You may know that you want to have breast augmentation surgery, and even know what type of implants you want and what size – but you may still be a little unfamiliar with the actual ‘boob job’ procedure itself. Here, we answer some of the most common questions that clients have about the operation, including what happens before and during. This way, you can go in for your breast enlargement procedure knowing exactly what to expect, and how quickly you can recover afterwards.

What do I need to do before my procedure?

Although often done for cosmetic purposes, a boob job is still a serious operation and so many of the preparations you will need to do are similar to those done prior any surgery. Your surgeon will give you the full details of what you need to do beforehand, but as a general rule you are likely to have to:

  • refrain from eating or drinking on the day of your operation
  • avoid vigorous exercise the day before your procedure
  • avoid smoking for a couple of days beforehand, and on the day itself
  • wash your breast area the night before with antimicrobial soap
  • avoid wearing any makeup, lotions or deodorant on the day
  • remove nail polish from your finger and toenails (this is so your blood circulation can be monitored throughout the procedure)

Because of how you will feel after the surgery, you should also take some time in the days leading up to the procedure to plan who can be around to help you. Things you may have to consider include who will drive you home after the operation, whether you need help with childcare in the days following, and whether any medication that you are on could be affected by the antibiotics.

Where will my boob job be carried out?

Breast enlargement surgery can be carried out in special clinics, or in the outpatient facilities of a hospital. Usually, an overnight stay is not needed and clients will be able to go home the same day of the operation.

Will I be under anaesthetic for my breast implant procedure?

Yes, the majority of procedures are carried out under general anaesthetic. This is when medication is used to make you unconscious, so you are not aware of the surgery taking place. The anaesthetic will be administered either in liquid form via a cannula, or as a gas breathed in through a mask. General anaesthetic takes effect quite quickly after it is administered, so this will be one of the last things done before your operation.

What happens during the procedure?

The first thing that the surgeon will do once you have been prepped for surgery and are under anaesthetic will be to make the incision for your implant. Depending on what option you have discussed and chosen with your doctor, this cut will either be underneath the breast, under your arm or around your nipple.

Once the incision has been made, the surgeon will then create a ‘pocket’ for the implant by separating your breast tissue from the muscle and chest tissue. This will either be in front of or behind your pectoral muscle, depending on what you have chosen beforehand. The implant will then be inserted into the pocket. If you are having silicone implants fitted, then they will be inserted with the gel already inside them. However, if you have opted for saline implants, then these are inserted empty and will be filled once they are inside you.

Once the implants are secure and in the correct position, the surgeon will close the cuts with stitches, and dressing will be applied.

The length of time it takes to carry out breast enlargement surgery varies from patient to patent, but the average time is between 1-3 hours.

How will I feel when I wake up from my procedure?

Once the anaesthetic has worn off following your operation, you are likely to feel groggy from the surgery. Physically, you may feel swollen and your chest may feel very tight. You are likely to be given painkillers if you need them, and will be given some recovery time in the clinic. Sitting in a semi-upright position will help you to feel more comfortable and can help to minimise the swelling.

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