Recovery After Breast Implant Redo or Revision

First day instructions

  • Send Dr. Yates photos and any questions
  • Get up and walk
  • If you feel muscle tightness, “row” the arms
  • No lying on your stomach
  • Sleeping on your back is preferred
  • A small amount of incisional bleeding is normal.
  • Bruising and swelling are normal and may  last for days to weeks
  • You can take the bra and push down ace bandage (if used) off to shower.  Water directly over incision tape is fine.
  • The ace bandage (if used) should be above implants and below armpits.  Comfortably snug
  • No massage necessary
  • Get off the pain medications as soon as possible
  • Take antibiotics as prescribed
  • Take stool softeners if you are taking any narcotics
  • Take the single dose of Gabapentin if prescribed
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay active, minimal bed rest is better for a safe and quick recovery
  • Your next visit is at three weeks.   In-person or online.

Three-week instructions

  • Remove incision tape
  • Send Dr. Yates photos (front and scars) and any questions
  • Begin scar cream.  Biocorneum, Mederma or Biodermis cream.  Apply a very thin layer for approximately 2 months.
  • You no longer need your push down ace bandage (if used)
  • You may wear a bra of your choice but don’t buy too many until you are closer to the final size after the 6-week point
  • Side sleeping is typically OK but if there was significant implant repositioning we may ask you to wait until the 6 week mark
  • Continue to wear bras at night for support (for at least 6 weeks although for the cautious it is wise to wear bras to bed every night to protect your investment)
  • You are able to resume physical work and moderate exercise
  • Full exercise at 6 weeks
  • Caution with bodybuilding the pectorals.  Strong muscles can push submuscular implants to the sides.
  • The breast size may be still a little swollen but nearing the final size
  • Areas of numbness, shooting pains, and discomfort are common.   Let Dr. Yates know if they are significant
  • If you feel you have been treated with exceptional care, leave a review!
  • Schedule an online or in-person follow-up visit at 3 months.

Three-month instructions

  • You have no limitations.   Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions


  • You have no limitations.   Check-in with Dr. Yates with photos and any questions
  • Return to the office for postoperative photos
  • You will plan to replace your implants before 20 years!  Preferably in the 10-15 year range
  • Leave a kind review 🙂
  • If you are brave, send us a fun bikini photo to share on our “real patient gallery” on the website.  This can be anonymous or include your face, your choice. 🙂


General Recovery Tips

Minimizing Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling occurs with almost every surgical procedure. Usually, the swelling lasts for only a few days to weeks. There are steps that can be taken before and after surgery to help minimize bruising and swelling… Read More.


Scars are the necessary trade-off of many plastic surgeries.  The goal is a near-invisible, thin, skin-colored scar.  Scars are ideally minimized by early attention but there are options for treatment of problem scars as well… Read More.

Preparation for surgery

prepare your house for surgery

1-2 weeks before surgery you should have your childcare, work arrangements, and caretaker lined up.  Depending on the procedure you may have a few recovery items on hand.  Start with an organized, clean house and full pantry.  If you are making meals, simple prep. meals and disposable dinnerware.  

prepare your body for surgery

The weeks before surgery are a good time to maximize a healthy diet and stay on top of exercise.  Yoga and heart-healthy exercises are particularly valuable. For almost every procedure stopping smoking 6 weeks before surgery is valuable.  For some it is critical.  Avoid excessive alcohol and marijuana prior to surgery as well. 

Check your medications and supplements

Some medications such as aspirin, fish-oils and some supplements can contribute to bleeding and bruising after surgery.  If you would like to take SinnEcch for bruising you would want to do so before surgery.  The benefit is mild in Dr. Yates’s opinion but some patients swear by it.

Stay away from illness

Avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently and avoid contact will people who are ill.

Time off Work and exercise

Check the procedure list below for the time you should plan to take off of work or exercise.  With most procedures, office work and light exercise are OK between one to three weeks.  For most procedures, there are no restrictions after six weeks.      

Recovery Supplies

Dr Yates will give you most everything you need after surgery including a bra, scar cream, and dressings as indicated.  A few recommended additional supplies are

  • Bed that reclines, recliner, or extra bed pillows
  • Icy Hot back patch
  • Loose baggy clothes
  • Paper tape 1″
  • Ice packs
  • Stool Softener
  • Ginger Ale
  • Antacid such as Tums
  • Melatonin (not to be used with pain medications)
  • Benadryl
  • Cortisone cream
  • Neosporin
  • Probiotics or yogurt
  • Second stage Spanx or Flexees for appropriate procedures
  • Flexible straws for drinking
  • Water bottles/ Gatorade
  • Entertainment such as DVD or Netflix
  • Cell phone charger near bed and sofa

Breast Implant Redo or Revision Recovery Tips

How long will I be in bed after breast implant revision?
You should expect no significant bedrest after breast augmentation.   Get up and walk.
Tell me about pain management after breast implant revision?
We use rapid recovery methods for all patients.  For patients with simple implant removal and replacement surgery there may be essentially no pain at all.   For complex revision, there may be more pain.  The pain is moderate but usually controlled with arm motion, Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  If narcotics are necessary they are only for 1-2 days.
What do I do with the incisions after breast implant revision?
There will be surgical tape on the incision.  They can be left alone and will be removed at approximately three weeks.   They are not “holding” the incision together, which is accomplished by internal sutures.   The purpose of the tape is to protect the scar.   If the tape comes off early apply new tape or leave it alone.
Once the tape is removed you will apply scar cream 1-2 x a day to the incisions.   Biocorneum, Biodermis, and Mederma are good options.   Plan to use scar cream for 2 months. 
When can I shower or swim after breast implant revision?
You can shower directly over the incision tape and breasts immediately.  Any soaking should wait until the tape is removed at three weeks.
If drains were placed, when do they come out?
Drains are uncommonly used for breast revision surgery.   When used they typically are used for a week.  Drain instructions include:
  • strip the drains to keep them flowing at least every few hours
  • record the drain output accurately in ml or cc’s
  • you may shower over the drains but be careful with tugging on them
  • they are removed after approximately a week when the drainage is less than 30 cc in a 24 hour period.

How long will I need help with childcare after breast implant revision?
For toddlers or children that need a lot of care, you will want assistance for a week after surgery.
How long before I can return to the gym after breast implant revision?
You can return to light lifting with the arms and a good walk at one week.   You may return to moderate lifting with the arms (10-15 lbs) and heavier lower body lifting by three weeks and full exercise at six weeks.or toddlers or children that need a lot of care, you will want assistance for a week after surgery.
How long before I can return to work after breast implant revision?
Office and desk work can be resumed right away.  For most physical jobs you can return at 3 weeks.
When can I return to sexual activities after breast implant revision?
It is safe to resume sexual activity by two to three weeks after breast implant revision.  Caution with handling the breasts for closer to four weeks.
What can go wrong if I don’t follow these recommendations?
Overaggressive activity can cause problems with healing.   In the first week, we are worried about bleeding.   This could result in a hematoma and a second trip to the operating room. 
From weeks 1-6 we are more worried about the pectoral muscle and implant position.  Overactivity of the muscle could cause muscle injury or implant displacement. 

When will I expect to see my final results?
The breasts will look nice immediately after surgery.   They continue to soften and improve in feel and appearance over the next 2-3 months.
Do I need to massage my implants?
This is controversial.  Those plastic surgeons who recommend massage do so to prevent capsular contracture.  There is no evidence to support this claim and Dr. Yates no longer recommends it for routine cases but for some implant revision cases may specifically ask you to massage.
What kind of bra should I wear?
We will supply you with a sports bra that clasps in the front.  We recommend a bra that does not have padding or underwire for the first 6 weeks.  If you have had symmastia repair we may ask you to use a “thong bra”
Is pectoral muscle exercise OK?
If the implants are below the muscle, aggressive pectoral muscle exercises can result in implant displacement.  We are talking about extreme exercise, normal fitness is OK.
When will I buy new bras?
Wait until 6 weeks
When can I sleep on my stomach?
It is preferred that you avoid sleeping on your stomach as much as you can.   If you are a routine stomach sleeper it is most important to avoid it in the first 6 weeks.
When do implants drop and soften?
The softening phase of implants occurs from 4 weeks to 3 months for most patients.
Is it a problem if my implants are dropping at different rates?
It is not uncommon for one implant to drop quicker than the other.  Most commonly we find that the implant on the side of the dominant arm drops slower.   The muscle is generally stiffer and tighter on that side.

Get in Touch
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Dr. York Yates
2121 N 1700 W
Layton, UT 84041
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Phone: (801) 525-8741

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2121 N 1700 W, Layton, UT 84041 801.525.8741