Your Top 6 Questions About Breast Augmentation – Answered
If you’re thinking about breast augmentation, you’re not alone; they’re among the most popular cosmetic surgeries, with hundreds of thousands of people choosing to undergo them every year.
Even with more people getting them, but there’s still some mystery shrouding what it’s actually like to walk into an office and come out with different breasts.
Of course, your surgeon should provide an in-depth consultation to help you understand what to expect at each step of the way.
But before you even get into the office, you may have some questions about what a breast augmentation is actually like.
To help you get the full picture of what to expect when deciding whether this might be a good plan for you, here are some of the most common “too-embarrassed-to-ask” questions – answered!
1. Will my breasts feel different after augmentation?
Many people are concerned that their bodies won’t feel the same – to themselves or others – post an augmentation procedure.
The short answer is that your tissue may feel different after an augmentation. Fat transfer augmentations and breast lifts which don’t involve implants will lead to the most “natural” feeling.
If you choose an implant, there are still lots of factors which can make an impact on “feel.” For example:
- The kind of augmentation you get
- Your original breast size and how much tissue is around your implant
- The size and material of your implant
- Whether you put an implant over or under your pectoral (chest) muscle
Most surgeons offer saline and silicone implants. Saline implants use a silicone shell, which is filled during surgery with sterile saline after the shell is in place. Silicone implants are pre-filled with semi-solid silicone. “Gummy bear” implants are a newer option which use cohesive gel and tend to look and feel more like natural breast tissue.
After surgery, it may take a while to adjust to your new proportions and for your implants to “settle” in their final location as your tissue adjusts. There is a small chance that nipples will be extra sensitive, numb, or sore during recovery, but this almost always goes away after you recover from the surgery.
2. How big an implant should I get?
The same size implant can look very different in different women; existing breast tissue, musculature and other biological factors can play a role in how big or small an implant appears beneath your skin.
For some patients, a breast “lift” without any implant at all can provide the desired results with a less-invasive surgery.
Looking at photos of breasts you like and even “trying on” implants in a special bra before surgery can help you visualize what your breasts might look after surgery.
Bigger isn’t always better: matching your specific proportions and finding an implant will provide a more balanced, natural result.
3. Will I have visible scars?
The type of incisions required vary based on the type of implant you’re getting. Your natural breast shape, skin tone, age, sun exposure, lifestyle choices like smoking, and other factors can also influence how visible these incisions are after you heal.
Implants are inserted through small incisions which can typically be “hidden” in the dark skin around the areola, the fold underneath the breast, or in the armpit. The scars resulting from augmentation are often small and inconspicuous.
4. How long does recovery take?
Breast augmentation is a major surgery which requires general anesthesia. However, most people can go back to work and non-strenuous activities after about two weeks.
Other activities, such as stretching and lifting things overhead may be limited for several months, during which time you’ll need to wear a supportive bra and do exercises to recover your full range of motion.
5. Will I still be able to breast feed, weight lift, get cancer screenings, etc.?
Most people find that their activities are not substantially limited by having a breast augmentation. Some implant and incision types have different effects than others. For example, implants placed under the pectoral muscle may feel different when performing chest exercises.
Pregnancy can affect the way implants look on your body, but there’s no inherent reason why pregnancy would interfere with implants or vice versa. Multiple studies have concluded that it’s safe to breastfeed after an augmentation, but some surgical techniques are more likely to affect nipple sensitivity and milk production than others; make sure to discuss this with your surgeon during your consultation.
Breast cancer screenings may be more involved once you have an implant. Mammograms, for example, will require twice as many pictures. You may need regular MRIs to ensure that your implants are intact and don’t require revision surgery.
6. What happens if I don’t like the way I look afterwards?
Emotions play an important role in surgical recovery. It can take time to feel like your new dimensions are “yours.” Ups and downs are part of the process, and some people do chose to revise their surgeries down the road. However, the vast majority of people are happy with their results.
The best way to make sure you’re satisfied after an augmentation is to go into the procedure confident that your expectations align with your surgeons’ and that you’re fully informed.
7. How long do they last?
Some complications of augmentation surgery, such as scar tissue forming around the implant, or the implant rupturing, become slightly more likely as the implant ages.
However, breast implant lifespans depend on the individual. In some cases, they will need to be replaced within the first couple of years after surgery, while others can last as long as 25 years. On average, breast implant manufacturers say the products should last about 10 years.
Your body and desired size may also change over time, necessitating revision surgery down the line.
Learn more about breast augmentation in Australia
Breast augmentation is an effective tool to add symmetry and fullness to the chest; for many people, it provides physical and emotional benefits and improves self-esteem and confidence.
However, augmentation is still a significant surgery which requires detailed assessment and careful consideration. If you’re considering breast augmentation, talking with a certified surgeon and breast surgery specialist is the first step towards getting your questions answered.
To learn more or discuss your options, get in touch today for a consultation.