The actual term "Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation" was originally coined by Dr. John Tebbetts of Dallas in 2002 and referred to a specific technique designed to limit bleeding intraoperatively but is mostly a marketing term.
Recovery after breast augmentation is limited by the body's ability to heal. As such, recovery can only be so "rapid", and what is being touted today is most likely a bit of a gimmick. That said, recovery time can indeed be minimized. An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who uses meticulous operative technique, and who liberally uses long-acting local anesthetic (such as Exparel) in the O.R., will give you a nearly painless post-op experience. Most of my breast augmentation patients take very few (if any) narcotic pain pills, return to gentle work in a few days after surgery, and can ease back into the gym at around 2 weeks, and return to unlimited activities at 6 weeks. Unlimited activity is allowed at 6 weeks. Wearing a supportive bra post-op and taking it easy on activities that involve heavy use of the arms, chest, or shoulders is also imperative. Complete subsiding of post-op swelling and final settling of the tissues surrounding the implants can take several weeks. most of my patients are back at work within a few days after surgery.
Many of my patients' workplaces involve knowledge-based work at a desk. In this case, a patient can undergo surgery on Friday and be back to work by Monday or Tuesday. Generally, I advice that if the patient is no longer taking narcotic pain medication, they can return to non-strenuous work.