Breast Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

For Dr. Philip Richardson and the staff at Brisbane Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, providing our patients with exceptional medical care involves educating them about every aspect of their treatment. Below, we have provided a list of the most frequently asked questions about breast surgery at our practice in Brisbane, Queensland. Further information about our breast surgery procedures may be found throughout the site.

The information presented on this page should be considered general answers to questions we commonly receive about breast surgery from our Brisbane and Sunshine Coast area patients. For answers to your specific questions, please schedule your confidential, one-on-one consultation with our esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr. Philip Richardson, today.

Who should have breast surgery?

There are several types of breast surgery procedures offered at our practice in Brisbane, Queensland, each of which is designed for a different set of circumstances. For women who would like fuller, more voluptuous bust lines, breast augmentation with implants may provide the ideal solution. A breast lift, on the other hand, may restore a more youthful appearance to sagging breasts. Women who have large, heavy breasts that cause them physical or emotional distress may be interested in breast reduction surgery.

Dr. Richardson can give patients an idea of the results they can achieve through breast surgery at Brisbane Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery with the use of the extraordinary VECTRA 3D Imaging System. This sophisticated digital imaging system presents a highly detailed three-dimensional image of the patient with breast implants of various shapes and sizes so that she can make the most informed and confident decisions possible about how to proceed with breast surgery.

What are the differences between saline and silicone breast implants?

Both types of implant have a silicone shell; whereas silicone breast implants are filled with a fixed amount of silicone gel have a more natural feel, saline implants are filled to the desired degree of fullness with saline solution once they have been placed in the body.

Dr. Richardson can further educate you about the benefits of each type of implant and help you to decide which breast implant type will best meet your needs during a private consultation. Contact Brisbane Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule a breast surgery consultation.

Is breast augmentation painful?

Breast augmentation pain depends on the incision site and implant placement.  Patients tolerate pain in different ways, and Dr. Richardson will prescribe the most appropriate pain relief for you. You will probably feel somewhat tired and sore for several days following the operation and your breasts may remain swollen and sensitive to physical contact for a month or longer. You may experience a feeling of tightness in the chest area as your skin adjusts to your new breast size. You may even have swelling in your abdomen, and under your arms, this is normal. The majority of bruising and swelling will resolve within 14 days.

What happens after the operation?

When you awake from your breast surgery, you will be in the recovery room wearing a light crop top garment. When you have fully recovered from the anaesthetic, you will be able to go home with a responsible adult.  You will be given a pack containing antibiotics, panadeine forte, valium, and tablets for constipation.  It is very important you take the antibiotics to prevent infection.  The nurse will phone you the day after your procedure and organise your postoperative appointment for 5-7 days after surgery.

How long is the recovery period after breast surgery?

The length of time it takes to heal after breast surgery depends on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s ability to heal. Learn more about breast surgery recovery.

When can I resume normal activities?

Five days after your breast surgery at Brisbane Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery, we encourage you to resume relatively normal non-strenuous activities.  Think in advance of anything in your house that you may need that is high up in a cupboard or on a top shelf.  Go grocery shopping before the operation and prepare foods to freeze for microwaving.  Alternatively, shop lightly or employ friends or family for the first two weeks if you can.  If you have small children you should arrange for someone to help you care for them at least for the first few days, preferably the first week.  If you need to pick up a child, try to do so from a sitting position where they can assist you.  You should not perform any strenuous upper body workouts for the first six weeks.  You may drive a car in the second week when you feel safe to do so.

Will the feeling in my breast or nipple change?

After breast implant surgery, feeling in the nipple and breast can increase or decrease, and the range of change can vary from intense sensitivity to no feeling. Patients may also experience sharp shooting pains or intermittent tingling sensations in the breast area. Some patients state the skin feels “sunburnt”. This is normal and will eventually settle.  It may help to gently massage the breasts with vitamin E cream.

Will breast surgery affect my ability to breastfeed?

A woman’s likelihood of being able to breastfeed after breast surgery depends on a number of factors, including the type of breast surgery and the incision location used during surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Richardson, he will explain all of the risks and benefits of the type of breast surgery that you are interested in.

Will the breast implants drop?

The breasts may be red and appear higher in the initial healing period.  This is normal and the implants will drop slightly within the first few weeks.  Sometimes it is beneficial to massage the breasts in a downward direction to encourage the implants down. Alternatively, Dr. Richardson will supply a bra band which is a strap worn over the breast to encourage the implant down.

Do implants need to be replaced regularly?

The life span of a breast implant is limited, so it may need to be removed or replaced at some point. The life span of an implant varies, but many can last up to and beyond 20 years.

How will I know if my implants have ruptured?

If a silicone implant ruptures the new cohesive gel should remain within the outer shell and not harm your body.  It is hard to detect a rupture so an ultrasound may be necessary if suspected.

How will I know if I get capsule contracture?

The scar tissue or capsule that normally forms around the implant may thicken, tighten, and squeeze the implant, which is called capsular contracture.  Symptoms range from firmness and mild discomfort, to pain, distortion, and/or displacement of the implant.  Revisional breast surgery is needed in cases where pain and/or firmness are severe.

Learn More about Breast Surgery at Brisbane Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

If you are considering breast surgery, whether breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction, you most likely have a lot of questions. Please contact Dr. Philip Richardson at his plastic surgery practice serving the Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Southport, and Brisbane, Queensland to arrange a breast surgery consultation.