Woman in White Body Suit Considering Breast Augmentation

Are you considering breast augmentation? Your body image—how you view yourself—can affect your mood, confidence, and social interactions. Breast augmentation is a way to improve the way you look and feel. Each year more than 200,000 people in the U.S. receive breast augmentation. But how can you decide if it is right for you? Consider the facts. We will begin with breast augmentation fundamentals, explain how to select a plastic surgeon, and review what you can expect before, during, and after surgery.

Breast Augmentation Fundamentals

This section covers common questions about breast augmentation. The answers can help you decide if you want to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon.

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that augments—or increases—breast size. Augmentation also improves the shape, proportion, and contour of your breasts. It is among the top five cosmetic surgeries that people choose to enhance their appearance.

What Are the Breast Augmentation Options?

Breast augmentation options include augmentation with implants and augmentation with fat transfer.

Augmentation With Implants

A breast implant is an outer silicone shell filled with saline or silicone. A plastic surgeon makes an incision to insert an implant and increase your breast size.

Augmentation With Fat Transfer

Breast augmentation with fat grafting uses liposuction to harvest fat from other parts of your body. Your plastic surgeon will clean the fat and transfer it to your breasts.

How Does Breast Augmentation with Implants Compare with Fat Transfer?

You can expect different results with breast augmentation with implants vs. fat transfer.

  • Implants – The prosthetic devices can perk up, round, and enlarge your breasts one cup size or more. You will have many options for achieving the breast size you want.
  • Fat transfer – Augmentation with fat can enhance the upper part of your breasts by one-half to one bra-cup size. But 20 to 40 percent of the fat may not survive the transfer. Fat transfer alone cannot reconstruct a breast. Many plastic surgeons use fat transfer as a supplement to implants for adding fullness.

How Do a Breast Lift and an Augmentation Compare?

A breast lift and an augmentation have different purposes:

  • Lift – A breast lift is a surgical technique that lifts, reshapes, and perks up breasts, but it does not resize them.
  • Augmentation – If you want to increase your breast size, augmentation is required.
  • Combination – If your breasts are sagging and deflated and you want to lift them and increase their size, your surgeon will recommend an augmentation and a lift.

What Are the Types of Breast Implants?

Breast implants have a smooth or textured shell filled with saline, traditional silicone, or gummy bear silicone. Implants are available in different shapes and sizes.

Breast Implant Shell

  • Smooth – Smooth implant shells feel soft and natural.
  • Textured – The rubbery rough exterior of textured implants is designed to adhere better to your breast tissue, prevent implant repositioning, and minimize the risk of capsular contracture (tight scar tissue that squeezes the implant).

Smooth Vs. Textured Implant Shells

Smooth

Smooth shells are available for saline or silicone and round breast implants.

  • Look – Many plastic surgeons agree that a smooth exterior shell makes augmented breasts look more natural, but you may experience visible rippling beneath your skin.
  • Feel – The smoothness of round implant shells helps them feel more natural. Implants move naturally with your breasts.

Textured

Textured shells have saline or silicone filling and can be used for round or teardrop-shaped breast implants.

  • Look – The risk of seeing folds and ripples beneath your skin is greater with textured implants.
  • Feel – The rough exterior creates scar tissue that sticks to the implants. The thick shell and adhesion make the implants feel firmer. Textured shells have ripples, so if you are thin and do not have much breast tissue, you may feel the implants. Unlike smooth implants, they do not move freely with your breasts.

Breast Implant Filling

The types of filling for breast implants include saline, traditional silicone, or gummy bear silicone.

  • Saline – After inserting a breast implant shell, a plastic surgeon can fill it with saline—sterile saltwater. The FDA approves breast augmentation with saline implants in women age 18 and older.
  • Traditional silicone – Prefilled breast implants contain a rubbery synthetic gel that is like the texture of natural breast tissue. The FDA approves breast augmentation with silicone implants in women age 21 and older.
  • Gummy bear silicone – Gummy bear silicone is thicker and firmer than traditional silicone.

How Saline, Silicone, And Gummy Bear Filling Compare

Breast implant filling can affect the look and feel of your results.

Saline

  • Appearance – Newer saline technology helps implants maintain an overall look and shape comparable to silicone. But if you are thin and do not have much breast tissue, the risk of seeing implant edges and rippling under your skin is greater.
  • Feel – It does not feel as soft and natural as silicone. During a breast exam or intimacy, the implant edges are easier to feel. And you are more likely to feel the implant shell inside your breast if you are thin.
  • Implications if the shell ruptures – The implant will begin to deflate immediately. Your body will absorb and expel the saline.
  • Incision size – Typically, the incision is smaller because your surgeon fills the implant shell after inserting it into your breast.

Silicone

  • Appearance – Achieving the most natural-looking results, silicone-filled implants have fewer visible ripples than saline.
  • Feel – The results feel softer, more fluid, and more natural than saline-filled implants.
  • Implications if the shell ruptures – The breast will not collapse. The gel may escape the shell and enter the implant pocket.
  • Incision size – A slightly larger incision is required than with saline-filled implants.

Gummy bear silicone

  • Appearance – The results look natural, like traditional silicone implants.
  • Feel – It is firmer than traditional silicone and easier to feel in your breasts.
  • Implications if the shell ruptures – The breast will not collapse. It is unlikely that the gel will escape.
  • Incision size – A slightly larger incision is required than with both saline-filled and silicone-filled implants.

Breast Implant Shape

Traditional breast implants are round. In 2012, teardrop-shaped implants became available in the United States. But your plastic surgeon’s planning and precision can produce beautiful results with either shape.

  • Round – The shape gives breasts soft, round contour and fullness at the top.
  • Teardrop – Gently sloped teardrop implants create fullness in the lower breast. Teardrop implants offer more choices for defining your breast size and shape.

Round Vs. Teardrop

Round and teardrop implants offer variations in their shell, filling, and the results they produce.

Round

Round implants are available in a variety of diameters and degrees of projection to complement any body type.

  • Shell – A smooth or textured shell is used for round implants.
  • Filling – You can choose saline or silicone gel.
  • Appearance – It increases upper and lower breast fullness.
Teardrop

You can choose from various tall or wide implants for more precise dimensions that complement your anatomy and match your preference for fullness.

  • Shell – A textured shell is required to minimize movement and prevent displacement.
  • Filling – They contain gummy bear silicone.
  • Appearance – Teardrop implants appear fuller in the lower breast. You can request an implant height and width that achieves your goals.

Breast Implant Dimensions

Your plastic surgeon can help you select an implant size that complements your body profile, size, and shape while keeping your breasts proportionate and comfortable.

  • Diameter – This measurement represents implant width. Implants with the same diameter as your breast usually fit best.
  • Profile – It determines how far the implants project from your chest. You can choose low-, moderate-, or high-profile implants.
  • Volume – It affects how much space the implants occupy in cubic centimeters. On average, an increase in one bra-cup size is about 150cc – 200cc.

How Do I Choose My Breast Implants?

You can choose your implants with these steps:

  • List the results you want and the effects that you want to minimize
  • Consider how breast augmentation will affect your choice of clothing, lifestyle, and comfort
  • Review the types of implants and the look and feel they produce
  • Choose a plastic surgeon with experience using a variety of implants and who can explain which implants will help you achieve your goals

Your plastic surgeon will recommend types of breast implants based on these factors:

  • Your current health and medical history
  • An examination and a mammogram if needed
  • Your body frame, weight, and breastbone structure
  • The condition of your existing breast tissue
  • Your preferences for breast appearance and size and the incision placement

Is Breast Augmentation Safe?

Although no surgical procedure is without risk, the FDA approved silicone-filled and saline-filled breast implants for augmentation in these cases:

  • Correcting developmental defects
  • Increasing breast size
  • Reconstruction after breast cancer or trauma

What Are the Risks of Breast Augmentation?

The risks of breast augmentation include:

  • Additional surgeries may be required
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Bleeding
  • Capsular contracture (hard scar tissue that squeezes an implant)
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Implant rupture and leakage
  • Incorrect implant position
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Scarring complications
  • Skin wrinkling over the implant

Additional risks associated with fat transfer:

  • Fatty cysts
  • Breast lumps and calcification
  • Not enough fat survives to achieve desired results

Although breast augmentation has risks, a board-certified plastic surgeon has the skill and experience to anticipate and minimize them for each patient’s case.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

Capsular contracture is a condition that occurs when the fibrous scar tissue around a breast implant becomes unusually hard. Although scar tissue around a breast implant is typical, with capsular contracture, the rigid scar tissue contracts and squeezes the implant, causing pain and discomfort.

A board-certified plastic surgeon understands the factors that increase capsular contracture risks and follows a strict protocol to minimize the risks. Visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website for facts about capsular contracture, its causes, and its treatment.

What Type of Incision Is Made?

The types of incisions for a breast augmentation procedure are inframammary, periareolar, and transaxillary. Ultimately, you will choose the incision type, but your plastic surgeon will recommend an incision based on these factors:

  • Implant size
  • Implant type
  • Implant placement (behind the breast tissue or the chest muscle)
  • Your anatomy
  • The surgeon’s experience with different types of incisions and the results they produce

Periareolar

Your plastic surgeon will make an incision along the areolar—the border around the nipple.

  • Incision size – Often, only a small incision—about five centimeters—is required.
  • Uses – It works well with saline implants, but silicone implants may require a longer incision.
  • Visibility – The areolar tissue may hide the scar.

Transaxillary

Plastic surgeons use an endoscope to make an incision under your armpit.

  • Incision size – A surgeon can make an incision as small as an inch long for saline-filled implants.
  • Uses – It allows the avoidance of a scar on the breast.
  • Visibility – The scar is usually not as good as those in the periareolar and inframammary areas.

Inframammary

Your surgeon will make a crease along your breast fold.

  • Incision size – The incision may be as small as an inch long for saline-filled implants.
  • Uses – It is the preferred incision because of the lesser degree of capsular contracture.
  • Visibility – It is not readily visible unless you are lying down since the breast overhang covers it.

Where Are Implants Placed?

A plastic surgeon places breast implants in one of these locations:

  • Subglandular – Behind the breast tissue, above the pectoral (chest) muscle
  • Submuscular – Behind the pectoral muscle
  • Dual-plane – Partly behind the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue

The implant insertion location depends on the type of implant you receive, your body type, and your surgeon’s experience.

Subglandular

  • Appearance – Implant rippling beneath your skin is more visible than with submuscular implants.
  • Recovery – The implant location does not affect muscle tissue, resulting in less post-surgery discomfort and shorter recovery time.
  • Mammograms – It may interfere with mammography views.
  • Breastfeeding – It may interfere with breastfeeding.
  • Capsular contracture – It increases the risk.

Submuscular

  • Appearance – Placing implants behind the chest muscle maximizes soft tissue coverage, helps breasts look and feel more natural, and minimizes visible rippling beneath your skin.
  • Recovery – The procedure stretches your muscle tissue, resulting in more post-surgery discomfort and a longer recovery.
  • Mammograms – It interferes less with mammography views.
  • Breastfeeding – It may interfere less with breastfeeding.
  • Capsular contracture – It reduces the risk.

Dual-plane

  • Appearance – An implant that is partially behind the chest muscle and breast tissue looks natural and reduces rippling visibility. It also decreases the chance of a double bubble deformity.
  • Recovery – The discomfort is usually minimal, and recovery is shorter than a total submuscular placement.
  • Mammograms – It interferes less with mammography views.
  • Breastfeeding – It may interfere less with breastfeeding.
  • Capsular contracture – It reduces the risk.

Is Breast Augmentation Painful?

Anesthesia will prevent you from feeling pain during breast augmentation surgery. As the anesthesia wears off after surgery, you will begin to feel discomfort, but your plastic surgeon will give you pain relievers to minimize your discomfort.

  • Subglandular placement: Initial discomfort lasts three to four days
  • Submuscular or dual-plane placement: Initial discomfort lasts seven to ten days

You may experience mild soreness and swelling that progressively decreases over the next few weeks.

How Long is Recovery After Breast Augmentation?

Recovery time after breast augmentation varies with each patient. Plan to avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks. For submuscular or dual-plane implants, avoid weight-bearing exercises for six weeks. The average recovery is four to six weeks.

These factors can affect your recovery:

  • Implant size
  • Implant type
  • Implant location
  • Your plastic surgeon’s technique and skill

What Can I Do to Promote Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Ask for help at home

Ask a responsible adult to help you with these tasks:

  • Doing household chores
  • Taking care of children
  • Driving

Taking medicine as prescribed

If your surgeon prescribes medication, take them as prescribed to minimize discomfort and promote healing:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-nausea aids
  • Muscle relaxer
  • Pain reliever

Get enough rest and sleep

Rest and sleep to help your body heal and help you regain strength. Although you will walk immediately after surgery, follow your surgeon’s guidelines for resuming regular activity.

Maintain a healthy diet

Stock your kitchen with plenty of easy-to-prepare, healthy foods. Drinking plenty of water has several benefits:

  • Prevents dehydration
  • Prevents post-operative constipation
  • Moves nutrients through your body to promote healing
  • Decreases the risk of developing blood clots
  • Carries white blood cells through your body to prevent infection

How Long Will It Take to See the Final Shape?

After subglandular breast augmentation, you can see the final shape in a few weeks as swelling reduces and your skin stretches. It can take up to three months to see the final form with submuscular implants.

How Often Should Breast Implants Be Checked?

Breast implants require self-checks, office visits, and routine MRIs for silicone-filled implants.

  • Self-check – After your breasts heal from surgery, check them each month. Your plastic surgeon will show you how to apply the right amount of pressure during the self-exam and distinguish between the implant and a lump in your breast.
  • Office visit – You will have exams with your plastic surgeon to check your implants and breast health.
  • MRI – If you have a silicone-filled implant, you should have an MRI five years after surgery and then as directed by Dr. Sanders.

How Often Must Breast Implants Be Replaced?

Implants often last longer than ten years, and a stable implant does not need replacement. Ask your surgeon about the warranty for your breast implants. Every few years, you will need to have an MRI to check the status of your silicone-filled implant. Your plastic surgeon can replace aging implants or perform a breast lift.

How Long Do the Results of Breast Augmentation with Fat Last?

About 40% of the transferred fat will be absorbed within the first 6 months. What fat remains may last a lifetime, but if you become pregnant, breastfeed, or gain or lose a lot of weight, the volume of fat will change.

Can I Combine Breast Augmentation with Other Procedures?

A plastic surgeon can combine breast augmentation with other procedures. For example, some patients combine breast augmentation with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), but each patient’s case is different. Discuss your cosmetic goals with your plastic surgeon to determine whether to combine or phase treatment.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

Please discuss surgical fees with Dr. Sanders’ staff. The fees depend on many factors.

Additional costs:

  • Your cost can vary based on your case, where you live, your plastic surgeon’s location, and the surgeon’s fees.
  • You will incur additional fees for anesthesia, medical supplies, the surgical facility, and other expenses.
  • Your plastic surgeon will give you a treatment estimate for the total cost of your procedure.

Will Insurance Cover My Breast Surgery?

An insurance company may provide some coverage toward breast surgery that it defines as medically necessary. But each insurance company has different criteria for covering surgical management of breasts. Contact your health insurance provider, and request printed information about criteria for coverage and plan benefits.

Is Breast Augmentation Worth It?

Breast augmentation is worth it if your breast size, shape, or position affects your self-esteem or confidence. Or maybe you simply want to look better in your clothes. Augmentation from a board-certified plastic surgeon is a long-term solution for enhancing your breasts in several ways:

  • Contour
  • Lift
  • Projection
  • Proportion
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Symmetry

Breast Augmentation Consultation

You can find the right provider for your needs by scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation. Board certification verifies a surgeon’s skill and ability to give you high-quality, predictable results. Check plastic surgeons’ websites for details about their credentials.

How many consultations do you need?

The number of breast augmentation consultations you need depends on your satisfaction with a plastic surgeon after a consultation. Look for these traits in a surgeon to help you decide if you need another consultation:

  • Attentively listens to you
  • Welcomes your questions about their credentials and experience
  • Makes you feel at ease and comfortable discussing your concerns
  • Thoroughly educates you about your options and what to expect
  • Willingly shows you before-and-after photos of patients with breasts that look like yours before augmentation
  • Has a professional team and organized office environment
  • Does not rush you to choose treatment options or schedule surgery

What Happens During a Breast Augmentation Consultation?

During a breast augmentation consultation, you will meet the plastic surgeon and have time to ask questions and discuss your goals. The surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.

How to Prepare for a Consultation

  1. Be ready to explain why you want breast augmentation and the results you want.
  2. Bring a list of your current medications, supplements, vitamins, and drug allergies.
  3. Prepare a list of your past and medical conditions and previous surgeries.
  4. Bring your most recent mammogram results and results from any previous biopsies.
  5. Know your family’s medical history—particularly the history of breast cancer.
  6. List your history of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use.
  7. List questions you may have about breast augmentation.

What to Expect From a Plastic Surgeon During Your Consultation

During your breast augmentation consultation, the plastic surgeon will do the following:

  • Listen to your augmentation goals
  • Evaluate your health history and assess any risk factors
  • Examine your breasts for condition, including skin quality and location of your areolas and nipples
  • Take detailed measurements of your breast size and shape

Afterward, the plastic surgeon will discuss your options and explain your outcome and the risks of an augmentation procedure based on these factors:

  • Your medical history
  • Your family history of breast cancer
  • Your desired breast size and shape after augmentation
  • Your current breast size and shape
  • The quality and quantity of your breast tissue
  • The condition of your skin

What Questions Should I Ask During a Breast Augmentation Consultation?

Make a list of questions you want to ask during your breast augmentation consultation, and include these:

1. Are you a breast augmentation specialist?

Ensure your surgeon specializes in breast augmentation.

Questions to ask:
  • How many breast augmentation procedures have you performed?
  • How often do you perform the surgery?
  • May I see before-and-after pictures of your breast augmentation patients?

2. Where will you perform my surgery?

A plastic surgeon might perform your surgery at one of these locations:

  • Hospital
  • On-site surgery facility
  • Same-day surgery facility

Ask if the facility is accredited. If you want the surgeon to complete your surgery in a hospital, ask where the surgeon has hospital privileges.

3. Am I a candidate for breast augmentation?

Your plastic surgeon must review your medical history to determine if you are a breast augmentation candidate. But you might be a candidate if the following is true:

  • You are at least 18 years old for fat transfer augmentation or saline-filled implants or at least 22 years old for silicone implants
  • Your physical and emotional health is good
  • Your breasts are fully developed
  • You are not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You are unhappy with the shape or size of your breasts
  • Your expectations about breast augmentation are realistic

4. Which procedures do you recommend for the results I want?

Depending on the results you want—and the surgeon’s technique—they might recommend more than one procedure, including:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast lift
  • Fat transfer

5. Will I need a mammogram?

A plastic surgeon may schedule a presurgical mammogram based on these factors:

  • Your age
  • Date of your last mammogram
  • Type of procedure

The surgeon may schedule a follow-up mammogram sometime after surgery.

6. What type of anesthesia will you use?

Most plastic surgeons use general anesthesia during your breast augmentation procedure. In some cases, intravenous sedation may be considered.

7. What type of incision will you make?

Your plastic surgeon will recommend a location for your implant incisions that will achieve your desired outcome while minimizing visible scarring.

Incision locations:

  • Periareolar: Around the areola’s outer edge
  • Inframammary: Above the fold under your breast
  • Transaxillary: In the armpit

8. Where will you place my breast implants?

The method a surgeon uses can affect your outcome and recovery time. Ask which method the surgeon will use for your case and why. A plastic surgeon may insert your breast implants in one of these locations:

  • Beneath the pectoral (chest) muscle
  • Beneath the breast tissue, on top of the pectoral muscle
  • Partly behind the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue

Before, During, and After Breast Augmentation

In this section, we explain what to expect before, during, and after breast augmentation.

How Can I Prepare for Surgery?

You can prepare for breast augmentation surgery by completing medical and practical tasks.

What your surgeon may request

  • A blood test – Your surgeon will use the results to check your overall health and check your blood count for any undetected disorders in your medical history.
  • A mammogram – Depending on your age, health history, and the type of implants you receive, your surgeon may request a baseline mammogram before and after breast augmentation.
  • Stop smoking – You should stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery. Smoking constricts blood vessels, inhibits blood circulation, and reduces the oxygen supply to healing breast and muscle tissue.
  • Avoid aspirin, specific anti-inflammatory medication, and herbal supplements – Your surgeon will ask you to stop taking any drugs or supplements that can increase bleeding.
  • Take medication – Your surgeon may prescribe medication or adjust your current prescriptions

Practical tasks

  • Anticipate the expense – Plan for out-of-pocket costs to cover the cost of your procedure.
  • Arrange for transportation – Ask a trustworthy adult to drive you to and from your appointment.
  • Get overnight assistance – Arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you the rest of the day and overnight.
  • Grocery shop – You will not be able to drive for a few days after surgery, so stock up on groceries or arrange grocery delivery.
  • Pick up prescriptions – Pick up pain medication and any other medication or ointments prescribed by your plastic surgeon.
  • Reorganize at home – Ensure items you need at home are within reach so that you can avoid reaching, lifting, pushing, pulling, or twisting as you recover.
  • Schedule time off – You will need plenty of rest. Schedule time off from work or school.

How Many Hours Is Breast Augmentation Surgery?

On average, breast augmentation takes at least two hours. The length of your surgery depends on the augmentation type and other procedures you may receive. Your plastic surgeon will give you a time estimate for your surgery.

  • Augmentation with fat – This technique requires liposuction to harvest fat and adding volume to your breasts. Expect at least two to three hours of surgery time.
  • Augmentation with implants – Your surgery will take about two hours. If your plastic surgeon completes more than one procedure, it will take longer.

What Happens During Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Breast augmentation surgery includes the following steps:

Augmentation with implants

Breast augmentation with implants includes these steps:

  • Anesthesia – An anesthesiologist or anesthetist will sedate you and monitor your heart, blood pressure, and pulse.
  • Incisions – Your plastic surgeon will make an inframammary, periareolar, and transaxillary incision.
  • Implant insertion – Your surgeon will insert a breast implant into the pocket behind your breast tissue, behind your chest muscle, or both.
  • Fill the implant shells if needed – If you receive saline-filled implants, your plastic surgeon will fill the shells and ensure they are sealed. Silicone implants are prefilled.
  • Close the incisions – After layering sutures in your breast tissue, your surgeon will close your skin with sutures, surgical tape, or adhesive.
  • Immediately after surgery – Your surgeon will either wrap your chest with bandages or use a surgical compression bra to support your breasts and help them heal. Surgical staff members will monitor you in a recovery area while you rest until the anesthesia wears off.

Augmentation with fat transfer

Breast augmentation with fat transfer includes these steps:

  • Anesthesia – An anesthesiologist or anesthetist will sedate you and monitor your heart, blood pressure, and pulse.
  • Liposuction – Your plastic surgeon will gently extract fat cells from areas such as your stomach, flanks (between your bra strap and hips), and outer or inner thighs.
  • Fat purification – The surgeon may use a centrifuge or fat filtration process to remove impurities from the fat cells.
  • Injection – Using small syringes, your plastic surgeon will inject threads of fat through all levels of your breast tissue, under your skin, and in and above your chest muscle.
  • Immediately after the procedure – Your surgeon will bandage the injection site. You will wear a compression garment to protect the liposuction sites and promote healing. Surgical staff members will monitor you in a recovery area while you rest until the anesthesia wears off.

What Can I Expect During Breast Augmentation Recovery?

Each patient’s experience during breast augmentation recovery is unique. The size, shape, and placement of your implants and your surgeon’s skill can affect how you feel and your recovery time. But regardless of your experience, it is essential to avoid physical activity and follow your surgeon’s instructions for taking prescribed medication, proper breast care, and getting plenty of rest.

First 24 to 48 hours

During the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery, your symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity in your breasts
  • Intense pain and discomfort

Your surgeon will prescribe pain relievers and muscle relaxers to keep you comfortable.

48 hours to four weeks

The type of augmentation you receive will affect your recovery.

Breast implants

  • Discomfort – Your breasts, chest, and skin will feel sore and tight. Medication will help this. Most of the time, no stitches need to be removed.
  • Activity – Begin to stretch your arms over your head the first night. You may be up and about as soon as you feel like it, but avoid exercise for two weeks. After that, cardio is fine and after 4 weeks, all forms of exercise are OK.
  • Return to work or school – You can return to work or school in a few days if your job or schooling does not require strenuous activity.
  • Seeing the results – You will notice that your breasts are larger right away, but they may be swollen. The swelling disappears over the first weeks, but some may last for a few months.

Fat transfer

  • Discomfort – You will feel sore for a few days. Your surgeon will prescribe mild pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. You will experience bruising and swelling for two to three weeks.
  • Healing – Prevent infection in the injection sites by taking antibiotics as prescribed. Keep the dressing on the injection sites for ten days. Continue wearing the compression garment for at least four weeks.
  • Activity – You can resume light activity in two to three days, but avoid strenuous activity, including pulling, pushing, lifting, reaching, and twisting for two to three weeks.
  • Return to work or school – You can return to non-strenuous work or school in two to five days.
  • Seeing the results – You will see the effects immediately, but your breasts will be swollen. After the fat transfer integrates with your breast tissue, your breasts will settle into shape.

Four to six weeks

Recovery is usually complete at this point, and you can resume your regular activity. You will return to your plastic surgeon for a checkup and evaluation of your breast tissue and implants.


Schedule a Consultation

Do you think breast augmentation may be right for you? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. George Sanders provides breast augmentation services for the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley communities. Dr. Sanders has decades of experience in breast surgery options for women and men.

If you live nearby, contact us to schedule a breast augmentation consultation. Otherwise, you can visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website to find a board-certified plastic surgeon near you.