Breast augmentation is by far the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, as well over 300,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). But having surgery for fuller, shapelier breasts can be a painful process that takes months before the implant “drops,” or moves into a natural-looking position in the breast.

For women who are nervous about experiencing pain after breast implant surgery or simply want faster results, Botox-assisted breast augmentation might be a good option. By injecting Botox into the pectoralis major muscles, which are located behind a woman’s breasts, your plastic surgeon can actually prevent these muscles from going into spasm after the procedure. This way, patients can experience reduced pain and a quicker recovery.

Not Just for Wrinkles: Botox Soothes Breast Implant Pain

It’s common knowledge that Botox is often used in the form of injections to minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles in a person’s face. But in February 2012, Matthew Schulman, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, announced the development of Botox-assisted breast augmentation to decrease the muscle pain associated with breast implants as well as the duration of the recovery process. Dr. Schulman reports that he and his patients have been satisfied with the results: “I’ve incorporated it into my normal breast augmentation technique,” he says.

How Botox-Assisted Breast Augmentation Works

Schulman explains that while recovering from a standard breast augmentation procedure, most women experience painful muscle spasms in their chest muscles. For a period, these spasms can cause the implant to sit higher in the breast than it should. Shulman developed Botox-assisted breast augmentation to speed the “drop” of the implants into a woman’s breasts.

To limit and sometimes even prevent these spasms, Schulman injects Botox into areas of the patient’s pectoralis muscles just before he inserts the breast implants beneath these muscles. Similar to how these injections work in a person’s face, the Botox blocks the action of the nerve and “prevents the pectoralis muscles from going into spasm,” says Brian Howard, MD, plastic surgeon at North Fulton Plastic Surgery in Roswell, Ga., and one of the few doctors in the United Sta