More and more women are choosing to undergo breast enhancement procedures. There are many reasons why someone would seek breast augmentation. Maybe you’re looking to boost your self-esteem or want a younger, more rejuvenated appearance. Breast enlargement is major surgery. It requires a certain amount of pre-surgery prep and post-surgery recovery. It’s a journey that takes time and rest to get your desired results. 

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is an enlargement of the breasts. The procedure involves inserting implants to make the breasts bigger. Implants are filled with silicone or physiological saline. Silicone implants are the most commonly used in the UK as they tend to feel more natural. Silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. The implants feel much more like a natural breast. Implants are placed inside the breast to reconstruct, increase size, and enhance shape. 

During the procedure, your surgeon will place the implants either behind the breast or behind the muscle the breasts sit on. The surgery itself takes about 90 minutes and is performed under general aesthetic. 

Depending on the type of implant and the degree of enlargement, your surgeon may use varying surgical incisions. Incisions can be made in the creases under your breasts, in the armpit, or around the nipple. Your surgeon will discuss your incision options with you. 

What are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation Surgery?

If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, you may want larger breasts, or perhaps weight loss or pregnancy has affected your breasts’ shape. Benefits of breast augmentation surgery include:

  • Enhance contours of the body 
  • Enlarge breast size and improve the shape 
  • Balance out uneven breast size 
  • Boost confidence and self-esteem 
  • Feel more feminine 
  • Enjoy wearing more fitted clothes 

What to Expect Before and After Breast Enlargement Surgery

Whether you’re counting down the days until your surgery or are just thinking about getting breast implants, you need to understand what to expect before and after. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your surgery:

  • Ask for help from family or friends
  • Prepare your meals ahead of the surgery 
  • Stock up on some ice 
  • Stop smoking 
  • Adjust your medications as per your surgeon’s instructions 
  • Avoid certain drugs like anti-inflammatories 

What are the Potential Risks of Breast Augmentation Surgery?

It’s important to go into any plastic surgery with your eyes wide open. Gather as much information as possible to make the right decision for you based on facts. Potential risks of breast augmentation surgery include:

  • Breast pain
  • Infection 
  • Scar tissue 
  • Change in breast and nipple sensation
  • Implant leakage or rupture 
  • Fluid accumulation 
  • Stiff shoulder 
  • Wrong implant position 

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Breast Augmentation Surgery?

For anyone thinking about getting breast implants, the ideal candidate is in good mental and physical health. Patients should be a non-smoker with a stable weight and not pregnant or breastfeeding. Apart from health-related factors, any patient who wants larger breasts and is currently unhappy with their breasts’ appearance is a good candidate. Having an open mind and realistic expectations will help you get the most out of this procedure. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Breast Augmentation?

Enlarging your breast size is a type of major surgery that requires a post-surgery recovery plan to promote healing. Immediately following your surgery, you will feel discomfort and pain. Your surgeon will advise you on the best pain management for you to follow. It’s normal to experience swelling, fatigue, bruising, fatigue, and tightness in your chest in the first 24 hours. 

Following your surgery, you will need to rest a lot and not rush into anything. The majority of patients need up to two weeks off work to recover. You can start with light activities around the house after a week and be back to normal activities in six weeks. You should see the final results at about six months after your surgery. 

While it’s essential to get plenty of rest, you will need to get moving as soon as you can. A little walk in the garden or around your bedroom is crucial. Following your surgery, you will need to wear a supportive bra for several weeks. Here is a breakdown of the recovery journey to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • 1 week – return to work in 7-10 days if it doesn’t require strenuous activities. 
  • 2-3 weeks – return to normal activities. 
  • 4 weeks – resume gentle exercise but still avoid strenuous exercise. 
  • 6 weeks – can start doing more strenuous exercise. Your implants will drop into a more natural position, and you will have an appointment with your surgeon for a full evaluation. 
  • 6 months – scars will begin to face, and you will start to see the final results. 

11 Aftercare Tips for Breast Enlargement Surgery

1. Get Plenty of Rest

Rest immediately after your surgery and don’t do any exercise. You want to give your body the best chance of healing, so take the time you need.

2. Sleep on Your Back

You probably won’t sleep on your stomach anyway as this will be more painful. But make sure you’re sleeping on your back or your sides; otherwise, your implants may displace.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eat a balanced and varied diet to give your body the fuel it needs to recover. Take a multivitamin to aid healing and make sure you get plenty of protein in your diet.

4. Get Moving

Start walking the day after your operation. Even if it’s just a few minutes in the garden, it’s important to get moving as soon as you can.

5. Wear your TED stockings

Depending on your operation, you will need to wear your TED stockings for 1 or 2 weeks. Don’t forget your calf exercises, as well. TED stockings are also known as compression stockings. They are designed to reduce the risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis or blood clot in the lower leg.

6. Wear Your Garment

You will need to wear your supportive garment day and night for six weeks following your surgery.

7. Avoid Strenuous Exercise for Six Weeks

Although you can introduce gentle exercise a few weeks after your surgery, you should avoid strenuous exercise and upper body exercise for six weeks. Remember to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too much. You’re still healing, and that takes time.

8. Don’t Immerse the Area in Water

Avoid immersing the area in water, but you can shower the day after your surgery. Your surgeon will explain how to keep your dressing dry.

9. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids after your breast enlargement surgery. Staying hydrated is crucial for the healing process.

10. Communicate Any Concerns

Communicate any worries or issues as soon as they arise. Don’t wait for your check-up appointment with your surgeon. Pick up the phone and communicate any concerns early on. 
 
If you feel like breast augmentation is right for you, it’s crucial that you seek the advice of a fully accredited plastic surgeon to discuss your goals, options, and worries.
 

11. Moisturise and Massage

There isn’t any good evidence that massage helps with a breast augmentation per se. However, massage does help with scarring. So once healed (typically 2 weeks), I would advise massaging the scar after showering and before putting the bra on and the same before bed – twice a day for 2 minutes with Bio-oil, E45 or another suitable moisturiser. This is general scar advice.  It won’t prevent a capsular contracture, rupture, implant animation or malposition, etc. Massage in general does make someone feel good and lift’s one’s mood. So with its limitations understood, massage can still be useful.
 
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