A Step-By-Step Guide To Breast Augmentation

Plastic surgery should never be taken lightly, and the process can take several months from your initial consultation until the big reveal. For the final installment in his breast augmentation series, Coral Gables, Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Careaga explains what to expect each time you meet with your plastic surgeon.

Breast augmentation requires careful consideration and planning, and your board-certified plastic surgeon is your partner every step of the way. The details of the actual procedure are just beginning and you’re sure to have many questions about your recovery afterwards. The good news is, you’ll have plenty of one-on-one time with your surgeon to put you at ease—and here’s a general idea of the appointments that are necessary to make your new-and-improved breasts a reality.

Initial consultation
Odds are you’ve done your research or gotten recommendations from friends, and eventually you’ll find yourself at a plastic surgeon’s office for a consultation. In addition to “interviewing” a potential surgeon for your breast augmentation, the surgeon will also get to know more about you, your lifestyle and your goals. A thorough medical history should be taken to ensure you are a good candidate for breast augmentation, and a physical exam will be performed. Careful measurements will also be taken so your plastic surgeon can recommend the ideal surgical approach that can help you achieve your desired outcomes.

The pre-op appointment
Once you’ve scheduled your surgery, you’ll have a pre-op appointment two to three weeks before the big day. At this time, bloodwork will be performed and patients over the age of 40 will likely have an EKG. (Patients over 50 may also require a clearance letter from their primary care physician.) Some plastic surgeons may order a mammogram for breast augmentation patients over 35, or those with a family history of breast cancer regardless of age. You will sign the surgical consent documents and have another opportunity to ask your plastic surgeon any additional questions you may have. Your surgeon will also give you prescriptions for medication so you can have them ready by surgery day.

Surgery day
Whether your surgery will take place at your surgeon’s office or a surgical facility, you’ll be asked to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled procedure time. Once you’ve changed into a gown, your surgeon will meet with you to answer any last-minute questions and confirm the procedure you are there for and the implants you have decided on (this is a necessary formality). “Before” photos will be taken, and your surgeon will mark up your breasts to guide him or her during surgery. After surgery, you will wake up in the recovery room, and you will be discharged once your surgeon and anesthesiologist are sure you are ready to go home.

At home
You will be mobile immediately after breast augmentation surgery, so your plastic surgeon will likely want you to get out of bed and walk around every hour (with assistance) the first night after your surgery. Most plastic surgeons (or their nurse) will call to check in on you and give you their cell-phone number in the event that any questions or concerns arise. There are no dietary restrictions after breast augmentation, although most patients find they are not very hungry after surgery. Chicken soup is a great post-surgery recovery food and be sure to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated.