Breast augmentation surgery is typically а same-day procedure, and you can choose to have your breast implants inserted via incisions in one of three locations: underarms, areolas, or the folds under your breasts.
While the ultimate choice is up to you, Dr. Alderman’s experience has led her to prefer the breast fold incision location:
“My preferred incision is in the fold of the breast because a) long-term outcomes show better results and b) the incision blends with the natural fold of your breast. I also believe it is important to use an insertion sleeve, such as the Keller funnel, when placing the implant so that I can make a smaller incision and have less trauma to both the skin around the incision and the implant during insertion. Optimizing scar outcomes is one of my primary goals, therefore, my patients are placed in a rigorous scar care regimen for a minimum of 6 months after surgery.” – Dr. Alderman
Dr. Alderman will walk you through all these choices, so you feel fully confident in your decision. With this type of cosmetic surgery, you will have your procedure completed in the morning, spend а few hours in recovery, and then get discharged to go home and rest.
Though recovering from breast implant surgery and caring for your incisions is relatively straightforward, there are some things you should be aware of to make your healing process as easy as possible.
Minimize Breast Implant Scars with Proper Preparation Before Surgery
As critical as the recovery process is, there are some steps you can take to minimize scars from your breast augmentation incisions even before your procedure.
An experienced surgeon with meticulous technique will ensure your incisions are well-placed, as small as possible, and heal cleanly.
Make sure you understand where your breast augmentation incisions will be. This way, you won’t be surprised by having stitches or drains in a place you did not expect. Dr. Alderman will help you prepare for your surgery by explaining what to do in the days and weeks leading up to your procedure, as well as afterward. You can reduce your healing time and the appearance of your scars by carefully following all instructions before and after surgery.
In the weeks leading up to surgery, you should also:
- Avoid ibuprofen and aspirin, which thin the blood and increase your risk of bleeding.
- Stop taking any herbal supplements, herbal medications or vitamin C as these can increase your risk of bleeding.
- Do not smoke. Smoking delays healing.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Your Incisions after Augmentation Surgery
Your recovery period is a crucial time during which your body heals, and your new breast implants settle into their proper position and shape. During your recovery, you will need to maintain the cleanliness of your incisions.
Infections are very rare. However, avoiding an infection will be your primary goal. Be aware of signs of infection, which include а fever, redness around the incision or drainage. If any of these symptoms appear, call our office immediately.
Your incision should be kept dry for 3-4 days. After that, Dr. Alderman will let you take a shower. However, you are not allowed to submerge in water for a total of 4 weeks from surgery. You may ice the sides of your breasts, but it is not recommended to ice your incisions.
Drainage tubes are used for primary breast augmentation but may be needed for a revisional surgery. If you have drainage tubes, be careful not to pull or dislodge them. Wear loose clothing to ensure nothing is rubbing or pushing against them as you move around. Dr. Alderman will usually remove the tubes at your first follow-up visit, which is usually a week after the surgery.
Avoid activities that cause you to raise your arms above your head. These include washing your hair and reaching for items on high shelves. Тhе physical act of raising your arms will put undue stress on the sutures. If stitches are dislodged, you may experience reopening of the treatment site. If you notice any loose stitches, don’t try to remove them yourself.
- Do not remove any compression or support garments until Dr. Alderman clears you to do so.
- Don’t wear an underwire or push-up bra for at least six weeks after surgery, as these types of bras can irritate your incisions and prevent your implants from settling properly.
- For six to eight weeks after surgery, avoid sleeping on your stomach or sides. Don’t run, jump, or perform any other vigorous physical activity that could compromise healing, affect incisions, or displace your implants.
- Do not try to examine your incisions by pulling up on your breasts or lifting your arms.
- Do not get direct sun on your implant incisions for at least 12 months following your surgery.
- Use a full-spectrum sunblock of 30 SPF or higher if you must go out in the sun.
Your healing process should be smooth sailing in the weeks after treatment, provided you carefully follow all your post-operative care instructions. Contact our office if you have any questions about caring for your incisions. Breast augmentation is the focus of our Atlanta practice, and Dr. Alderman and our team are committed to helping you through every stage of your process.