Breast Enlargement Surgery (cont.)

Before surgery, you'll need to prepare your home for our recovery time. Make sure you have:

  • Plenty of ice
  • Container for ice, or freezer bags (frozen veggies like corn or peas work, too)
  • Ointment or cream for incision sites as recommended by your surgeon
  • Plenty of loose, comfortable blouses or shirts which button down
  • Telephone within reaching distance of your main seating or lying area
  • Magazines, books or movies

Recovery and Follow-Up Care

Your surgeon will give you a prescription to control pain, if necessary. If you have drainage tubes, your surgeon will tell you when to return to have those removed, as well as when to remove the gauze bandage. Your surgeon will probably remove your stitches in about one week. You should do no heavy lifting for at least four weeks. If you are physically active in sports, it may take up to six weeks for you to return to those activities.

Complications and Side Effects

As with any surgery, there are side effects complications that may occur.

Side effects can include soreness and increased sensitivity in the nipple region, bruising or swelling. You may experience swelling for a few weeks.

Complications can include:

  • The formation of scar tissues, also known as capsule contracture
  • Sagging of the implants in the breast, causing your breasts to droop
  • Symmastia, or the implants trend toward the middle of the chest and can give the appearance of one continuous breast
  • Rupture or deflation
  • Hematoma(blood collection in the surgical area), or fluid around the implant, also known as seratoma

Know that breast implants can also interfere with mammography screening tests. It's very important that you discuss all your concerns with your surgeon. If you are planning to breast feed, you should make your surgeon aware of this.

After Your Surgery, Contact Your Doctor Immediately Should Any of the Following Occur:

  • Fever
  • Abnormal discharge, such as pus, from incision site
  • Rupture of stitches

Does Insurance Cover This?

In most cases, breast augmentation is elective cosmetic surgery and therefore is not covered by insurance carriers. However, if you are having implants put in as part of reconstructive surgery , your insurance carrier may provide coverage.

It's very important that you find out well in advance what type of coverage your carrier may provide. If you are undergoing this procedure purely for cosmetic purposes, it's important that you realize this may affect future insurance coverage and your premiums may increase. Be sure to ask your insurance carrier about this specifically.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic, Department of Dermatology.
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson , MD, Sept. 2003.

WebMD Medical Reference

Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005

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