three Hours After Getting Breast Implants
Once the pain medication started wearing off, that's when I started getting a little uncomfortable. It's a hard to explain, but the pain started with more of a pressure than it did a sharp ache. I wasn't having trouble breathing, but it felt like someone was sitting on my chest—if that makes sense.
Still, any sudden movements caused a kind of burning pain, and it took me about 15 minutes to get to the bathroom and back.
Speaking of the bathroom...
All the little things that you are used to doing that require bending over or even remotely using your chest muscles are off the table. I couldn't even pull my underwear down (or up) to go to the bathroom. My husband had to help me do that. It's quite the humbling experience.
12 Hours After Getting Breast Implants
I slept a lot during the day of my procedure. I was using a 45° wedge to sleep on, because the further back I laid the more uncomfortable I got. Even still, I wasn't able to raise up or lay back without getting help. All of my meals were being brought to me, and the only reason I was getting up was to go to the bathroom.
Surprisingly, the pain wasn't ever unbearable.
The first day was definitely the worst, but I had expected it to be much worse than it actually was.
36 Hours After Getting Breast Implants
After the first night, things started improving very quickly. I was able to enjoyably watch movies to pass the time, but I wasn't able to hold a book up to read it. My chest muscles were still way too sore, even the weight of a book was too much.
Most of my meals were still liquid at this point, which was intentional on my part. I very much believe in the healing power of fresh juices and meal replacements that have live probiotics in them like Raw Meal by Garden of Life. Those shakes got me through the first couple of days for sure.
3 Days After Getting Breast Implants
The next major improvement was seen 3 days after my procedure. Like I said, I had traveled to get my augmentation, and I had noticed a Steak and Shake next door to our hotel.
After three days of a nearly all-liquid diet, I was ready for a hamburger!
My husband felt like it was too soon for me to be out and about, but those steak fries were calling my name. I still wasn't able to raise my arms above my head, so I just zipped up the hoodie I was wearing. We drove across the parking lot and I had my first cheat meal with my new additions :-)
The trip did wear me out, and I was ready to lay back down again when we got back to the room.
One Week After Getting Breast Implants
After only a week of having my new girls, I was heading back at work. I couldn't believe that was something I was able to do. I got out of bed on my own (still on the 45° pillow), fed myself, and quite nearly dressed myself!
The best part was pulling my underwear up by myself.
There were definitely a couple of times that I bumped my boobs into something at work and it didn't feel great... I had to relearn my whole depth perception! But at this point, I was 80% back to normal.
10 Days After Getting Breast Implants
I'm including this milestone, because it was the first time I had sex after getting breast implants. Was it super passionate, backscratching sex? No way. There wasn't any boob grabbing or bouncing up and down, either. I needed it to be slow and careful, but it was sweet nevertheless :-)
4 Weeks After Getting Breast Implants
Within four weeks, I was 90% back to normal. Almost all the pain was gone with the exception of a periodic shooting pain, which is normal as your body continues to repair itself. Sex still wasn't rough or haphazard, but it was becoming a lot more comfortable for me.
Then there was sleeping...
I was sleeping without the 45° pillow by this point, but sleeping on my stomach was still not possible without some pain. This was probably the worst part about the whole getting-breast-implants thing. I've always slept on my stomach and sleeping on my back was horrible. I hated it.
3 Months After Getting Breast Implants
By this point, life was almost completely back to normal. It would take another 3 months for me to be training as hard as I like to in the gym, but everything else was just right.
Sex was fantastic.
It didn't hurt when my husband would be rough with me, and I didn't lose any feeling in my nipples either. Our sex life has definitely seen a huge boost in fulfillment since I got implants, but I'll save all the details for a future post!
Thankfully, I also was comfortably sleeping on my stomach. It definitely took some getting used to, having the implants between me and the bed that is, but I don't even feel them or think about it these days.
I hope this helps you get a better idea about what kind of pain is associated with getting a breast augmentation. Obviously it isn't a pain-free procedure, but it was honestly much better than I thought it was going to be. Definitely worth it in my opinion, and I'm not put off from going bigger one day, either :-)