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When NOT to Have a Cosmetic Breast Procedure

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Cosmetic breast procedures continue to grow in popularity and acceptance. The decision to enlarge the breasts, improve their shape, eliminate sagging, correct asymmetries or make any other enhancements have improved the self-confidence and comfort levels of countless women, making these procedures among the most satisfying.

Woman looking down her shirt at her breasts.

Unlike reconstructive surgery, which is done to restore function and a more normal appearance (after the effects of cancer treatment or birth defects), cosmetic breast surgery focuses on enhancing the overall appearance of the breasts to make them more aesthetically pleasing. 

Healthy women with real breast issues who want cosmetic breast surgery are good candidates. However, there may be certain times in their lives when it may be prudent to delay these desired enhancements.

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Breast Procedure?

Most women looking to undergo cosmetic breast surgery have the options of breast augmentation, breast lift surgery, mastopexy-augmentation, breast revision surgery or breast reduction

These procedures do not necessarily have strict age requirements beyond the necessity that the breasts are fully developed. However, as regards breast augmentation, there is an overall consensus that the individual should be at least 18 years of age. 

Women should seriously consider delaying their desired surgery if any of the following may relate to them: 

Planning to Become Pregnant Soon

Pregnancy and nursing can adversely affect your cosmetic breast surgery outcome and long-term results, particularly for a breast lift and breast reduction. Most women experience considerable changes to the breast tissue and skin, including volume changes, leading to increased sagging or drooping that does not go away over time. 

Planning to Lose or Gain Weight

Significant weight fluctuations following a cosmetic breast procedure will negatively impact the surgical outcome. For instance, dramatic weight loss can lead to drooping or sagging breasts, diminishing your full and firm breast aesthetic.

If you’re planning to lose a moderate to a substantial amount of weight, it’s recommended to do so before surgery. This is especially true for breast lift and breast reduction.

It is also important that one maintains a relatively stable weight after the surgery to help facilitate better and more durable long-term results.

Not Able to Quit Smoking, Vaping, or Using Other Nicotine Products

Any form of nicotine, including cigarettes, vaping, patches or gum, can significantly decrease blood flow to the tissues, with the surgical site being the most vulnerable. This can lead to delayed healing, wound separation, wider scars, tissue death (necrosis), infection and, in rarer cases, blood clots, stroke and a heart attack. Regardless of surgical considerations, nicotine exposure does cause permanent damage to the blood vessels.

Difficulty Controlling Diabetes or High Blood Pressure

Patients with diabetes whose blood sugar levels are poorly controlled are poor candidates as this interferes with their body’s ability to heal, resulting in surgical wound complications like delayed healing, wound separation and infection. 

Patients with a history of high blood pressure that is well controlled can still have a safe and successful procedure. On the other hand, high blood pressure that is poorly controlled and very high presents substantial anesthetic and surgical risks, including stroke, heart attack, bleeding and even death. In these situations, surgery will/should be postponed until the hypertension is under control.

Bleeding Disorders or Serious Heart Disease

You should notify your surgeon if you have a bleeding disorder or serious heart disease. With careful planning, most surgical procedures can still be performed safely in people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders though precautions must be taken. Of course, the benefit-to-risk ratio needs to be strongly considered.

Unrealistic Expectations for Post-Surgery Results

Being open and honest about your motivation for undergoing a particular procedure is an integral part of the process. While cosmetic breast surgery will alter your appearance, it is important to remember that it won’t fix body image issues or drastically change your appearance otherwise. Consider your reasons and evaluate your expectations before scheduling an appointment with your plastic surgeon.

Interested in Cosmetic Breast Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ?

Dr. Steven Turkeltaub is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with decades of experience enhancing women’s breasts. Contact us today at (480) 451-3000 or complete our online form to schedule your consultation, determine your candidacy and learn more about our cosmetic breast surgery procedures. 

Let us help you achieve your breast aesthetic goals.