Breast augmentation surgery is a common plastic surgery procedure. It is done to change the way a woman's breasts look.
This surgery increases the size or the fullness of the breasts using sacs filled with fluid or gel. These sacs are called breast implants.
You may choose to have breast augmentation if you are unhappy with how 1 or both of your breasts look. Some reasons why women choose to have this surgery include:
All surgeries have some risks. Some possible risks of breast augmentation surgery include:
You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your surgeon before the procedure.
Some long-term things you should also consider:
It’s important to know that most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic breast augmentation. They will also not cover the cost of any related problems.
There is no evidence that breast implants raise your risk for breast cancer. But you should tell your surgeon if you have a family history of the disease.
Having implants may make it harder to diagnose breast cancer. You can still get regular X-ray images of your breasts to screen for breast cancer (mammograms) if you have implants. But you may need to have more X-ray images taken around the implants to check the breast tissue.
Talk with your surgeon if you plan to get pregnant in the future. Implants may affect your ability to breastfeed. Pregnancy can also change the size and shape of your breasts.
Before surgery, you and your surgeon should discuss your breast implant options. Saline implants are filled with salt water. Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel. Talk with your surgeon about which type is best for you.
Before the procedure, your surgeon may want to take pictures of your breasts for comparison after surgery. You may also be asked to get a baseline mammogram. This can be compared with future mammograms done after your surgery.
Your health care provider may have other instructions for you based on your medical condition.
Breast augmentation surgery may be done at a hospital or in an outpatient facility. It can be done using medicines to put you into a deep sleep (under general anesthesia). Or it may be done by numbing the area (using local anesthesia) and giving you medicine by IV (intravenously) to make you sleepy (IV sedation).
Many women can go home on the day of surgery.
Generally, breast augmentation surgery follows this process:
You will be taken from the operating room to a recovery area. You will be watched until you have recovered from the anesthesia. You may have a bulky dressing over your breasts. Or you may be wearing a surgical bra.
Once you are alert and can take fluids well by mouth, your IV will be removed. It is important to get up and start walking as soon as possible. This can help keep blood clots from forming in your legs.
Once you get home, it’s important to follow all your surgeon's instructions and keep all your follow-up appointments.
You should be able to go back to a normal diet as tolerated. Follow your surgeon’s instructions for taking any pain medicines or medicines that fight infections (antibiotics).
Your breasts may be bruised and swollen. They may not look like you thought they would. This will go away as you heal, and should be gone in about a month. The incision lines will also fade over time.
Your home care instructions may include:
Call your surgeon if you have any of the following:
Your surgeon may give you other instructions, depending on your situation.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know: