DefinitionBreast augmentation is a surgery to increase the size or change the shape of your breasts.
Reasons for ProcedureThis procedure may be done for:
- Cosmetic reasons—to increase breast size, make breasts symmetric, or improve breast shape and/or contour
- Reconstructive reasons—to increase the size of breasts that have been injured or after surgery, such as following a mastectomy for breast cancer
Possible ComplicationsComplications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a breast augmentation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Abnormal scarring
- Painful and/or restricted arm and shoulder motion
- Uneven appearance of breasts, either due to position or size
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Implant hardens, ruptures, leaks, or deflates
- Implant may make cancer detection with mammogram and/or self-exam more difficult
- Decreased sensation
- The need to have more surgeries, including having the implants removed
What to Expect
Prior to ProcedureYou may be asked to provide a picture of a woman whose breasts you want yours to resemble. You also may be asked to look through an album of breast sizes and shapes to help the doctor understand the outcome you desire. Computer imaging may also be used to help determine desired results.Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam, including a careful breast exam
- Blood and urine tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)
- Take photos for comparison
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be given special antibacterial soap to use.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- Arrange for help at home after returning from the hospital.
AnesthesiaLocal anesthesia may be used, but general anesthesia is usually used. With general anesthesia, you will be asleep. With local anesthesia, the selected area will be numb.
Description of the ProcedureA cut in the skin will be made either underneath your breast, alongside the area around the nipple, in your underarm, or in your belly button. An implant or prosthesis will be placed through the incision. The implant can contain silicone gel or can be filled with salt water after it is placed. It may be placed between the skin/breast tissue and the muscle, underneath the connective tissue of the muscle, or under the muscle itself. You may or may not have a drainage tube placed around the implant. The incision will be closed with stitches and bandaged. The same procedure may be repeated for the other breast.
|Side View of Breast Implantation|
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How Long Will It Take?About 1-2 hours
How Much Will It Hurt?Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. You may have some bruising and tenderness of the breasts for several weeks after surgery. Talk to your doctor about medication to help manage the pain.
Average Hospital StayThis procedure may be done in the hospital or surgery center. It may be possible to leave the hospital or surgery center on the same day of the procedure, or you may be asked to stay overnight in the hospital. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Post-procedure CareAfter the procedure:
- You will wear a special bra or bandage to put pressure on the breasts. This will help to support your breasts and decrease the chance of bleeding.
- Your doctor may advise you to massage or move your implants.