We regularly meet adults of all ages who are interested in breast enhancement surgery. In many cases, this involves breast augmentation to help accentuate the chest area in relation to the rest of the body. When meeting with patients, we tend to field one question more than many others. That question involves some form of inquiry about pain. We believe this honest question deserves a thoughtful response so that the patient may make a confident decision with greater peace of mind. Here, we take our time discussing if breast augmentation is painful.
Breast Augmentation: What Should I Expect in Terms of Pain?
Does breast augmentation hurt? There isn’t a singular answer to this. Here’s why. Breast augmentation surgery is performed with general anesthesia. This type of anesthesia works on the brain and nervous system, where it interrupts the transmission and reception of pain signals. The insertion of breast implants requires controlled expansion of muscle, connective tissue, and the skin. Of course, this is slightly traumatic to the involved tissues. However, the patient does not feel it as such.
What About Post-Operative Pain?
After waking up from general anesthesia, patients tend to feel tight, tender, and sore. These are normal side effects of having breast implants in place and may last a week or two until the skin and other tissue settle down from the inflammation stimulated by surgery. Inflammation is actually a good thing and an integral aspect of healing. When the brain registers pain, it signals the pituitary gland to produce endorphins. These chemicals are known as the body’s natural painkillers. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to rely only on your endorphins for comfort. For a few days after breast augmentation, patients maintain comfort by taking prescription pain medication. Proper dosing, not waiting on pain, is important to stay ahead of discomfort. Within about a week, most patients are ready to switch to an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen. Furthermore, taking short walks continues to stimulate endorphin activity in the body to maximize comfort.
Breast augmentation can be an incredibly gratifying procedure, with lasting results after a brief recovery period. To learn more, contact us at 503-561-7000 and schedule your consultation with Salem, OR plastic surgeon Dr. Edwin Austin.