Breast augmentation patients at my Scottsdale-area practice often mention that although there’s plenty of information available on the Internet about what goes on during surgery, they’re more concerned about what happens before and after the procedure. In the spirit of patient education, I welcome these questions, and I understand that my patients have good reasons to ask. Breast augmentation, like any plastic surgery, requires some preparations and lifestyle adjustments to ensure a good outcome. To expand on the content found on my Breast Augmentation FAQ page, here’s a quick primer on what you can expect both before and after your surgery. The first step of breast augmentation is the initial consultation. Whether you’ve previously seen me for another procedure or you’re a brand-new patient, the consultation is an important appointment that allows me to fully get a sense of your concerns. To expedite the registration process, you can print out the necessary forms on our Patient Resources page and complete them at home. During this appointment, I go over the types of implants available at my practice. There’s no need to make a final decision about anything at the consultation. Instead, the purpose of this appointment is to help you determine if breast augmentation is right for you.
If you decide to proceed with surgery, my staff will assist you with scheduling your preoperative appointment and surgery day. I’ll provide you with detailed self-care instructions. If you’re a smoker, you should make every effort to kick the habit at least 4 weeks prior to surgery to reduce the risk of complications. You should also make sure you have plenty of loose, comfortable clothing to wear just after surgery, including button-down tops to eliminate the need to reach over your head. It’s also a good idea to arrange for extra help with errands, chores, and childcare for at least a few days after surgery. I advise my patients to have their prescriptions filled before surgery and ensure their refrigerators are stocked with nutritious, ready-to-eat meals that are low in salt to make it easy to stay well while their bodies heal.
For the first day following surgery, you’ll likely feel groggy and sore. This is normal, and you’ll start feeling like yourself as the anesthesia gradually wears off. Although it is very rare for patients to form blood clots when breast augmentation is the only procedure performed, it’s important to get up and walk around the house several times a day as you begin to feel up to it. Your prescription pain medicine will help you stay comfortable during this time, and most patients transition to over-the-counter pain relievers after only a few days. Your breasts will be bandaged in a surgical bra or band which you may leave on until your first follow-up visit, typically the day after surgery.
Most of my breast augmentation patients are back to light activities, including work, within a week. I recommend no heavy lifting or chest exercises for 6 weeks. Light exercise may be resumed 3 weeks after surgery. Over the next several months, your incisions will heal and begin to fade, and your implants will soften and drop to a more natural-looking position, revealing your ultimate results.