In 2002, my good friend, colleague and mentor, Dr. John Tebbetts described an entirely new approach to breast augmentation. His procedure, which yielded a recovery from breast augmentation in 24 hours, is radically different than current breast augmentation techniques. What he created is a system for breast augmentation that is based upon the measurement of breast tissue parameters and a minimally traumatic surgical technique with almost no blood loss whatsoever, minimal discomfort after surgery and a negligible re-operation rate. This facilitates the patient to be able to typically recover in just one day! This system is reproducible among other surgeons who have learned his technique. In other words, those who use his techniques achieve virtually the same results with their patients as the creator of the technique. It is based upon science, not guesswork.
Features of this technique include the following: Narcotic pain medication (i.e. Tylenol #3 or #4 with codeine, Percocet) is not necessary. Only Advil (ibuprofen), an anti-inflammatory is required. Patients often go out to dinner, shopping, and visit friends the same day as their surgery. The next day, they are driving and doing other normal activities of daily living (except strenuous exercise). On the day of surgery, if so inclined sexual activity is permitted and you may lift up to 25 pounds. There is no dressing other than a small piece of surgical tape or steri-strip on the wound. No special bras, wraps or other garments. No pain pumps. No need for infusion of local anesthesia into the breast tissues (long acting local anesthesia only lasts about 4 – 12 hours max). Immediately after surgery (and I mean while still on the recovery room stretcher!) you can raise your arms high above your head. Discomfort is usually nothing more than a sense of “tightness” (that is what my patients call it), rather than pain.
In June, 2004, Dr. Tebbetts personally taught me this technique. Since then I saw an immediate shift in my patient’s recovery from one of pain, narcotics and slow recovery to the quick and easy recovery as described above.
There are other benefits to recovering in one day that most people do not think about when considering breast augmentation. Occasionally, a second surgical procedure called a “revision” is required to fix some issue arising from the first surgery. This might be an adjustment of the breast pocket that the implant lies within, treatment of a capsule contracture (scar tissue thickening around the implant), changing implant size or some other issue. Re-operation includes revisions as well as all other reasons for re-operation such as bleeding or infection after surgery. The pre-market approval (PMA) studies submitted to the FDA for clearance of silicone breast implants demonstrated a 15% and higher re-operation rate at 3 years. This is simply unacceptable! Dr. Tebbetts published a study indicating his experience, achieving a 0% re-operation rate in 50 consecutive patients with his technique.
As of this writing (April 2011), my three year re-operation rate is less than 2%, one tenth of the rate in the national PMA studies. One of the more common reasons for breast augmentation is capsular scar tissue contracture. To date, I have not had one such complication on my silicone augmentations; the last one I saw in my saline augmentations was in 2006.
On rare occasions, a patient may still require a narcotic pain prescription. I collect information regarding recovery from all my breast augmentation patients. Over the past two years (2009 and 2010), 97.5% of my patients did NOT require any such medication. In some cases, the few who did require narcotic pain medication did so because they selected an implant larger than I recommended based on my analysis of their tissues, and naturally, it is anticipated that more postoperative pain will result. Despite this, 100% of my patients during this two year time period achieved a 24 hour recovery as defined above.
If you are looking to have breast augmentation and wish to have the best possible technique is the way to go. Dr. Tebbetts and his wife and patient coordinator, Terrye Tebbetts, wrote a wonderful book that every woman considering breast augmentation should read called The Best Breast 2 (it’s the second edition) and can be obtained from Amazon.com.
Now, how do you know if your surgeon performs breast augmentation so that you can recover in one day? There are many surgeons around the country who perform breast augmentation procedures espousing quick recoveries. Just ask the surgeon if the following is true for his patients:
-Narcotic pain relievers, sedatives and muscle relaxers are NOT needed nor prescribed
-Local anesthetics are not required
-No pain pumps, nerve blocks, drains, binders, special bras are used
– No limitation of normal activities from the evening of surgery (aerobic activities excluded)
-Patients can routinely place their hands high above their heads right after surgery
-Breast implant size will be determined by precise measurements of your breasts coupled with detailed assessment of your breast tissues
– The surgeon will provide you with several patients that you can speak to who underwent the procedure
Many patients ask what it is that I do differently than other surgeons. The answer is that it is not just the surgical technique using specialized surgical instruments of my own design Epstein Breast Retractors, but also the entire process of decision making and instructions from patient consultation through recovery
There are many surgeons using a multitude of names for their surgical procedures, but there is only one way to achieve a recovery within such a short time period. I use the term “One Day Recovery Breast Augmentation.” If the surgeon cannot assure you of the above, then you will not most likely not attain a recovery from breast augmentation surgery within 24 hours.