You may have already decided that you want to get breast implants, but are you physically and psychologically prepared for the procedure and your life afterwards? Your surgeon may strongly encourage or even require some of the steps below in order to agree to perform your surgery. Other points may be optional but could help you make the best decision possible.

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Long-Term Preparation

  • Get a Mammogram – A baseline mammogram is a good idea before augmentation mammoplasty or reconstruction because implants can act like an obstacle for detecting breast cancer in future mammograms. This is particularly important if you are planning to have the implant placed above the pectoral muscle because this placement has been associated with the greatest difficulty. When you do go in for mammograms after getting breast implants, make sure the mammography technician knows about them; additional images will likely need to be taken to ensure that you are adequately screened.
  • Stop Smoking – Most pre-arranged surgeries will require that a patient stop smoking for as long a period as possible (ideally, at least 6 to 8 weeks) before surgery. Smoking has adverse effects on the blood's ability to carry oxygen to the heart and other vital organs. When a person stops smoking, the carbon monoxide level in the blood gradually decreases, which results in improved overall oxygen-carrying capacity.
  • Evaluate Your Reasons for Having Surgery – If your boyfriend, husband, or partner (or maybe even boss!) is pressuring or otherwise manipulating you (e.g., using guilt, threatening to leave or hurt you, blackmailing, or other coercive tactics) into having surgery, it may be time to look for a new romantic interest. Ultimately, you should get implants for yourself, and if someone else is lucky enough to benefit too, great. Also, it's important to keep realistic expectations about what will happen after surgery. Implants should not be perceived as a ticket to career, relationship, financial, or other success; the only potentially long-standing problem that they can resolve is related to your self-perception and self-confidence.

Short-Term Preparation

  • Adjust Medications as Advised – Your surgeon may tell you to stop taking certain medications or switch to others if any of your regular prescriptions could cause bleeding or other problems during surgery.
  • Fast – Do not eat food or drink liquid after midnight on the day of your procedure. Some people may be nauseated by anesthesia, and vomiting unnecessary stomach contents (e.g., the bagel that will tempt and taunt you in the morning) can cause you to aspirate (an unlikely but possible serious complication).
  • Arrange for Transportation, Child Care, and Other Assistance – After surgery, you will need to have someone else drive you home. You will also be unable to lift and carry heavy objects for about a week. Make sure you have help lined up if you need it, and have plenty of meals that require minimal preparation ready.
  • Clean Your Skin – Your surgeon may advise you to use antibacterial soap to clean your body before the procedure and then to refrain from putting on lotions, perfumes, oils, make up, deodorant, and other skin-care items to reduce the risk of contamination during surgery.