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Breast Augmentation

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

What do I need to know about breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is surgery to insert breast implants. This surgery will increase the size and change the shape of your breasts. A breast implant has an outer silicone shell and an inner filling. The filling may be saline (salt water) or silicone gel. Breast implants come in different shapes and sizes and may be adjustable.

How do I prepare for breast augmentation?

  • Your surgeon will tell you how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home after you are discharged and stay with you.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • You may need to have blood and urine tests, a mammogram, or chest x-ray. Ask your surgeon for more information about these and other tests you may need.
  • Healthcare providers may take pictures of your breasts. This will be used to compare the pictures of your breasts before and after surgery.

What will happen during breast augmentation?

  • You will be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Your surgeon will make incisions in your breast area, armpit, or belly button. The breast implant will then be placed under the breast tissue or chest muscle.
  • If an adjustable implant is used, the implant will be filled with saline through a small, removable fill tube. This tube is left attached to the implant and placed just under the skin for weekly breast size adjustments. This is removed when the desired size of the breasts is reached.
  • Drains (thin rubber tubes) may be put into your skin to drain extra blood and fluid from your incision. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages.

What will happen after breast augmentation?

You will be helped to walk around as soon as possible after surgery to prevent blood clots. You may be need to stay in the hospital overnight, or you may be able to go home after surgery. You will have pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness on your breasts for about 1 month. You may need to wear a special support bra or compression bandage while you heal.

What are the risks of breast augmentation?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. You may have an allergic reaction to the implants. Your breasts may be numb in areas or look uneven. You may not be able to breastfeed. Scar tissue may form around the implant. The implant may wear out, burst, or leak. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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