The Surgeon Minute

Rapid Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Rapid Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Wouldn’t it be great to have your breast augmentation on Friday and then be back to your normal life by Monday? This is absolutely a modern reality. A rapid recovery after breast augmentation cuts down a patient’s recovery time down to mere days – maybe less.

This is a godsend for many women, especially those who want their implants placed under the muscle. Dr. Robert Whitfield of Austin, TX discusses rapid recovery as well as who makes the best candidate for this revolutionary addition to breast augmentation.

Underneath the Muscle Placement & Recovery

One of the many decisions that women need to make when getting a breast augmentation is whether to place the implants above or below the muscle. While there are pros and cons to each, most surgeons prefer a below the muscle placement for a number of reasons:

  • There is more soft tissue coverage when an implant is placed below the muscle, so there is less chance that the implant will be seen or felt. This is particularly important with smaller breasted patients.
  • Muscle is less prone to stretching than skin or tissue so it can act as a stabilizing force to help prevent future complications.
  • Most radiologists agree that it’s easier to read a mammogram when an implant is placed below the muscle.

Implants placed under the muscle generally leads to a longer recovery. Patients may experience muscle spasms, swelling, post op discomfort, and potentially immobility. Surgeons would wrap the chest in order to keep things in place and then tell patients to take it easy and try not to do much. This was particularly hard on mothers and working women who maybe didn’t have a lot of spare time to take things easy.

The Advent of Rapid Recovery?

A rapid recovery following breast augmentation allows women the freedom to place an implant under the muscle and still get back to their daily lives in a timely fashion. With this technique, Dr. Whitfield and his colleagues are trying to accomplish a few things:

  1. To avoid nausea and vomiting after general anesthesia, Dr. Whitfield pre-treats patients with a drug called Emend
  2. To avoid further nausea, vomiting and the risk of addiction, Dr. Whitfield suggests a non-narcotic pain reliever to reduce inflammation and swelling
  3. Have patients actively using their arms almost immediately. To achieve this, Dr. Whitfield utilizes the medicine Exparel in the muscle during surgery, helping to relieve potential pain for up to 72 hours post-op. This allows patient to be able to move and stretch more quickly, hastening recovery.

All of the limitations that used to be placed on patients by wrapping them up and prescribing narcotics are now null and void. With these techniques aimed at a rapid recovery, patients are back on their feet within 24-72 hours.

Who is an Ideal Candidate?

As with any breast augmentation surgery, the breast characteristics of the patient are going to dictate which size, shape and fill implant is best. For patients curious in a rapid recovery breast augmentation, Dr. Whitfield is not going to use an excessively large implant. An overly large implant will inhibit patients from using their arms and resuming normal activities within a day or two following surgery.

One of the main selection criteria for this procedure is going to be implant size. “It’s going to be a more moderate size range,” explains Dr. Whitfield. The ideal patient is someone who has maybe had a pregnancy or two and gone up a size in her chest so that there is a certain amount of skin stretch already present. This makes it easier to fill that volume and enhance the breast without over stretching the skin and putting pressure on the tissue.

Perfect for Moms

A rapid recovery breast augmentation is particularly popular with moms. The ability to bounce back quickly is usually the difference between deciding to have surgery and not. Similarly, Exparel has also been used in tummy tucks to fast track recovery. Further technological advances like tissue glue have eased the recovery for tummy tuck. The combination of the two could be the most efficient and easy recovery for a mommy makeover yet.

So far, the reviews from patients having rapid recovery breast augmentation have been excellent. “In my experience, we’ve found this system [to be truly effective],” says Dr. Whitfield.

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