Breast Augmentation Surgery FAQ

Now that you have decided on breast augmentation surgery, you probably have a lot of questions about how and where your surgery will be performed. What type of anesthesia will be used? How will you feel when you wake up? Will medical students be observing the way they do on TV shows like Grey's Anatomy?

Below are answers to these pressing questions.

  1. What type of anesthesia is best for breast implant surgery?
  2. Is a urinary catheter necessary for breast implant surgery?
  3. What accreditations are important for surgical suites or free-standing operating rooms?
  4. Can other plastic surgery procedures be performed at the same time as breast augmentation?
  5. Do other doctors assist or observe breast augmentation surgery?
  6. What does it feel like to wake up after breast augmentation surgery?

1. What type of anesthesia is best for breast implant surgery?

There is no one best type of anesthesia. There is only the best choice for you. The choice of anesthesia is dictated more by your health, your breast augmentation surgery and your surgeon's preferences. General anesthesia is often used for breast augmentation. Local anesthesia may also be used with conscious sedation during breast augmentation.

Discuss your options with your plastic surgeon. Also ask about who will administer anesthesia for you. An anesthesiologist, who is a physician trained in anesthesia and pain management, or a nurse-anesthetist, who is a nurse-practitioner certified in anesthesia administration, can administer anesthesia.

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2. Is a urinary catheter necessary for breast implant surgery?

Maybe. This decision is based on the length of your breast implants surgery, your surgeon's preference and whether or not you have a weak bladder. Usually, inserting a urinary catheter is done after you are under general anesthesia. Removing it may feel a bit weird or uncomfortable, but it is a relatively quick procedure.

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3. What accreditations are important for surgical suites or free-standing operating rooms?

If your breast augmentation surgery is to be performed in a surgical suite at your surgeon's office, or in a free-standing surgery center, make sure the site are accredited. The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, among other groups, inspect and accredit such free-standing surgical units. They ensure that the site where you will have your surgery is well equipped and sterile. The surgical unit must also have life-saving equipment and easy access for emergency vehicles. Always ask to see a certificate of accreditation and make sure it is current.

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4. Can other plastic surgery procedures be performed at the same time as breast augmentation?

Yes. Combining procedures cuts down on costs and combines two recovery periods into one, but it also increases the length, cost and risks of your surgery. A mommy makeover is an example of combining plastic surgery procedures into one operation. It may include breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), butt lift and liposuction surgery. the risks and benefits of combining procedures with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

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5. Do other doctors assist or observe breast augmentation surgery?

Sometimes. If you are having your surgery at a university or teaching hospital, expect to have medical students present at your surgery as observers. If your plastic surgeon has a surgical resident (a graduate of a medical school who is still training), the resident may assist at your surgery. Your surgeon will be doing the bulk of the operation. If you are having surgery at a smaller hospital or in a surgery center, it will probably be just your surgeon working on you, but the rest of the operating room staff will be there, too. If you have concerns, share them with your plastic surgeon.

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6. What does it feel like to wake up after breast augmentation surgery?

As you begin to regain consciousness after general anesthesia, you may feel confused, a bit dizzy and very disoriented. You may also feel very emotional and even start to cry, or laugh hysterically. As the anesthesia wears off, the sluggish feeling in your limbs will subside. You may not even realize you had your breast augmentation because you have no sense of time while you are under general anesthesia.

Some people begin shivering and/or become nauseated. You can have a warm blanket and a few sips of cool water to help feel better. If you think you are going to vomit, ask for a bowl.

If you had general anesthesia, you will need to wait a few hours before you can go home. If you had light anesthesia, you can usually go home sooner. You need to be observed for some time after the surgery. If any complications arise, they usually occur as you are recovering from anesthesia.

You will definitely need to have someone drive you home after breast augmentation.

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    Ronald H. Schuster, MD

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    Baltimore, MD 21093
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    Brian R Buinewicz MD

    Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
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    Doylestown, PA 18902
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    Julio Clavijo-Alvarez, MD

    Re-Nova Plastic Surgery
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