Breast Augmentation FAQ’s                              Back

Do I need to stay in hospital?

The surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure is best done under general anaesthesia. The operation usually takes about 2 hours. There is no need for taping after the procedure and dissolving sutures are used so none need to be removed afterwards. No drains are required.  Generally you will be able to go home 3 hours after surgery.

Some discomfort may arise from the stretching of the breast tissues, but it largely resolves within two to three days and is well-controlled with simple oral medication such as Panadeine. Showering is allowable 48 hours postoperatively.

Patients generally return to work within one week, but should avoid exertional activities over the 6 to 8 weeks required for bruising and swelling to resolve.

What about Complications?

Breast augmentation is an open surgical procedure that is associated with a low incidence of complications. At your consultation these will be discussed with you and you will be able to ask any questions you have about them.

Post-operative complications include blood accumulation or infection adjacent to the implant. Both problems occur infrequently, but can necessitate a second operation or temporary removal of the implant. Because implants are a medical device, they can fail at any point after implantation. This is uncommon, but may require implant replacement surgery.

Some patients develop a firm layer of scar tissue around their implants which can make the breast hard to the touch or painful. Called “capsular contracture,” this can cause the breast contour to be asymmetrical and may require secondary procedures for improvement. Nipple sensation can be increased or decreased by the procedure though most women will experience some decrease in sensation around the nipple and outer breast which will be more noticeable in the few months following surgery but will improve with time. Most patients are able to breast-feed following augmentation.

The scar following breast augmentation is 6 cm long and sits under the breast in its crease. The scar will be reddened and more noticeable for 6 months or so but can be expected to fade dramatically over 12 to 18 months.

Breast Screening

Breast cause very little interference with the ability of mammography to detect early breast cancers. This is an important consideration that patients should discuss with a physician, particularly patients with a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer. All augmented patients need to inform their radiologists of their implants so the screening technique can be favourably modified.

Despite these limitations, approximately two million women are estimated to have undergone breast enlargement surgery. The overwhelming majority are satisfied with the results.

How important are psychological factors in relation to this procedure?

Emotional stability is the primary factor to be considered before any aesthetic surgery is performed. A “new body” does not guarantee a new life or solution to personal problems. It is mostly the mental attitude of the individual that determines a successful outcome. Breast augmentation can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence. It is a procedure you do for yourself, not for anybody else.

General Information 
Should there be any questions regarding breast augmentation, be sure to get them answered in advance by Dr Drielsma. Well meaning friends are not a good source of information. Find out everything before proceeding with the operation – a well informed patient is a happy one.

Finally, remember the realistic aim of this operation is improvement, not perfection.

What about Costs

Costs of surgery will always differ from surgeon to surgeon.  There is a range from “cheap and nasty” to ridiculously overpriced in the market place.  Do your homework and be happy with the quality of service and experience you are being offered.   Beware of the pitfalls of shopping around for the cheapest costs for this operation as this is the wrong way to choose your surgeon and may leads to disappointment with results.  Dr Drielsma offers a good value price structure for breast augmentation but is not the cheapest and is certainly not overpriced.

What about going Overseas

Medical tourism is tempting to people who superficially see cheap deals in foreign countries.  Medical tourism operators use clever marketing techniques with grandiose claims regarding the quality and safety of their hospitals and doctors.  Keep in mind that no doctor with surgical qualification or training such as plastic surgeons found in countries like Australia, America or England would consider working in such hospitals.  When someone commits to surgery in one of these foreign destinations, there is little or no opportunity to choose the surgeon who will perform the procedure or meet with the surgeon and discuss adequately the surgery prior to proceeding.   If there are concerns on the day, there is little scope to cancel or change.  If something goes wrong, it is difficult to stay and have it rectified and once back in Australia, it is very difficult or impossible to return to the clinic where the surgery was initially done to seek help.

As a plastic surgeon in Australia, Dr Drielsma (and his colleagues) see a number of  unhappy and regretful patients with “botched jobs” returning from overseas destinations.  Correction or improvement  may be possible but will prove very expensive.


What about the cheap deals I am seeing advertised in Sydney?

Recently in Sydney a number of clinics have opened advertising cheap breast implant surgery.  These clinics have been opened by entrepreneurs who are attempting to lure many unsuspecting patients to have surgery through their organisation, not necessarily cheaply.  The things to be aware of are

– assessment for suitability for surgery is not being undertaken by a plastic surgeon, and you may therefore be having the wrong or inappropriate operation (e.g., breast implants when you actually need a lift)
– if you proceed with a “cheap deal” breast augmentation you will likely
   a) not be operated on by a specialist surgeon  (see choosing your surgeon) but rather by an inexperienced  doctor with no
        specialist surgical training or qualification.
   b) only be offered round implants when you may be more suited to a shaped implant.
   c) have you surgery under intravenous sedation, not a general anaesthetic
   d) not be cared for by a specialist anaesthetist
Furthermore, an attempt will be made to sway you to have your surgery by a specialist surgeon who has a financial interest in the clinic  – but this will be at the normal price other surgeons are charging.
Furthermore, should you be unhappy with the outcome of your breast implants or something goes wrong, it has been reported that these clinics are unlikely to be interested in looking after you or rectifying matters.
It is best to think carefully before dealing with these clinics.  The old saying, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” holds true in this instance.  And like most things in this world, you only get what you pay for.
Please note: The above information does not necessarily cover all of the benefits and complications of a breast augmentation. This information should not be regarded as a substitute for information and advice provided by Dr Drielsma during consultation.


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