Breast augmentation surgery comes with lots of questions beyond “should I do it or not?” Chances are, you’ve done some reading on the subject and talked with friends who’ve had it done. Of course, the best way to get all of your specific questions answered is through a one-on-one consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. But if you haven’t had time to make that happen, we have the 411 on some of your, ahem, biggest questions about breast augmentation.
1. Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery?
If you’re in good general health, don’t have an active infection in your body, don’t have untreated existing breast pre-cancer or cancer, and aren’t currently pregnant or nursing – you’ve cleared the major health considerations. It’s also important for you to have realistic aesthetic goals and be prepared to make an informed decision with the guidance of your surgeon. Finally, the FDA recommends that you should be at least 18-years-old for saline implants or at least 22-years-old for silicone implants.
2. Speaking of saline and silicone implants, what’s the difference?
Aside from the age requirement for each, saline implants are filled with sterile salt water, while silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. If a saline implant shell leaks, the implant will collapse, and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. If a silicone implant leaks, it’s possible that the gel will stay within the implant shell, or it may make its way into the implant pocket. Either way, a leaking silicone implant won’t collapse. Saline implants provide a uniform firmness, shape and feel, while silicone implants feel a little more like natural breast tissue Gummy implants are a newer generation of silicone implant that contain a thicker gel than traditional silicone implants, which also makes them slightly firmer. Because the gel is thicker, the implant may maintain its shape even if the implant shell is broken. Your board-certified plastic surgeon can help you determine which implant is the best choice for your personal goals.
3. While we’re on the topic of incisions, where will mine be?
There are three different options: along the areolar edge (peri-areolar incision), in the fold under the breast (inframammary incision), and in the armpit (axillary incision). You and your surgeon will decide which incision is appropriate based on the type of implant you’re getting, the degree of enlargement desired, and your unique anatomy. The same criteria are used to determine where your implant is placed: either under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue and over the pectoral muscle. Each technique has specific pros and cons, so your surgeon can help guide you to your best option.
4. Will I be able to breastfeed after I get implants?
Depending on the type of incision used in your surgery, your ability to breastfeed won’t be affected in most cases. If you plan to breastfeed, let your surgeon know during your consultation so that together you can decide on the incision point that’s best for your needs and goals.
5. Will my implants droop with age and time?
A set of breast implants isn’t designed to be worn for a lifetime; the average lifespan for implants is 15 years. Over time, your breasts will change due to fluctuations in weight, hormones, and gravity. To address these changes, some patients will have a breast lift or upgrade their implants.
Even though we’ve just answered some your biggest (there’s that word again!) breast augmentation questions, we bet you have more. Get all of your questions answered and even try on implant sizers to see how the new you will look at your consultation with one of our experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. We can’t wait to help you put your beauty in ALL CAPS!