Overview of The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Procedure – Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, enhances the size and shape of a woman’s breast. Breast augmentation specialist, Dr. Brown, uses various surgical techniques to place the implant in a position that will create a youthful contour to the existing breast tissue. Dr. Brown will spend time carefully planning the surgery in order to obtain the best result for you.
Breast Implants Surgery
Surgery and incisions – The surgery usually takes 1-2 hours to complete. If a breast lift is also performed an additional 60-90 minutes is required. Dr. Brown uses different types of implants and various incisions to insert the implants, depending on your desired results and anatomy. He will keep the incisions as minimal as possible, and the implants may be inserted through the armpit, the crease below the breast fold, or on the edge of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). The breast implants are placed in a pocket created either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle on the chest wall muscle. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and Dr. Brown will discuss with you which incision best fits your needs. Remember, if you are undergoing a combined breast lift-augmentation procedure, there will be additional scars related to the breast lift.
Most breast augmentations or breast implants are performed in an outpatient setting or in the office operating suite, under twilight or general anesthesia depending on your needs. He will discuss all options that are right for you during your consultation.
Before Breast Surgery
Initial consultation – In your initial conversation, breast augmentation surgeon, Dr. Brown, will begin by evaluating your health. Together, you will determine what size and type of implants are best for you. In general, the larger the implant, the more unnatural it will appear. You will then learn about the various surgical techniques and implants that are best suited for you, based on the quality of your breast tissue and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, he may also recommend a breast lift. Together you will decide which incisions and implants will give you the best result and also meet your expectations.
Preparing for surgery – Tell Dr. Brown about any medical problems you have, and any problems you may have had with surgery in the past. A history of bleeding problems, nausea with surgery and high blood pressure are important to disclose to your surgeon, because these are risk factors for post-surgical bleeding. You will be told which medications to stop and which to take before surgery. If you smoke, you will be asked to quit for a minimum of 4 weeks prior to surgery as well as 4 weeks after surgery. If you get sick or have any health issues in the days before surgery, please notify the office at once in case we have to postpone your operation.
Can I go home the day of the surgery? – Yes, breast augmentation can be done safely as an outpatient, and most patients will be able to go home the same day. Some patients may prefer to spend a night in the hospital if they have young children at home or live alone and do not have any help at home.
After Breast Surgery
What about swelling and bruising? – Swelling and bruising are normal signs of the healing process. Swelling peaks at about 48 hours, and then rapidly decreases. By the end of the first few weeks, 50% of the swelling is gone. During this early period, your breasts will appear larger than their final size due to the swelling. By 6-8 weeks, a majority of the swelling has diminished. By six months, almost all the swelling is gone. Any remaining swelling is almost not perceptible.
What restrictions are there? – Generally, you can shower in 1-2 days after breast surgery, but you should not submerge incisions in the bath, hot-tub, or swimming pool for 2-3 weeks. The first day after surgery is usually spent lying in bed or sitting in a chair. Most patients then begin walking around the house the day after surgery. You will wear your surgical or sports bra for at least 4-6 weeks. Vigorous activities should not be performed until 6 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. Also, you shouldn’t do any heavy lifting (over 10 pounds) during these 6 weeks. These are only general guidelines, and Dr. Brown will give you more specific instructions at your consultation.
When can I travel? – Traveling after breast surgery (air travel, long distance car trips, train rides, etc) should not be done before you have had your first postoperative visit. Typically, this occurs 5-7 days after breast surgery for suture removal. Patients who are at high risk for developing a blood clot should not travel until instructed by their surgeon. Short car trips under 60 minutes can be done before the first visit. A good rule of thumb is when you are off the stronger pain medication and can get up without assistance you are ready to go for a short drive. You should not drive the car yourself, until Dr. Brown gives you clearance for this.
What about mammograms? – Routine screening mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are 40 years of age and older. If you are under 40 but are receiving annual mammograms because you are at high risk for breast cancer you should also continue to have annual screenings. While there is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, they may change the way mammography is performed. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology center where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to obtain a reliable x-ray of the breast tissue. Scientific studies have not shown a higher risk of developing breast cancer or a lower survival rate from breast cancer in women who have breast implants.
What if I have a problem? – When should I call the office? We always welcome calls from patients. If you have any concerns at any time, please feel free to contact our office. If it is an emergency, the answering service is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
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