'Speedy’ breast augmentation


Minneapolis plastic surgeon
Joe Gryskiewicz MD is an advocate
of ‘speedy’ breast augmentation, which
offers patients a quick and relatively
pain-free recovery. Lise Taylor investigates.

Some women are reluctant to undergo breast
augmentation surgery because of the long, painful
recovery period that usually follows the procedure.
Recovery with the traditional approach can take up to
three weeks because of trauma to the ribs and breast
tissue. Patients are advised to avoid upper body movement
for the first week and a half to help minimize bruising and
swelling, and medication is needed for post-operative
pain. But with the quick-recovery approach advocated
by Minneapolis plastic surgeon Joe Gryskiewicz MD,
recovery can be, as the name suggests, speedier.
The quick-recovery approach to breast augmentation
was conceived by Dallas, TX, plastic surgeon John
Tebbetts MD, and Dr. Gryskiewicz spent considerable time
with him learning the technique. ‘Before the development
of this technique, patients would often spend two to three
weeks after the procedure stiff with pain and feeling very
uncomfortable. But thanks to this new approach, patients
are well and truly on the road to recovery in 24 hours,’ he
says. ‘Not too many women can smile and raise their arms
within 24 hours of a breast augmentation procedure.’
Rapid-recovery breast augmentation is also known as
the ‘no-touch’ technique. This surgical procedure uses
special instruments and techniques to minimize tissue
damage and avoid touching the ribs (hence the term
‘no-touch’). It causes far less trauma to the surrounding
tissue than traditional approaches, and it dramatically
reduces the patient’s pain and suffering as well as their
recovery time.
‘When I began using this technique, my staff and I
interviewed each patient post-operatively to assess the
results. We discovered 95 percent returned to normal daily
activities within 24 hours,’ Dr. Gryskiewicz reveals. ‘One of
my patients reported she had folded three loads of laundry
and bathed her two boys the evening after surgery, and
a second patient worked a full day at her office the
day after her surgery. Another went to a movie eight hours
after the operation.’
He explains that one of the keys to the quick-recovery
approach is for the surgeon to never touch the patient’s
ribs with anything hard such as a metal retractor because
this can cause micro-bleeding in the lining of the bone,
called the periosteum, and in the perichondrium, which is
the lining of the rib cartilage.
‘Blood is very irritating to the body and causes a lot of
pain. Therefore the aim of the quick-recovery technique is
to cause minimal bleeding and, if the patient does have
any bleeding, it’s important to irrigate the pockets early to
remove the blood,’ he explains. ‘In addition, if the ribs are
damaged, they take a long time to heal. It’s not, therefore,
the insertion of the implants that makes recovery
uncomfortable and painful with the standard breast
augmentation technique, it is the damage that the surgeon
causes in performing it. With speedy breast augmentation,
the surgeon is gentle with the breast and, because of this,
recovery is quick and far less painful.’
Dr. Gryskiewicz acknowledges, ‘The speedy technique
is not magic, even though it sometimes seems that way
when it’s compared to the old techniques. My staff and I,
as well as the anesthesiologists and recovery-room nurses,
absolutely, unequivocally, see a significant difference in my
patients’ recovery times. I now recommend this technique
for almost all of my breast augmentation patients.’
After surgery, Dr. Gryskiewicz recommends that his
patients do three things to further speed their recovery
process. The first is for them to raise their arms over their
heads, which should be attempted six to eight hours after
surgery, and a set of three arm raises should be performed
every hour before going to bed.
His second recommendation is for patients not to ‘baby’
their breasts. In other words, patients need to know that
going about their daily routine will not hurt or rupture their
implants or rip open the stitches.
Lastly, he recommends that patients lie on their breasts
for 15 minutes every day, starting on the evening of the
surgery. He says that this should be part of the patient’s
daily routine because it will lessen their risk of developing
scar tissue around the implants. Patients can usually
return to work within a few days, depending on the activity
level their job requires.
The breasts will initially be sensitive to direct stimulation,
so Dr. Gryskiewicz advises his patients to avoid physical
contact for the first two to three weeks after surgery. The
scars are likely to be firm and pink for at least six weeks
and may even appear to widen but they’ll fade and flatten
over time – although they’ll never completely disappear.
Risks associated with the procedure – such as implant
rupture, capsular contracture, calcification, wrinkling and
folds – are no different to that of the traditional breast
augmentation and should be discussed with your surgeon.
Dr. Gryskiewicz says it’s important to be aware of these
complications because they can occur.

Article by
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon