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Healthcare: Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery

Breast Augmentation/Implants

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How well does breast enlargement work?

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Breast enlargement surgery can increase your breast size by one or more bra cup sizes. It can also help your breasts match better in size and shape.

Most women who get breast implants are satisfied with the results. You are likely to be happy with the results if you are realistic about what you expect from the surgery. The surgeon can show you pictures of other women who got implants. This can give you a good idea about what to expect.

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How is breast enlargement done?

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A doctor will make a cut (incision) in the bottom crease of the breast, in the armpit, or along the lower edge of the nipple and the dark area around the nipple. The doctor will make a pocket under the muscle or breast tissue. Then the doctor will put in the implant and adjust it to the correct shape, size, and position. The incision is closed with stitches.

Some people have a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time as the breast enlargement. A breast lift can raise sagging or drooping breasts and pull up the nipple and the area around it. To lift the breasts, the doctor removes excess skin from the bottom of the breast or from around the nipple. The remaining skin is sewn together. This tightens and lifts the breast. A longer incision is needed for a breast lift than for a breast enlargement alone.

Breast enlargements and lifts are usually done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. An overnight stay in the hospital is not needed unless there are problems during surgery. The surgery takes 1 to 2 hours. You will probably be asleep during surgery.

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Your recovery

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In breast enlargement surgery, the doctor makes the breasts larger by putting an implant under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. An implant is a soft silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution or a gel. After the surgery you will probably feel weak. You may feel sore for 2 to 3 weeks and you’ll likely have a lot of swelling. You may have a pulling or stretching feeling in your breast area. You can expect to feel better and stronger each day, although you may need pain medicine for a week or two. You may get tired easily or have less energy than usual. This may last for several weeks after surgery.

Most stitches are removed in 5 to 10 days.

Your new breasts may feel firmer and look rounder. The skin on your breasts may be numb. It should get better with time. You may have some permanent loss of feeling in the nipple area.

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