If you elect to have breast augmentation surgery, you’re most likely to have it done in an outpatient surgical center or similar facility. Most of the time, people are able to go home the same day as the procedure.
The procedure will most likely be performed under general anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain. Follow your surgeon’s instructions to prepare in the 24 hours before your procedure.
Your surgeon will place your breast implants using one of three types of incisions:
- inframammary (beneath your breast)
- axillary (in the underarm)
- periareolar (in the tissue surrounding your nipples)
Your surgeon will then create a pocket by separating the tissue of your breast from your chest muscles and tissue. Your implants will be placed inside these pockets and centered inside your breasts.
If you’ve opted for saline implants, your surgeon will fill them with sterile saline solution once the shell has been placed successfully. If you choose silicone, they’ll already be filled.
After your surgeon has placed your implants successfully, they’ll close your incisions with stitches, and then bandage them securely with surgical tape and surgical glue. You’ll be monitored in recovery, and then released to go home once the anesthesia wears off enough.
Are there any risks or side effects?
A common risk with breast augmentation surgery is the need for follow-up surgical procedures to correct any complications that may arise. Some people also later desire a different size implant or a lift as their skin stretches over time.
Other risks and side effects include:
• bleeding and bruising
• pain in your breasts
• infection at the surgical site or surrounding the implant
• capsular contracture, or the formation of scar tissue inside the breast (this can cause your implants to become misshapen, displaced, painful or more visible)
• rupture or leaking of the implant
• alteration of the feeling in your breasts (often temporary following surgery)
• “rippling” of the skin over where the implant is placed, often beneath the breast
• incorrect placement or movement of the implant
• buildup of fluid around the implant
• difficulty healing at the incision site
• discharge from the breast or at the incision site
• severe scarring of the skin
• severe nighttime sweating
As with any surgical procedure, the use of general anesthesia also carries risks, including death during the procedure.
Call your surgeon immediately if you:
• begin running a fever
• see redness in or around your breast, especially red streaking on the skin
• feel a warm sensation around the incision site
These could all indicate an infection.
After you’ve healed, any pain in the breast or armpit or change in breast size or shape needs to be evaluated by your surgeon. These could indicate a ruptured implant. It isn’t always easy to identify rupture right away, as implants tend to leak slowly.
Other rare complications include chest pain and shortness of breath. These are medical emergencies that may require hospitalization.
Patients with breast implants should observe their breasts and see their doctor for any changes or new enlargement, swelling, or pain.