You are smart, inquisitive, and always pushing yourself to be the best you can be. You want to look and feel terrific, and the time has come to do something about it. If you are considering breast augmentation, there are several things to think about to ensure that you are making an informed decision.
Breast augmentation (also known as augmentation mammaplasty or breast enlargement) can give your breasts a more shapely contour, increasing their fullness and projection. For many women, this enhanced appearance leads to a boost in their self-esteem and confidence.
Table of Contents
- Breast Augmentation Guide Overview
- Types of Breast Implants
- Breast Augmentation Surgery
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- How Long is the Recovery from a Breast Augmentation?
- How Painful is Breast Augmentation Recovery?
- Follow Up with Your Plastic Surgeon After Surgery
- How Much Time Do You Need to Take Off Work?
- Breast Augmentation Recovery Time and Aftercare
- How Long Are Breasts Swollen After Augmentation?
- Repairs and Revisions
- Breast Augmentation Cost
*Portions courtesy of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Breast augmentation allows women to feel more confident and attractive, and it provides a more proportionate figure that fits better in clothes. If you would like larger breasts, implants might be right for you.
If gravity has taken a toll on your natural breasts, you might prefer a breast lift along with your breast augmentation. These procedures may be done simultaneously.
Breast augmentation is performed with the patient under general anesthesia and sedation. You can go home the same day after spending some time in post-op recovery.
During your consultation with Dr. Combs, he will spend time with you to answer your questions and make sure he fully understands what you want to achieve. He will examine you and take a full medical history to ensure that you are a good candidate for breast enhancement surgery. It is important to him to operate with the utmost integrity and transparency so that you know what you can reasonably expect from your surgery.
There are many decisions to be made before you receive breast augmentation. Besides choosing between saline and silicone implants, you must choose the size, shape, and projection of the implants. Dr. Combs will fully explain all of the options to you so that you can make an informed decision.
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- Clothes that fit well around your hips are often too large at the bust line
- You feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top
- Your breasts have changed shape or volume after weight loss or pregnancy or due to aging
- You are healthy
- You have realistic expectations
A common misconception is that breast implants need to be replaced or lifted every few years. This idea keeps many women from getting a procedure they want because they are worried about long-term costs and future surgeries. However, breast implants last longer than you may think. Which means: There is no reason to plan on having major surgery every few years for the rest of your life!
The reality of implants is that you should be aware that you may have one or two follow-up surgeries in your lifetime. It’s not a given, but it is better to be prepared for the possibility than to be surprised when you experience a complication or dissatisfaction with your implants.
When it comes to the “average lifespan” of implants, there are no guarantees. Some will last a lifetime, while others have complications within seven years. On average, the majority of implants last 10-20 years without complications. Recent FDA reports indicate that about 20% of women will have their breast implants repaired or replaced within 10 years of the original surgery.
In general, saline and silicone implants are not lifetime devices. According to the two FDA approved manufacturers in the United States of America, Mentor Corporation (Johnson and Johnson) and Natrelle implants (Allergan Pharmaceuticals) breasts implants themselves are not lifetime devices.
In general, it is thought that implants last approximately 10 years or should be replaced every eight to 10 years. A ruptured saline implant is clinically obvious as the breast will deflate and there will be great asymmetry. A ruptured silicone implant is more difficult to determine and is referred as a silent rupture. MRIs should be performed every three years with silicone implants to determine the integrity of the shell of the silicone implant. Saline implants should be filled at least to their minimal fill volume or better yet towards the upper range of their fill volume to reduce visibility, rippling and increased risk of rupture. In general, saline and silicone implants should be replaced at least every 10 to 15 years depending upon rupture, scar tissue contracture or volume changes over time.
Many patients choose to replace their implants because of the natural effects of aging. All breasts, whether natural or implanted, are subject to gravity, sun damage, lost tissue connectivity and the physical effects of motherhood.
Time-related changes often include breast sagging, size change due to hormonal fluctuations, or visible rippling of the implants. Women who received implants before motherhood may discover that pregnancy and breastfeeding change the original appearance of their breast implants. Thus, a number of patients voluntarily return after they are through having children, wanting to restore their breasts to the look and feel of the original implants.
As with any other type of surgery, patients can mitigate some of the risk of complications by selecting a surgeon who is board-certified, well-experienced and has a respected presence in the medical community.
You may be able to breastfeed if you have breast implants. It depends on the type of implants, the placement of the implants, and the way the surgery was done. You may worry that chemicals in your breast implants will mix with breast milk. Some breast implants are filled with saline water. Healthcare providers see no harmful effect if saline water mixes with breast milk. Some breast implants contain a chemical called silicone. Some healthcare providers say it is okay to breastfeed if you have silicone implants. Tell your healthcare provider if you have silicone implants and ask him or her if you should breastfeed.
Will I Have Problems Breastfeeding If I Have Breast Implants?
Nerves, milk ducts, and milk glands can be damaged during implant surgery. Injured nerves can decrease the feeling in your nipple area. This may reduce your let-down response. This is when milk is released from the glands to the milk ducts so that it is available to your baby. Damaged milk ducts can decrease the amount of milk made by your breasts. Implants can also pinch milk ducts, block the flow of breast milk, and make your breasts swell.
How Do the Different Types of Breast Implant Surgeries Affect Breastfeeding?
The type of incision made during surgery can affect breastfeeding. An incision made around or across your areola (dark circle around the nipple) can damage the nerves. Incisions may instead be made under the breast, in the armpit, or in the belly button. These types of incisions are less likely to damage milk ducts, glands, or nerves.
The area where your implants are placed may also affect your ability to breastfeed. Breast implants can be placed in between your breast tissue and chest muscle. They also can be placed under the chest muscle to prevent damage to milk ducts and nerves. Implants placed under the chest muscle will not cause silicone to go into your breast milk. Incisions may be made through fatty tissue under your breast tissue to put the implants in place. This method is less likely to damage breast tissue.
Contact Combs Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics about a breast augmentation.