For women seeking fuller, shapelier breasts to achieve a more feminine figure, aesthetic breast enhancement can provide a tremendous benefit. Breast augmentation can correct asymmetries of the breasts and restore natural breast volume. Some patients with loose skin or sagging breasts – especially women who have had children – may opt for a breast lift, or mastopexy, performed concurrently with the breast augmentation procedure; whether or not you need to combine these procedures depends on the degree of skin laxity and the size of implants you select.

After an initial breast augmentation consultation, you will have the opportunity to ‘try on’ implants by placing various implant sizes in your bra and observing the aesthetic appearance of each. This is a highly accurate method for determining which implant size best suits your goals. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the implant size, type and location, including your personal goals, your body frame and mass, your existing breast tissue and the preferences and options you discuss with your plastic surgeon.

 

About the procedure:

Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia, and takes approximately one to two hours. It is an outpatient procedure, typically requiring no more than a 24-hour hospital stay. The location of the surgical incision can be placed under the breast, around the nipple/areola area or under the armpit (axilla). One of the latest techniques involves the liberal use of a local anesthetic in the implant pocket, which significantly reduces post-operative pain.

 

Post- operative instructions:

  • Occasionally, patients complain of nausea following the operation. This generally passes after 24 to 48 hours, and is minimized by consuming liquids frequently and avoiding taking pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • Once home, you may get up to use the bathroom or to take a light walk around the house. When taking pain medication, exercise caution in the home, particularly when performing tasks like climbing stairs.
  • The bandages and brassiere must stay in place for two days, after which you may remove them to shower. It is important to have someone assist you in the shower, in case you feel faint. Do not remove the tape over the incisions, although it can get wet. Avoid directing the water pressure toward your breasts, and gently pat dry when finished.
  • With the exception of showering, a brassiere or sports bra should be worn at all times, day and night, for six weeks after the procedure. Use a supportive sports bra without underwire; some have a zipper enclosure in the front, which can be helpful during the recovery period.
  • Rest and sleep on your back, not on your front or sides.
  • You will be able to resume driving after one to two weeks, though it should be avoided when taking pain medication, which causes drowsiness. Light exercise, such as walking or using a stationary bike, may be resumed after at least two weeks. Heavy exercise, heavy lifting and carrying a backpack are not permitted for at least six weeks after the procedure.

 

The healing process:

  • Following the procedure, your breasts will be swollen, bruised and sensitive, though discomfort is generally mild. Pain medication may be used as prescribed whenever experiencing discomfort. Swelling and bruising will take approximately two weeks to subside.
  • Numbness in the breast and nipple area is commonly experienced, and tends to improve over several weeks or months.
  • Occasionally, patients experience drainage from the incisions, which may last a few weeks. To protect your clothes, place a piece of gauze or a cotton sanitary napkin in your sports bra or brassiere.
  • The incisions may be raised, red or hard to the touch for several months.
  • Your breasts will appear very round and high on your chest, but will resume a more natural shape gradually over the following months.
  • The final results of the procedure can be judged three to six months after the operation, although the final healed results may not be apparent until one year after the procedure.

 

Follow-up appointments:

  • First follow-up: Within one week of the operation
  • Second follow-up: Three weeks after the operation
  • Subsequent appointments are typically scheduled for three months after the procedure.