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Should You Undergo a Breast Augmentation?

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patient receiving surgery marks

Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure in the country. Patients seek the surgery for a variety of reasons, everything from restoring a preferred breast appearance after childrearing to correcting asymmetry. Despite its prevalence, the procedure isn’t without risk, and you should go into your initial consultation a firm idea of what to expect.

Choosing the Proper Plastic Surgeon

Hollywood is full of horror stories from celebrities who trusted the word of friends over more objective measures when it came time to select a breast augmentation surgeon. This is no time to fly by the seat of your pants. Take the time to make sure that your chosen doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). ABPS surgeons are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and undergo three years of plastic surgery training and an additional six years of surgical training after medical school to be certified. Be very wary of similar-sounding boards, and don’t hesitate to check your prospective surgeon’s credentials.

Referrals from your regular doctor or gynecologist are a good start. Schedule a consultation with the surgeon before you commit to breast augmentation surgery. Establish a good doctor/patient relationship, and make sure that he or she understands the details of your desired results. Ask about admitting privileges at a local hospital. A good plastic surgeon stands by his or her work, and is more likely to have satisfied customers if other doctors feel comfortable sending him or her patients.

Breast Augmentation Isn’t Just for Women

Though most breast augmentation is performed on women, men may also seek surgical attention. Gynecomastia, a condition that affects three out of five men, is often caused by an endocrine disorder, leading to overly large breasts that patients may find unattractive or uncomfortable. Thousands of men seek breast reduction each year; it’s one of the most rapidly-growing and popular procedures among males.

Gynecomastia can be a sign of several serious problems, including cancer, so it’s important to consult with your regular doctor before you consider a surgical solution. If your doctor recommends breast reduction, then simply follow the same advice as women above in selecting the proper surgeon.

Recovery From Surgery

The good news is that you may be able to leave only a few hours after your surgery, provided that there are no complications. Immediately following the surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze, with an elastic bandage or a support bra used to support the breasts and minimize post-surgical swelling. You will have instructions from your surgeon, and you need to follow them to the letter. Oral medications and ointments can help the healing, and it’s important to clean the incision area regularly to prevent infections. The recovery pain should be light enough to be treated with over-the-counter pain-relievers within a few days. You should follow up with your surgeon, especially if pain persists or you notice anything unusual about your breasts.

Definite Don’ts

There are a few activities that you will want to avoid after your surgery. While under the effects of narcotics do not:

  • Drive
  • Consume alcohol
  • Operate heavy machinery,
  • Make any business or legal decisions.
  • Smoke (if you cannot quit, do not smoke in the early days of post-operative recovery, as doing so inhibits circulation and healing)
  • Sleep on your side or stomach (sleep on your back instead)
  • Take a bath or get into a hot tub until you are released by your surgeon to do so
  • Lift anything heavier than ten pounds
  • Engage in any strenuous exercise

Cosmetic surgery is still surgery, and a safe recovery involves respecting the healing process.

Signs of Trouble

All surgery involves risks, and you will want to keep a sharp eye out for possible complications after you’ve been discharged. Some swelling is normal, but excessive swelling can indicate infection. The same is true of draining from the incision site. Pus and breasts that are hot to the touch are also indicators that an infection is present and getting serious. High fever, pain that cannot be assuaged by prescribed medication and hard, painful bruises on your breasts are reasons to seek immediate medical attention. You know what your normal level of health and pain is, so don’t wait to consult with a doctor if something feels wrong.

Houston Breast Augmentation

For a patient consultation to find out if breast augmentation surgery is the right option for you, contact Livingston Plastic Surgery. We’re available to answer any questions you may have about every step of the breast augmentation procedure, from what to expect to healthy recovery protocols.