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Getting your breasts done is a journey like no other! You’re going to experience a wide range of emotions from fear to excitement.
Doubts may crop up, and you might find yourself thinking of not going through surgery all together. But you can quell these uncertainties by learning the steps of the process.
What is breast augmentation?
It’s having your breasts enlarged through the insertion of a breast implant. You need to be at least 22 years old for primary augmentation. Your insurance cover may not pay for plastic surgery as it’s only meant to improve your body’s appearance.
Breast augmentation is a popular procedure all over the world. So many people assume that it’s just a minor surgery with little or no implications.
Well, the truth is that it’s no minor operation. It deserves all the seriousness you can give it.
Before augmentation, educate yourself on the ins and outs of the operation. It’s also the time to pick a surgeon and know the cost of the package you’re being offered and what’s covered.
You’ll also attend consultations and pick the final breast size you want. After the surgery comes recovery and healing. It involves multiple post-op appointments. It may also entail getting corrective surgery in case you were not satisfied with the outcome of the first procedure.
It’s a question that deserves a good answer before after breast augmentation. You might need the procedure when:
1) Doing it will improve your well-being and happiness
Most women have insecurities about their bodies. Some things can be fixed and somethings are better off left alone.
Fortunately, women can now fix and improve their breasts. And many report feeling satisfied with their augmentation results. If you feel better about your body, it could translate into a lasting impact on your confidence and outlook.
2) You have small breasts
Small breasts will have you wearing underwire bras, push-up bras, improving your posture, etc, just to look good.
But none of these seem like permanent solutions. If you’re dreaming of a day when you can wake up, throw a tee-shirt on and slay it with no push up bras, then a breast augmentation may be reasonable.
3) You have wanted it for the longest time
Some women long for breast augmentation surgery from a young age. It’s top on their wish list.
4) Your breasts need to be reshaped
If you had great looking breasts before, they might have lost their firmness or fullness over the years as you age.
5) You have breasts of unequal sizes (asymmetrical breasts)
You can’t have breast augmentation if:
Let’s tackle the before and after breast augmentation section. Picking a surgeon is one of the key steps.
You can choose a female doctor or male doctor. For instance, you might choose a female doctor because they have breasts and might see things from your perspective. It could be that you’ll feel more comfortable around a female doctor.
Ascertaining that your doctor has all the right expertise and qualifications is also key. They must be board certified in the USA. Look at the number of years they have done breast augmentation.
Find out where the surgery will take place or carry out an inspection of the facility. It might be at a hospital or out-patient surgery center.
On your first consultation, you’ll have the chance to go over the intricacies of your surgery. Here are the five key features of this stage:
1) Screening questions
The doctor will want to find out:
2) The type of implant
Implants are classified based on their fillings:
Implants have different shapes:
Thirdly, there are textured implants and implants with smooth surfaces.
You’ll also need to understand the width and projection of the implant. More width gives you more cleavage. Projection refers to the height and how the breast extends from your chest.
3) Implant placement
One of the major aspects of breast augmentation is selecting where the implant will be placed.
4) Incision site
The surgeon has to make a cut in order to place the implant. There are three possible sites:
Looking at breast implants before after photos only gives you a sense of other people’s results.
Doctors can also give you a clear idea of the final outcome in the consultation room.
They do this by using the mentor sizing system. It involves trying out pads of different volumes by placing them under a sports bra and checking your results on a mirror.
Two weeks to the surgery, there might be a second consultation. You might be asked to make the final decision that sets the surgery in motion.
At this stage, the doctor may advise you to stop taking alcoholic drinks, avoid painkillers such as aspirin, stop smoking, etc. The surgeon may also ask about the medications you’re taking.
It’s also the right time to make arrangements for the surgery day. If you’re going home after the surgery, you need someone to drive you. Taking a cab is not advised since you’ll be out of general anesthesia and might be feeling disoriented.
You’ll have to buy a special kind of soap that removes & kills germs and bacteria. Hair should be removed from the incision site. A night before surgery, you have to stop eating or drinking around midnight.
Come surgery day, it’s good to have research deeply into breast augmentation before and after. But leave all the work to your competent surgeon. The procedure takes between 30 to 45 minutes.
Here is a breakdown of the entire process of the breast augmentation procedure:
Before surgery, the surgeon marks a mid-line on your chest. They also trace the incision site.
b. Falling asleep
General anesthesia may be administered via an IV line and local anesthesia injected at the site of the incision.
c. Making the incision
The surgeon makes the incision by cutting through several layers of skin.
d. Creating the implant pocket
The doctor will create the implant pocket where the implant will be placed. It may involve dissecting the muscles to create the space.
It involves filling the void with a saline solution mixed with antibiotics to kill any bacteria. The surgeon has to ensure that there is no bleeding before placing the implant.
f. Inserting the sizer implant
The implant is inserted through the incision using a keller funnel without touching the patient’s skin.
Some surgeons may first place a sizer implant and temporary seal the incision site. They then prop up the patient, making them sit up in bed. The team checks if the implant is of the right size and if any adjustments need to be made.
Placing the permanent implant takes place next. The patient is also propped up and final adjustments are made before closing the incisions.
You’re going to go into the recovery room after the breast augmentation surgery and discharged after a few hours.
Healing starts with the formation of a scar at the point of incision. There will be some bleeding and bruising.
Breast implants are not permanent. You can expect more surgeries in the future, for instance, when getting replacements after 15 years.
1) Capsular Contracture
The body recognizes the implant as a foreign object and forms a capsular/scar tissue around it. When the scar tissue squeezes around the implant, we call that contracture.
The implant is pushed inwards and upwards causing one breast to appear to be higher than the other. The severity of capsular contracture is described by a grading system from Grade I-IV.
When you have Grade III or Grade IV contracture, the surgeon will have to remove the old implant and scarring tissue.
Breasts are not really twins. Think of them as sisters, and they are never perfectly symmetrical.
After having your implants placed, they might adopt different shapes, levels, and appearance. The surgeon may recommend corrective surgery if the differences are too noticeable.
You don’t require a significant amount of recovery time nowadays. The first three days are the most uncomfortable.
Swelling peaks between day 3 and 5 before subsiding over the coming weeks. You can also use ice packs to alleviate the swelling. Decreased or increased nipple sensitivity may be experienced.
You’ll be taking some medications, including muscle relaxers, anti-nausea medicines, pain medications, and scarring medication. Some surgeons prescribe anti-allergy medication two weeks before surgery.
During the first week, you’re not expected to do any heavy lifting, so get some help around the house. Though, don’t spend all your time in bed. Movement is good and promotes blood flow.
If you sleep sideways or flat, it might take some adjusting to sleep on your back preferably with up to 3 pillows to prop you up. You can also sleep on a recliner.
Some patients can drive after 7 days and resume their normal duties. However, exercising is not advised until 8 weeks after surgery.
The steri-strips around the incisions stay on until they fall off on their own, or might be removed on week 2.
You’ll feel tight around your chest following the surgery as your tissues and skin adjust to your enlarged chest. If you’d like to aid the healing of your scars after breast augmentation, check out this scar gel by Mederma.
Photos showing the results of breast augmentation are typically taken 3-months after the surgery. At this point, both breasts are fully-healed. The implants will also have finished dropping and settling in place.
#Fig. 1. Dr. Otto Placik Breast Augmentation
© Otto Placik [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Fig. 2. This 26-year-old woman underwent primary breast augmentation. Allergan, Style 15 implants measuring 339 cc in volume were used bilaterally. Implants were inserted through an inframammary approach. Implants were placed in a submuscular plane. Pictures were taken 6 months postoperatively (Review of 494 Consecutive Breast Augmentation Patients)
Figure. 3. Dr. Placik Chicago Breast Fat Grafting
© Otto Placik [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
After making a full recovery, you’ll might forget that you had the augmentation procedure because the implants feel natural.
Breast augmentation refers to the process of enlarging the breast through the placement of implants over the breast’s pectoral muscles or under them.
Breast lifts involves the removal of excess skin around the breast, which lifts the breasts and nipples. You get a breast lift before an augmentation. Doing the two procedures at the same time is not advised.
Showering is possible after 48 hours. You’ll only remove your garment and gauze pads from the incision site. If the tapes around the incision get wet, they can be blow dried.
Expect to see the final shape and fullness at the 3 month-mark.
Before: picking a surgeon, knowing the surgery location, attending the consultations, deciding the implant size, etc. After: attending post-op checkups, recovery, getting your first MRI scan after the first 3 years to check for ruptures, etc.
You can expect to have enlarged breasts with more fullness. These new body changes might improve your self-esteem, confidence, and outlook in life.
Breast augmentation involves more than showing up for consultations or displaying a brave face during the surgery day. Set aside time for recovery. Be patient as you wait for the swelling to subside.
It’s possible that you may feel a little blue, so remember to stay positive. Finally, take more time to research & understand the before after breast augmentation experience.