Breast augmentations accounted for more than 286,000 surgeries in 2012 performed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ doctors. As the most popular cosmetic surgery, there are things patients need to know before they opt to undergo this procedure that is designed to enhance your breasts. Your choice of surgeon is critical, but so too is truly understanding everything that goes on before and after augmentation mammoplasty.

Choosing to Undergo Breast Augmentation

You may simply want breast enhancement surgery in order to increase the size of smaller breasts. Some women choose the surgery because their breasts did not develop evenly or trauma or disease damaged the breasts. No matter why you want augmentation mammoplasty, it is important to make sure you are having the surgery done for yourself and not to please someone else.

Once you’ve made that decision, you need to carefully research plastic surgeons. Read online reviews and patient testimonials. View before and after pictures of breast augmentation patients. Finally, visit sites like to verify prospective surgeons’ credentials.

What Happens During the Consultation?

Before any plastic surgery, you must attend a consultation with your chosen plastic surgeon. During this meeting, yu will discuss your concerns with your breasts. Your plastic surgeon goes over the different types of breast implants – silicone or saline – and the method used to insert the breast implants. The ideal method of anesthesia is also discussed, along with your target breast size.

Your plastic surgeon needs to know your past medical history. This is especially important if you have had any reaction to anesthesia in the past. Be sure to answer all questions and pay attention to the guidelines of medications you cannot use before or after your breast augmentation.

What Happens During Augmentation Mammoplasty?

On the day of your breast enhancement surgery, you’re marked up for the surgery and then given anesthesia. Once the medication is working, your plastic surgeon makes incisions in one of three areas. These incisions can be made below the breast, in the armpit, or around the areola. The breast implant is then inserted in one of three spots: behind the breast, under the breast muscle, or behind the muscle on the chest wall.

Once the breast augmentation is complete, you’re taken into a recovery room. As the anesthesia wears off, you’ll be monitored and checked for bleeding. Once the surgeon feels it is okay for you to go home, you are given prescription medications and driven home by whoever drove you to your appointment.

What to Expect During the Post-Operative Recovery

For the first two days, your surgeon and his staff keep in touch to monitor your recovery. Expect some pain, though medications keep this to a minimum. You should rest as much as possible and avoid sleeping on your stomach. Swelling and redness are common complaints, and swelling can last for up to three months. You will likely feel okay returning to work after four or five days, but it’s best to stay home for a full week. If your job requires heavy lifting, take a full two weeks off.

Scheduling Check-ups With Your Plastic Surgeon

Most plastic surgeons want to see their patients a day after the surgery to check for bleeding. You’ll also return about a week after your surgery to have stitches removed. After that, you do need to watch for signs of a rupture, such as the breast changes size or shape, the breast becomes painful, or the breast feels harder or softer than it did. If this happens, you need to have your breast screened. Usually this is done through an MRI. Yearly breast exams and mammograms are also important.

Dr. Robert Kessler, a Newport Beach, California, breast augmentation surgeon, has his new patient registration forms and paperwork available online. Print these papers out and complete them before your appointment to save time. Reach the California plastic surgery at 949.644.6544 to arrange a convenient time to meet with Dr. Kessler about augmentation mammoplasty.

All Articles >