Breast Augmentation Recovery:
Cost from $ 2,250
Cost with Financing $ 70 per month
- Breast Implants above the muscle: Mild to moderate discomfort.
- Breast Implants below the muscle: Moderate to severe discomfort following placement under the muscle.1-2 weeks of pain medication
- Above the muscle: 4 days-2 weeks.
- Below the muscle: 2-12 weeks.
Bruising: Up to 2 weeks. Some patients experience no bruising.
Numbness: 1-2 weeks.
- Above the muscle: 1 week
- Below the muscle: 1-2 weeks.
If job is strenuous or requires lifting, wait a month.
Exercise: Wait 2-4 weeks.
Final result: Breast Implants above the muscle: 1 month. Breast Implants below the muscle: 4 months.
On the day of surgery you will feel sleepy and may feel pain or be nauseated. Your chest may feel tight and uncomfortable. Your arms and back may also be sore. Pain medication will be prescribed to minimize your discomfort. After breast augmentation surgery your breasts will be very firm, high, and swollen. After about a month, the swelling will be gone and they will be lower, smaller and softer. It may take up to a year for the breast implants to settle into a permanent position.
For faster recovery:
- Keep ice packs applied to your chest on the day of your surgery.
- Sleep in an upright position. Do not sleep on your stomach for the first two weeks after surgery.
- To avoid unnecessary swelling or bleeding, do not bend over, strain, exercise or do any other activities that could increase pressure in your chest during the first week.
- If you have smooth implants, massage them daily to keep them softer, avoid capsular contracture and keep them in proper position. Do not massage in the first 24 hours and do not massage textured implants.
Your doctor knows your particular case best, these are only general guidelines.
Possible risks and complications associated with breast augmentation surgery:
- Anesthesia reaction
- Breast droop
- Capsular Contracture (hardening of scar tissue around breast implant)
- Deflation (approximately 7%)
- Hematoma (pooling of clotted blood; risk is 3-4%)
- Implant leak
- Infection (risk is less than 1%; always involves removal of implant)
- Interference with mammography
- Keloid (heavy scar)
- Nerve Damage
- Nipple numbness
- Permanent numbness (risk is 15%)
- Reactions to medications
- Rupture of the implant (often due to injury)
- Seroma (pooling of watery blood)
- Skin irregularities
- Slow healing
- Swelling Symmastia (breasts merge into one mass)
- Visible scar
Silicone Breast Implants
In the early 1990's it was reported that silicone breast implants were responsible for connective tissue diseases in some women. After a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence for the Association of Silicone Breast Implants with human health conditions, the Institute of Medicine concluded in June that there is "no definitive evidence linking breast implants to cancer, neurological diseases, neurological problems or other systemic diseases." However, silicone implants are still not available to the general public in the United States . They are still widely used in Europe and South America and may be available again in the US . Silicone gel-filled breast implants are available for select cases: women seeking breast reconstruction or revision of an existing breast implant, women who have had breast cancer surgery, a severe injury to the breast, a birth defect that affects the breast, or a medical condition causing a severe breast abnormality.
Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications associated with breast augmentation. It occurs when the scar tissue hardens around the implant. It may be more common following infection, hematoma, and seroma. Capsular Contracture is much less common and less severe with saline implants than with silicone implants.
Breast feeding after having a Breast Augmentation
This is by far the most asked question about breast augmentation and it amazes me that after 30 years there is still so much misinformation about this subject.. The answer to this question is a resounding yes. You most certainly can breast feed successfully and safely. There are some reports that suggest women who have breast implants experience higher rates of inadequate milk supply which could be caused by a milk duct being severed or blocked during the surgery which you need to know is a possible risk. So be sure to discuss your desire to breastfeed in the future with your surgeon to make sure he takes extra care during the procedure.
Will the placement of the incision have any effect on the ability to breast feed? Studies show that whether you have the incision around the areola or along the mammary fold it has no effect on your ability to breastfeed. 15 years ago with my first breast augmentation I chose to have mine along the mammary fold because I deduced that the farther away from the nipple and gland area would be best although I have known many women who have had the incision around the areola who were able to breast feed just fine as well.
Does under the muscle or over the muscle have any effect on the ability to breast feed? Placement of the implant does not seem to have any effect breastfeeding however those who had the implant above the muscle in some studies had higher percentages who reported inadequate milk supply than those that had the implant under the muscle.
Now how about if you need a breast lift or a breast lift with augmentation, can you still breastfeed? Absolutely!!! During a lifting procedure the surgeon does not remove any glandular tissue he only removes excess skin under and around the areola and moves the nipple up. He does not sever the nipple from the glands which is a common misconception so you should be just fine to breast feed with either one of these two procedures.. Again there are exceptions to this and some people do experience issues with either not producing enough milk or not producing any milk and you should discuss with your surgeon your concerns and goals about breastfeeding in the future.
Hematoma is a collection of blood inside a body cavity, and seroma is a collection of watery blood around the implant or around the incision. Postoperatively, they may contribute to infection and/or capsular contracture. If a hematoma occurs, it is usually soon after surgery; it can also occur after an injury to the breast. While the body absorbs small hematomas and seromas, large ones will require the placement of surgical drains for proper healing. A small scar can result from surgical draining.
Implants can move out of position at anytime after surgery. If they move only a little, it may not be noticeable. If they move a lot, you may need surgery to put them into position. This is very uncommon except in women who have very large implants. The larger the implant, the greater the chance that it will displace.
Infection is very uncommon. The risk is about 1% but if it occurs the implants will have to be removed. If infection does occur, it is usually within six weeks of surgery.
Necrosis is the dead tissue around the implant. This may prevent wound healing and require surgical correction and/or implant removal. Permanent scar and/or deformity may occur following necrosis. Factors associated with increased necrosis include infection, use of steroids in the surgical pocket, smoking, chemotherapy/radiation, and excessive heat or cold therapy.
Sometimes after breast implant surgery, you may begin producing breast milk. This is more likely if you have previously lactated. The milk production often stops spontaneously or medication may be given to suppress milk production. In other cases, removal of the implant(s) may be needed.
Saline and silicone implants affect a mammogram reading. Implants placed below the muscle permit a clearer reading. When implants are below the muscle, 90% of breast tissue is visible. When breast implants are above the muscle, 75% of breast tissue is visible. Regardless of where placed, breast implants do not interfere with self-exams. They do not interfere with MRI scans or ultrasounds, which are alternatives to a mammogram. No studies have shown a connection between implants and breast cancer. However, ineffective mammography could result in a higher risk of undetected breast cancer from other causes. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, breast augmentation may not be an option.
Rippling looks like indentations or waviness on the surface of the breast. It is the saline moving inside the implants. In most cases it occurs during movement. According to a 1994 survey (commissioned by implant manufacturers) 12% of women who were dissatisfied with their implants were dissatisfied because of rippling. Rippling is less likely to occur with implants that have a smooth surface. It is more common in implants that are placed above the muscle, especially in women with little or no breast tissue. Rippling can be a result of under filling the implant.
Sagging is less likely in implants placed above the muscle. Because the implant is likely to be higher on the chest than the breast tissue, you may have separate tissue hanging from the firmer implant. Your surgeon may recommend a mastopexy (breast lift) in addition to the augmentation.
After surgery, you may have temporary or permanent numbness. There is also possibility of diminished sensation or increased sensitivity. The risk of having permanently numb nipples is roughly 15%. Implants placed above the muscle may have a greater risk for this as the surgery may interfere with breast tissue near the skin. You can also expect sensation change if your incision is in the areola. If the surgeon injures the nerves which lead to the nipple area it can lead to temporary or permanent numbness. All incisions have a risk of diminished sensation.
Additional surgery may be needed to replace or remove the implants due to problems such as deflation, capsular contracture, infection, shifting, and calcium deposits. Women who do not have their breast implants replaced may have cosmetically undesirable dimpling, puckering of the breast following removal of the implant, or other unsatisfactory cosmetic outcomes.
Surgical scars are permanent. However, the incisions are placed so that they are not normally noticeable except on very close observation. Scar location will depend on the incision site (either in crease below breast, armpit, belly button or areola).
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