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aiken plastic surgery
Dean Page, MD, FACS
...in search of the new you

Monthly Topic

 

 

 Breast Augmentation Timing

Thinking about breast augmentation to get ready for this summer?  Time is running out!

Although breast augmentation can be performed at any time, planning with respect to special events is important in order to make sure you look your best for your vacation or special event. The process of breast augmentation begins with your initial visit and doesn't end until your implants have finally settled into place. This entire process can take up to six months or longer following surgery.

At Aiken Plastic Surgery, an initial consult involves a detailed examination and medical history followed by an extensive discussion regarding the pros and cons of breast augmentation. The basic plan for surgery is determined at this visit including the type of implant, the placement/location of the implant (above or below the chest muscles) and the planned incision sites. Following an initial visit, most patients return for at least one sizing visit when the final volume of the augmentation is determined. Many patients make more than one visit bringing all different types of clothing to try on with various implant sizers.

Surgery is scheduled at The Surgery Center of Aiken or at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. In either case, the surgery is performed under general anesthesia and is scheduled as an outpatient in most cases.  The surgery itself takes 1 to 1.5 hours. After a few hours of recovery most patients are on their way home with a friend or one of their family members. The pain is usually well controlled with oral medications and antibiotics are also prescribed for the first few days after surgery to help prevent implant infection. Patients are then seen 48 to 72 hours after surgery for their initial post operative visit.

Most sub-muscular implants start out looking like they are too high. At Aiken Plastic Surgery, augmentation patients are usually given an elastic breast band to wear across the upper pole of their breasts to help accelerate the settling process. The implants eventually settle into the lower portion of the breast once the breast skin and glandular tissues relax. Breast implants usually arrive at their "final location" within three to six months after surgery. Everyone is a little different, but it is unrealistic to think that you will be ready for your "vacation in the Carribean" two weeks after surgery. There are some subtle changes that occur after six months but the majority of the implant descent takes place during the first few months.

The breast skin is very sensitive to sunlight/ultraviolet radiation during the first few weeks after surgery due to stretching and swelling of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. The skin of a newly augmented breast can burn with even minimal sun exposure. Although we never recommend tanning, we strongly advise against any sun exposure for at least the first few weeks after surgery.  Scars initially start out as pink lines and mature into thin pale lines over time. The scar maturation process takes from three months to two years and is dependant on each person's skin type and ultraviolet exposure. If you must tan after surgery, we recommend the use of sunscreen under your bathing suit since even the smallest amount of ultraviolet radiation exposure will slow the wound healing process and may lead to widened scars. We recommend that anyone using a tanning bed after surgery place aluminum foil over their incision sites until the scars reach their final maturity.

We hope that this information has been helpful to you. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are ready to help you reach your goals and plan your surgery (and recovery) as quickly and as safely as possible. Call us to get ready for summer now!