You've probably spent weeks or months interviewing potential doctors, reviewing your breast implant options and saving up for your surgery. Now that you're finally ready to start your breast augmentation, here's the inside scoop on what to expect and how to plan ahead for the smoothest experience possible.

Before Your Breast Implant Surgery

  • Prep for your recovery. Most doctors recommend significant rest and recuperation for at least a week after your surgery, and limiting strenuous activity and heavy lifting for several weeks after that. (The recovery period could be even longer than that if your implants were placed behind the chest wall.) Think ahead to determine what you might need, and start putting everything into place. That could mean stocking up on groceries (or asking someone to shop for you), planning for child care for young kids as you won't be able to lift them and collecting magazines, movies and other diversions for your recovery.
  • Follow your doctor's orders. Your doctor may request that you abstain from alcohol and aspirin for a few weeks before the surgery, and that you shower, then avoid perfumes, lotions and other potential contaminants to avoid infecting your incisions.
  • Grab that last meal. Most doctors won't want you to eat for several hours before your surgery to avoid complications with your anesthesia, so eat a good meal the night before.

At Your Breast Implant Surgery

  • Dress appropriately. Choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and a button-down shirt that will be easy to put back on after the surgery. (You might want to choose older clothes that you're not as concerned about.)
  • Go au naturel. Most surgeons require that you avoid hair pins, contact lenses, make up and other potential contaminants. Avoid wearing jewelry or other unnecessary items that could interfere with your surgery.
  • Bring a friend. Make sure a friend or loved one is available to take you home and care for you — or see if you can arrange for a caretaker through your surgeon.

During Your Recovery From Breast Implant Surgery

  • Take your medications as prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe both painkillers and antibiotics (to help ward off potential infections). Be sure that someone helps you follow your medication schedule early on, when you're still groggy from the breast implant surgery, and take your medications as directed.
  • Follow doctor's orders. As you start to feel better, you might be inclined to start getting back to your regular routine. But you should avoid doing activities your plastic surgeon prohibits until you get the green light, as heavy lifting and other strenuous activity could damage the healing tissue, delaying your recovery and perhaps impacting the results of your surgery.
  • Don't be disappointed at what you see. Immediately after the surgery, your implants may look unnaturally high, you may have uneven swelling, and you will likely have bruising and other signs of trauma. It will take a few months for your implants to shift into their desired position.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Because of the limitations on activity after your surgery, you may need to rely on friends and family a bit more to get things done for you.