In my last post, the first of this quick, two-part series, I got into the how, as in how to start going about a breast augmentation. The consultation is such a critical part of the process because it’s where you and your plastic surgeon begin to get to know each other, and that bond will prove to be essential to shaping the breasts you want. Here, I’ll discuss what exactly the surgery entails, what the recovery’s like, and how breast augmentation differs from a breast lift.
What happens during the procedure
Generally, the surgery is done under either general anesthesia or conscious sedation. For the latter, you’ll remain awake, but you’ll be in a deeply relaxed state and you won’t be able to feel any pain.
The procedure itself is fairly straightforward. I’ll make a small, economic incision to create a pocket to make room for the implant. Once I’ve positioned the implant, I’ll close and bandage the incision. The entire procedure usually lasts less than two hours, and you’ll be able to go home soon afterward.
I practice conservation when making any incision, which reduces downtime and post-operative pain as much as possible. The incisions will leave minimal scars, but they heal very well and become harder to see with time. Plus, they’ll be located in an inconspicuous spot, so you likely wouldn’t notice them unless you looked for them.
What the recovery’s like
Everyone recovers from surgery at a slightly different pace, but, on average, it takes about four to six weeks to fully resume your normal activities. You should feel significantly better within a week, though you’ll still want to stick to light activity and avoid high-intensity workouts until you’re fully healed.
Should you need pain medications after the surgery, you’ll have access to them in accordance with your overall recovery plan.
If you’re doing the math in your head, the coming weeks would make for an ideal time to have the surgery done. You’d be able to recover completely and still have the entire summer ahead of you.
Breast augmentation vs. breast lift
For most women, particularly those post-pregnancy or -weight loss, a certain amount of drooping of the breast is to be expected. If the breasts already have sufficient volume, a breast lift may be all that’s needed to restore the fullness and perkiness. Very often, though, the lift is done in combination with a breast augmentation.
With a breast lift, the surgeon remove excess, stretched-out skin, reshapes the breast tissue, and raises the nipple and areola to a more forward position, which creates a more youthful contour. Those who undergo the procedure are usually able to return to work within a few days, as long as it isn’t too physically demanding, and to most normal activities within a week.
To find out which approach is best suited for you—a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or a combination of the two—consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
For more on this topic, check out Dr. Davis’s podcast – The Plastic Surgery Revolution.