Risks & Recovery
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Evan Sorokin believes the care that goes into your breast augmentation surgery has as much to do with a successful recovery as the care you receive afterward. That is why he uses the latest technology and techniques in order to perform procedures that speed recovery. Surgery that minimizes disruption in your body simply reduces the chance of complications, and allows you to start enjoying your new look sooner. Our New Jersey and Philadelphia breast augmentation (enlargement) patients can review this page to learn what to expect during the recovery process and understand potential complications.
Why Us for Your Breast Enhancement
- Dr. Sorokin offers a "rapid recovery" technique so you can enjoy your results sooner.
- Our practice is known for its specialization in breast surgery – from breast augmentation to complex revision cases.
- Dr. Sorokin is a trusted, board-certified plastic surgeon who takes the time to understand your goals.
Recovery and Care Following Breast Augmentation Surgery
After breast enlargement surgery, you should plan on staying home and engaging in minimal activity for at least a day or 2. Swelling and discomfort, though controlled with medication, generally will be at their greatest in the days following the procedure, and then will taper off significantly. Note that the submuscular breast augmentation technique usually involves a longer recovery period than surgery that places implants above the muscle.
Depending on the amount of strenuous activity required for your job, you should be back to work within a few days. Most patients report that their breasts are sensitive to direct stimulation for at least 2 to 3 weeks.
It is important that you take certain steps to care for yourself and your implants, to avoid potential complications and speed recovery time, which can include the following:
- Arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you for the day following surgery.
- Take all prescribed medications according to the instructions you are provided.
- Do not drive for at least 2 days following your surgery, or any time you are taking prescription pain medication or muscle relaxants.
- Avoid any pushing, pulling, or lifting until your post-op appointment.
- Call Dr. Sorokin immediately if you have: temperature above 99.5 degrees, obvious swelling of 1 breast compared to the other, or excessive bleeding at the incision.
- Take sponge baths until your post-op appointment. Following this appointment, most patients are allowed to shower. Do not submerge the incision sites until given Dr. Sorokin's approval.
- Engage in only light activity (such as walking) for the first 2 to 3 days after surgery.
Potential Risks and Complications of Breast Augmentation
Before discussing complications, you should keep in mind that the vast majority of women who visit us for breast enlargement from New Jersey and Philadelphia undergo a successful surgery with minimal discomfort and satisfying outcomes. However, you should of course take the time to thoroughly educate yourself about the risks that may accompany breast enlargement surgery. Note that the following covers the more common complications that may occur, and is not meant to cover all possible risks.
Often the biggest concerns about breast implants that Philadelphia and New Jersey patients have is a leak or rupture. This could occur if the implant is subjected to significant pressure or in some cases during normal compression and movement of your breast, as implants are manmade devices that eventually will deteriorate over time. Ruptured saline implants will deflate in a matter of hours, and the harmless salt water solution inside will be absorbed into the body. Ruptures in silicone implants are often harder to detect. In some cases, the silicone will remain within the breast, while in cases of severe rupture, the silicone may move into surrounding tissue. MRI scans, which may not be covered by insurance, are recommended 3 years after silicone breast implantation and every 2 years after that to screen for rupture. Replacement of the leaking implant through a breast implant revision surgery may be required. Silicone implant capsule technology has been vastly improved over the last decade, and the durability of these capsules is partly why the FDA re-certified the use of silicone implants for general use.
Capsular contracture, or tightening of scar tissue around the implant, may cause the breast to feel hard or misshapen. Several treatment options for capsular contracture are available, including the removal or "scoring" of the scar tissue. In almost all cases, capsular contracture can be well-managed if it occurs, but can require future surgeries for proper correction.
Though antibiotics are administered at the time of surgery, around 1% of women develop some level of infection at the incision site or around the implant itself. These infections usually can be treated using oral antibiotics, though in some cases the affected implant may need to be removed and allow the infection to clear before a second implant can be placed at the site. Excessive bleeding at the incision site may occur, causing some swelling and discomfort. Any bleeding that takes place after surgery generally resolves itself in a matter of days.
Changes in Sensitivity
Following surgery, nipples may be oversensitive, undersensitive, or completely desensitized in some cases. This phenomenon is often temporary, though permanent changes in the amount of feeling can occur. In rare cases, the ability to breast feed may be lost.
Other complications may include noticeable external scarring or asymmetry, with one breast appearing larger or having a slightly different shape than the other. No 2 breasts are exactly the same shape prior to breast implantation and occasionally this asymmetry can persist postoperatively.
Though there are some risks involved, be assured that there is no evidence of breast implants affecting fertility or pregnancy. Despite this it is important to check with personal health insurance companies as some policies include exclusions for patients with implants.