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Recovery from breast augmentation

Recovery from breast augmentation is easier than recovery from mastopexy or breast reduction because the incision is so much smaller. You'll go home from the doctor's office wearing a special bra designed to hold the skin and muscles still, which has an effect similar to that of an ace bandage. We ask our patients to wear a sports-type support bra all the time for four to six months. Avoid prolonged wearing of lingerie-type bras which aren't supportive enough (underwire bras should be avoided for the first several weeks, but check with your surgeon). Tumescent anesthetic takes eight to 24 hours to wear off and will minimize the pain during this period. Implants below the muscle are much more painful, and narcotic pain killers and/or an anesthetic pump are often needed for several days. Usually, recovery for implants above the muscle is easier. You may also be given an antibiotic to help decrease the possibility of infection.

You'll need to take it easy for a few days. Strenuous exercise is out of the question for four to six weeks after augmentation, and six to eight weeks after mastopexy or reduction. You can take a shower and even go to work within three or four days after augmentation if you're comfortable and your surgeon gives permission. Tap water exposure too soon after a surgery can cause terrible infections. And too much movement can move the implants or cause the incisions to open or the breasts to sag. WEAR YOUR RECOMMENDED BRA!

When you return home after augmentation, your breasts will be swollen and will feel tight and hard from the skin stretching. This effect is greater if tumescent is used. The swelling will decrease day by day, so the size of your breasts on the first day will be different than their final size. The feeling of tightness will also change as the skin stretches and loosens up. The entire shrinking and loosening process can take anywhere from two to six months or longer.

Risks

Although breast surgeries usually provide great patient satisfaction, there are risks, regardless of whether the procedure is to augment, correct, or reduce the breast. These include abnormal appearance or feel, implant deflation or rupture, infection, blood clots around the implant, asymmetry (unevenness) of the breasts, scarring, numbness, increased or decreased sensitivity of the nipples, capsular contraction (distortion and/or firmness of the breast due to scarring around the implant), pneumothorax (puncture of the lung), seroma (collection of fluid around the implant), double-fold or double-bubble appearance, skin death, stretch marks, wrinkling or rippling from the implant, chest wall muscle weakness, or death. You may experience complications not listed here. Be sure to discuss all these issues with your physician before agreeing to a procedure.


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