Breast Augmentation Surgery Questions

How long does it take for breast implants to settle after augmentation?


Breast implant settling after augmentation can take a variable amount of time. It will depend on the size of the breast implants, the woman’s body, and the plastic surgeon’s technique. Larger breast implants will take longer to settle. Women with lose breast tissue, will have their implants settle quicker than those with dense tissues. Saline breast implants will settle at different rates than silicone gel breast implants. Saline implants will drop quicker. It is safe to say that most implants will settle by 3-6 months, some as early as one month.


When can you go braless after breast augmentation?


Typically it is recommended to not wear a bra for the first few weeks. After the breast implants start to settle, a bra may be worn for comfort. If a woman has very thin tissues, a bra is recommended to prevent the implants from stretching the skin too much.


Pregnancy after breast augmentation?


There is no way to determine what will happen to the breasts during pregnancy. Previous pregnancies may prove to be some guide but some women will have different experiences with each pregnancy. Breast implants do not influence the breast glands response to hormones. So the glands will respond as they would normally do. The breast skin will typically contract down again afterwards, but it may or may not be able to return to the previous shape.


Can being involved in an accident or trauma to the chest break a breast implant?


It is extremely unlikely to rupture a breast implant with a blunt trauma to the chest. The force required would have severe consequences to other areas of the body. If such a force was applied to that area there would be more significant injury concerns than the ruptured breast implants.


Can veins look larger after breast augmentation?


Yes, veins may look larger in some women after breast augmentation. This tends to occur in the women who have a history of veins showing with a pregnancy or breast feeding. It may also be more apparent on women with fair skin. There is no treatment necessary for the veins.


Does nipple areolar tissue widen after breast augmentation?


The areola may widen slightly in some cases when larger breast implants have been placed. The widening with breast implants occurs because their tissues are thin. This consequence does not need to be treated.


If the breast implants are too big can they be removed and what happens to the left over breast tissue?


Any time a woman requests that her breast implants be removed, it can be done. The individual characteristics, genetics and breast implant history, will be the primary indicators of the result. A breast lift may be necessary to reposition the breast gland and remove excess skin in some cases. Please visit the page about breast implant removal for more information.


Can breast implants cause stretch marks?


Yes, stretch marks can occur after breast augmentation. It depends on the size of the breast implants and the quality of the breast skin. It is more common that women with previous stretch marks may notice that the marks get red again after surgery. Stretch marks over time typically become less red and fade into the natural color of the woman’s skin.


Can the body reject breast implants?


There is no rejection of breast implants. An infection may result in requiring the removal of the implants, but this is not a rejection. Scar tissue around the breast implant is not a sign of rejection. Rejection means that the body has created specific cells designed to destroy something. This is not the case with breast implants.


Do breast implants cause cancer?


No, there is no known link or association of breast implants and the formation of breast cancer. There are actually studies which have looked into this subject and have found that the women with breast implants have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer.


Flying in a plane or scuba diving after breast augmentation?


Flying or scuba diving with breast implants is not a problem. These activities may be done whenever desired. Have fun!


Sleeping on tummy after breast augmentation?


Sleeping on the belly or tummy may be started as soon as tolerated. It will not hurt the result. Most will recover sleeping on their backs, then their sides and eventually make it to the tummy. Again, there are no physical limitations and it may be attempted as tolerated. Most will be able to sleep on their tummy by the third or fourth week after breast augmentation.


Sensory changes after breast augmentation?


There are temporary and permanent sensory changes that a woman may experience after breast augmentation. These changes can occur on the skin of the breast and or involve the nipple areolar skin. The most common nerve injuries are temporary. These may only last a few days but may last weeks to a few months. Some women will note that they have decreased sensation in certain areas of their breast skin or nipple. These improve and then resolve. Some may note a dulled sensory change that as it heals becomes sensitive to the touch (hypersensitive) and also resolves with time. These hypersensitive changes usually last a few weeks. Rarely, some women may experience a very sharp, severe pain that limits their activities. This type of pain is short lived and typically goes away within a week or two. Permanent sensory changes still exist after a year.


Returning to work after breast augmentation?


This is a personal decision. Working from home can usually begin two days after surgery. Returning to an office may require 5 days. If the job requires using the arms a fair amount, i.e. nurse, police, construction, flight attendant, it may be better to take off more time. The time away from the office is usually directly proportional to the activities that the job requires. Some office based careers allow for the to return to work as soon as three days. We typically recommend surgery later in the week, recover over the weekend, then return to work on Tuesday or Wednesday. More strenuous careers need about two weeks for 80% return of strength.


Lifting a baby or small child after breast augmentation?


It is best to not have to be responsible for small children for at least 2-5 days after breast augmentation. Picking up an infant will not hurt the result but may cause an increase in the pain when the chest muscles contract. Smaller children (less than 15 pounds) can be picked up a bit easier than a 30-40 pound child. It is important to check the range of motion and degree of tenderness that exists prior to trying to lift any child. Placing an infant into a car seat is usually tender for about two weeks, depending on the size of the child. So, other than the first few days, it will be patient dependent on their activity level. Having help for car seats, strollers, high chairs, cribs is recommended at least for a week.


Exercising after plastic surgery?


It is best and recommended to avoid getting your heart rate or blood pressure up too high after plastic surgery to avoid complications. A bleeding complication may occur at late as 14 days to 3 weeks after plastic surgery. So it is the center’s policy to recommend avoidance of strenuous exercise for this period of time. Having said that, there are many patients who resume aerobic exercise as early as a few days after the cosmetic surgery. Again, it is not recommended. As far as weight lifting, the same 14 day to 3 week time limitation applies. After that, you may do any exercises that you chose.


Using a tanning bed after breast augmentation?


As long as the surgical incision area is covered and protected from the sun’s rays or the tanning bed’s energy, you may resume tanning. It at your leisure when you feel up to it. It is best to not intensely tan two weeks BEFORE your surgery. The dead skin can flake off during the surgery and may contaminate the breast implants. If this occurs during the surgery, there is an increased chance of infection.


Can woman breast feed after breast augmentation?


Under the muscle breast implants do not influence the breast feeding. Above the muscle implants may possibly effect breast feeding but unlikely. Breast implants do not influence the breast glands response to the hormones associated with breast feeding. The breast implants are placed under the gland or the chest muscle, so they do not interact with the breasts ability to make milk. It is best to avoid trauma to the breast gland during the surgery, this is achieved by not tunneling through the breast. The inframammary approach allows this to be accomplished most effectively.


Can women with implants have mammograms?


Mammograms are recommended for all women over 40. Breast implants do not prevent mammograms, and having them under the muscle is a bit easier. Over the muscles implants may require more views. It is recommended to ask the mammogram technician if they have experience in performing mammograms on women with breast implants. Occasionally an additional view(s) may be needed to completely assess the breast for anything suspicious. Saline and silicone gel breast implants will tolerate the compression of the mammogram. The density of the filler of the implants typically does not pose a problem for the radiologist’s interpretation. In women with longstanding capsular contracture, there can be calcium in the scar tissue. This makes mammogram interpretation more complicated.