13 Expert Answers to Your Breast Augmentation Questions
If you’ve been thinking about getting breast augmentation surgery, you’re far from the only one. Breast enhancement is the most popular surgery in the United States. Breast augmentation can help give you a more proportionate silhouette and help you feel more sexy and feminine. Consider this your comprehensive guide to breast augmentation FAQ – from how to know if it’s right for you to what to expect from your final results.
1. How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
At a breast augmentation consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will examine you in order to determine your candidacy for the procedure.
2. Can Breast Implants Look Natural?
Most women want breast implants that enhance their shape and add fullness without looking like they had work done. It’s very easy to avoid the “fake” look today, thanks to ever more sophisticated techniques and products. Implants themselves come in such a variety of types and placement methods that a skilled and qualified cosmetic surgeon can customize your breast enhancement procedure to suit your body and tastes and to give you the most natural looking results possible.
3. Should I Get Silicone or Saline?
One question that invariably appears in every breast augmentation FAQ list is, “should I get saline or silicone implants?” Let’s look at the differences between the two.
Silicone implants are FDA-approved for cosmetic use in women age 22 and older. They are made of a silicone shell filled with cohesive silicone gel. Silicone implants are more popular than saline implants. This is likely because the gel inside them looks and feels more like natural breast tissue. Women who have little existing breast tissue often opt for silicone since saline implants for this reason.
Saline implants have silicone shells which are filled with saline, a sterile salt water solution. Saline implants are available to women 18 and older. Saline implants may not yield as natural-looking results as silicone implants, but do offer their own set of advantages. One such advantage is that saline implants can be inserted into the chest while they are empty, then filled afterward. This allows your cosmetic surgeon the ability to adjust the size of the implants during the procedure. Women who already have a substantial amount of breast tissue may prefer to use saline implants since the natural tissue present will serve to help conceal the appearance of the implant.
Many women also have questions about whether saline or silicone is safer. The answer is that there is nothing to indicate that one type of implant poses any particular risk above and beyond the other. Therefore, silicone and saline breast implants are considered to be equally safe.
4. What’s Better: Under the Muscle or Over the Muscle?
You’ve probably heard that breast implants can be placed either above or below the muscles in your chest, and you may have heard arguments about why one is a better option than the other. In truth, the best placement method depends on several factors. Some cosmetic surgeons may prefer one over another in a general sense. However, the best placement depends on your body, your lifestyle and your aesthetic preferences.
For submuscular placement, implants are placed under the pectoral muscles. This is often the preferred route for people who get saline implants and for women who are thin and have little natural breast tissue. This is because the muscles help to camouflage the implant, creating a more natural look. The chance of breast implant rippling is also reduced when this method is chosen.
For subglandular placement, a cosmetic surgeon places the implant above the pectoral muscle and underneath the breast gland. This placement method may be more ideal for women who have substantial existing breast tissue and in cases where silicone implants are being used since concealing the implant beneath the muscle is not as big a concern in such cases. Athletic women getting implants may prefer subglandular placement, since the chest muscles are not disturbed and healing time is faster.
Split Muscle:Split muscle placement offers a combination of the other two placement types. As the name indicates, split muscle placement is when the implant is inserted partially under and partially over the pectoral muscle. The top half of the implant sits under the muscle, while the bottom half does not. This can allow for greater projection than full submuscular placement, and help a woman to achieve the “perky” look that many desire. It’s also an attractive option for athletes, giving them more natural-looking results than subglandular placement would without having to opt for a full submuscular placement.
Split muscle placement helps the implant stay in place, reducing the chance of shifting and indentation.
5. How Do I Figure Out What Size to Get?
One of the breast augmentation FAQs that always comes up early on is, “how big should I go?” Exact size probably doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. It helps to think in terms of proportion rather than size when considering how big your implants should be.
Breast implants are not measured in cup-sizes. Cup size measurements are not consistent across the many brands of bras. Therefore, this would be a pretty inaccurate way of determining size for implants. Instead, breast implants are measured in cc’s (or cubic centimeters). Don’t worry if you have no idea how many cc’s will give you the look you want. That’s where an experienced cosmetic surgeon comes in. He or she can help you understand how cc’s work and how they correlate with cup size. Another thing many women find surprising is that the size of implant that looks great on someone else might not look right on their body. Many factors come into play when determining the exact implant size that would work best for you
The dimensions of your chest area.
The size of your chest wall and the diameter of your breasts will be a major factor in what size of implants could be comfortably and attractively accommodated.
Your height, weight and general body type.
A petite woman with 350 cc implants might look totally different than a tall, curvaceous woman with 350 cc implants.
The amount of existing breast tissue you have.
How much breast tissue you start out with makes a difference, too. Women with very little are usually advised not to go too big, since this can make the skin appear stretched and too-large implants can look very obvious.
Your personal tastes.
Of course, much of the decision comes down to what you like. Some women want a very subtle, natural look while others prefer something much more dramatic.
When you’re thinking about size, imagine how your implants might affect your daily activities. One example would be if you are a very active and athletic person, you might want to avoid getting overly large implants.
Another thing to consider in addition to size is projection. This is how far your implants protrude from your chest. There are 4 options when it comes to breast implant profiles:
The profile you choose will affect the way your final results look. For the subtlest look, you’d want to select a moderate profile implant. Ultra-high profile implants are at the other end of the spectrum. The most popular and commonly used type is moderate plus.
6. Will Breast Implants Help with Sagging?
Sagging sometimes has nothing to do with age and a young woman can certainly be a candidate for a breast lift.
Sagging sometimes has nothing to do with age and a young woman can certainly be a candidate for a breast lift.
7. Where Will My Incisions Be and Will They Be Noticeable?
Your cosmetic surgeon will need to make incisions through which to insert your breast implants. The placement of your incisions will depend on the type of implant you choose as well as your personal preferences.
The preferred incision placement at Castellano Cosmetic Surgery Center, the periareolar incision is made along the bottom of the areola. This incision method leaves the smallest scar and can heal up so well as to be nearly invisible after surgery. Choosing a cosmetic surgeon with a high level of technical skill is critical in ensuring the best results from a periareolar incision.
For this technique, the incision is placed in the natural crease below your breast. This gives your cosmetic surgeon the most access to the breast pocket, and consequently a great deal of control when it comes to exact placement.
Far less common is the transaxillary incision, which is made through the armpit and leaves no visible scarring on the breast. This incision is only used in certain cases as determined by a cosmetic surgeon.
8. What’s Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?
After breast augmentation surgery, you’ll need time to heal and recuperate. Everyone’s recovery timeline will vary slightly. However, here’s a general idea of what you can expect. If you have questions, such as what kind of exercises you can do during recovery, ask your cosmetic surgeon.
You’ll need a ride home from surgery, since you will still be under some of the effects of anesthesia used during your procedure. Someone should stay with you in the first 24 hours after your surgery. You’ll need to rest and relax once you get home and will probably need to take prescription pain medications.
In the first week after your surgery, you’ll be swollen and probably have some discomfort. At this point, you will likely want to continue taking pain meds to help keep you comfortable. You’ll have to wear a compression garment to help counteract swelling and aid healing, and you won’t be able to drive or do much of anything around the house. This is the time to rest and relax.
While you can’t exercise much during the early stages of recovery, it’s important to walk around periodically to promote healthy circulation.
You will probably be able to return to work at this point, depending on what you do at your job. You’ll still have some activity restrictions, but can begin to gradually get back to your normal routine.
During weeks 3 and 4, you should be able to do some light exercise. You will still need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous workouts at this point. Your breasts will probably still seem tight and look like they sit too high on your chest. This is totally normal.
6 weeks and beyond:
By this point in your recovery process, the swelling will likely have gone down significantly and your incisions will start to look better. Wait for the go-ahead from your cosmetic surgeon before getting back into vigorous exercise. It can take 3 to 6 months before your implants drop and settle into place, at which point you will be able to enjoy your final results.
9. Do I Have to Replace Breast Implants Every 10 Years?
Unless there is a problem with your implants, replacing them is not necessary.
10. How Do I Prepare for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Once you find your cosmetic surgeon and decide to go ahead with having breast implants, it’s time to start planning. A little preparation goes a long way toward helping you have a quick and comfortable recovery.
If you’ll be recovering at home, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself.
Make and freeze some meals ahead of time or make arrangements to have someone help with the cooking while you recuperate.
Go shopping and buy all the things you’ll need (and won’t be able to drive to the store and get) while you recover. Fill your fridge and cupboards with healthy, nutritious snacks. Make a list and get all the bandages, ice packs, medications and other medical supplies you’ll need.
Create a safe, healthy and pleasant atmosphere for your recovery by cleaning and organizing your house ahead of time. Make sure you have plenty of clean sheets, blankets, pillows and comfortable clothing.
Get proactive about boredom.
While you’re resting, it can be tempting to get up and do more than you should. It helps to have an anti-boredom strategy in place ahead of time. Download some movies, check out some books or pick up a stack of interesting magazines.
Clear your calendar.
Put in for time off work well ahead of your surgery and cancel or reschedule any appointments or obligations that fall during your recovery period.
- Arrange for childcare if needed. If you have kids, particularly younger ones, it’s important to make arrangements for someone to help care for them in the first week or so of your recovery.
11. Will I Be Able to Breastfeed after Getting Implants?
The majority of women are able to successfully breastfeed after having implants. If you plan to do so, it’s advisable to select submuscular placement rather than subglandular. This is the method least likely to interfere with nursing since no incisions are made around the areola. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your desire to nurse in the future so you can plan your breast augmentation for breastfeeding.
12. What Happens If My Implant Ruptures?
If your implant ruptures, which is rare, you will need to have it removed and replaced. When a saline implant ruptures, you will be able to tell very quickly since the saline leaks out quickly and the implant shell deflates almost immediately. It’s much more difficult to tell if a silicone implant has ruptured since the silicone gel filling takes a long time to leak out from the shell. That’s why women with silicone implants may be advised to have periodic MRI scans, as this is the only way to accurately tell whether or not a silicone implant has ruptured.
13. Why Does It Take So Long to See Final Results?
It can be difficult to wait for your final results to develop, but your patience will pay off. In cases of submuscular placement, the pectoral muscles become agitated and tense up after surgery. This causes the implants to seem tight and sit higher on the chest than you’d probably like. Once the muscle relaxes, your implant will settle into a lower position on your chest and look much more natural and beautiful.. The time it takes for results to develop is why many women choose to have breast augmentation in the fall.