Frequently asked questions: Breast Augmentation

Will I need any more visits before surgery?

It is highly recommended that you meet with Dr. Swelstad or Dr. Pitcher at least one more time before your surgery to answer any questions and review the procedure. You will also need to have a “History & Physical Exam” a few weeks before surgery which will be done by the doctor’s assistant (or it may be done by your primary care physician). You may schedule a meeting with Dr. Swelstad the same day to answer any questions.

Where will the procedure be done?

Breast augmentation is usually done at Grand Valley Surgery Center, an outpatient surgery center located in Grand Junction. We can use other facilities on request.

What kind of anesthesia will I have?

Most patients have general anesthesia and are completely asleep during the procedure. In some cases, the procedure may be done with deep sedation.

How long does the procedure take?

The surgery usually lasts under 60 minutes but the actual time in the operating room may be up to 90 minutes to allow for preparing you for the procedure.

Will I go home the same day?

Yes, you will be ready to go home 2 to 4 hours after the procedure. Someone will need to drive you home and stay with you that night. If you are from out of town and would like to stay in Grand Junction overnight, please ask the ReGenesis staff about hotel options.

Will I have any drains after surgery?

In most cases, Dr. Swelstad and Dr. Pitcher do not use drains after breast augmentation.

What medications will I need after surgery?

You will receive a prescription for a pill containing a narcotic/acetaminophen (Tylenol) combination. The day after your surgery, you may also start using ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), which can be obtained before your procedure without a prescription. Most patients stop using the narcotic pills after 2 to 3 days and change over to acetaminophen alone or with ibuprofen or naproxen.

Will I need any special bras?

Most patients have a breast band placed after surgery to help reduce swelling and should wear it for 2 weeks. It may be removed for 15 minutes twice a day as needed during the first week and for 30 minutes twice a day during the second week. If you also receive a bra you may remove it at the same time as the breast band. You may wear a sports bra (without underwires) after 2 weeks and then purchase new bras, as you desire, after 2 months.

How often will I need to come back after surgery?

Shea or Tammy (Physician Assistants) will see you within 1 to 2 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks, and after 3 to 4 months. If you would like to be seen at any other time, we will be happy to do so.

Will there be any sutures to remove after surgery?

In most cases, there are few sutures to remove.

What are my restrictions after surgery?

You may remove the Breast Band (and bra) and shower the next day but be very gentle with your breasts for the next 2 weeks. Light regular activity is allowed during the first week but should be limited if it causes discomfort. Avoid heavy straining or lifting more than 10 pounds (about the weight of a gallon of milk). You should sleep on your back for the first 1 to 2 weeks.  Do not drive if you are using narcotic pain medications. After 2 weeks you may resume regular activity as tolerated.

How long before I can return to work?

Most patients can return to work in one week. If you need to do moderate or heavy activity, you may need to wait 2 weeks before returning to work.

Will I need any therapy after surgery?

No, just be sure to move your arms in a full range of motion three times a day in a slow and gentle manner after surgery to prevent stiffness. Start this the third day after surgery.

What can I do to minimize scars after surgery?

Silicone gel sheets have been shown to improve scar appearance after surgery. 

How will breast implants affect future mammograms?

Tell your doctor and mammography technician that you have breast implants so that additional views may be obtained.

When will I need to replace my implants?

In most patients, implants do not need to be replaced unless they develop a leak and deflate. If this happens, your breast will return to its original size over a few days. Replacing the implant usually involves a short surgery with a much quicker recovery than the first surgery. Although the implants will last more than 10 years in most patients, they may leak and deflate before that time. Your implant manufacturer may offer a limited warrantee to cover some of the costs associated with replacing a deflated implant and there may be an extended warrantee that you may purchase from the manufacturer.