• Breast augmentation involves using breast implants or fat to increase the size of your breasts, restore breast volume, achieve a more rounded shape, or improve natural breast size asymmetry.

    Breast augmentation can:

    • Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
    • Improve balance of breast and hip contours
    • Enhance your self-image and self-confidence

    Breast implants may also be used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury.

    What breast augmentation surgery won’t do

    Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. A breast lift may be required along with a breast augmentation for sagging breasts to look fuller and lifted. Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.

    Breast augmentation candidates

    A breast augmentation is a deeply personal procedure, and it’s important that you’re doing it for yourself and not for someone else, even if that person has offered to pay for it. Patient satisfaction is high specifically when they want the procedure themselves.

    You may be a candidate for breast augmentation surgery if:

    • You are physically healthy and you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding
    • You have realistic expectations
    • Your breasts are fully developed
    • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
    • You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
    • You are unhappy with the upper part of your breast appearing “empty”
    • Your breasts are asymmetrical
    • One or both breasts failed to develop normally or have an elongated shape

    Breast augmentation recovery

    Immediately after surgery, during your breast augmentation recovery, you will be taken into a recovery area for close monitoring. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. You may be permitted to go home when you are stable for discharge, after an hour or so. Before leaving, you will be given specific postoperative instructions and a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon. You may also receive medications or a prescription, but many plastic surgeons prescribe postoperative medications in advance. Your prescribed medications may include pain pills and an antibiotic to prevent infection. Wear your support garment (a bra or elastic band, called a bandeau) around the clock as instructed by your plastic surgeon. It is important to follow all your plastic surgeon’s instructions carefully.

    Because it is possible to bleed into the pockets around the breast implants for the first several days, take it easy until you have permission to increase your activity level. Acute pain typically subsides after one to five days, but you may experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. You may resume exercise and normal activity according to your plastic surgeon’s directions.

    Breast augmentation results

    While a breast augmentation yields larger breasts right away, the final results may take a few weeks as the swelling subsides and the skin stretches. Some patients may need to wear a bandeau to help shape their breasts, especially if they have underlying asymmetry or very small breasts to start with. Incision lines may take several months, even a couple of years, to fade. To achieve optimal breast augmentation results, follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions and return for follow-up visits.

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