More than 300,000 women in the U.S. have breast augmentation every year. Three times as many are thinking about it. Being armed with information about this procedure can help the majority of women make a decision.
No matter what the reasons for breast augmentation are, it’s a full-time surgery. Each woman should realize this before agreeing to go through with it. We asked a highly respected Seattle breast augmentation surgeon, Tony Mangubat, to tell us more about the breast augmentation procedure and recovery nuances.
Breast Augmentation Procedure: What To Expect
Before going into surgery, every woman needs to have an extensive consultation with a surgeon in order to determine the size and the type of the implant as well as the incision pattern. This is the time to ask all the necessary questions. In order to improve the results and avoid risks, the surgeon should have access to the full patient history.
Below is the list of steps you’ll go through upon arrival to the medical facility.
- Changing into a hospital gown
- Surgeon marking the places of the incision
- Scrubbing with antibacterial agents to prevent infection
- Hooking up to different monitors for the medical team to observe vital signs
- Putting on the inflatable compression sleeves in order to prevent DVT and blood clot formations in the leg veins.
- Inserting the IV line into the elbow or possibly another place with good vein access.
- Making the incision and creating a pocket for a breast implant
- Inserting the breast implant
- Checking for symmetry (the surgeon will prop you up to see how the breasts look when you are in the upright position)
- Closing the incisions
- Applying dressing to the wound
- Moving to the recovery room
Breast Augmentation Recovery: Important Information
In most cases, breast augmentation recovery goes smoothly. However, you must give yourself an opportunity to rest after the surgery. Make sure you have someone at your side at least 24 hours after the surgery.
- You may experience pain for four days after the surgery. It’s normal. The doctor will prescribe pain relievers.
- You have to sleep on your back for 1.5 months. Sleeping on the stomach and sides may cause pain and slow down the healing.
- Don’t perform any vigorous exercises for at least 6 weeks after the surgery. Three weeks after the augmentation, you can start with gentle lower body activities, such as walking on a treadmill.
- Pulling your breasts up and lifting your arms should be out of the question for the first 10 days before the stitches come out.
- You can start taking full body showers after the stitches are gone. You can also return to work.
- Don’t wear an underwire bra for 3 months after the surgery. That’s the time it takes for the implants to settle.
- You can start sleeping on your stomach 6 months after the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does the surgery last?
A: It can take up to four hours.
Q: What is IV line for during the surgery?
A: It is used to keep a patient hydrated and for administering anesthesia and other medication when necessary.
Q: What type of anesthesia is used for breast augmentation surgery?
A: The patient and the surgeon choose the suitable type. It can be general anesthesia, local anesthesia, and conscious sedation.
Q: Is breast augmentation an outpatient procedure?
A: Yes, it is. Most women are allowed to go home two to three hours after the surgery. However, it’s important to have someone drive the patient home. Otherwise, she should stay overnight.
Q: When can I make love after getting breast implants?
A: Surgeons recommend waiting until the stitches are out, which is about 10 days.
Q: How long does it take to recover from the surgery completely?
A: The average woman fully recovers from the surgery within 6 months.