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Exparel for Breast Augmentation

Exparel Breast Augmentation

First discovered in 1957, bupivacaine (Exparel) is a powerful local anesthesia that can be used in addition to general anesthesia during breast augmentation surgery. During recovery, it blocks nerve pain responses and manages patient discomfort. Using DepoFoam technology, Exparel delivers precise pain control to enhance recovery in the critical first few days after breast surgery. (1) Not only can doctors take advantage of the potent properties of Exparel during a surgical procedure, but they can also administer it to patients for a virtually painless period of convalescence.

What is DepoFoam?

Analgesics like Exparel block pain. DepoFoam is an innovative drug delivery technology that extends the effects of analgesia. (1) It is composed of naturally occurring biodegradable and biocompatible lipids. Lipids are organic fat compounds. Analgesic lipids dampen nociceptor excitability, the sensory nerves that send pain sensation signals to the brain.

Breast Augmentation

cleavage of women with beautiful breasts on a white background

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery for women in the United States and the most common cosmetic surgery for women between the ages of 18 and 34 years. (2)  Women worldwide are taking control of their appearance and increasing their body confidence by undergoing cosmetic procedures. Many are working with their surgeons to undergo their breast augmentation treatment with Exparel! This is because after treatment, the nerve impulse-blocking effects of this non-opioid pain reliever last up to 72 hours in the treatment area. You’ll stay comfortable for the first few days of your recovery!

At Millard Plastic Surgery in Englewood, we offer a wide variety of cosmetic plastic surgeries for patients who want to improve their appearance. With a breast augmentation, you can address specific issues relating to your breast size, shape, symmetry, and volume. In addition to general anesthetic, a breast augmentation with targeted Exparel local anesthetic ensures optimal comfort during recovery. Our surgeons have a wealth of experience with breast, body and facial plastic surgery. Call our Denver location at (303) 792-5665, or fill out an online inquiry form to discuss your breast augmentation procedure and find out more about Exparel!

Before and After Photos

About Analgesics

What Are Analgesics?

There are two main types of analgesics; anti-inflammatory analgesics and opioids. Non-opioid analgesics are among the most widely used medications in the United States. (3) This is because they can treat a wide range of pain and inflammatory conditions. Most anti-inflammatory analgesics come from two compounds; salicylic acid and phenacetin. Analgesics such as Exparel, and others like lidocaine, ropivacaine, and mepivacaine can be used to numb specific areas during cosmetic surgery.

Analgesics: Common Uses

Analgesics are used in a wide variety of ways in medicine because of their safety and effectiveness, including:

  • Migraine Treatment
  • Infection
  • Nerve Damage
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Menstruation
  • Toothache
  • Headache
  • Pain Syndromes
  • Arthritis
  • Surgery

General Anesthesia with Exparel Analgesic

naked body, isolated, white background

Doctors carefully control a patient’s pain sensation and consciousness during surgery with anesthesia. But, there are many ways to ensure patient comfort and safety, depending on the type, complexity and length of the procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia (GA) such as nitrous oxide and fluorinated liquids such as desflurane affect the whole body. Under general anesthesia, a patient’s pain response is blocked, but, remarkably, your brain still knows what’s going on. Because your brain is still active, increased electrical signals caused by the surgery can hypersensitize nerves, causing patients to still experience discomfort after the surgery is completed.(4)

Exparel in Surgery

One of the best arguments for Exparel is that it is an effective non-opioid local anesthetic that targets the treated area only. This is unlike opioids, which affect the entire body. With carefully selected injection areas, bupivacaine causes a loss of feeling and prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings in and around the breast tissue. It allows the patient to remain comfortable during the crucial first few days of their recovery!

Call Millard Plastic Surgery at (303)792-5665 to arrange your initial meeting

Benefits of Breast Augmentation Surgery

This type of procedure alters the breast tissues through aesthetic reshaping and the introduction of a synthetic implant. It is suitable for patients who:

  • Are dissatisfied with breast size
  • Are self-conscious about breast appearance
  • Want to increase breast firmness
  • Want to address breast asymmetry
  • Want to increase breast size
  • Have age or pregnancy-related breast changes

Candidates for Breast Augmentation with Exparel

You may not be able to undergo your breast augmentation surgery with Exparel if you:

  • Are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients
  • Are are hypersensitive to sulfites
  • Have liver or kidney impairment
  • Have impaired cardiac function, heart block (abnormal heart rhythm), or hypotension
  • You are elderly, debilitated, or acutely ill (5)

Both locals and patients from farther afield receive plastic surgery treatments from Dr. Millard or one of his associates! If you’re not in the Denver area, don’t worry! Approximately 50% of our patients travel from out of town and even internationally to see us! Please see our Out of Town Patients page for further details! 

Personal Consultation

Your surgeon will work with you closely to ensure that you have a successful procedure and comfortable recovery. At your personal consultation, he or she will ask you about your medical history, if you have had any previous cosmetic breast surgery, and if you have any known allergies. They will perform a detailed breast examination and note the anatomical appearance of your breasts. Additionally, we may use Crisalix Imaging software to examine the relationship between your breast tissue and the surrounding chest muscles and provide a clear digitized picture of your breast contour both before and after your procedure. 

Please tell our doctor about the problems you are currently experiencing and your aesthetic goals. At this time, we may take a photographic record for post-surgical comparison. Please use this time to talk to us about your options!

Get in touch with our doctor and team in Englewood to discuss your breast augmentation procedure at Millard Plastic Surgery. Contact our offices at (303)792-5665, or send us an online inquiry.

Breast Augmentation Procedures

There are a number of different breast augmentation techniques available at Millard Plastic Surgery. Your doctor will discuss these options with you at your personal consultation.

Inframammary Fold (Under Breast Crease Incision) – The under-breast crease incision is the most common incision type because the scars are somewhat hidden.

Nipple Incision – A nipple incision hides scarring but a patient risks losing some nipple sensation.

Armpit Incision – An armpit incision may be a good option for women with minimal breast tissue.

Navel Incision – The navel incision is the least common. It tunnels to the chest and although it does not show any scarring, is more difficult for the surgeon to access the area of treatment.

If you’re interested in the Breast Enhancement options available at Millard Plastic Surgery, be sure to stay up-to-date on social media! Like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and connect with Dr. Millard on Linkedin!

Exparel in Other Surgeries

Tummy Tuck

As well as offering Exparel in breast augmentation surgeries, we also use with our Tummy Tuck procedures! During a tummy tuck procedure we skillfully inject the suspension straight into the abdominal wall to minimize pain in the following days. 

Dr. Millard is influenced by the beauty and art of the human body. Find out how artistic anatomy influences his skillful surgeries by visiting our Art of Body Sculpting page! You can also learn more about other body beautification procedures such as Smartlipo, Fat Transfer, and Cellulite Treatment on our website!

Exparel in Breast Augmentation Recovery

In 2011, the FDA approved Exparel for local administration to provide post-surgical analgesia. (6)

Both Dr. Millard, his team, and their patients have been incredibly satisfied with the ability of Exparel to provide real comfort and a practically painless recovery after breast augmentation surgery. Studies have shown that Exparel has proven, significant benefits in managing postoperative pain! (6)

Find out more about the breast enhancement and body contouring options available at Millard Plastic Surgery on our blog!

Cost of Breast Augmentation in Denver

Your breast augmentation is an individualized surgery that will be tailored to your needs. Pricing variables can be discussed at your personal consultation, and the cost of each procedure may vary. Qualified breast augmentation patients may be eligible for Financing.


What is an analgesic?

Analgesics are a type of painkiller. They are a group of drugs used to achieve relief from pain in a wide variety of medical conditions and scenarios. They can treat common pain-related symptoms including headaches, migraines, and period pain. They can also be employed to relieve discomfort in strains and sprains. Doctors can use analgesics such as bupivacaine in certain surgical procedures in addition to a general anesthetic.

How are analgesics used in cosmetic surgery procedures? 

Some plastic surgeons use analgesic pain blockers, so the patient can experience very little discomfort during the first days of their recovery. Afterwards doctors may recommend additional post-surgery analgesics to improve comfort. 

Can I get breast augmentation with analgesic pain relief?

Yes! Plastic surgeons are increasingly using analgesics as local anesthetics, and as an effective addition to general anesthesia. Bupivacaine (Exparel) can be used in a breast augmentation and abdominoplasty procedures to provide patients with a discomfort-free initial recovery.

Is breast augmentation recovery difficult?

Recovering from breast augmentation is a personal experience, and no two people are the same. However, most patients find it necessary to take pain relief medication and anti-inflammatories to reduce pain and swelling after a breast augmentation. Your surgeon can give you detailed information about the post-operative experience and prepare you with the necessary materials to ensure your recovery is as planned.


  1. Pain Control After Breast Implant and Reconstruction Surgery | EXPAREL. (n.d.). Www.exparel.com. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://www.exparel.com/hcp/value/implant-breast-reconstruction 
  2. Nguyen, T. T., & Kilaru, P. (2020). Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Procedures: Augmentation and Reconstruction Procedures. FP Essentials, 497, 27–36. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33021776/#:~:text=In%202018%2C%20breast%20augmentation%20was 
  3. Hamza, M., & Dionne, R. A. (2009). Mechanisms of Non-Opioid Analgesics Beyond Cyclooxygenase Enzyme Inhibition. Current Molecular Pharmacology, 2(1), 1–14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2749259/ 
  4. Sall, J. W. (2016). Anesthesia Kills Brain Cells, but What Does It Mean? Anesthesiology, 125(6), 1090–1091. https://doi.org/10.1097/aln.0000000000001359 
  5. Shafiei, F. T., McAllister, R. K., & Lopez, J. (2020). Bupivacaine. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532883/ 
  6. Rabin, T.(2019). FDA In Brief: FDA approves new use of Exparel for nerve block pain relief following shoulder surgeries. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-approves-new-use-exparel-nerve-block-pain-relief-following-shoulder-surgeries 
  7. Kaye, A. D., Armstead-Williams, C., Hyatali, F., Cox, K. S., Kaye, R. J., Eng, L. K., Farooq Anwar, M. A., Patel, P. V., Patil, S., & Cornett, E. M. (2020). Exparel for Postoperative Pain Management: a Comprehensive Review. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 24(11), 73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-020-00905-4