Considering a Breast Augmentation?
If you’re here, you’re probably still deciding if breast augmentation surgery is something you’d like to pursue. It’s exciting to think about getting a new look, but’s its equally important to make sure your new look—and the procedure to help you get there—fits into your life.
Sorting through all the information available on breast augmentation can become confusing or overwhelming. Our plastic surgeons have plenty of experience with the procedure, some more than 30 years, and we want to help you understand all of the facts that will be important in your decision-making process.
Know the Myths About Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. You may be surprised that many thousands of women in San Diego have had breast implants. Even so, there are a few common yet misguided ideas about what breast augmentation can do. Let’s talk about some of these myths now.
One of them is that if you have larger breasts, you’ll be happy. That’s definitely not guaranteed. You will probably feel more confident, better about how you look in your clothes, and you may even feel sexier. But don’t expect a change in your bra size to magically change your life or solve specific relationship problems.
Another myth is that asymmetrical breasts will become perfect after breast surgery. Doctors can do much to correct unevenness, and often breasts look better and more symmetrical after surgery, but a perfect “matched set” may not be possible.
An additional common misconception is you can be as big as you want to be—that’s wrong. Your body frame, your current breast size, and your skin are all factors in what size breast implants you can ultimately carry well.
Breast Sizing, Implants, and Your Lifestyle
You’ll be glad to know that breast augmentation is a relatively simple surgical procedure and is done on an out-patient basis. You can either choose saline or silicone breast implants. Both are FDA approved. The doctors at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre recommend both types of implants (depending on patient goals) and believe they are equally safe choices for patients. Both saline and silicone implants come in different shapes and sizes.
As you have likely discovered, there are as many opinions about the “best” implants as there are breast augmentation patients. We urge you not to get too hung up on a certain implant size, shape, style, or brand. The gummy bear implants that look fabulous on your friend may or may not improve your look the way you want. Instead, approach your options asking, “How do I want to look?” rather than, “What implants do I want?”
An important factor when considering breast size is your lifestyle. If you are active in sports, you might want to keep your implant size smaller. If have a body type with fuller hips or wider shoulders, you might want to consider larger implants to create a more proportioned shape to your body. An experienced board certified plastic surgeon can help advise you on sizing, and you can also benefit from a sizing program that helps you try on implants and choose your ultimate breast size.
Breast Implant Incision Sites
Incisions sites vary and include the following areas: at the areola’s edge, underneath the breast, through the armpit, or through the belly button. The two most common incision sites are at the areola’s edge or underneath the breast. At LJCSC, we use the Keller Funnel (when appropriate) to allow for shorter scars, reduce the risk of contamination and infection, and reduce tissue trauma.
Recovering From Your Breast Augmentation
Surgery is done under general anesthesia, so you will need someone to take you home after surgery and be with you the first day or so following the procedure. You will be able to go about light daily activities after the first few days, but more aerobic recreation should be delayed for about three weeks. Lifting is discouraged for several weeks, so if you have small children, you need to think about who will help you with the little ones.
Most patients return to their jobs within a week unless their job requires lifting or aerobic activity. You can expect some discomfort with healing and slightly more discomfort is reported when the implant is placed under the breast muscle (sub pectoral). Normally, you will be given pain medication after surgery, so with adequate rest, the healing process is usually speedy and uneventful. Sutures are removed within 7 to 12 days. Our Guide to Plastic Surgery Recovery will help you get an idea of what your recovery process might be like.
Your Breast Augmentation Risks
Risks specific to breast augmentation include swelling and bruising, itching, numbness, discomfort and pain, capsular contracture, loss of sensation or tissue to breast skin or nipples, wrinkling, asymmetry, and infection. Your surgeon should discuss your personal risks with you before surgery. If a surgeon does not provide an in-depth, pre-operative visit to cover all aspects of your surgery with you, choose another surgeon.
Getting Started & Your Consultation
After you decide breast augmentation is right for you, start by making an appointment with one or more board certified plastic surgeons. While at your consultation, talk to him or her about your specific goals and expectations. Take along some pictures of breasts that you think are desirable. By discussing your specific expectations, a surgeon will be able to tell you what can be achieved with your body. The more you share in a consultation with a surgeon, the more likely you are to be happy with your result.
What to Expect at a Breast Augmentation Consultation
At LJCSC, we will treat you like a guest, with professionalism and care. We’ll first greet you and make sure we have your paperwork in order, then show you to a private consultation room. Your surgeon will then listen to your concerns, hear about your goals, and let you know what they recommend. You will be able to ask questions and review before and after pictures of patients like you that the surgeon has helped.
If you are comfortable with the idea of a breast exam, you’ll be able to change into a clean, comfortable exam robe. The surgeon and his or her nurse will both be in the room with you for the exam. Our staff is professional and kind, and our doctors have seen patients with breasts of all shapes and sizes. You might feel a little nervous, but don’t worry—you can bet that for any concern you may have, our surgeons and nurses have helped other patients with the very same problem.
The most fun part of breast augmentation consultations at LJCSC is the “sizing session”—this is when you can try on different size breast implants and get an idea of what type might look best on you. Sizing at LJCSC is special because you’ll get to take home photos of yourself wearing a shirt over the sizers, to help you consider your decision. At LJCSC you will also get a specific financial quote from your patient coordinator that clearly outlines all the costs involved. Read more about what happens during a plastic surgery consultation here.
In summary, here’s what you should get to do—and what you’ll find at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre:
- Meet personally in consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon
- At the consultation, have an examination and discuss your desires and expectations and the recommended procedure
- Receive information and materials that help you in the decision making process
- See before and after pictures of real patients of the surgeon
- Have a “sizing” appointment where you can try on different size implants
- Get a specific written quote detailing complete costs of the breast implant surgery
- After scheduling surgery attend an individual “pre-op” appointment to discuss all surgical aspects and risks
Besides these points, please refer to our article Ten Points To Ponder. When you shop for breast augmentation or any other procedure, you’ll want to know these other important factors to consider. At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, we are committed to educating patients, so we hope this information is helpful to you.