Your A to Z Guide to Breast Augmentation
It was a little over 60 years ago that the first breast enlargement procedure using silicone implants was performed, forever changing the plastic surgery world. The procedure has come a long way since then. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, patients have a myriad of options when it comes to shape, feel, and size. Placement and incision techniques have also evolved, and so have implant longevity and safety. In short, if you’re considering breast augmentation today, there’s a lot to think about – and a few important decisions to make.
But first, some background. What does a “boob job” really entail? How does the process work, and what are the steps involved in the procedure? Who’s the right candidate? If you’re a new patient looking to increase your breast size, consider this blog post your go-to guide and resource. Here, AW Plastic Surgery experts share everything you need to know about breast augmentation – from that first consultation to recovery and downtime.
In order for you to make a fully informed decision, a consultation with your surgeon is the first step in your breast augmentation journey. Your surgeon will ask you about your goals, expectations, and desired outcome. Expect to receive a bit of an education about breast implants and how the procedure works, along with necessary information about risks and complications. Most patients are surprised to learn that breast implants don’t last forever; they typically last up to 10 years before needing replacement or removal. (If you didn’t know, now you know!)
This is a great opportunity to ask your most burning questions. To make sure you don’t forget anything in the moment, come prepared with a list of pre-written questions. Your surgeon is there to help understand every part of your procedure – and just as importantly, ensure you make the right choices along the way. This means evaluating your health, pre-existing conditions, and risk factors. During your initial consultation with AW Plastic Surgery, your surgeon will also discuss placement (based on your physique and build) and your sizing options.
Decided to move forward with your procedure? There are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure you’re fully prepared. For at least a week before your surgery, steer clear of alcoholic beverages. Ditto for any supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen that can negatively interfere with the anesthesia or increase your risk of bleeding. Your surgeon may recommend starting a Tylenol regimen a week prior to your surgery date to help with post-op pain management.
If you haven’t already, ask your partner, friend or family member to drive you home and potentially stay with you for 24 hours following your surgery. Schedule time off work, and make any necessary arrangements when it comes to your routine household chores or childcare. Other pre-surgery best practices to keep in mind: keeping up with healthy habits, sticking with good hygiene, and maintaining a well-balanced diet.
Most patients receive general anesthesia during a breast augmentation, meaning you’ll be asleep as your surgeon performs the procedure. Depending on the patient’s needs and the surgeon’s techniques, breast augmentation can be performed several different ways. At AW Plastic Surgery, Dr. Wilson utilizes the smallest incision to create a pocket for the implant to be placed either above or below the pectoral muscle. To make sure the incision is as invisible as can be, it’s usually made along the inframammary fold – right where the lower breast and chest meet.
Next, it’s time to transfer the implant. Dr. Wilson employs a no-touch technique, meaning the implant never touches your skin. This reduces the risk of contamination and capsular contracture (your skin’s surface is where most bacteria live!). The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes, unless you’ve opted for a combination procedure, like a breast lift with implants.
After waking up from the state of being anesthetized, expect a little bit of grogginess. You might experience bouts of nausea and a slight sore throat from where your breathing tube used to be. These are all normal reactions to general anesthesia. The first few days post-surgery are typically the most challenging. You might experience some swelling, soreness, and discomfort in the chest area. But don’t worry – your surgeon will prescribe medication to keep your pain at bay.
Following your surgery, you’ll also need to trade in your regular bra for a special compression garment. A compression bra works to stabilize and protect your breasts; it also helps reduce swelling and ramp up your healing process. Some patients may have to wear a bandeau across the top of the breasts to encourage implants to drop into place quicker. During your healing process, your surgeon will recommend limiting your range of motion with your arms – or what’s called “T-Rex arms.”
If you follow post-operative instructions – that is, refraining from physical activity, getting some much-needed R&R, performing specifically prescribed massages, and taking over-the-counter painkillers – you should feel significantly better within a week. That’s when the first check-in with your surgeon is typically scheduled. During this follow-up appointment, your surgeon will examine you and see how you’re healing. You will also be given advice about getting back to your normal activities.
Your next appointment will be scheduled a month out, followed by another in three-months’ time. It’s important to attend these check-ins so your surgeon can keep tabs on your progress and ensure proper healing. During these sessions, your surgeon will also let you know when it’s safe for you to get back to your workout routine as you ease back into your normal life!
Considering breast augmentation, revision, or removal of existing implants? Let us guide you through your options at AW Plastic Surgery. Reach out to us here for a consultation, and learn more about breast augmentation and what to expect afterwards. We’re here to help you on your journey to a happier, more confident life!