Breast augmentation has long been one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the world. Women of many ages seek out breast augmentation to boost their cup size. There are several reasons you might consider breast augmentation surgery:*
- You have breast asymmetry.
- You feel unhappy with the size and/or shape of your breasts.
- You wish to correct loss of volume or other changes due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss or natural aging.
- You would like a more proportionate shape.
- You want to feel sexier and more feminine.
- You’re including breast enhancement as part of a mommy makeover.
No matter your reasons, it’s important to do your research before going forward with a breast augmentation. Consider this guide to be your source for the breast augmentation tips that will help you get your best results.* Follow these dos and don’ts to get you through the before, during and after of having breast augmentation surgery.
1. Do Choose Your Plastic Surgeon Carefully
This “do” definitely belongs at the top of the list. Choosing the right plastic surgeon is the most important step toward great breast augmentation results. Due to the fact that breast augmentation is so popular, there are many plastic surgeons who offer it at their practice. Therefore, you really have to be discerning and select a plastic surgeon who has the skill, experience and aesthetic philosophy that will get you the results you’re looking for.*
- Board certification: First and foremost, make sure any plastic surgeon you’re considering is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Board certified plastic surgeons commit themselves to a longer and more comprehensive education. Further, they also operate under stricter standards for patient care, safety and aesthetics. If you’re not sure whether a plastic surgeon is board certified, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Experience: Remember that many plastic surgeons are jumping on the breast implant bandwagon, some without the proper experience or expertise. Therefore, it’s very important to find out how much experience a plastic surgeon has with breast augmentation surgery.
- Personality: While a surgeon’s skill and experience might sit higher on your priority list than his or her personality, don’t underestimate the importance of having a good rapport with your plastic surgeon. To ensure you get the best results possible, you must have a good relationship with your plastic surgeon. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a particular doctor, or don’t feel as if he or she really listens to you, find someone else.
2. Don’t Get Breast Augmentation to Please Someone Else
One way to end up with results you’re not thrilled about is to have breast augmentation for the wrong reasons. Chief among the wrong reasons to have plastic surgery is to impress or please someone else. You should only choose to go forward with breast augmentation if it’s something you genuinely want. Further, examine your reasons for wanting breast augmentation and discuss them honestly with your plastic surgeon.
3. Do Have a Plastic Surgery Consultation
Having a plastic surgery consultation is a necessary part of getting the breast augmentation results you want.
Your consultation is also the time when your plastic surgeon can help you understand your options, and what kind of results you might expect. Therefore, write out a list of questions to ask at your consultation so you don’t forget anything. Some other things you can expect to discuss at your consultation are:
- Your candidacy: At your consultation, a plastic surgeon will determine your candidacy for surgery by giving you a physical examination and asking you a series of questions about your lifestyle, your medical history and your aesthetic goals. If you’re a good candidate for surgery, you can discuss ways to get the best breast implant results for your body.
- Before and after pics: An important component of your breast augmentation consultation is looking at before and after pictures. An experienced plastic surgeon should have a portfolio of past augmentation patients for you to look at. Try to look for people who have similar body proportions to yours to help you get the best idea of what augmentation might look like on you. Be sure to find out all the details about each photo, such as what kind of implants were used and whether other procedures were combined with the breast augmentation.
3. Don’t Smoke Cigarettes
This is one of the breast augmentation tips that should be applied both before and after your procedure. There are plenty of reasons to kick the smoking habit, and one of them is that smoking and surgery are a bad combination.
- Before your surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely ask you to quit smoking for at least 45 days before your surgery date.
- During breast augmentation surgery, nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict. This places you at far greater risk for surgical complications.
- After your procedure, you will want to continue staying away from smoking for as long as possible. Smoking will only hinder your body’s ability to heal quickly and properly.
- In the years following breast augmentation surgery, it would be in your best interest to stick to a non-smoking status. There are numerous reasons to quit smoking, including a reduced risk of cancer and other diseases. Smoking also causes premature aging and changes your skin texture, which isn’t the best way to keep yourself looking great in the long run.
4. Don’t Assume Bigger Is Always Better
One of the first things people want to know about getting breast augmentation is what size of implants they should get. In order to answer this question, you need to know a few things about deciding on your ideal breast implant size.
- Implants aren’t measured in cup size. You can’t just go in to the plastic surgeon’s office and ask for a set of C cups. First, implants are measured in cubic centimeters or CCs and the number of CCs does not necessarily translate into a certain cup size. Further, since bra sizing is not consistent across brands, this wouldn’t be a reliable way to measure implant sizes anyway.
- Proportion is more important than size. When you’re deciding how big you want to go, think about how you want your body to look. Consider the whole picture, rather than just focusing on some ideal size. Going too big can cause breast implant rippling and other undesirable results.
- Consider your body type. Your anatomy will help to determine your ideal breast implant size. Your height, weight, shoulder width, chest shape, and other physical factors will affect the way implants look on your body. Thus, an implant size that looks great on someone else might not work for you.
- Think about your lifestyle. You should also take your lifestyle into account when deciding on breast implant size. Your job, the kinds of activities you do and even your fashion sense can play a role in determining what’s best for you. If you engage in a lot of highly athletic activities, very large implants might not be the best choice.
5. Do Get to Know All Your Options
Your plastic surgeon can help you figure out which combination of breast implant options is most likely to produce your desired results.
The right breast implants for you go beyond size. There are other factors that affect how your results will look:
- Saline vs Silicone: Of course, you’ll need to decide whether you get saline or silicone breast implants. Both are safe and can give you great looking results, but each offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One advantage of saline implants is that they can be inserted before they are filled, allowing the plastic surgeon to adjust the size during the procedure. However, many women prefer silicone implants because they tend to look and feel more like natural breasts.*
- Round vs Teardrop: Traditionally, all breast implants were round. Today, anatomical implants (sometimes called teardrop implants) are available for women who want implants that more closely resemble the shape of natural breasts.*
- Smooth vs Textured: Whether you get smooth or textured implants may be decided by the shape of implant you choose. Generally, anatomical implants are textured. The textured shell adheres to surrounding tissues, which keeps the implant from turning sideways or upside down in your chest. Round implants don’t look any different if they rotate in your chest. Therefore, it’s not beneficial for round implants to be textured.
- Implant Placement: How your implants are placed is another major factor in how your breast augmentation will look.* The two options for breast implant placement are submuscular and subglandular. For submuscular placement, the implants are inserted under the pectoral muscles. Subglandular placement is a technique during which the implants are inserted over the pectoral muscles and under the breast glands. Your plastic surgeon can help you decide which method makes the most sense for you.
6. Don’t Withhold Relevant Information From Your Plastic Surgeon
For your own safety, and for the sake of getting your best results, you need to be honest with your plastic surgeon about anything that could affect your candidacy for breast augmentation. If you have any kind of health or medical issues, talk with him or her how it might affect your ability to have breast surgery. Further, tell your plastic surgeon about any medications, recreational drugs and even dietary supplements you’re taking.
7. Do Talk to Your Plastic Surgeon About a Breast Lift
While breast implants will definitely add fullness and improve the shape of your breasts, they will not correct sagging breasts. If you would like your breasts to sit higher on your chest, talk to your plastic surgeon about the possibility of combining your breast augmentation with a breast lift.*
8. Do Eat Healthy Foods
It’s always advisable to eat a healthy diet, especially when you’re preparing for or recovering from surgery. To get your body ready for your breast augmentation procedure, stop eating junk food and adopt a nutritious diet. It’s best to eat good, healthy foods during your recovery as well. Empty calories and sugary or salty snacks won’t do much to help your body heal and recuperate. Keep up the good work even after you have recovered, and you’ll look all the better to showcase your breast augmentation results.
9. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard During Recovery
Your plastic surgeon should give you a recovery timeline so you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing in the days, weeks and months after your breast augmentation procedure. Any activity restrictions should be taken very seriously. If you do too much too soon, you risk injuring yourself and altering your results. Your plastic surgeon can give you tips for easing back into exercise after your breast augmentation.
10. Do Treat Your New Implants with Care
Don’t plan to show your new breasts off right away; it takes time for your final results to develop.
Don’t plan to show your new breasts off right away; it takes time for your final results to develop.
You should treat your new breast implants carefully. Aside from following your plastic surgeon’s specific restrictions and guidelines, here are some general breast augmentation recovery tips to prevent complications and injuries:
- Steer totally clear of underwire bras while you are still recovering. Your plastic surgeon will most likely advise you to wear a surgical bra to help reduce swelling and provide gentle support. Ask him or her when you will be able to transition to underwire bras.
- Don’t lay on your stomach while you’re healing. Your plastic surgeon can give you some advice on how to sleep comfortably without putting your implants at any kind of risk.
- Remember that if you’re not resting during your recovery, you are running a higher risk of some accidental trauma occurring that could affect your breast implants.
11. Don’t Expect to See Results Right Away
One of the most important – and perhaps least talked about – breast augmentation tips is to keep in mind that it takes a while to see your final results.* Your breasts will probably not look much like you expected them to at first. It’s not uncommon for new breast implants to sit very high on the chest and look unnatural. Further, it can take 3 to 6 months for the implants to “drop and fluff” – or soften and settle into a more natural position on your chest.*
12. Do Protect Yourself from the Sun
You may want to have an expert measure you to find bras that fit your new breasts properly.
Although it might sound strange on a list of breast augmentation tips, practicing good sun protection habits can be part of maintaining great results long into the future. From a cosmetic standpoint, too much sun exposure can leave the skin on your chest (and elsewhere) looking rough and aged. As far as your health is concerned, sun damage can lead to some serious consequences.
13. Do Contact Your Plastic Surgeon If You Have Any Concerns
This “do” applies before and after your surgery. If you come up with new questions while awaiting your surgery date, get in touch with your plastic surgeon right away. It’s best to address any issues as soon as they come up. That way, if some special accommodations need to be made, this can be done in plenty of time. Further, if something concerns you while you’re recuperating, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgical team. They’ll be able to alleviate your concerns or let you know if you need to take some kind of action.
14. Don’t Forget to Update Your Wardrobe
One of the most exciting parts of your breast augmentation journey is when your final results have developed and you can go out and buy yourself new bras, bathing suits and tops. It’s fun to dress your new, shapelier body so don’t be afraid to go out and try on things you might not have considered before.
15. Do Get the Facts About Breast Implant Replacement
You may have heard that you have to get your implants replaced after 10 years. This probably comes from the fact that breast implant manufacturers generally offer a warranty that lasts 10 years. However, if there is nothing wrong with your implants there is no need to replace them right at the 10-year point.* Many women are able to enjoy their breast implants long-term.*
Reasons for replacement:
- One of your implants has ruptured. Saline breast implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that will leak out almost immediately if the implant shell is torn or punctured. Therefore, it’s usually very easy to tell when a saline implant has ruptured. Silicone implants contain a gel that’s designed to stay put, so it can be almost impossible to tell when a silicone implant has ruptured. This is why women with silicone implants are recommended to have an MRI exam periodically to ensure their implants are intact.
- You are unhappy with the way your implants look or feel and desire them to be different. You should be happy with your implants and if not, there’s no reason you have to suffer through it. Breast augmentation revision surgery can correct aesthetic issues and other complications so you can finally get the look you really want.*
- You want to go up or down in size. If you feel like your implants are not proportionate to the rest of your body and want them to be bigger (or smaller), it might be time to consider replacing them.
*This information is for education only, and is not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary.