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15 Facts About Breast Augmentation
It’s best to be as informed as possible before making a decision that could significantly change your life. If you’re considering having a breast augmentation, there flowing are 15 illuminating facts about this popular plastic surgery procedure.
1. Your first surgery won’t be your last.
Women who get breast implants should be prepared for at least one future surgery: breast revision. This secondary procedure may be needed or wanted for a variety of reasons such as wanting to change their implant size/breast size in the future, replacing or removing worn down implants, surgical treatment for capsular contracture, or even addressing surgical or other complications (relatively rare). It could be 10, 20, or 30 years before you need breast revision, but if you have breast implants, you’ll most likely need it eventually.
2. Your breasts will look and feel different.
Even the most natural-looking silicone implants will change how your breasts look and feel—usually in a positive sense. There will be an adjustment period, but before long, you will get used to their new appearance and feel, and they just become “you.”
3. Bigger isn’t always better.
Implants that are too large can look unnatural and fake. They can also increase your risk of complications because of their significant weight and volume. Overly large implants have been known to contribute to complications such as thinning of the skin, implant exposure, bottoming out, and premature breast sagging.
4. One size does NOT fit all.
Implant size should depend on factors such as your preferences, breast tissue volume and quality, height, weight, and chest wall anatomy. Equally sized implants will look completely different on women of different builds. Breast implant size should match your unique needs and anatomy.
5. Surgery is not without risk.
Any surgical procedure, no matter how major or minor, has associated risks and you should at least be aware of them. Some of those for breast augmentation include results that are smaller or larger than desired, increased asymmetries, capsular contracture, overall unsatisfactory results, bleeding, infections, negative reactions to anesthesia, and the need to replace or remove the breast implants at some point in time (given a long enough period), and others. Overall, breast augmentation is considered to be a safe procedure.
6. You have a LOT of implant choices.
Implants can be saline, silicone, small, large, round, anatomic, textured, or smooth. There are also different choices of firmness of the silicone gel as well as profiles—low, moderate, high and ultra-high. This variety of choices ensures that you have a great opportunity to select the perfect implants for you.
7. Implants can affect future cancer screenings.
If implants are placed in front of the pectoral muscle, they can interfere with mammogram readings. However, this issue is easily resolved: breast implants can be inserted into a pocket behind the muscle so that mammograms can be more easily and accurately read.
8. The ultimate results take time.
Right after a breast augmentation, there may be swelling, some loss of definition, and an unnatural firmness, which gradually resolves with time. It can take from six months to a year until you will see the ultimate “long-term” results.
9. Breasts with implants can look and feel natural.
Many women assume that breast implants always look fake, but the reality is that they can look and feel very natural—almost or just like breast tissue. The best breast augmentation surgeons know how to help women achieve their aesthetic goals with breasts that retain either a relatively natural look and feel or the appearance that they desire.
10. Your breasts will continue to change over time.
Aging and hormones do not simply “stop” when implants are inserted into the breasts. Natural changes due to hormone fluctuations, medications, birth control pills, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain and fluctuations, smoking, and aging will continue to influence the appearance and size of your breasts over time.
11. Your doctor may know more than you do about your breasts.
Breast augmentation surgeons have typically seen countless patients and performed numerous breast surgeries. As such, they tend to know a lot more about the breasts than their patients. During your consultation, you may find out that your surgeon knows more about your breasts than you do (OMG!).
12. You may have “unique” limitations on your options.
You may not realize that your anatomy, preferences, or needs could limit your breast augmentation options. If your natural breast tissue is minimal, you may have to get smaller implants than you’d prefer in order to reduce your risk of complications and achieve natural-looking results. If you are determined to avoid any scarring on the breasts, you may opt for the transaxillary incision, which can limit the placement of very large breast implants. If budget is a critical issue, you may need to consider saline implants instead of silicone as they are hundreds of dollars cheaper.
13. Implants aren’t permanent.
Implants are quite durable and can last for decades. However, they are not considered to be lifetime devices and may require eventual replacement. The implant replacement procedure is a surgery called breast revision (or implant exchange).
14. You can change your mind about the details.
The beauty of breast augmentation is that you can customize it for your needs. If you thought you wanted a certain size but after the procedure wish you had gotten larger implants, you can have them exchanged. If you’ve been happy with your implants for 15 years but now want a different look, you can exchange your implants for new ones. You can even have them permanently removed if you wish to “go natural.”
15. Your results can dramatically boost your self-image and confidence.
Breast augmentation has the power to dramatically increase your confidence and self-image in addition to the obvious physical improvement. By successfully achieving your desired breast appearance, you can feel more confident and happy with your image. This influences how you present yourself to the world and can therefore improve your overall quality of life.
Breast augmentation can be an incredibly rewarding experience and a life changer. Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub is a board-certified plastic surgeon with 30 years as a breast surgeon. To request your consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub, call (480) 451-3000 or complete our online contact form today.