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Procedures and technique will vary among surgeons, including differences in the type and placement of the implant and the location of the incision sites, but on the whole you can expect the following: Breast augmentation surgery generally takes between one and three hours and can be performed in a hospital, surgical center, or office. Though the surgery is most typically performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home several hours after completion, the surgery can be performed on an inpatient basis, requiring an overnight stay. General anesthesia is most commonly used, though local anesthesia combined with sedation is also an option.

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The surgeon will begin by making an incision. The incision is most typically located either under the armpit, within the crease below the breast, or around the nipple. In very rare situations, the incision is made through the navel, or belly button. The surgeon will then lift the breast tissue, thereby creating a space, or "pocket", within the breast for the insertion of the implant. The implant can be placed either directly below the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. To permit the smallest possible incision, and thus scarring, the implant is typically inserted empty and then filled with a saline solution. Once the implant has been inserted and positioned, the incision will be closed, usually with stitches, and possibly taped.

Following surgery, the breasts are usually wrapped with gauze bandages along with a tighter bandage providing additional protection and support. A small drainage tube may be temporarily placed at the incision site to drain any excess fluid.

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