With all of the information that is readily and freely available online about breast augmentation, many patients may walk into their breast augmentation consultation thinking that they know what they can expect from the surgery. However, regardless of what you may have read online, every surgeon has his or her own techniques and there are some key points that are often missed by those who don’t know where they should be starting their research into the procedure.
What do you need to know prior to your consultation?
There are several important things to know about meeting with your plastic surgeon and about what should be expected after the surgery itself.
- Your surgeon will be there to answer any and all of your questions that you might have.
- Having reference photos with you can be helpful to have on hand during your consultation, but you’ll find that your surgeon will have plenty of their own photos to use as examples of the type of results that they can offer.
- It’s important not to insist on getting the same size and shape, as well as implant type, as someone you know. According to plastic surgeon Dr. Justin Perron, this is because every woman and every body is different. Your surgeon will be able to examine you and make recommendations for the right solution for you.
- The breast augmentation procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia.
- You will need to be out from work for a minimum of a week, be sure that this is the right time for you to take time off from work.
- You won’t be able to do any type of heavy lifting for up to 4 weeks after your surgery. If you have small children, you may need to have someone help you with them for at least a week after your procedure.
Your surgery date is booked! Now what?
Your surgeon’s clinic is likely to provide you with a big packet of detailed information about everything that you need to know going into your surgery. You may need to have some preoperative bloodwork done, and you may also be given your post-surgical medication prescriptions ahead of the surgery.
You will need to arrange for someone to help you after your surgery. Your caregiver will need to drive you home form the surgery and also help you with your basic needs once you get home. You should be able to care for yourself just fine after the first night, but it can be very helpful to have a family member or friend stick around for a few days after to help with meals and personal care concerns.
Surgery day arrives
It’s completely normal to feel a combination of nerves and excitement on the day of your surgery. You should ensure that you are wearing comfortable and loose clothes, with a button-up or zippered shirt. You should remove polish from your nails, be free from makeup and leave your jewelry at home.
Once you’ve been checked in, your surgeon will confirm the size you are increasing your breasts to and also likely mark on your chest with markers in order to best determine where to place your incisions.
Your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and you’ll simply drift off once it has been administered. You’ll wake up feeling a bit groggy but overall feeling good. You should not feel any pain when you wake up but you may feel an unusual pressure and tightness across your chest.
Once you’ve recovered from the anesthesia, you’ll be cleared to be driven home by a family member or friend. Be sure to have your prescription medications ready and waiting for you at home, so that you can simply relax and recover once you get home. Rest as much as you can, while still getting up to move when you need to. Make sure that you drink plenty of water and eat what you feel up to eating. Most patients prefer to keep it light with a simple soup or broth on the first day. Sometimes stomachs can be sensitive after the anesthesia.
The first day after surgery
You will likely feel tightness, tenderness and discomfort from swelling. Your surgeon may want to see you in the office the morning after your surgery, so you’ll need to have someone drive you to your appointment. You may feel more swelling as the day goes on, but you’ll also have the opportunity to discuss pain levels and ask any additional questions of your surgeon. Once you get home, you should head straight for the recliner and the remote.
Postop days 1-6
Now is the time for you to rest, rest and rest some more. You are likely to be sore and feel some discomfort. You will need to be up and walking around for a few minutes when you are awake, so that you can avoid the potential risk for blood clots. Outside of that, you’ll need to avoid working, cleaning or doing anything else other than allowing your body to rest and heal.
You’ll feel just some discomfort and not much pain, which may lead you to think that you can manage an almost immediate return to your busy and active lifestyle.
In truth, you’ll want to give your body plenty of time to adjust and heal.
Postop weeks 1-4
You will be provided with detailed information about how to care for your incisions and keep them clean. You’ll also be given instructions on about how to perform the breast massages that will help with the healing process. If you have any concerns during the recovery phase you should be sure to reach out to your surgeon’s office.
During these weeks, your breasts may be tender and swollen. They may feel very tight and firm to the touch. They will gradually lower and soften during the weeks and months ahead. During the first week you will be encouraged to rest and allow your body to heal. After that, you’ll be freed to do a bit more light exercise, like slow walking. You should avoid high impact workouts and avoid lifting heavy objects until at least the end of the 4-week mark.
4-weeks and beyond
At the 4-week postoperative mark you may very likely be cleared to resume a workout routine. Be sure to pay attention to what your body is telling though. If a particular movement or type or exercise doesn’t feel comfortable, it might be best to take it easy for a bit longer. You are likely to be feeling almost completely recovered from the surgery and much of your swelling should have subsided. Now is the time to enjoy the results and feel good about your new silhouette.
You will most likely meet up with your surgeon at 1 month after surgery, 4 months, 6 months and finally at the 12-month mark.
Most women who undergo the breast augmentation procedure have nothing but positive words to say about the experience. They most often report that the surgery and recovery was much easier than expected, and many often wish that they’d had the procedure done sooner.