Easing Recovery After Breast Augmentation


Most women that choose breast implant surgery have been considering it for a long time and are highly motivated. They are happy about their anticipated body change. As the day approaches, it is not uncommon to have concerns about putting up with post-operative discomfort. Here are a few of the ways that postoperative pain can be lessened and use of narcotics can be decreased:

  1. Nerve Blocks Just like the dentist injects the nerves to your teeth to make a procedure comfortable, it is possible to block nerves to the chest wall before breast augmentation. The nerves that bring sensation to the breast area run just below each rib on the chest wall. Injecting these nerves with a long acting local anesthetic, blocks painful impulses. I like to place a lot of local anesthetic in the tissues at the beginning of the procedure. I use “intercostal nerve blocks,” and I put additional local around the incision, beneath the muscle and along the breast fold to get the areas as pain free as possible. If the pain is blocked early in recovery the overall pain response appears to be diminished. These local anesthetic blocks do not eliminate the need for pain pills, but they do reduce the amount of narcotic that is required during recovery. 
  2. on-Q_pump“Pain Pump” Most women find their post augmentation discomfort is manageable, but for those that are particularly worried about dealing with it, I use a device called the On Q Pain Buster. This pain pump technology is an elastic ball filled with local anesthetic that continually delivers the medication to the surgical site through two tiny catheters. It provides good pain relief for three days following the procedure. For more information on the Pain Buster go to
  3. Exparel Exparel is a new formulation of an old local anesthetic. The medication bupivacaine has long been used for long acting block of pain impulses. It has been created in a slow release form by wrapping the medication in a “liposome.” A liposome is a fat coating that allows a 72 hour sustained release. This medication adds expense comparable to the pain pump, but it can be placed in the surgical area to help numb the discomfort. It provides one more tool to make recovery manageable. Basic information about Exparel can be found on

I am happy to discuss these options with you when you come in for a consultation about breast enlargement to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.



Category: Breast Augmentation, Breast health, Breast Implants, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Mommy Makeover

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