Who has time for breast augmentation? | Recovery Time

Dec 29

Who has time for breast augmentation? | Recovery Time
Who has time for breast augmentation? | Recovery Time

Who has time for breast augmentation?

 

When I speak to patients considering breast augmentation one of the main questions they ask concerns the recovery time. Interestingly, the time is more important than the details of the recovery and what it actually entails. I get it. Getting time off from work, family life, or just away from the gym can be difficult. I recently came across an online article that was promoting what they called the 24-hour breast augmentation. Of course, this piqued my interest. As I further investigated I realized rather quickly that the article left many questions unanswered.

 

Breast Augmentation Recovery Time

First, let’s understand that a traditional breast augmentation with average size breast implants either silicone or saline in most cases the recovery time is 3 to 5 days. This is a traditional breast augmentation in which breast implants are placed subpectoral or more commonly known as beneath the muscle. Although this does increase recovery time and initially causes more pain and discomfort, overwhelmingly this is the preferred approach of most plastic surgeons. Breast implants that are placed above the muscle or sub glandular do not have the initial discomfort that patients experience with traditional breast augmentation. The article is not clear in describing exactly how the implants are placed.

Dr. Kahn states “We do a precise dissection the day of surgery,” Dr. Khan said. “We don’t tear the tissues. We don’t cause a lot of inflammation or a lot of trauma to the tissues.” Based on this quote, it is implied that the breast implants are likely placed above the muscle.

 

Know the difference

Patients considering breast augmentation should research both subpectoral as well as sub glandular breast implant placement. Patients should understand the drawbacks to sub glandular breast implant placement. These include but are not limited to increased risk of capsular contracture and greater likelihood that the implants will sag more quickly over time.

Capsular contracture is commonly known as hardening of breast implants. The breast implants do not become hard, it is scar tissue that forms around the breast implants that feels hard. This can be extremely uncomfortable and in some cases painful. The patient should specifically ask their plastic surgeon about the likelihood of developing capsular contracture based on the method being used for breast implant placement. This is a great question regardless of whether the implants are being placed above the muscle or below the muscle.

 

Longer is better

Recovery time for breast augmentation being shortened has little benefit to the patient. In reality, patients should never rush recovery and should plan for extended recovery in case there are issues that were not considered previously. This is surgery. Anything can happen. This is not to scare women it is primarily to make sure that women are always on watch and choose cosmetic surgery based on well-researched facts and not the ease of recovery. I’m of the belief that patients should seek long-term solutions when it all possible. Asking your cosmetic surgeon what can be expected long-term is a great question. If the recommendation by the cosmetic surgeon is a short-term solution then the patient should follow up with a question of when they could expect to need another surgery. That answer should be factored into your decision whether to move forward with that recommendation, or better yet, that plastic surgeon.

 

Conclusion

It is understood that faster and quicker is desired by American consumers. I caution patients not to get caught up in the marketing that implies that faster and quicker equals better. Cosmetic surgery is elective we move forward by choice. Years ago I often joked about drive-through surgery. While it seemed farfetched at the time I am witnessing a disturbing trend as we want our cosmetic surgery…and we want it now. Techniques have improved and breast augmentation continues to be the number one cosmetic surgery procedure performed in the United States. One thing remains true, safety and meeting and exceeding the expectations of patients is the most important aspect of breast augmentation.

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