Breast Augmentation Surgery
What is breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery is a common plastic surgery procedure. It is done to change the way a woman’s breasts look.
This surgery increases the size or the fullness of the breasts using breast implants that are filled with silicone or saline.
Why might I need breast augmentation surgery?
You may choose to have breast augmentation if you are unhappy with how one or both of your breasts look. Some reasons why women choose to have this surgery include:
- Their breasts have lost their size or fullness after childbirth
- Weight loss has changed the size and fullness of their breasts
- One breast is noticeably smaller than the other
How do I get ready for breast augmentation surgery?
Before surgery, you and Halifax Health’s plastic surgeon will discuss several items. One of the first will be your breast implant options. As mentioned, you will have the choice between saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are filled with salt water. Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel. Talk with the surgeon about which type is best for you.
These are additional items you should ensure you discuss with your surgeon:
- Discuss if you are sensitive to or allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthesia medicines (local and general).
- Tell your surgeon if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- Tell them if you have a history of bleeding disorders. Let him or her know if you are taking any blood-thinning medicines (anticoagulants), aspirin, ibuprofen, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. You may need to stop taking these medicines before the procedure.
- Tell them about all the medicines you take. This includes both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. It also includes vitamins, herbs, and other supplements.
Before the procedure, your surgeon may want to take pictures of your breasts for comparison after surgery. You may also be asked to get a baseline mammogram. This can be compared with future mammograms done after your surgery.
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery.
You will be asked to not eat or drink anything (to fast) for a certain period of time before surgery. This often means no food or drink after midnight.
What happens during breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery occurs at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach as an outpatient procedure, meaning many women can go home on the day of surgery. It can be done using medicines to put you into a deep sleep (under general anesthesia), or it may be done by numbing the area (using local anesthesia) and giving you medicine by IV (intravenously) to make you sleepy (IV sedation).
Generally, breast augmentation surgery follows this process:
- You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that might get in the way during the procedure.
- You will be asked to remove your clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
- You will be placed on your back on the operating table.
- An intravenous (IV) line will be started in your arm or hand.
- You will then be put under general or local anesthesia – depending on the extent of your surgery (this is something you can discuss with the surgeon).
- The skin over the surgical site will be cleaned with a sterile (antiseptic) solution.
- One or more cuts (incisions) will be made. The incisions will be made in areas that will not be easily seen after surgery. This may be under your breast, under your arm, or around your nipple.
- The implant will be inserted through the incision. It may be slid under your pectoral chest muscle. Or it may be placed directly under your breast tissue. Your surgeon will decide where to create the pocket for the implant based on your body and what you would prefer.
- The incision will be closed using stitches, skin adhesive, or surgical tape.
- In some cases a drainage tube may be placed in the surgical area to keep fluid from collecting there while you are healing.
What happens after breast augmentation surgery?
You will be taken from the operating room to a recovery area. You will be watched until you have recovered from the anesthesia. You may have a bulky dressing over your breasts or you may be wearing a surgical bra.
Once you are alert and can take fluids well by mouth, your IV will be removed. It is important to get up and start walking as soon as possible. This can help keep blood clots from forming in your legs.
Once you get home, it’s important to follow all your surgeon’s instructions and keep all your follow-up appointments.
You should be able to go back to a normal diet as tolerated. Follow your surgeon’s instructions for taking any pain medicines or medicines that fight infections (antibiotics).
Your breasts may be bruised and swollen. They may not look like you thought they would. This will go away as you heal, and should be gone in about a month. The incision lines will also fade over time.
Your home care instructions may include:
- You may have to take sponge baths for a few days. Your surgeon may let you take a shower after about five days. Ask your surgeon when you can safely have a tub bath.
- During the first few days after surgery, you can expect to feel sore. This is especially true if the implants were placed under your chest muscles.
- Don’t lift, pull, or push anything until your surgeon says it’s safe.
- If the drain is left in, you’ll be told how to take care of it at home.
- Dressings and drains may be removed by your surgeon within a few days. You may be given a special support bra to wear after the dressings are removed. Stitches or adhesive tapes may be removed in about a week.
You will slowly be able to go back to your normal activities in a few days. You may need to wait a few weeks before returning to physical activities. Ask your surgeon when it is safe to return to work or go back to specific activities.