Between Small and Large Implant, is There Any Difference when in Comes to Recovery and Pain? How to Avoid CC?

Doctor Answers 3

Implant size and pain

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Logically, the larger the implant and the larger the pocket, pains increase.  However I can't say this is always true in my experience.  Pick a volume that will make you happy and I strongly suggest use of external sizers and a non-padded bra.  As for avoiding CC, some of it is due to surgeon technique but other times, we just cannot explain it.  If using gel implants, you would prefer surgeons who use the funnel to place the implants.  You would want to avoid the axillary approach and going above the muscle as well.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Between Small and Large Implant, is There Any Difference when in Comes to Recovery and Pain? How to Avoid CC?

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If the chosen implant is suitably chosen by you and your surgeon, there should not be much difference in recovery. If a large implant is chosen that abnormally stretches the breast tissue and chest muscle, there may be more discomfort and longer recovery period

Most of the prevention of CC is your surgeon's hands. Following post op instructions carefully will be your role. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Does Size Of Implant Determine Length Of Recovery, Degree Of Pain, And Chance Of Capsular Contracture?

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The short answer to your multiple questions is "No".  The size of the implant has no effect on pain, recovery time or capsular contracture.

To decrease the chance of capsular contracture, your surgeon can do several things.  Intra-operatively, your surgeon can see that all bleeding is stopped and then use a post-operative drain to pick up any capillary oozing that may occur.  Since blood around an implant is the #1 way to get a capsular contracture, draining that last bit of blood away from an implant has a very salutary effect on keeping breast implants soft.

Secondly, the use of a Keller funnel has significantly decreased my capsular contractrure rate from 3.75 per 100 breast augmentations to less than 1 per 100 breast augmentations.  That is because the funnel placed inside any incision significantly decreases the chance of non-pathogenic skin bacteria entering the implant pocket on the outside of the breast implant.

Thirdly, avoiding a perioareolar breast incision decreases the chance of bacteria lurking in breast ducts from gaining  entry into the breast implant pocket, and therefore creating an increased chance of capsular contracture. 

Finally, post-operatively, the use of antibiotics before dental visits decreases the incidence of capsular contractures significantly. 

With reference to pain from stretching of your implant pocket, in my practice, I use DMSO whose use was first described in the context of tissue expanders (which of course, a breast implant is).  The original articles on this subject were written by Dr. Gordon Sasaki, a brilliant and innovative plastic surgeon.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.