Things Every Woman Considering Breast Augmentation Should Know But Probably Doesn't
Most women who visit our practice for a breast augmentation consultation have definite ideas, usually involving what they don’t want. They don’t want their breasts to be disproportionate to the rest of their body. They don’t come in seeking to please anyone but themselves. And, they most emphatically don’t want a result that looks unnatural. Clearly, they’ve given the procedure quite a bit of thought, but there are aspects of breast augmentation procedures that even the most informed patients probably haven’t given much, if any thought to.
Here are four facts that you should be aware of before considering breast augmentation surgery.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Many women think that choosing an implant size is like choosing a size for a bra or bikini top. Not so.
Your plastic surgeon takes many different factors into account in determining the right implant size for you. These include the elasticity of your skin, the existing composition of your breasts (glandular and fatty tissue), and even the proportions of your chest and body. All of these can all play a significant role in determining your enhanced breast size. For some women, going from a 36A to a 36B is too small. For other women, that might be the best option. It’s always a good idea to be receptive to your surgeon’s recommendations.
There Will be Pain and Discomfort… Sorry
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure involving anesthesia, incision and the implantation of a medical device. With any surgery, your body will need time to recover and the body’s natural reaction to any surgical procedure involves some pain and discomfort.
While the pain experienced following a breast augmentation surgery is not as bad as many patients might expect, it’s still enough to make you uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several methods of pain management that can be used to make your recovery a little easier:
Pain medications: Your surgeon will prescribe you something to help increase your comfort and manage the pain. Don’t be afraid to take this medication during the early days of your recovery but be careful to follow the dosage instructions to the letter. If the medication isn’t alleviating enough of your pain, consult with your doctor to see what can be done.
Cold compresses: Talk to your surgeon about how long and how often you should apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and ease your discomfort.
Get enough rest: Avoiding physical activities, even walking back and forth to the kitchen too much, can do a great deal to ease your pain and let your body heal.
Try a massage: Your breasts won’t be too sore to touch after surgery, so you can do so gently and slowly. Discuss the proper way to massage your post-operative breasts with your surgeon. Doing this as you recover can also help ease the pain.
Implants Don’t Last Forever
Like any medical device, implants, whether saline or silicone, do not last a lifetime. Issues such as capsular contracture, leakage or skin ptosis can occur. It’s important when you have your yearly mammogram to tell your doctor that you have implants. I ask my patients to check in with me on a yearly basis to be sure everything is OK and to contact me immediately if they experience any post-recovery pain or discomfort.
You Don’t Need a Breast Augmentation to Achieve a "Perkier" Appearance
If your goal is to regain the firmness and youthful appearance of, for example, your pre-pregnancy breasts, then a breast augmentation isn’t necessary. In fact, the only reason to have an augmentation is to increase the size of your breasts.
The breast lift is a very popular procedure and will improve breast shape, projection, and symmetry and may be the best option for post-pregnant women.
The art and science of breast augmentation has advanced light years since the first implantation device was introduced to American women in the 1960s. Today, plastic surgeons have a wide variety of both devices and surgical techniques to come as close as possible to meeting your expectations and achieving the result you want.
Of course if you’re considering a surgical procedure, it’s important to get as much information as possible, consult with only board-certified plastic surgeons, and be sure your expectations are realistic.