Thinking of breast implants?
Breast implants or breast augmentation is an increasingly common procedure for many women today. The most common reason women in my plastic surgery practice choose to have breast implants or augmentation, is to restore the fullness and youthful shape that they had before pregnancy. Still many women who have never had children but have always felt “small breasted” decide that they want to have a larger “chest.’ A third group are women who have worked very hard to become fit through exercise and diet, and have lost fullness in their “chest” due to fat loss.
Many women who decide to have breast implants or augmentation have to struggle with the decision to undergo elective cosmetic plastic surgery. The most common concerns that my patients tell me are:
- Is surgery safe?
- I have small children; I don’t want anything to happen to me.
- Will people notice that I have had Breast Implants?
- How long is the recovery; when can I go back to work, exercise, normal life?
- How much does the surgery cost?
- What if something goes wrong and I need a revision?
- What are the risks?
- Will I look natural?
Your decision whether to have breast implants is a very personal one. Millions of women have had this procedure and satisfaction rates are very high and complication rates are relatively low. However only you can make the decision.
Answers to Common Questions about Breast Augmentation
- Safety- this procedure is essentially a skin operation as the mammary gland is a skin appendage. Thus the procedure does not involve the entrance into a body cavity that contains vital structures. Modern Anesthesia techniques are very safe for healthy people with no medical contraindication to surgery. The complication rates for new FDA approved Silicone Gel and Saline Breast Implants are lower than ever before. The most common complication is capsular contracture which is firmness and has been reduced to a rate just over 13% down from over 40% 20 years ago. Revision rate is about 5% for correction of a position problem or capsule and another 5% for patients who elect to increase the size.
- Small Children- of course your safety is your and your surgeon’s primary concern. Most women who have this procedure are child bearing age and have small children. Choosing an experienced Board Certified surgeon and having your procedure in a Hospital where all support services are present are important factors in your safety, in my opinion.
- Will people notice- most people will not notice that you have had this procedure because they do not see you naked. You will of course be sensitive about your new shape. However unless you have extremely large implants placed, the average person will not notice a difference. If they do it is likely subtle and can be explained away by saying that you have been working out and building muscle.
- Recovery Time- this varies with the placement of your implant. Generally you should plan to limit your activities for 10 days to two weeks. Under the muscle takes longer to recover than over the muscle.
- Revisions- revisions are most commonly done to correct a position problem such as asymmetry, implant too low or too high. Most surgeons will not charge a professional fee to correct this problem, but you will usually be asked to pay the Hospital OR and Anesthesia fees if a revision is required, as the surgeon has no control over these. If you simply want to have a larger size expect to pay an additional surgeons fee as well. So make the right decision about implant size the first time.
- Risks- the most common risks are capsular contracture, firmness of the implant and position problems such as asymmetry or too high or too low. Rates vary depending on the study but generally average 10-25%.
- Will you Look Normal- with a properly sized implant for your body frame, placed by an expert surgeon, with no complication, you should look normal. You will just have a fuller but natural looking breast.
- Make the decision by yourself- do not respond to a husband, boyfriend or girlfriend who is pushing you. You have to live with the result and you should be sure that you will be happy.
- Read as much information about Breast Implants as you can find. A truly informed patient has the best chance for a successful result. Visit the websites of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and read articles on this procedure. These two websites provide a wealth of scientific valuable information and listings of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in your area.
- Consult only with plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Visit their website for certified doctors in your area.
- Talk to friends who have had this procedure. Are they happy with their result? Would they do it again? Most surgeons can provide you with patients to contact but of course they will most likely be happy patients.
- Discuss your decision with loved ones and close personal friends. Your husband, mother, significant other will hopefully give you honest feedback.
Many women are very happy with their breast implants. Once you have made your decision to go ahead, find the best surgeon and become thoroughly informed and you will most likely be very happy with your decision.
Source – What to Consider If You’re Struggling With the Decision to Get Breast Implants.