With the wealth of information available online via resources such as RealSelf and Facebook, many prospective patients come to us knowing what they want and want to expect from their breast augmentation surgery. However, every practice does things a little bit differently, and there are so many of you who have no idea where to start your research.
So we put together a little guide for anyone considering breast augmentation at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. We’ve got you covered from your consult, to your 1 year follow up, and everything in between.
What do I need to know before I meet with my surgeon?
Some doctor’s offices will ask that you do research on breast augmentation prior to meeting them. This doesn’t matter so much to us. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Having a ton of information prior to the consult isn’t always a good thing. Here are a few things you do need to know:
Breast augmentation surgery is always done under general anesthetic
You will need to be off work and most other household duties for a minimum of one week
You will not be allowed to do any heavy lifting or rigorous exercise for 4 weeks after surgery. If you have young children, you may be allowed to lift them out of their crib, into the car seat etc after a week or two, but that will be discussed with you in person.
Reference photos are helpful to have with you at your first consultation, but not absolutely necessary. We have tons of our own photos we can show you and we can get a generally good idea of the look you are after just by having you describe it to us. We will meet with you as many times as is necessary before your surgery to ensure you are happy and confident in your selection of implant.
We’d like to discourage you from telling us you want the same size, shape and type of implant as your friend (hehehe) even though we agree she looks amazing. The reason for this is every woman’s body is different! Describe the look you want, and we’ll pick the best implant for you.
What should I expect in my consultation?
There are differences in how consultations are run, depending on the practice. At The Plastic Surgery Clinic, the first person you meet with is your plastic surgeon. You will discuss your goals and your desired look. The doctor will assess your physique and take some measurements. From there your doctor will recommend a few different types and sizes of implants and get your feedback.
They will also discuss incision location. Where your incision is placed depends a lot on your anatomy, the implant you select, and your personal preference. Your doctor will then call in your patient coordinator and let you have some time to go over next steps and try on different sizers.
Many of our patients decide then and there which size they want to go with and when they want to book their surgery. Other patients go home to think on the size and select their surgery date when they’re ready. It’s totally up to you.
Your appointment is booked. Now what?
You’ll get a big packet of information from the clinic detailing everything you need to know prior to your surgery. We ask that you get an assessment from your family doctor or walk-in clinic, and some blood work is required as well. You’ll need to pick up post-surgical medications and arrange for a caregiver to help you after surgery.
Your caregiver will pick you up from the clinic and stay with you that entire day and night. You are fine to look after yourself on your own the day after your surgery, but it may be helpful to have someone assist with meal prep, dishes etc., for a few days longer.
The day of your surgery
The day of your surgery we’ll ask you to come in comfy clothes including a shirt that zips or buttons up. No jewelry, no makeup, and no painted nails. After you’ve been checked in, you’ll change into a gown and wait in a cozy room. Your doctor will see you, confirm your size and mark your chest with markers.
You’ll meet the nurses who will care for you, as well as your anesthetist. You’ll take some medications orally before being fitted with an IV. Then you’ll go to sleep and wake up feeling a little groggy, but generally pretty good. Most patients feel no pain upon waking. You might feel some pressure and tightness in and across the chest. You will likely be ready to be picked up about 4 afters after you were dropped off.
The day after surgery
Your surgeon will see you the morning after your surgery (so you’ll need someone to drive you to your appointment) just to make sure everything looks good. You can discuss any questions you might have. You may feel a bit more uncomfortable the day after surgery as swelling increases, but everyone is different.
You’ll be resting and healing. You may be sore and tender. We’ll give you some exercises to do, and we’ll want you up and walking around a bit every hour while you are awake (not to worry when you are sleeping). Aside from that, we want you to chill. Someone needs to be looking after your kids, if you’ve got them, and we don’t want you working, tidying the house or doing anything other than laying super, super low. NETFLIX AND CHILL, GIRL.
The more relaxed you are during this week, the faster you will heal. Even if you feel great, please, just chill. This is often the hardest part for our patients. They are in minimal discomfort, so they want to be out and about living their typically active lifestyles. But we really want to discourage you from doing this to give your body time to adjust to all the changes it’s just been through.
You’ll have follow up appointments with our post-op nurse, Lori (@asknurselori on instagram) at weeks 1 and 2. She’ll check you out, examine your incisions, explain how to wash them, and show you how to perform your breast massage (which you’ll do every day for a year after surgery). If you have any concerns during your healing period, e-mail her! She’ll get right back to you, even on the weekend. And of course if anything is urgent, we give you a special number to call to get in touch with our doctors ASAP.
During this time your breasts may be swollen and uncomfortable. They may sit high and feel very tight. They will slowly lower and soften during the upcoming weeks and months. After week 1 we still want you to take it easy, but you can go back to work and do some light exercise like walking. Nothing high impact and no heavy lifting until the end of week 4.
4 weeks and beyond
After 4 weeks you can resume your regular workout routine. Listen to your body though, if a particular exercise feels uncomfortable, ease off. You’ll probably be feeling really great after 4 weeks and you’ll get to see your new look really take shape. Time to enjoy it (and show it off if that’s your thing!). You’ll meet with your surgeon at 1 month post-op, 4 months, 6 months and 12 months.
Most of our patients having nothing but positive things to say about their breast augmentation experience. They typically report that it was much easier than they were expecting and that they wished they had done it sooner. It’s such an exciting time in someone’s life. We know that making this decision is not one you take lightly, we hope we can share some of the load by giving you as much information about the procedure as possible. If you want to explore your options even further, book a free consultation.