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Before and After Breast Augmentation

Articles 05 February 2013

Here you find the most important information about Breast Cosmetic Surgery preparation, operation and aftercare – for your perfect healing.

1. The Decision
2. Prepare Physically, Mentally
3. Nutrition, Clothing, Mobility
4. The Big „Transformation”
5. After Surgery
6. Follow-up Exams
7. Every Day Is Better
8. Possible Complications
9. 1-2 Weeks After Surgery
10. Then the Next 4 Weeks
11. The Importance of Wearing a Bra
12. After 6 Weeks

1. The Decision

This decision is a decision of a lifetime. Millions of women are dissatisfied with the size and shape of their breasts, and choose to have a Breast Cosmetic Surgery. Nowadays, Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is increasingly popular, which can also lead to beautiful results, but implants are needed for a major change.

Breast Cosmetic Surgery has almost become a routine operation during the past 50 years, improving millions of women’s self-confidence and quality of life. We can forget the malicious stereotypes about these interventions, as they are not valid anymore.

The key is to make a mature decision after a thorough research – not just with the help of the internet, but with several personal consultations with plastic surgeons to gain impressions and to collect information. All your questions and doubts should be shared with the chosen doctor, even the tiniest ones! Then you do not have to do anything, just follow the instructions and enjoy the results.

Strict adherence to the medical advice is always important – please keep this in mind.

Millions of women are happy with their perfectly enhanced breasts, prepare to be one of them!

2. Prepare Physically, Mentally

Personal consultation – which may happen more times and more places – is essential. Actually, it is a reassuring conversation for those who have already decided, and educational question-answering discussion for those who are uncertain yet. It is worth to go to a plastic surgery consultation even if you are just interested in this topic, since it is the only way to get personalized information about the Breast Cosmetic Surgery, implant sizing, etc. The appropriate consultation should not be less than 30-40 minutes!

Before Breast Cosmetic Surgery, photos are taken from different angles of the uncovered chest with the consent of the patient. The visual results of Breast Augmentation can only be accurately assessed if we see the „before” state as well. The photo documentation as part of the medical documentation not only serves medical purposes, but the patient’s interest as well. „Before” and „After” photos can easily be compared.

Detailed written information and the informed consent document for surgical intervention are extremely important, as these must include the potential complications and risks. Make sure to read and sign them in a completely sober state, not under the intoxicating effect of the sedative given before the general anesthesia!

3. Nutrition, Clothing, Mobility

  • Light meals are recommended in the days before and after surgery. Eat more meals in smaller portions to avoid putting extra burden on your body. Larger doses of vitamins can be taken (vitamin C and zinc) to be well prepared for the great transformation.
  • Eating and drinking are forbidden from midnight prior to surgery!
  • The birth control pills contain different amounts of hormones that affect the breast volume and blood clotting (danger of thrombosis!). So if you take these, please mention it during the personal consultation.
  • If there is a possibility of pregnancy during the planned surgery, definitely tell your doctor!
  • It is good, if the first day of your period is not the exact day of the surgery. If yes, talk about this with your plastic surgeon.
  • Avoid taking aspirin and aspirin based drugs 10 days prior to and after surgery. These drugs can cause increased bleeding.
  • Do not use body lotion 24 hours before surgery.
  • If you are a smoker, suspend smoking 10 days before the operation and during the recovery period (4-6 weeks). If it is impossible, try to minimize your daily dose to 1-5 cigarettes.
  • It is practical to wash your hair in the morning before the surgery, because you will not be able to do it alone.
  • During the day you will need to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of non-carbonated mineral water, which can be flavored with freshly squeezed lemon juice as well. When it is not enough, can be made isotonic with a pinch of salt and sugar. Fruit juice can be consumed as well. Bring only small, 0.33 L bottles in the hospital, as it is unfortunate to lift larger weights when you are freshly operated!
  • Arrive in front zipper or buttoned shirt, as you can not dress and undress with the usual movements for a long time (e. g.: you should not lift your arms). Wear clothes that you do not regret to be stained with disinfectant.
  • It may seem difficult, but strict compliance with medical standards is a must – this also applies to nutrition and lifestyle after surgery as well.

4. The Big „Transformation”

You get full detailed information and the exact description of surgery during the first consultation.

The constant administration of analgesics will make sure to wake up from the anesthetic completely pain-free. First, you will be taken to the post-operative room, then to your hospital room. A nurse will be watching you until regaining full consciousness.

The duration of surgery may vary, but a Breast Augmentation usually takes 2 hours, meanwhile a combined Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift may take up to 4 hours. Painkillers are steadily administered to make sure you do not feel any pain.

It is possible that you feel a bit cold after surgery, which is typically caused by the drugs. The shivering is due to the low temperature of the operating room, the clearance of anesthetics from your body, and the fluid loss. The nurses provide extra blankets if necessary.

Nausea may occasionally occur after anesthesia. Ask for medicine if it is very unpleasant!

In some cases, the physician inserts 1-1 drain tube into the seams or other incisions, which serve to promote healing. Blood and serum, a reddish-yellowish secretions leaves the body through them. These thin plastic tubes are removed the day after surgery in general, but may remain inside for a few days if necessary. The nurse will check them constantly.

The removal of the drain is done by the plastic surgeon, and causes a little pain. Minimal irritation may occur in the suture area because of the these tubes, but it disappears quickly.

5. After Cosmetic Breast Surgery

You will spend a night in the hospital after Cosmetic Breast Surgery. (In exceptional circumstances, you can go home in the evening.)

To achieve perfect results, tissue-friendly suture materials are used, so the incisions heal much more nicely, and the scars will be more beautiful. To close the deeper tissues, we use absorbable sutures. Outer stitch removal is virtually painless. In some cases, we apply absorbable skin sutures as well, as it saves the patient from the minimal inconvenience of suture removal.

Immediately after the surgery sleeping is difficult: you must lie on your back with the head section fixed (semi-sitting position) to prevent swelling and pain. No lying on your stomach for a couple of weeks, and you cannot turn on your side either.

Following surgery, usually not waterproof patch is applied to the smaller wounds to help ventilation. Our doctors will try to make the post-operative period as pleasant as possible based on individual needs, so it is possible to use a waterproof bandage that allows showering a few days after the procedure. The major disadvantage of the waterproof bandage is that it does not allows through the air, so must be changed much more frequently.

It is important to use your upper arms only carefully, and do not remove the special bra! Do not support yourself with your arms when waking up, but rather do it with the power of your abdominal muscles.

During the post-operative period you must take care of the sutures, and keep them dry.

Avoid applying any cream or other fluid near the suture, because these materials can cause inflammation. If the bandage bleeds through, visit your doctor, who will perform the replacement.

Measure to your body temperature regularly during the first days of recovery. A high fever may indicate inflammation. The slight rise in temperature, however, a natural part of recovery – of course, there are plenty of exceptions who have no fever.

The plastic surgeon prescribes antibiotics, which must be taken in accordance with the instructions! This is necessary for prevention. Painkillers are also needed for several days.

If the implants are placed above the pectoral muscle, the recovery will be faster and less painful than in case of implants placed under the muscle. Breast Augmentation combined with Breast Lift means a longer recovery period.

Do not take medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid unless you have discussed this with your doctor before, as they may cause bleeding.

Make sure to have someone driving you home the morning after Breast Cosmetic Surgery, because you cannot drive for a few weeks.

6. Follow-up Exams

After Breast Cosmetic Surgery everyone tolerates the pain differently. Many feel only a small degree of pain, and as a result, unfortunately they are not careful enough with their new breasts – continuing the same lifestyle as before the interventions.

In contrast, many patients spend more days in bed because of serious pain. Fortunately, the average postoperative behavior is between these two. Usually the main complaints are tightening sensation, pain when changing positions, and back pain. But these are natural symptoms after such a surgery.

Doctors usually recommend cooling as part of the home care during the first 48 hours with ice gel which is available in most of the pharmacies and drug stores. Must be mentioned that using frozen food for this purpose is prohibited, because bags are never clean!

Follow-up exams are always due on the 7 and 14 days after surgery.

Plastic surgeons divide the postoperative period into four periods:

  • the first 2 weeks
  • week 3 to 6
  • week 7 to 12
  • 3 months to 1 year

7. Every Day Is Better

Tension and burning sensation are natural after surgery. The tissues and the skin have to get used to the rearranged circumstances.

Open arm movements are forbidden (e. g.: putting on clothes, holding on high, carrying heavy shoulder bag etc. Highly concentrated should be paid to each movement in the first two weeks to allow proper healing, and avoid displacement of the implants.

For example, driving a car is not recommended – even with automatic transmission. You can return to your job, but make sure that there is no physical exertion in the first two weeks after surgery. Avoiding the straining of chest muscles and arm muscles (especially biceps) is highly important to avoid. Do not risk the splitting of wound edges,

You can return gradually to your previous lifestyle after approx. two weeks, but talk to your plastic surgeon about this.

8. Possible Complications

For the perfect results without complications we should clarify what is important during the first year after Breast Cosmetic Surgery.

The first 2 weeks is the most important period. 70-80% of surgical complications occur that time, so at least 2-3 follow-up examinations needed, when the plastic surgeon replaces the bandage and examines you – even if you do not have nothing to complain about.

We emphasize that the early detection of possible complications and the quick, professional treatment allow to avoid more trouble, even the temporary removal of the implants.

We try to eliminate all risk factors with the mandatory examinations before Breast Cosmetic Surgery. However, unforeseen complications may arise. Such complications can be wound infections, excess blood serum formation, keloid scarring, asymmetry, and temporary changes in the sensitivity of the nipples.

Suture removal is due 1-2 weeks after Breast Cosmetic Surgery depending on the surgical technique. It is recommended to keep this area dry until then, so the bandage covering your breasts should not be exposed to water.

Although doctors may use different bandage, the bottom line is that a tight one must be worn after surgery. This may be swathing wrapped around the chest, or a strong postoperative bra – or even the combination of these. Never remove your bandage at home! Only your doctor or their assistant should do that during the follow-up exams.

The bandage must remain tight, which ensures better tissue adherence to the implant, and also controls the formation of edema. In case of sudden swelling in the days after the surgery, visit your plastic surgeon!

To spare the suture area, a more relaxed lifestyle is necessary. Avoid physical and mental strain!

9. 1-2 Weeks After Surgery

There may hematomas or bruising that are absorbed by themselves. The icing can accelerate the absorption process.

If you had a combined surgery, such as Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift, you will probably need anticoagulant for a few days, but your doctor will tell.

Until the sutures will not close together, and the suture removal is not done, you can not take a shower.

Washing hair alone is forbidden for approx. 1-2 weeks after Breast Augmentation, because you cannot lift your arms above your head. Wash your hair before surgery, then treat yourself in the salon!

Go for light walks as soon as you can!

Scars heal slowly and form continuously until 8-12 months after surgery. First, they may be protruding and red, but later, usually flatten and gradually fade. The rate of healing of scars depends on individual conditions.

After suture removal you will use Silicone Scar Sheets or special gels for scar treatment.

Sensitivity of the nipples and areola may change after Breast Cosmetic Surgery. It usually goes away after a few months, although in some cases it can be a permanent condition. The total insensitivity is extremely rare. If the sensitivity returns, pain, tingling, and itching can be felt around the nipples and breasts. This is because the nervous function is starting to recover.

Many women complain about constantly stiff and sensitive nipples after surgery. Cover them with a plaster, as it guards  against irritation caused by clothes.

Do not be alarmed if you hear strange noises from your enlarged breasts. This is caused by the accumulation of fluid, as it forms bubbles. You can also hear it when the implant is not in its final place yet. It will be all right in a few weeks.

Following Breast Cosmetic Surgery detailed final report is provided. In case of Breast Augmentation you will get an implant card as well with your name and implant details on it to guarantee your security.

10. Then the Next 4 Weeks

More swelling and edema can be expected in the first one month after Breast Augmentation.

Moderate pain, more or less swelling, and asymmetry (size, position and shape differences) between the two breasts is normal during this period.

Do not take any medicine (even over-the-counter pills) without discussing it with your doctor!

You can live your daily life without sutures from 3-6 weeks after surgery, but have to wear a special tight bra for 6 weeks.

Easy exercise can be started 3 weeks after Breast Augmentation, but with any other kind of Breast Cosmetic Surgery, you may need to follow individual instructions. Normal lifestyle should not be continued until 6 weeks after surgery. Avoid sunbathing and the use of tanning bed and sauna for 2 months!

Follow-up exams are generally due 3, 4, 6 and 12 weeks after Breast Cosmetic Surgery. Then there are one after a half year, and a year. The healing time of external scars is approx. 6-8 months. Internal scars within the tissue (around the implant) can also heal completely within this time.

To promote scar healing we recommend to use special creams and Silicone Scar Sheets.

11. The Importance of Wearing a Bra

Always wearing a bra is important, since it helps support the new breasts and prevents from sagging.

You will wake up from the anesthesia in a special compression bra, which should be constantly worn for 6 weeks. After that it can be changed to sports bra.

Those whose skin is tight after Breast Cosmetic Surgery, often stop wearing a bra after half a year following the surgery. But if the skin was loose before the intervention and had sagging breasts – and all those, who underwent Breast Augmentation combined with Breast Lift – it is definitely recommended to always have a normal or sports bra on.

The special compression bra is made from breathable compression material. Its frontal section is made with heat-press technique, so it is seamless. Keeps the breasts stable during movement. Easy to put on and remove with the double line of clasps in the front. The wide adjustable shoulder straps are able to hold even heavier breasts.

12. After 6 weeks

The implants are in their final position approx. after 7-12 weeks. Final breast shape is formed by the end of the 14. week after Breast Augmentation, and a half year after Breast Lift.

Temporary inconveniences are often in the first 12 weeks, with differences in size and shape, smaller distortions, stretching and sticking scars. But roughly the end of the 12. week (or in some cases only after 4-6 months) they disappear without a trace, and the breasts are beginning to show their final shape.

After 12 weeks, the special tight bra only to be worn during the day, and the sport movements are allowed if they do not cause pain and discomfort. If you are playing a competitive sport, make sure to consult your doctor about that!

Do not perform any strenuous activity and do not play sports for at least 5-6 weeks after the procedure! Keep in mind that you should not pick up your children during this period.

A check-up exam is mandatory one year after Breast Cosmetic Surgery, during which the surgeon checks the shape and texture of the breasts. Now this is the final result. If the healing is perfect, your breasts are equally soft, there is no trace of capsular contracture, and the skin is looser, more natural than it was immediately after the surgery.

The scars have already pretty much final shape and color – although there are some patients with longer scar formation time than a year. If someone has good wound healing tendency, then after half a year or one year after Breast Cosmetic Surgery scars only a thin, barely visible lines, similar to the natural pigmentation of the skin.

Unfortunately, partially expanded or – very rarely – abnormally proliferated (keloid) scars may occur. In this case, proper Scar Treatment must be started as soon as possible.

Breast Surgery Info

Complex information page with a description of the breast surgery procedures, a unique glossary - an explanation of the most important terms - and essential knowledge on the pre-and post-operative period.

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