The breasts can be genetically small or can lose volume and their shape can change after weight loss, childbirth or as a result of aging. Breast augmentation can enhance the size of the breast as well as give you a more evenly proportioned figure.
Dr. Waslen will examine your breasts taking into consideration factors such as the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, location of your nipples and your general physique. If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may also be recommended.
Individual factors and personal preferences will help you and Dr. Waslen determine your appropriate implant size, the location of incisions, and whether the implants will be placed on top of or underneath the chest muscle; creating your new breast size and shape.
Breast implants can be saline or gel filled. Saline implants have been used for over thirty years.
Cohesive silicone gel implants are now available in Canada. Health Canada has determined that cohesive silicone gel implants are safe for use. The cohesive gel does not seep, run or shift. Silicone gel implants tend to give a more natural appearance than saline implants, as they feel like real breast tissue. Cohesive silicone gel implants do not normally ripple or fold as saline implants sometimes do. Silicone gel implants have been available in Europe for several years and have an excellent safety record. If you prefer to receive cohesive gel silicone implants rather than saline implants, please discuss this with Dr. Waslen during your consultation.
Preparing for Surgery
2 Weeks before surgery
- Avoid all aspirin containing products, all anti-inflammitory medications (ie: Ibuprophen such as Advil or Motrin), all products containing 400 IU's of vitamin E and all herbal products. These products can increase bleeding both during and after surgery and may lead to increased post-operative bruising, swelling and recovery time.
- Stop or at least cut down on smoking. Smoking constricts small blood vessels causing delayed healing, increased scarring and increased recovery time.
- Begin taking a multivitamin tablet daily, which can speed healing and shorten recovery time. It is recommended to continue your multivitamin for one month following surgery.
- Arrange for transportation to and from surgery. You must have someone responsible pick you up and remain with you for a minimum of 24 hours. You cannot take a taxi home on your own.
- It is recommended to restrict activity for approximately 2 weeks following surgery. It is advisable to make arrangements for assistance.
- Avoid dental appointments 2 weeks prior to your surgery as well as 2 weeks post operatively.
- Arnica capsules or pellets can be taken orally starting 2 days before surgery and can continue for 5 days post op. This homeopathic medication can assist in decreasing bruising and swelling due to surgery.
24 hours before surgery
- Avoid alcohol or smoking.
- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery (no water, no gum). If surgery is booked after 12 noon, clear fluids may be allowed up to 6 hours before surgery (ie: black coffee/tea, clear juice, water). Our nurse will advise you on this when you are given your time for surgery.
Day of surgery
- Wear loose, comfortable button-up/zipper clothing (ie: jog suit, slip on shoes).
- Leave valuables at home (remove contact lenses, jewellery or piercing of any kind).
- Take any regular prescribed medications (ie: blood pressure medications) with a small amount of water.
The surgical process involves an incision being made, at which time Dr. Waslen creates a pocket for the implant to be inserted. This pocket is made either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.
Breast augmentation or mammoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis so it is important to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you the first night following surgery.
After surgery, some discoloration and swelling will occur initially, but this will disappear quickly. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month. After breast augmentation surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a few days or a week.
Except in the event of implant deflation (which is a 1% chance with saline implants), the results of your breast augmentation surgery should be long-lasting. The typical lifetime of implants is thought to be more than 10 - 20 years.
- Some pain and nausea can be expected. This can be relieved with anti-pain and anti-nausea medications. Take them as directed. If you are coming from out of town, please have these medications with you.
- Begin taking antibiotic medication once home from surgery and continue until the prescription is finished.
- Any bandages worn post-operatively should be comfortable and not too tight. Adjust as necessary.
- Use cold compresses 20 min on and off during waking hours. Use a facecloth soaked in ice water and drape over face. Never place ice directly on skin.
- Maintain a regular fluid intake during the day. Gatorade is a good option. Restrict fluids after supper; increased fluid intake will increase swelling.
- Rest is important to minimize pain, nausea and swelling.
- Try to maintain an upright sitting position at all times (ie: 25-45 degree angle) for the first 2-7 days post-op. This will assist in the reduction of post-operative swelling and speed healing time.
- Begin a light nutritional regime and increase food intake as tolerated.
- Take anti-pain medications with food to avoid an upset stomach. Begin taking antibiotic medication once home from surgery and continue until prescription is finished. Eat yogurt while taking antibiotics. If diarrhea occurs, stop antibiotics and call our office for further direction.
Call (403) 228-1313 if you have any questions or concerns.
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Post-operative Day 1
- You may remove your bra and shower if you wish. Remove all gauze, but leave the white skin tapes intact for approximately 2 weeks post-op (you may notice a blister near the tape area, polysporin can be applied over the tapes as needed).
- Be aware of any unusual swelling or a sudden increase in pain. If either of these are noted, phone the office as soon as possible.
- Continue to maintain a regular fluid intake during the day, decrease after supper.
- Continue to maintain an upright position.
- Use cold compresses for 72 hours to decrease swelling (ie: ice cubes or ice chips in a bowl of cold water with facecloths).
- Be aware of decreased skin sensation. Do not apply excessive heat or cold to the operative areas.
- Do not smoke.
- Rest as much as possible.
- A nurse will call you by noon to assess how you are doing. At this time, you will be given further post-operative instructions as well as an appointment for your first post-operative visit.
Post-operative Days 2-7
- Gradually increase your activity level after 7 days post-operatively. As individuals, everyone's post-operative healing phases will differ. Generally speaking, gentle exercise may resume at 10 days with moderate exercise resuming after 3 weeks. It is advisable to abstain from a full exercise regime until 6 weeks post-operatively.
- Scar tissue (firmness or hardening of operative tissues) may increase up to 6 weeks with the resultant softening of the tissues.
- Approximately 75% of swelling will diminish within 3 - 4 weeks. Any remaining swelling can take from 6 months to 1 year to absorb.
- Best results are usually not seen until 3 months following surgery.
- The final stages of healing are usually not complete until 1 year post-operatively.
Risks & Safety Information
Some potential complications of breast augmentation include reactions to anesthesia, blood accumulation that may need to be drained surgically or infection. Although rare, an infection that does not subside with appropriate treatment may require temporary removal of the implant. Changes in nipple or breast sensation may result from breast augmentation surgery, though they usually are temporary.
When a breast implant is inserted, a scar capsule forms around it as part of the natural healing process. The capsule may sometimes tighten and compress the implant, causing the breast to feel firmer than normal. This is called capsular contracture. Capsular contracture can occur to varying degrees. If it is severe, it can cause discomfort or changes in the breast's appearance. In such cases, more surgery may be needed to modify or remove the scar tissue, or perhaps remove or replace the implant.
Breast implants are not lifetime devices. They cannot be expected to last forever. Surgery may be required to replace or remove your implants at some time during your life.
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. It is important that you understand the risks involved with this procedure. An individual's choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, you should understand the potential complications.
Breast implants usually don't make it more difficult to read mammograms. However, women at risk of breast cancer will need to consider this prior to making a decision about whether to have implants. Saline or gel filled implants can be placed under the chest muscle so that they will interfere less with mammograms, but other factors also need to be considered. Dr. Waslen will discuss this with you fully.