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Breast Augmentation


What do I need to know about breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is surgery to insert breast implants. This surgery will change the size and 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.

How do I prepare for breast augmentation?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Your provider may tell you to shower the night before your surgery. He or she may tell you to use a certain soap to help prevent a surgical site infection. The provider will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you after surgery.

What will happen during breast augmentation?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel any pain. Your surgeon will make incisions under your breast, around your areola, in your armpit, or your belly button. Healthcare providers may use an endoscope if the incision is made in your armpit. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a light on the end. The endoscope will help your surgeon guide the implant into the correct position.
  • The breast implant will be placed under the breast tissue or chest muscle. Some types of saline implants will be filled with saline after the implant shell has been put in place. Drains (thin rubber tubes) may be put into your skin to drain blood from your incision. The incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with bandages.

What will happen after breast augmentation?

Your healthcare provider may have you get out of bed and walk as soon as possible after surgery. 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, get an infection, or develop a hematoma near your incisions. A hematoma is a collection of blood. You may have an allergic reaction to the implants. Your breasts may look uneven in certain areas. You may have pain or changes in sensation, such as numbness, in your breasts. You may not be able to breastfeed. Scar tissue may form around the implant. The implant may wear out, burst, or leak. You may need another surgery to fix any problems that happen after surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This can be life-threatening.

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

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.