American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

What to expect on your breast augmentation journey

So, you've decided to proceed with breast augmentation surgery. Congratulations! You have made the first step toward feeling more confident about your body. When considering your options, it's important that the plastic surgeon who will be doing your surgery has experience performing all procedures in a fully accredited surgical facility. From your consultation to the final result, it's critical that you make the decision to go with a practice with expert staff and board-certified plastic surgeons who will take care of you every step of the way. Here's a breakdown of what to expect during each phase of the process:


The goal of the consultation is to leave the appointment having decided on the size and type of implant you desire. It's a good idea to come in with a general size in mind, but your doctor will do use several techniques to help guide your final choice. First, he'll make several measurements of your anatomy to see what implants will fit. Next, you'll be fitted with a special bra that allows you to "try on" different sized implants. Finally, some practices are now offering an exciting new Vectra 3D technology to scan your anatomy to see what implants will fit. After the scan is fed into an imaging program, you will have the opportunity to see how you'll look with different shapes and sizes of implants. At the consultation, your doctor will explain the process, what to expect after surgery and answer all your questions.

Pre-op appointment

For some practices, when you decide to commit and schedule a date for surgery you will also schedule your pre-op appointment which can range anywhere from one day to two weeks prior to your operation. The purpose of this appointment is to go over the logistics of what will happen on the day of surgery, receive your prescriptions so you can get them filled before the big day and have your pre-op photos taken. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask the doctors and staff any questions you may have about the process of breast augmentation surgery or ask if they have any suggestions or useful information that other patients find useful that you might not have considered.

Day of surgery

Once you've made decisions about your breast augmentation and are cleared for surgery, it's time for the big day! Arrive one hour before your surgery with a friend who can drive you home after the procedure. (Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure and you'll need someone to stay with you for the first night.) You will meet the anesthetist, who will ask you questions about your general health and previous experiences with anesthesia so that he or she can give you just the right treatment. A nurse will then explain to you and your helper how to care for yourself after surgery.

When you go back to the operating room, you'll be given an IV that will deliver your medicine anesthetic. "Usually what the patient remembers," one plastic surgeon said, "is getting the IV and the next minute they are in the car being driven home with their new breasts." The actual surgery takes about an hour, but you won't remember a thing.

Post-op appointment

The day after your surgery, you'll meet with your doctor again, who will assess how you are feeling, check the bandages and make sure everything is going well. If you are experiencing more pain than you expected, talk to your doctor and he can adjust accordingly.

One week after surgery

Healthy bodies heal amazingly fast. After just one week, you'll see your doctor again and have your wound checked. In most cases, there are no sutures to be removed – they're all internal and dissolve. At this point, while swollen, you'll have a much better sense of the surgical results. A nurse will explain how to care for the small scar made by the incision properly.

Three months after surgery

After three months, you will visit the doctor one last time at which point the staff will take a photo of your new breasts—it's the after to your before—and the moment that marks the end of your breast augmentation journey.

Knowing what to expect helps soothe any anxiety about surgery, allowing you to focus on the goal—the excitement over your new body!

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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