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Breast augmentation surgery generally lasts between 1 and 3 hours and can be conducted on either an inpatient or outpatient basis using either a general or local anesthetic coupled with sedation. There are three different types of incisions used to cut into the breast - each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:
- Trans-axillary approach, where an incision is made through the armpit.
- Infra-mammary approach, where an incision is made in the natural crease under the breast.
- Peri-areolar approach, where the incision is made at the juncture between the areola (dark skin around the nipple) and the natural skin.
There is the possibility of infection following any surgery. Your surgeon will likely prescribe antibiotics to avoid infection in addition to any pain medication. Bruising and swelling are common following breast augmentation surgery, particularly around the nipple area, and will subside slowly over 3 to 5 weeks. Patients may be required to wear a surgical bra for a while to support the breasts during recovery. Patients are encouraged to get up within the first 24 to 48 hours. Stitches are removed in 7 to 10 days and normal activity is resumed in roughly 2 weeks. However, strenuous activity and direct stimulation of the breasts are discouraged for up to 4 weeks.
Scars from breast augmentation surgery are permanent, but are usually placed as inconspicuously as possible. They do fade over a period of 6 to 9 months. Patients may experience a change in nipple sensation. Breast implants may also make performing and reading mammograms more difficult. Pregnancy can affect the long-term stability of breast implants. Be sure to discuss all the alternative surgical options with your surgeon to make the best choice for you.