Breast augmentation (or breast implant surgery as it is often commonly known) is one of the most requested plastic surgery procedures in the world. In the United States, breast augmentation with implants has seen an increase in demand over the years. This procedure targets patients who consider their breasts too small compared to the rest of their body. With breast augmentation surgery, we can also correct breast atrophy that can occur after breastfeeding or considerable weight loss. Breast asymmetry is another breast imperfection that can be fixed with the help of implants. Breast augmentation is a procedure that can be beneficial for any woman who wants to feel more attractive, beautiful, with more sex appeal, and an increased level of self-esteem. The patient’s quality of life often improves after breast augmentation procedure as together with beautiful breasts comes relief from constant emotional struggle caused by small breasts. The first week after breast implant surgery is an important stage in the recovery process, one that counts towards the success of the procedure. What happens during this time and closely following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon is essential for the patient’s wellbeing and achieving satisfactory results after the procedure. What happens during breast implant surgery? When it comes to breast augmentation with implants, we work on one of the most important assets of a woman’s body: her breasts. This is the reason why I always advise my patients to choose only high quality when it comes to breast augmentation, and it starts with choosing the plastic surgeon. The cost is an important aspect when it comes to deciding which specialist to see for a breast augmentation. But with the wide array of payment options available today and offered by most plastic surgeons, it is recommended not to put this aspect as your first priority. Better yet, choose an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your procedure. Before scheduling an appointment, make sure to check his work and credentials and verify that he performs this procedure on a routine basis. If you don’t want your gynecologist to perform your heart surgery, then don’t choose him for your breast implants either. A plastic surgeon that is also board-certified definitely has more training in the field, more experience, and is more able to deliver impressive results while also avoiding potential complications. Once you have chosen the best plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation, it is time to discuss the surgical options and types of implants. Once again, focus on quality rather than on a low price. The implants will be inside your breasts for at least ten years if no complications occur, so you want the best. The cost of your breast augmentation surgery will depend on the producer of the breast implant you have chosen, among other things. When it comes to the surgical approach, the implants will be inserted into pockets created inside your breasts. The implants can be positioned either subglandular or submuscular. Each positioning comes with its own indications, advantages, and disadvantages. The position is decided by the plastic surgeon and explained to the patient during the pre-operative consultation. The position of the implants can only be decided after a thorough examination of the patient’s characteristics such as mammary gland condition, skin condition and so on. Among the advantages of the subglandular placement is a simpler procedure as there is no need to lift or section the pectoralis muscle. This translates into a shorter recovery period with less post-operative discomfort and pain. For thin patients, this placement of the implant might not be recommended if the mammary gland tissue is not enough to cover the implant. When it comes to the placement of the implants under the pectoralis muscles, the benefits are that the risk of implant visibility or palpability is much reduced. Moreover, it is usually easier to get a mammogram when the implants are behind the muscle. The submuscular implant placement usually involves a longer operating time, more intense post-operative pain, and a lengthier recovery period. The incisions needed to insert the implants can also be positioned in different areas such as around the areola, in the inframammary fold, or at the level of the axilla. The inframammary fold incision is probably the most commonly used type of incision. The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia and generally lasts no longer than an hour. If the breast implant surgery is combined with other plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction or tummy tuck, the surgery can take longer. Recovery after breast implant surgery The recovery period is different for each patient undergoing breast implant surgery. For some the recovery can be as short as a few days; for others, it can take up to a week or two. The duration of the recovery period is dependent on the type of surgical plan and the patient’s ability to heal. When the subglandular implant placement is used, the patient usually endures a lower intensity of pain and a shorter recovery period. Whatever the surgical approach is, the patient needs to follow certain post-operative instructions during the first week after breast implant surgery. The first week after breast implant surgery The most important part of the recovery period is this first week as this is when we lay down the foundation for a smooth recovery and a fast healing process. During this week, there are certain recommendations that should be followed to the letter, such as: – Don’t smoke. Smoking can prolong the healing process and the cicatrization of the wounds and can even trigger complications such as skin necrosis and wound opening. – Don’t sleep on your front. During this time you are not allowed to put any pressure on the breasts as it might cause implant migration or wound opening. Sleep on your back for at least a few weeks. – Don’t do significant arm movements. Again, this is about not putting too much pressure on the surgical wounds and the implants. This recommendation is even more important if the implants have been placed under the pectoral muscle. Aside from potential complications, significant arm movements can also trigger pain. – Don’t lift and don’t stretch. Lifting heavy objects from the floor puts an impact on the pectoral muscle that has an impact on the breasts in turn. Avoid any type of activities that involve using the muscles of the chest to make sure you avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort. Aside from the plastic surgeon’s recommendations for the first week, the patient might also experience certain things during this time such as: – Swelling and bruising on the breasts. This is a common occurrence after many types of plastic surgery procedures and is completely natural. The tissues of the breasts have been injured during the procedure, and this is their natural response. As they heal and the body recovers from the trauma of the surgery, the swelling and bruising will subside without additional treatment. It is not uncommon for the swelling to last even for a few weeks, so don’t worry about it. – Pain and discomfort can be experienced. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe medication to alleviate the pain. Make sure to take it on time to avoid unnecessary discomfort. – The incisions look swollen and red. The truth is that the incision site doesn’t look very appealing after breast augmentation. But this is just a stage in the cicatrization process, so don’t worry about it. Make sure that they heal according to what your plastic surgeon explained and don’t put any gels or products to speed up the healing unless prescribed. – You will feel different. For the first time ever, your breasts will be in harmony with the rest of your body. You will be surprised to see your new image in the mirror every morning, and you will also need some time to adjust to it. Conclusion The breast augmentation procedure performed with the help of implants is a procedure that has seen a constant rise in demand over the years. With time, it has become more and more affordable and accessible for women coming from different backgrounds. Our need for beauty and the standards of modern society require women to have big, voluptuous breasts that are proportionate to the rest of their anatomy. The recovery period after the breast augmentation procedure can last from a few days to two weeks, depending from patient to patient and on the type of procedure performed. The first week after breast implant surgery is an important stage in the recovery process.