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Breast Augmentation Simplified: A Guide to Your Surgery Day, Anesthesia, and Recovery

February 6, 2023


If you are considering breast augmentation, it’s important to educate yourself about the procedure and what to expect before, during, and after surgery. This is a short and comprehensive guide that tells you what to expect the actual day of your breast augmentation procedure.  More details in terms of planning, what I actually do in the operating room, and more, will be in my upcoming book. 

The Day of Surgery

On the day of your surgery, you will arrive about 1-2 hours before your surgery is scheduled to start, at the surgical center or hospital where your procedure will be performed. You will most likely be asked to not having anything to eat or drink 6-08 hours before your procedure.

Typically, you will do some paperwork, change into a patient gown, talk to the nurse about your procedure, get an IV, meet the anesthesiologist or anesthetist to discuss your anesthesia needs, and wait!  When the operating room is ready for you, you will be brought back to the operating room. 

Technically, you may not need someone to bring you. However, you will need someone to pick you up and take you home, since you should not go home after waking up form general anesthesia. 

Going to Sleep under General Anesthesia

You will see everyone in the operating room that you just met-  the nurse, the anesthesiologist or anesthetist, and me. You will also probably see the scrub tech, the person that assists me during your procedure. 

The anesthesia person will ask you to lay on your back, and you will be given instructions on when to take some deep breaths and so on.  Before you know it, you will be asleep and waking up in the recovery room. You will not feel any pain or discomfort, and you will not be aware of what is happening during your breast augmentation. 

What Happens During the Procedure

All of the consultations and planning occur BEFORE we step into the operating room.  In the operating room, we cleanse your body with surgical soap, and then do your breast augmentation procedure. I create the incisions that we agreed upon before your operation, and then create a breast implant pocket on the right and left sides. I then insert the breast implant using a sterile “funnel”, and ensure both sides look symmetric before closure.  I will then close the incisions, and also inject long term numbing medicine to both breasts and the surrounding areas so that you have long term numbing pain relief for 72 hours. I then put sterile tape over your incisions, and put you in a surgical bra. 

You will then wake up in the operating room, under the guidance of the anesthesiologist or anesthetist. You will be very sleepy and forgetful, so you will only remember being awake in the recovery room, and not the operating room.

Waking Up in the Recovery Room

When you are breathing on your own, you will be taken to the recovery room where you will wake up from the anesthesia. You will feel “retrograde amnesia”, which occurs when you can not remember what just happened. I will have a completely normal conversation with you, but you may not remember all of the details afterwards.

I always speak to every patient after breast augmentation, but most patients do not remember this conversation at all.  Don’t worry – your recovery room nurse will be there the entire time after your operation to ensure your comfort and safety.

You will likely feel very little to no  discomfort and soreness in your breasts, thanks to the long term numbing medicine placed at the end of your operation.  

Going Home with a Family Member or Friend

After you have awakened from the anesthesia and the recovery room staff determines that you are ready to be discharged, you will need to have someone accompany you home. It is important to have someone with you for the first 24 hours after the procedure to help you with any needs you may have, including helping you to the bathroom if needed, helping feed you, and just making sure your are comfortable at your home or in a local hotel room after your breast augmentation. 


Breast augmentation is an out patient operation, and is performed under general anesthesia. The operation only typically takes about 1 hour to perform, but arriving early, the actual operation, and staying in the recovery room will likely take a total of 3-4 hours. 

After your procedure, you will need to have someone accompany you home, and you will likely experience some discomfort and soreness in your breasts. With the proper care and attention, you will be able to recover quickly and enjoy your new curves.


Want to read more? Here are some other articles that may interest you –


Unveiling the Different Types of Breast Implants for Breast Augmentation- A Guide to Silicone and Saline Options

Can You Start Exercising 1 Week after Breast Augmentation?

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