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Cosmetic Augmentation Mammaplasty


  • Cosmetic augmentation mammoplasty is also called breast augmentation surgery. This is surgery to increase the size of the breasts. It may also help give a fuller look to the shape of the breasts. Cosmetic augmentation mammoplasty is often done to match the breasts to the build of the woman's body. It may help a woman feel better and improve her self-confidence. After a cosmetic augmentation mammoplasty, the size and shape of your breast may be affected by certain conditions. These conditions may include pregnancy, lactation (breast milk production), and changes in weight.
  • With breast augmentation, prostheses (implants) are used to add volume to the breasts. A breast implant has an outer silicone shell (cover) and an inner filling. The shell may be smooth or textured, which may make the shell thicker. The inner filling is usually saline (salt water) solution. A breast implant may be round or shaped like a natural breast, and may be adjusted to different sizes. The type and size of breast implant to be used will depend on why the surgery will be done. It will also depend on how much breast tissue you have and how you want your breasts to look. You may be offered an implant filled with silicone gel instead of saline. Ask your caregiver for more information about silicone gel implants.
  • For this surgery, caregivers will make incisions (cuts) around the fold of the breast or areola (dark circle around the nipple). The breast fold is the area on the lower part of the breast that joins the chest. Caregivers may also do the surgery by making incisions in the axilla (underarm) or umbilical (belly button) area. An endoscope may be used to guide caregivers in placing the implants. This scope is a long, bendable tube with a light and camera on the end. Breast implants may be placed in between the breast tissue and chest muscle, or right under the chest muscle. You and your caregiver will decide which type of breast augmentation surgery is right for you.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your wound checked, drain taken out, or stitches removed.


  • Avoid doing heavy upper body activities, such as lifting, pulling, and pushing.
  • Cover and protect the incision whenever you are in the sun. The scarred skin may be more sensitive than the rest of your skin and burn more easily.
  • Support your breasts when jogging, or doing heavy physical activity or contact sports. Padding should be used to protect the implant from heavy contact and prevent it from being displaced.
  • You may need to wear a support bra for some time to hold the implants in place. The bra may have to be worn all day and night. A lightweight band or tube top may also be used. If the implants are too high, caregivers may want you to avoid wearing a bra until the implants move down.
  • Your caregiver may want you to do breast massage. This will depend on what type of implant was used and where the implants were placed. Breast massage may help an implant to move where it needs to go. Do not massage your breasts unless your caregiver says it is OK.

Bathing with stitches:

Follow your primary healthcare provider's instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.

Breast exams:

  • Do a monthly breast exam on your breasts. If you are having monthly periods, do it 2 or 3 days after your period ends. If you have gone through menopause (change of life), check your breasts on the same day each month.
  • You may also need to have a mammogram (breast x-rays) taken regularly. Tell caregivers who will take the mammogram that you have breast implants. Breast implants may block a part of the breast tissue on mammograms and you may need to have more pictures taken with different views.


Exercise makes the heart stronger, lowers blood pressure, and helps keep you healthy. Begin to exercise slowly and do more as you get stronger. Talk with your primary healthcare provider before you start an exercise program.

Preventing an infection:

You may need to take antibiotics before a surgery or procedure in the future. This may include any open surgery or dental work. You may also need to take antibiotics if you have an infection in another part of your body. Taking antibiotics may help prevent an infection in your implant. Keeping your nipples clean at all times will also help prevent infection.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have discharge or pain in the area where the drain was inserted.
  • You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery, medicine, or care.


  • You feel something is bulging out into your chest and not going back in.
  • You have changes in your breast, including changes in shape, consistency, or the way it moves.
  • You have pain or swelling in your chest or underarm that does not go away.
  • You have tenderness or discomfort around the area of your implant.
  • Your incision has blood, pus, or a foul-smelling odor.
  • Your shoulder, arm, or fingers feel numb, tingly, cool to touch, or look blue or pale.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
  • You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

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.

Further information

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

Learn more about Cosmetic Augmentation Mammaplasty (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes