Most Common Breast Surgery Questions Answered!
If you’ve been thinking about breast surgery this year, you are not alone. Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the South Atlantic region, according to the American Society of Plastic surgeons. In the last full year reported, almost 51,000 breast augmentation surgeries were performed in the Virginias, Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
Why has breast augmentation become so popular? Surgical techniques have advanced significantly, and women of all ages are enjoying the safe, stunning results these procedures can provide. While there are many procedures done every year, each is highly personalized. You have the opportunity to make decisions in discussion with your surgeon and choose the options that will deliver the best possible outcome for you.
It’s always important to put any cosmetic plastic surgery into context: having a procedure doesn’t make you more desirable, more attractive or more perfect. You are perfect already. What plastic surgery makes available is a means to express yourself and what you show to the world in new ways. These are your choices to make, and they can help you achieve the look you want to call your own.
The Right Surgeon and the Top Breast Surgery Questions
There are two primary things you need to do when considering breast augmentation surgery: (1) choose the right plastic surgeon; and (2) be prepared with the questions you want to discuss with your doctor specific to breast augmentation. To help you find the right plastic surgeon, download a complete, free physician questionnaire here. This document provides you with nine questions to consider when evaluating any plastic surgeon to determine a doctor’s expertise, experience and the degree of personalized attention she or he will provide.
As you select your doctor, you can also begin thinking about your breast augmentation procedure. Here are some common questions and considerations:
What size implants should I get?
Generally, the goal with breast augmentation is to achieve a natural, proportional look. While it may seem tempting at first to choose a much larger size, going too big can cause sagging of the breasts over time and potentially make scarring worse. In addition, women who choose implants that are too large are more likely to want to have a second procedure later to reduce their implant size. Typically women don’t need to go up more than a couple of bra sizes to get an optimal result. Your surgeon can help you make this important decision.
Which are better, saline or silicone implants?
Saline implants are filled with a saltwater solution, very similar to the fluid that is already in the human body. As a result, should these implants ever rupture, the solution is easily absorbed. Saline implants are the only ones recommended by the FDA for patients between the ages of 18 and 22, and they are considered safe. They typically have a slightly firmer feel than silicone implants do. Silicone implants are made of a gel-like substance that holds together uniformly, giving the implant a feel similar to regular breast tissue. Silicone implants are also safe. The FDA, however, encourages regular MRIs in the future for those receiving silicone implants to ensure that they have not ruptured. Some patients may want to consider instead the option of having a fat-grafting procedure in place of using implants, and your surgeon can talk with you about the benefits and risks of that approach as well.
Should I have a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or both?
You can talk with your surgeon about having a breast lift at the same time as your breast augmentation. These procedures do different things. A breast lift does not change the size of your breasts, but it can restore a more youthful positioning and lessen the sagging that tends to occur with time. Breast augmentation actually increases the size of your breasts. Some patients prefer to have both of these procedures done at the same time, but you should talk with your surgeon about what is involved with each.
What are the incision options for breast augmentation surgery? Will there be a scar?
The idea of placing incisions carefully for breast augmentation surgery is to ensure that there will be minimal scarring and that any scars remaining will be hidden. Implants can be inserted in multiple ways, with the most common techniques being through an incision along the edge of the areola or through a small incision along the bottom edge of the breast. More than 2/3 of women choose the incision along the bottom of the breast, which has the advantage of not touching the milk glands and being helpful to the surgeon in positioning the bottom of the breasts more effectively. There are several other less common incision locations that your surgeon can discuss with you as well.
How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants are not guaranteed for life, of course, but most can last for decades. You will want to monitor your implants regularly to make sure they are still intact as the years go by, but your surgeon can help you if any additional work is needed in the future.
Should I have a mammogram before surgery?
Women ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s or even older could be excellent candidates for breast augmentation for many different reasons. If you are over 40 years of age, it will be a good idea to have a mammogram prior to having breast surgery. If an anomaly is found, it can be treated at the same time as your breast augmentation procedure.
How long does it take to heal after breast augmentation surgery, and will I have any initial activity restrictions?
It will take some time to fully heal, of course, but there are things you can do to help the healing process along. As you are recovering, it will be important to protect the stitches that are used to secure your incision. You’ll want to avoid lying on your chest, holding heavy objects or children next to your chest or exercising in a way that might cause accidental falls or forceful contact with others. In other words, you’ll want to be a little gentle with yourself and treat yourself well for the first 4 – 6 weeks after surgery.
How long following surgery does it take for your breasts to settle into their final shape?
It can take up to three months for your breasts to settle into their final shape. Be patient. Follow the breast massaging techniques that your surgeon gives you. In follow-up visits, your surgeon can help make sure you are on the right track as you heal.
What is the next step I should take?
Schedule a personal, individualized consultation to discuss your options. Why not take this opportunity to learn more? While you’re thinking about it, go ahead and fill out the contact form now and reserve your place for a conversation with the surgeon today!