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Breast Augmentation Report

By James Barber M.D.
Cosmetic Surgery Expert
Updated: October 07, 2008
What will my recovery schedule be like?

Within a week of the procedure your sutures will be removed and you will be able to shower. You will be permitted to resume most non-strenuous activities as you feel able. Additionally, you will be able to resume sexual activities as long as your breasts are treated with care and caution.

About three weeks after surgery the swelling should subside and you will begin to see the result of your operation. At this time you can begin wearing regular bras and resume exercise and full range arm movements.

Will my results be permanent?

Your new breasts are still susceptible to weight changes and aging. It is important that you take care of you entire body to get the most from your augmentation.

Will I have check-up appointments with my plastic surgeon?

You will have a post-operative follow-up visit so you and your surgeon can evaluate the success of both the procedure and the healing process. You will also be required to return for a few periodic check-up to evaluate final results and address and additional concerns that you or your doctor may have.

Other Concerns

Will my insurance pay for any of the operation?

A breast augmentation is considered a cosmetic and elective procedure, the patient is responsible for the entire cost.

What risks are involved?

This is a very involved question because while the risks are very unlikely, it is important that you understand them all. The best advice is not to get overly concerned about any of these complications until you have discussed their likelihood and severity with you doctor during the consultation.
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Capsular Contraction: A complication that is more of a threat to the quality of the surgery than it is to your health. During surgery, the pocket in which your doctor places the implant is slightly larger than the implant itself. After surgery, a membrane known as a capsule forms around the implant. The pocket is then intended to retain its size so that the breast feels soft and natural. Occasionally, and this may be several days or several years after the procedure, the capsule contracts tightly around the implant, causing an increased firmness. More severe cases can cause discomfort as well as a change in the shape of the breast. Only these most severe cases require surgery to repair and most often it is not necessary to remove the implants.

Hematoma: Two to three percent of women will experience some post-op bleeding into the pocket around the implant. While this blood is usually minimal and absorbed by the body, cases involving more noticeable swelling may require the blood to be removed by the surgeon.

Infection: Even with the use of modern anti-biotics, infection is still possible but not likely. Most of these cases do not cause any serious problems, but a more advanced infection would require removal of the implant, which could be replaced after a few months.

Loss of Sensation: Regardless of how skilled and careful a surgeon is, it is possible that nerves which control skin or nipple sensation could be damaged during surgery. In about 85% of these cases, the senses are regained after a year of two.

Wrinkling / Extrusion: Occasionally visible wrinkling under the skin occurs or the edge of the implant can be felt. These problems are hardly ever serious enough to require attention and usually they are greatly improved or eliminated during the initial year after surgery. In very severe cases of wrinkling or extrusion the implant may become visibly noticeable. In these very rare cases the implant must be temporarily removed.

Asymmetry: This usually only occurs in a small percentage of patients whose breasts were asymmetrical before surgery. It can also occur if the pockets not identical during the procedure. Most problems are fixed immediately during the initial operation but problems that develop later on may require a small adjustment procedure.

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