Breast augmentation is a popular procedure women can undergo to achieve a fuller, lifted appearance. The science behind this cosmetic procedure has advanced over the past several years, making it more customizable and safer than ever, as well as more capable of producing desirable results. As with the procedure itself, the recovery process after a breast lift and augmentation has also advanced, getting shorter and more efficient.
At Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute, we offer a variety of breast augmentation options to help you achieve your personal aesthetic goals. If you are considering a breast augmentation procedure, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the recovery process so that you know what to expect after your treatment.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that uses breast implants or fat tissue to improve or increase the shape, fullness, and size of the breasts. The fat or implants are placed under the breast tissue to produce the desired effect. The two types of breast lift and augmentation procedures include implants and fat transfer breast augmentation.
The most common type of breast augmentation uses implants, of which there are various options, including:
- Smooth implants
- Round implants
- Form-stable implants
- Textured implants
- Saline implants
- Structured saline implants
- Silicone implants
Certain implants are only FDA-approved for people of certain ages, so it’s vital that you and your surgeon discuss the options that are best for you.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Fat transfer breast augmentation — also called autologous breast augmentation or natural breast augmentation — involves the surgeon using liposuction to remove fat from the patient’s thighs, back, flanks, or belly to transfer it to the breasts.
Autologous breast augmentation is usually suitable for people who want only a modest increase in breast size or want to opt for a natural breast augmentation that doesn’t require saline or silicone implants.
The Purpose of Breast Augmentation
What is breast augmentation for exactly? Women may choose to get either type of breast augmentation for several reasons, including:
- To balance breast symmetry, if one is smaller than the other
- To enlarge both breasts for a more satisfying appearance
- To account for a decrease in breast size after weight loss or pregnancy
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery. Every year, about 295,000 people in the U.S. undergo the procedure.
Placement Options and How They Impact Recovery
When implants are used for breast augmentation, various aspects of the procedure can affect recovery, such as the placement of incisions and the implants themselves.
Typically, implants are inserted using one of three incision locations: the armpit crease, the edge of the nipple-areola complex, or under the crease of the breast. When fully healed, incisions in any of the three locations generally are difficult to see upon healing.
Placement of the Implant
There are also three options for the placement of the breast implant: above the chest muscle, beneath it, or below the tissue covering the muscle.
For best results, saline implants are usually encouraged to be placed under the muscle, while silicone implants are encouraged to go under the tissue covering that muscle.
Generally, the recovery after surgery is slightly longer for implants placed beneath the chest muscle, but many women feel that the bit of extra wait time is worth it because they believe it offers a more natural appearance.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Overall, many patients find that the recovery from breast augmentation surgery is easier than they had expected it to be. Patients also find that they feel better than they expected during the recovery process, especially with prescribed muscle relaxants and comfort medications.
There are also options for extra comfort measures that can be done during the procedure, such as long-lasting local anesthetic injections to numb the area. In addition, non-narcotic and comfort protocols can be carried out before surgery to customize the recovery experience after it.
After Breast Augmentation: Getting Back on Track
Following breast augmentation surgery, people can usually shower within 48 hours. You will want to avoid heavy lifting — more than 10 pounds — for about 14 days.
You should also avoid strenuous activities that increase your heart rate for the same amount of time. If you normally work out, you can slowly resume gentle activities and careful exercises after 14 days and gradually increase exercise each week until you reach the six-week post-surgery mark. At that point, most exercises are unrestricted.
Follow-Up Appointments After Your Procedure
You will have a follow-up office visit schedule that will be customized according to your specific needs following surgery. Generally, patients return for these check-ups one week, three weeks, and three months following their procedure. After the three-month mark, follow-up appointments will be more spaced out until the one-year mark.
At that point, many patients elect to continue these appointments to keep their new form in check. It’s a good idea to maintain regular visits to ensure the implants perform exactly as they should. If there are any minor issues following the procedure, these follow-ups can catch them so that they are addressed quickly and easily.
The follow-up visits are also crucial to keep you on track during your recovery and verify that healing occurs properly. You can also discuss any additional surgical or non-surgical options you might be interested in to complement your new look during these visits.
Wearing a Bra After Breast Augmentation Surgery
You will start with just a simple, gentle support garment following surgery and gradually move to more supportive bra choices over three to six months. At that time, once healing is complete, you are free to wear whatever you’d like.
Breast Augmentation in Rosemont, IL
At Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute in Rosemont, IL, our ultimate goal is to help our patients look and feel their best. We are the leader in Chicago for breast augmentation and a variety of additional procedures that can help you meet your cosmetic goals. To learn more about breast augmentations or our other services, reach out to us today and schedule a consultation.