Breast augmentation is an operation so naturally there is some post-operative pain. Patients experience pain differently after any operation because of personal differences. Nevertheless, there is a fairly predictable range of discomfort after the procedure.
Post-operative pain is greatly influenced by whether the implants are placed above or below the pectoralis muscle. Implantation above (subglandular) is much less painful since the pectoralis muscle is undisturbed. Women describe subglandular pain as an uncomfortable “fullness” or, for those that have experienced both, “feels like I need to breastfeed”.
In a submuscular placement, the pectoralis is not cut but it is stretched and partially released. Patients experience this pain as a very uncomfortable tightness similar to a pulled muscle. If the muscle is not being used, the discomfort is quite tolerable.
Regardless of position of placement, the recovery is fairly quick. Most patients are going about basic daily activities (not athletic) in a few days. Almost all patients drive themselves to the office for suture removal in 5-7 days.
Athletic activity is permitted as soon as the patient wishes provided it does not disturb the healing breasts. Full athletic activity may be resumed in 4 weeks. That is, a long walk can be taken the next day if the woman is up for it, but jogging is out for 4 weeks.