For over a decade, breast augmentation has topped the list of popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States and worldwide. With the procedure’s position in the mainstream, though, there comes a host of preconceived notions and stereotypes. There is significant misinformation available about the safety of breast augmentation, the results you can expect from the surgery and what the long-term recovery process is like. In this post, you can read more about what you should really know about breast augmentation – with guidance from the experts at Fayetteville’s Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center, you can feel confident in your decision to move forward with your breast augmentation.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Even if you’ve spent hours on end researching everything you want to know about breast augmentation, there will still be things that you can’t predict until you meet with a plastic surgeon. The customizable aspects of your surgery are impossible to set in stone before your consultation. It’s okay (and expected) to arrive at your first appointment with a lot of unanswered questions. Your surgeon should be happy to ease your worries, explain the details, clarify technical terms and guide you through important decisions about your procedure. You should talk about several key aspects of your breast augmentation, including:
- The type and size of implant that’s best for you
- The technique or incision placement you need
- The estimated cost of your surgery
- What to expect from recovery
Most importantly, there are no bad questions when it comes to your health. Bring up any concerns you have, no matter how small you think they may be. It’s always better to ask your surgeon than to feel uncertain about the decisions you’re making for your body.
2. Recovery will be uncomfortable at times.
The recovery from breast augmentation is not long or difficult compared to some other plastic surgeries, but we won’t sugar coat it, either: it’s not a walk in the park. At varying times in your recovery, your breasts may feel painful, swollen, tender or tight; they may even feel itchy, hot or heavy. Fortunately, these symptoms are most common in the first three to five days after your procedure, and then patients find their comfort levels rise considerably. Most breast augmentation patients return to work and most daily activities within a week or two. Some factors that may influence the recovery process include:
- Placement of implant over or under the pectoral muscle
- Your body’s natural healing processes
- Size of the implant relative to your natural breast tissue
- Incision placement
Your surgeon will provide you with detailed recovery and aftercare instructions, and it’s essential that you follow these closely. These instructions are designed to keep you safe and comfortable as you heal. You can also always contact your plastic surgeon’s office if you feel as though any of your symptoms may be a sign of complications.
3. Be patient — your final results can take some time.
Although the initial healing process lasts just a few weeks, it takes up to six months before your implants fully settle. It’s common to worry that your implants don’t look very natural for the first few months. They may sit higher on your chest than you thought, feel tighter than you anticipated or feel solid through the skin at the edges. As your body adjusts to the surgery, your implants will soften and drop into the natural pocket in your breast tissue, taking on a more seamless look and feel. The typical recovery timeline looks something like this:
- 7-14 days: Back to work and light daily activities
- 6 weeks: Resume intensive activity and upper body exercise
- 6 months: Implants have settled; best time for “Before/After” photos
- 1 year and beyond: Scars fade and flatten, breasts become more comfortable
As time passes after your surgery, your breasts will continue to feel more like your own. Your surgeon will be monitoring your progress to make sure that your breasts are healing and settling as expected. If any concerns arise, they will be caught and addressed early at your follow-up appointments.
4. Your new breast size and shape will take some getting used to.
Larger breasts will change your body aesthetically and physically. We are accustomed to our bodies growing and changing slowly over time, but the sudden shift in breast size after breast augmentation can be both exciting and unnerving. Your body will look and feel different than it has before, and it’s okay to feel uncertain about your new breasts for a little while. As you get used to the feeling of having breast implants, both in terms of the mechanics of daily life and the way you look in the mirror, you’ll likely need to:
- Get fitted for new bras
- Adjust to wearing appropriate support garments during exercise
- Find a new comfort level with your body shape
- Try on different types of clothing
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find a new “normal” right away. Starting over with your body image and wardrobe is a big undertaking, and it may be few months before you rediscover your style and feel fully confident in your new breasts.
5. Revision surgery is always on the table.
Breast augmentation has a very high rate of patient satisfaction, with follow-up surveys suggesting that at least 84% and up to 98% of patients say their surgery meets or exceeds their expectations. However, it is possible that the day will come when you are no longer happy with your breast implants. Some women know right away that they aren’t completely satisfied with their results. Others find that their bodies or lifestyles change over time, and their breast implants no longer fit their needs. Breast augmentation revision surgeries are available to:
- Change your implants for a different size or style
- Remove your implants
- Reposition your implants
- Improve implant symmetry
Additionally, most breast implants will need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years as the possibility of ruptures or leaks rises after this time. Your surgeon will discuss how to get the safest and longest-lasting results out of your breast augmentation, and will cover all of the ways you can monitor your breast implants to make sure they are still in place as the years pass.
6. Choosing the right surgeon is essential.
Every part of the breast augmentation procedure becomes easier and more comfortable when you are working with an experienced plastic surgeon who you trust. At a minimum, your surgeon should be:
- Licensed to practice medicine in your state
- Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
- Performing surgeries at an accredited hospital or surgical center
- Experienced with performing breast augmentation surgeries in particular
Beyond these qualifications, we always recommend choosing a plastic surgeon whose personality and bedside manner make you feel welcome, respected and at ease. You should be able to establish a rapport with your surgeon. It’s essential that you never hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns, which is easier when you feel as though your surgeon is always ready to meet with you and hear your worries.
At Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center, our surgeons combine top-tier expertise with our signature friendly patient care. We want you to feel confident in your decision to have a breast augmentation, and we make sure that you know exactly what to expect from the process every step of the way. If you are interested in a breast augmentation in the Fayetteville, Georgia area, don’t hesitate to schedule your consultation at one of our four convenient locations in Fayetteville, McDonough, Newnan or LaGrange. Our surgeons are ready to meet with you one-on-one and help you take your next steps toward achieving your ideal breast size. Call us today at 770-461-4000 or fill in our form online.