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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risks? 

Although this is a relatively straightforward procedure, any time we do surgery there are some risks involved with proper healing. For discussions on any specific complications that may be involved, you should talk with your surgeon during your initial consultation. All risks can be reduced by choosing a qualified/board eligible or board certified plastic surgeon to perform this procedure.

Does a breast augmentation leave visible scars?

Your scars will be firm and pink for at least 6 weeks. The scars may remain this way for several months or even appear to widen.  After several months however, your scars will begin to fade - although they will never completely disappear.

Where will my surgery take place? 

The surgery is performed here at SIUH in the operating room and in most cases is done under general anesthesia. The surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete.

How large can my breasts be made? 

Normally, your bustline can be increased by one bra cup size or more. Your surgeon will talk with you about your options.

What happens during surgery? 

There are several different methods for inserting the implant, all of which depend upon your anatomy and your surgeon's recommendation. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or in the armpit. Regardless of the incision location, every effort will be made to minimize scars.

After the incision is made, the implant is carefully inserted either under the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. The implants are then adjusted to ideal size and symmetry before the incision is stitched closed.

What is the recovery time? 

Following surgery, you're likely to feel tired and sore for a few days. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by your doctor. You will be advised to take it easy the night after the surgery, as bleeding around the implant can sometimes occur. It will take about three weeks for the swelling and discoloration to subside.

Within several days, your doctor will remove any gauze dressings and give you a surgical bra. You should wear it as directed by your surgeon. You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, but this will subside as bruising fades.

Your stitches will come out in a week to 10 days, but the swelling in your breasts may take three to five weeks to disappear.

Where your implant is placed, under the breast tissue or under both breast and muscle, will to a great extent determine when you can return to work. Usually, if it is placed under the skin, you will be able to return to work in one week. If it's under the muscle, you can expect to be out of work for two weeks. In either case, it will be close to six weeks before you can participate in fitness activities other than walking or treadmill activity.

What determines whether the implant will be placed under the muscle or the skin? Often a woman wants a lift along with the augmentation. If so, then the implant is often put under the skin (or a skin tuck is done). You and your doctor will make the final decision as to the location of the implant. Your doctor will go over the risks and complications for each option, helping you to make an informed decision.

What types of implants do you use? 

At SIUH, we use either saline or silicone implants. The type of implant used depends greatly on a number of factors, which should be discussed between you and your surgeon.

Who are the best candidates for breast augmentation?

The best candidates for breast augmentation are women looking for improvement, not perfection. If you are physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on the condition of your breasts and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, your doctor may also recommend a breast lift.

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