The big thing to success on the breast augmentation surgery is so simple and easy. When technology meets with the art of beauty, wondrous things happen. And, the modern breast surgeries are proof of that. Women no longer have to face the issues of breast size, shape, or form because they can get all these imperfections corrected with a simple surgery. In fact, breast asymmetry, which is characteristic in most women and more evident in some, can be corrected by surgical procedures. Out of all these varied types of breast surgeries, one of the most common is breast augmentation.
Breast augmentation, which, in simple words, refers to getting breast implants, is a popular surgery among women who face self-esteem issues or discomfort because of the smaller form of their breasts. Every year, an increasing number of women go for this surgery, and numbers seem to be rising each year.
It is a fact that the surgery is safe and effective in a huge majority of cases, which is the reason behind its popularity. However, there are a couple of things you should know beforehand to make sure that the procedure is an absolute success.
What exactly is breast augmentation?
Implants filled with silicone or sterile salt water (saline) get placed right under the woman’s chest muscle or breast tissue for enhancing or enlarging the breast size and shape, in case of a breast augmentation surgery.
You will either get intravenous sedation or general anesthesia for this cosmetic surgery. Breast augmentation is generally carried out as an outpatient process, but in some cases, doctors ask the patients to stay in the hospital overnight.
The contraindications of breast augmentation
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not allow breast augmentation surgery to be carried out in patients who are younger than eighteen years old. Breasts are not completely developed in that age group. Besides, teenagers might not fully realize the risk and be psychologically ready to deal with the results of this breast surgery.
Other types of contraindications include breastfeeding or being pregnant, an active form of cancer, medical history showing autoimmune diseases, any kind of breast infection, uncured medical conditions, and ongoing radiation treatments.
The purpose behind breast augmentation
Breast augmentation surgery is expected to increase the size and fullness of your bust. You might consider the surgery if your breasts have asymmetrically developed, lost their fullness with aging or pregnancy, or appear too small to you.
Going for breast surgery is a crucial personal decision that you make. Thus, you should carefully consider all the aspects of it. Any reputed plastic surgeon will offer you a free consultation. So, go ahead and talk to him/her about the benefits and risks of the surgery, along with what to expect from the procedure.
The ways to prepare for the surgery
Before undergoing breast augmentation surgery, you will have to schedule a consultation with your chosen surgeon. You can clarify all your doubts about the procedure during this consultation. Ask the surgeon all about the benefits, risks, complications, recovery times, expected results, and the probable number of follow-up surgeries you might need after the initial procedure.
You would also need to ask the plastic surgeon about his/her experience and medical background. Details like the number of surgeries they had done before this, where they got their training from, and the accreditation of the facility are important things to consider before you go ahead with the surgery.
The plastic surgeon will carry out a thorough breast examination before your surgery. You might also require to have a breast X-ray, a mammogram, or a blood test done before going for the surgery.
Other details of the breast augmentation surgery
Your breast surgery will take place in a hospital or in a proper ambulatory surgical facility to ensure your safety. Bring or wear loose-fitted clothing, which might include a shirt that zips or buttons in the front of it. You will be given a hospital gown to change into for the surgery.
The surgeon will tell you not to drink or eat anything right after midnight on the night before your surgery. It will make sure that your stomach is not full before the breast surgery. In case your doctor has asked you to take medications right on the day of your surgery, make sure to have it with a small amount of water. It is better not to have too much water before your surgery.
The medications to stop before the surgery
The surgeon needs to know about all the medications you take, be it prescription meds, vitamins, herbs, drugs, or over-the-counter meds, before your surgery. Certain medicines might cause complications during surgery.
Your doctor will ask you to stop taking certain medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), ibuprofen (Advil), and aspirin in the days leading up to the surgery. Medicines like these might lead to issues with bleeding during the procedure. You should ask your doctor if you need to continue having medications right on the day of your surgery.
Things to bring with you on the day of the surgery
You need to remember all the paperwork that you must complete before the surgery and bring the documents that you are asked to by the clinic. Make sure to bring a change of clothes if you have to spend the night at the clinic or want to wear a separate set of clothes to go back home.
Bring someone with you who can take you back home from the hospital or clinic after your surgery. You will also need to have someone around in the house to help you for a few days after the surgery. You will not be allowed to lift heavy objects or do any strenuous for at least two weeks after your surgery.
Lifestyle changes to adapt after your surgery
Smoking has to be stopped at least four to seven weeks before your breast surgery. The biggest problem with smoking is that it reduces the size of your blood vessels, which affects the oxygen and blood flow. It is a bad habit that should be nipped in the bud once and for all.
If you are going for breast augmentation, it might lead to increased pain, delayed rate of wound healing, tissue death, blood clots, and other life-threatening issues like pneumonia, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
And, if you have been smoking in the days leading up to the surgery, do not hide it from the doctor because it can lead to serious complications.
What can you expect right on the day of the procedure?
Nurses will get your medical history and carry out health checkups when you reach the surgery center or hospital. After this, you will be taken to meet the surgeon. The surgeon will discuss the procedure with you in detail before you go for breast augmentation surgery.
During the breast augmentation surgery
The surgery starts with you receiving a dose of anesthesia. Whether you will need general anesthesia or intravenous sedation will be decided beforehand by your doctor, based on your condition. You will be informed beforehand about the choice of anesthesia.
General anesthesia is given to most people, which lets the patient remain asleep at the time of the surgery and not feel any sense of discomfort. You will remain sedated yet awake if you are given intravenous sedation. Local anesthesia is used along with intravenous sedation for blocking the pain and numbing the affected area.
The silicone or saline implants can be placed in a number of different incision points, such as:
Transumbilical: The incision gets made right above the belly button. An endoscope will be used to bring the implants and place them on the breasts. These breast implants are filled up with saline.
Trans-axillary: The incision gets made in the patient’s armpit. An endoscope is used by the surgeon. The endoscope is basically a camera that has surgical instruments fitted at its end for placing the breast implant.
Peri-areolar: The dark area right around the nipple is called the areola, and this is where the incision gets made.
Inframammary: Finally, the most common technique used by surgeons in inframammary. In this case, a very short incision gets made below the bust, in the crease of the natural skin folds of the patient.
The breast implants will get placed directly behind your breast tissue and over or under your pectoral muscles. You can ask your surgeon about the surgical technique that he/she is considering to use on you. The technique is decided based on the patient’s anatomy and their expected results.
The entire surgery takes about one or two hours. After the procedure is completed, the incisions are closed by the surgeon with surgical tape, skin adhesive, or sutures.
After the breast augmentation surgery
The nurses will take you to a recovery area after the surgery to monitor you. The anesthesia will gradually wear off, after which you can drink water, go to the bathroom, walk, and safely go home. Your surgeon will visit you to give you instructions about your recovery. You will be told about your follow-up appointments and asked about any discomfort that you might be feeling.
Gauze will be wrapped around the surgical area, along with elastic bandages. You might be given a surgical bra to wear. To prevent infection, your surgeon will prescribe you antibiotics, and there will be other medications given to control pain. These medications are usually prescribed before your surgery so that you can get them ready in time.
Surgeons also attach drainage tubes to the breast, which need to be there for at least three days.
Taking care of the implants after the surgery
If you want the implants to last for the longest possible time, taking care of them for the initial few days is of utmost importance. You can take care of the breast implants at home if you just follow a couple of simple ideas.
Here is how you can take care of the implants after the surgery:
Take time to heal
You will have to follow the instructions of your doctor, and give yourself enough time to heal. In most cases, women can go back to work after about seven to ten days. However, they are not allowed to lift anything heavy for at least five to six weeks. Take it easy, and don’t strain your surgical area. The long-term results of the surgery depend on how you take care of the implants in the short-term.
Get the right type of bra
You will get a surgical bra right after your surgery, which you will need to rely on for a couple of weeks. The doctor will inform you about when you can go back to the usual bras.
Even when you go back to wearing your usual bras, you will have to start with something that does not have an underwire. The underwire will irritate the incisions under your breast. It will take a few months for you to go back to underwired bras. However, you will have to wear a bra every day after the surgery to support the breasts and make sure that they do not sag.
Learn the breast massage technique
Implant displacement is a breast massaging technique that your doctor will ask you to do after you have healed quite a bit from the procedure. It is the kind of massage where you will have to move the implants inside breast pockets. Implant displacement is to be performed more often during the initial period and less frequently thereafter. The massage is supposed to keep the implants supple and soft. Your surgeon will show you how to do it.
The bottom line
You will get a detailed guide to recovery from your surgeon. Even then, in case you feel any discomfort or complications, you can contact the surgeon right away. There is nothing to worry about breast augmentation, as countless women had undergone the same procedure before you, and returned home happily with a completely new look.