Breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures among women of all ages. Nearly 300,000 women had breast augmentation in 2015. If you’re thinking about joining that statistic soon, you probably have a lot of important breast augmentation questions. Here are answers to the most common questions women have about the procedure, from figuring out if it’s right for you to getting your best results.
One of the first breast augmentation questions many women have is whether or not their implants will look fake. Breast implants and surgical techniques have evolved to the point where it is possible for breast implants to look entirely natural.
Things like breast implant rippling can make your breasts look unnatural. Some ways to avoid this are to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who’s experienced with breast augmentation, and to opt for an implant size that isn’t too big for your body. Implant placement also matters. An experienced plastic surgeon will tailor your breast augmentation to suit your unique body and your individual goals.
A good breast augmentation candidate is someone who is in good general health and wants to increase the size of their breasts. Breast implants are not a good idea for someone whose breasts are not yet fully developed. Another important factor that makes someone an ideal breast augmentation candidate is having realistic expectations about the procedure.
Both saline and silicone implants have their own unique advantages, and different types might work better for different people. Many women feel that silicone breast implants more closely mimic the look and feel of natural breast tissue. Silicone implants for cosmetic purposes are approved for women over age 22, while cosmetic saline implants are available to women 18 and older. Talk to your plastic surgeon about whether saline or silicone implants would work best for your body type and expectations.
The ideal size implant for you depends on things like your body type, how much existing breast tissue you have and your specific beauty goals. A size that might look good on one person could look totally wrong for another. That’s why it’s more important to think about proportion rather than size. Your plastic surgeon can help you find the right size implants for you.
Sometimes breasts can appear slightly saggy due to a loss of volume in the upper portions of the breasts. Implants can help in such cases, but only a breast lift can really raise your breasts higher on your chest and eliminate excess skin. You might achieve your best results through a combination of breast implants and a breast lift. It’s best to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is highly experienced with breast lifts and breast implants to help you decide.
Immediately after your surgery, you’ll have to rest and relax at home for a couple of days. You can slowly ease back into your routine after this, but you won’t be able to do any heavy lifting or anything too strenuous for a while. Most women are able to go back to work a week after having breast implants. Your plastic surgeon will give you detailed recovery instructions and can give you a recuperation timeline that is specific to your case.
If you’ve been researching breast augmentation, you’ve probably come across the term “drop and fluff.” This odd-sounding phrase refers to the process during which your breast implants soften and settle into a more realistic position on your chest. It can take several months for this to happen as the muscles surrounding your implant relax. Just know that your initial results are probably quite different than what your final results will look like.
You may hear different guidelines about the longevity of breast implants. Some plastic surgeons may recommend replacement after ten or fifteen years. Most, however, will tell you that this is not necessary as long as you aren’t experiencing any problems. While breast implants are not manufactured as lifetime devices, many women are able to enjoy their implants for the rest of their lives without complications or the need for replacement.
In the event that an implant ruptures, it will need to be replaced. When a saline breast implant ruptures, it is immediately apparent because the saline very quickly leaks out and the implant deflates.
It’s much more difficult to determine whether a silicone implant has ruptured, because the gel may leak out very slowly. For this reason, women with silicone implants are sometimes advised to periodically have an MRI to ensure no ruptures have occurred. Other reasons to consider replacement include not being happy with the size, placement or overall look of your implants.
The short answer is most likely. Of course, each woman’s experience is different and it can depend on the placement of both your implants and your incisions. Most women who have had implants are able to successfully breastfeed if they choose to do so. Talk to your plastic surgeon at your breast augmentation consultation if you plan to have children and want to breastfeed in the future. That way, you can develop a breast augmentation plan that is least likely to affect your ability to breastfeed.
Guest post by - Dr. Frank E. Campanile, MD