Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure to change the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Whether it is reducing the size of breasts that are too large, reconstructing breasts after surgery, or enhancing the size of the breasts, breast augmentation provides women with the body contour they are looking for.
Considering a breast augmentation surgery? Here’s what you can expect.
Prior to the surgery:
You’ll have an initial consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is your chance to have all of your questions about breast augmentation surgery answered.
Your plastic surgeon will inform you of what directions you must follow prior to the breast augmentation surgery. You may need to avoid smoking, certain vitamins and drugs, and some food or drink. Also, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your overall health to make sure you are not at risk for any unnecessary complications during breast augmentation surgery, or during the recovery from the surgery.
Breast augmentation is the most common form of plastic surgery performed in the United States, but it’s still a surgical procedure, and must be performed by a professional in a medical environment.
On the day of the surgery:
You should arrive with a companion to help you after the procedure. Breast augmentation can be performed in an independent surgical facility, or in a hospital.
Most of the time, breast augmentation is performed while you’re under general anesthesia. This means that you won’t feel anything and you’ll be unconscious for the entire procedure. Some plastic surgeons prefer to perform breast augmentation procedures while the patient is under local anesthetic and sedative. In this case, you would be conscious, but won’t feel any discomfort.
During the surgery:
The surgeon will make an incision either next to the areola, in the inframammary crease, the transaxillary (armpit) crease, or in the navel for a TUBA (Trans Umbilical Breast Augmentation) procedure. You’ll work with the plastic surgeon to decide what incision is best for you prior to the breast augmentation surgery.
If the incision is made in the navel or in the transaxillary (armpit) crease, the plastic surgeon will need to use an endoscope to aid them in the placement of the breast implant. An endoscope is a small camera and light that is used to show the surgeon the area of operation.
Once the plastic surgeon has made the incision for the breast augmentation surgery, they will create a pocket behind the breast for the implant. Depending on where you and the surgeon have decided on placing the implant, the pocket will be created either in front, partially behind, or completely behind the chest wall muscle.
After the pocket has been created, the surgeon will place the breast implant. During breast augmentation, the implant can be selected so that it is either filled prior to the surgery, or so that it is filled once it has been placed.
If the implant must be filled, the plastic surgeon will fill it, otherwise, after the implant is placed, the breast augmentation is complete, and the surgeon will close the incision and place bandages around the area to aid the healing process.
After the surgery:
You’ll be able to return home to recover. After a few days of healing, the gauze will be removed from the area, but you’ll still wear a surgical bra as directed by the plastic surgeon. Stitches or sutures will be removed after a week or so, and any bruising or swelling should subside after a few weeks.
For a few weeks your breasts may be sore, but light activity and work can be resumed after just a couple days of rest. Your plastic surgeon will inform you of how long after breast augmentation surgery you should wait to resume some normal activities and exercise.
Scarring from breast augmentation surgery should lessen as the healing process continues, but good placement of the incision and the natural creases or folds of the body should conceal any scars.
The last word
The word “surgery” may fill your head with some doubts and fears. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Breast augmentation surgery is modern and scientifically-proven. One thing you need to remember, though, is that only a professional plastic surgeon with years of experience under his or her belt can help you achieve the healthy, youthful, vibrant, and natural results you’re looking for.