What to expect after breast augmentation Introduction Breast augmentation is one of the popular and effective plastic surgery options to increase the size of your breasts and make them aesthetically pleasing. Smaller breasts make you look less feminine and aesthetically unappealing. Many women face self-esteem issues due to smaller breasts. Breast augmentation surgery enhances the breasts by making them bigger and voluptuous. Breast augmentation can be performed by using two methods. The first method involves placing artificial implants into the breasts, whereas the second method uses your body fat to deliver the desired outcomes. Keep in mind that breast augmentation is a major operation. Many patients are not aware of what will happen after the surgery or what to expect. Breast augmentation surgery It is important for women considering breast augmentation to be aware of the procedure. Doing so will help you to set your expectations for what will happen afterwards. The breasts can be augmented either by using implants or your body fat. Breast implants are prosthetic objects made of a silicone shell that is filled with silicone gel or saline solution. The plastic surgeon can best tell you the type of breast implant suitable for you. Both types of implants can be found in different sizes and profiles. Again, it is the surgeon who will recommend you the best implant size and profile. During breast implant surgery, the plastic surgeon will place incisions on the breasts to put the implants inside. Different techniques can be used to implement the procedure. The surgical methods play a more significant role in defining the results and the scarring. What technique is best for you depends on your aesthetic goals and the implant size. After making the specific type of incision, the plastic surgeon will insert the implant inside the breast through the incision. The implant is then placed under or over the pectoral muscle. The incision is then sutured and closed. The recovery period will start right after the procedure. On the other hand, fat transfer surgery involves the use of surplus unwanted fat available in different areas of your body to enhance your breasts. The surgeon will perform liposuction on the fat donor sites identified during the consultation. The typical fat donor sites include the abdomen, sides, love handles, etc. Liposuction involves tiny incisions on the fat donor sites. After removing the excess fat with liposuction, the plastic surgeon will purify the fat in a centrifuge and then use a special needle to inject the fat cells into your breasts carefully. Once the fat cells are transferred to your breasts, the surgery will come to an end and your recovery will begin. Things to expect after the surgery You should not expect to see the results of breast augmentation shortly after the surgery. Whether you have gotten implants or fat transfer, it will take many weeks and even months for the results to emerge. The recovery period After breast augmentation surgery, you must go through a recovery process that can comprise of several weeks. Most of the recovery will take place during the first two weeks following the operation. However, for complete healing, you would need six weeks. After the procedure, the patient must take sufficient rest and avoid physical activities for two weeks. Also, you must avoid physically strenuous activities for six weeks. The patient can resume work that does not involve physical activities after two weeks. Driving must be avoided for six weeks. The plastic surgeon will give you detailed instructions for a smooth and safe recovery. Be sure to follow those instructions. After the surgery, the patient is expected to wear a surgical compression bra for several weeks. The compression bras are designed to expedite the healing process. These bras can reduce the swelling after the surgery, speed up the healing process by increasing blood flow to the incision, and keep you safe from many complications. Typically, patients are required to wear the compression bras for six weeks after the surgery. You should also expect to see swelling in your breasts and experience some pain after breast implant surgery. The swelling is a normal side effect. It indicates that your body is taking action to recuperate the breasts from the surgical trauma. The post-operative swelling will stay with you for several months. The results will not emerge until the swelling has disappeared. You will also experience some pain for the first 24-72 hours. The pain and discomforts are temporary side effects and will subside within two days. If the pain intensifies or prolongs, you must contact your plastic surgeon, as it may be a sign of an underlying complication like an infection. Since breast implant surgery involves incisions on the breasts, the incisions will develop into scars. Scarring is unavoidable, as the procedure cannot be performed without scars. The scarring indicates that your breasts are healing and your body is taking action to overcome the surgical trauma and seal the incisions. The scarring happens when your body produces collagen to seal the incisions. Usually, the scars will fade over time and become less noticeable after some years. The expected results The results of breast augmentation surgery will not be immediately visible. It can take many weeks and even months for the results to emerge. When it comes to breast implant surgery, the results will transpire when the post-operative swelling disappears, the incisions heal, and the implants drop and settle in the predetermined place and position. On the other hand, the results of fat transfer surgery take more time to become noticeable. The fat cells injected into the breasts need to be vascularized so they can expand and nurture and show you the improvements. Your body will take at least two weeks to establish a blood supply to the fat grafts, after which the fat cells will nurture, expand, and multiply. It will take many weeks and months for this process to happen. When the results of breast implant surgery become entirely noticeable, you will see that your breast size has increased and you look aesthetically welcoming. Your bigger breasts will make you look sexy and sensual. It will also improve your overall body outline. When the results of fat transfer surgery emerge, your breasts will look shapelier and projected. However, they will not look large and voluptuous. The focus of fat transfer surgery is on making your breasts contoured and projected. After the procedure, you can expect to notice improvements in your self-esteem and quality of life as well. Possible complications Given that breast augmentation surgery is invasive and traumatic, you can expect to experience possible complications. The risk of complications is higher for patients with health problems and those who fail to share their medical history with the surgeon in advance of the operation. If you have a weak immune system, you may experience infection. The typical signs of infection include pus discharge from the incisions, a rise in body temperature, and pain in the breasts. If you notice these signs, you must contact your plastic surgeon. Capsular contracture is yet another complication that may happen after breast implant surgery. This condition occurs when the scar tissue that usually develops around the implants contracts and creates physical pain for the patient, besides changing the shape of the breasts. After breast augmentation with implants, there is a risk the resulting scars may develop abnormally. An abnormal scar is raised, more prominent, and aesthetically unpleasant and undesirable. This condition is rare, but it does affect women who have diabetes and have genetic problems and those who are careless during the recovery period. When it comes to fat transfer surgery, there is a risk the fat cells may die due to carelessness during the recovery. It is also possible that your body may absorb some portion of the fat injected into your breasts. This can affect the results and necessitate a corrective surgery or touch-up fat injections. Conclusion Breast augmentation is a major, invasive, and traumatic surgery. However, when a board-certified plastic surgeon performs the operation, the patient can get drastic improvements in the breasts. The goal of breast implant surgery is to make the breasts bigger and voluptuous, whereas fat transfer enhances the shape and projection of the breasts. Both have a good record of delivering reliable outcomes. Many patients are curious as to what they should expect after the operation. In this article, I have discussed what patients can expect to notice and feel during the recovery period and what types of results to expect. I have also explained the possible complications after the procedure.