Breast Augmentation: What To Expect

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure conducted on a woman to enhance the size of her breasts. This procedure is also known as augmentation mammoplasty or breast enhancement. Breast implants are carefully positioned under the breast tissue or the muscles of the chest. These implants improve the shape and size of breasts.

Breast enhancement is mostly done on women who want to increase the size of their breasts, especially after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women whose breasts are naturally small also go for this procedure. Most women undergo this surgery to enhance their body image and improve self-confidence. Other women undergo surgery for breast reconstruction purposes after conditions like breast cancer.

The Surgery

A general or local anesthesia is administered before surgery. A surgeon performs surgery by making an incision along the crease on the underside of your breast or around your areola. The surgeon then creates a pocket behind the breast tissue just big enough to accommodate an implant. Eventually, implants are inserted into the breast pockets and stitching is done to close up the incisions. Bandages are applied to the area to help in the healing process. This surgery takes about an hour or two and can be performed even on an outpatient basis. However, an overnight stay at the hospital is recommended for further observation.

After Surgery

According to the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery, you will feel a little tired and sore for the next few days after surgery. Fortunately, you’ll be able to go back to your normal day to day activities after two or three days. The surgeon will be monitoring your progress daily after surgery. Excess fluid may be removed using drainage tubes. Finally, your bandages will be removed after a few days and then you may be allowed to wear a bra with a soft cup.

Stitches that would not have dissolved on their own within 10 days will be removed. During this time, you may experience a burning sensation in your nipples but this feeling will subside as the post-surgical bruising begins to fade. Moreover, swelling after surgery is quite normal lasting for 3-5 weeks with implants placed under the breast gland and 3-5 months with implants positioned under the muscle.


Most patients go back to their normal routines a few days after surgery. During the first few weeks, your breasts will be sensitive. Therefore, you should not pull, push or lift heavy things for at least the first two weeks. These activities may increase your heart rate or blood pressure. The scars will be pink and firm and may appear to widen. They may even remain the same in size for months but they will disappear with time.

The Risks

The risks that come with breast implant surgery include:

  • Capsular Contracture – This occurs when the scar around a breast implant tightens causing the breast to feel abnormally hard.
  • The good news is that this condition is treatable.
  • Excessive bleeding or an infection on the breasts. This may require another surgery.
  • Numb, oversensitive or under sensitive nipples may occur but they are quite rare.
  • An implant may break and this will automatically mean that you must have another surgery to replace it.