How long until the anesthesia wears off after surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery is done under general anesthesia. You are usually awake an hour after surgery but the anesthetic effects may take a day or two to completely wear off.
When can I go home?
You will be able to go home approximately one hour after surgery. Someone will need to drive you home.
How long until I can drive?
About a week. You will be sore for the first week or so. When you are not taking any narcotic pain medications (i.e. Darvocet, Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin, or Percocet) you will be able to drive.
How long until I can exercise?
It is important not to do any strenuous exercise for two weeks after a breast augmentation. This is because you can tear a small blood vessel and cause a hematoma or blood collection in the breast pocket. I recommend that you not do any heavy lifting (nothing more than a phone book) or do any activity that would increase your blood pressure or raise your pulse.
Please limit lifting your hands/arms above your head as this may cause your breast implants to become displaced superiorly and give you an unnatural look.
It is very important to massage your breast implants to prevent them from developing a capsular contracture. You will be given massage exercises the week after surgery.
How long until I can return to work?
Anywhere from 1-2 weeks depending on the type of job you have.
What kind of timeline can I expect:
- Shower – 24 hours
- Suture removal – 10-14 days
- Swelling – 1-2 months
- Surgical garment – if your breast implant is placed submuscularly than you will have a breast band to wear over the top of your breasts to push the implants down for 6 weeks
- Exercise – None for 2 weeks
- Work – 1-2 weeks depending on your job
- Regular clothes – 1 day
- Follow-up appointments – 1, 2, & 4 weeks and then at 2 months and as needed after that; If you have silicone implants placed, we would like to follow year annually in addition to the above
Where will the scar be located and how visible will it be?
The scar will either be hidden under the breast in the inframammary fold or at the nipple areolar junction or in the axilla. All of the scars usually heal quite well and appear as a thin line. I follow you closely so if the scar starts to become thicken, we apply silicone to the scar to help make it flat.
What is the difference between saline and silicone gel breast implants?
All breast implants available in the United States are made with a silicone shell. Saline breast implants are filled with normal saline (the same fluid that hospitals give you in an IV (intravenously). The implant is filled after it is placed in the breast so the incisions are smaller and the implant can be adjusted if there is a volume difference between the two breasts.
Silicone gel breast implants are pre-filled with silicone gel. This gel feels softer and lighter than saline and mimics the natural breasts better. However, since they are pre-filled, the volumes are set and can only be adjusted by 20-50 cc increments. Last year the FDA finally lifted the ban on the use of silicone gel breast implants in patients for cosmetic reasons. However, any patient that receives a silicone gel breast implant must agree to be followed for ten years.
What happens if the breast implants rupture?
Breasts implants will not last forever. The median lifespan of a breast implant is approximately 10-15 years. If a saline implant ruptures than the implant will go flat on that side. You should notify us and we will arrange for another surgery to have the implant changed out. If it has been at least 10 years since your implants were placed, then I recommend that you have both implants exchanged as the opposite one is likely to rupture in the next few years.
If a silicone gel implant ruptures than you may not notice any difference between your breasts. Your body makes scar tissue around the implant and this will hold the leaking gel in. Sometimes the gel will leak out of the capsule or scar tissue and then your implant may look disfigured. The best way to see if a silicone gel breast implant has ruptured is to do a MRI. Since the silicone gel breast implants have been FDA approved last year, the implant manufactures recommend that you have a MRI 3 years post-operatively and every 2 years thereafter to assess for leakage.
What are the risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery?
All surgeries have some risks associated with them. These risks are low but need to be taken into consideration before any surgery. The risks are, infection, scarring, asymmetry, numbness, pain, firmness, pneumothorax (collapsed lung), hematoma, seroma, change in nipple sensation, chronic pain, implant rippling, rupture of implant, compromised detection of early breast cancer, capsular contraction, delayed wound healing, possibility of late calcification, implant palpability, and the need for further surgery.