For most people, choosing to have cosmetic surgery is a big decision. While breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures, it is also one that has a lot of decisions involved.
To help you get prepared for surgery, find out exactly what you need to consider before having a breast augmentation.
1. Should I have a breast augmentation with breast implants or fat transfer?
If you are wanting to increase the size of your breasts, there are a few different methods which you can undertake to do so. This is either through implants or a fat transfer. Implants will use a silicone implant to increase the size of your breasts. Meanwhile, fat transfer will involve using liposuction to take fat from another area of your body, which is then transferred into the breasts. This is the preferred option for those who do not want to insert a foreign object into their body. However, some people may not be eligible, as you may not have enough body fat in other areas. A fat transfer can increase the size of the breasts by about one cup size, so those who are wanting to increase their cup size by several sizes may wish to have implants instead.
2. Best size of breast implants
If you’re going to have breast implant surgery, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is the size of the implants you are going to get. When you attend a consultation with your surgeon, your body shape will be assessed, which will give the surgeon an idea of what size implants will be suitable for you. You will also be able to try on sample sizes to help you get an idea of what the implants will look like once they’re on. However, it can be a good idea to get an idea of what size you would like to have prior to coming in for a consultation.
At home, you can do what is known as the ‘rice test’. To do this, you’ll need some uncooked rice and nylon stockings. You’ll be pouring the rice into the foot section of the nylon stockings. Breast implants are measured in ‘cc’s’, which is otherwise known as cubic centimetres. For you to measure out the rice, keep in mind that one ounce equals 30 cubic centimetres. One cup of rice will be the equivalent of 236 cubic centimetres. Fill the stocking to your desired size, and tie the other end. You will then be able to insert this into a sports bra. This will give you an idea of what you will look like once you have the implants inserted.
3. Breast implant variables – shape, texture and placement
The size isn’t the only decision you will have to make about the implants. You will also have to make a decision regarding several other factors to do with the implants. This includes the shape, texture and placement of the implants. So what exactly will you need to consider?
– Shape: there are two shapes that you’ll have to choose – round or teardrop. Teardrop is preferable for those who are wanting more natural looking results. If you are wanting a larger cleavage area, you may wish to have round instead.
– Texture: you can choose between textured and smooth. Textured implants are slightly rougher than smooth, and will not move around within the breast pocket as much.
– Placement: you need to decide exactly where the implants will be placed. They will either be sub-muscular (dual plane) or sub-glandular. Your choice will alter where the surgeon makes a pocket to place the implant. This will have an impact on the final appearance of the breasts once the implants have been inserted.
While it is a good idea to get an idea of which one you are going to choose, your surgeon will advise you on the best options once looking at your body and considering your end goals.
4. The implants may need to be replaced
Unfortunately, the breast augmentation procedure won’t be your final surgery. While modern implants will last longer, they won’t necessarily last forever. Eventually, whether you have medical complications or not, you may find you need to have your implants removed with breast implant removal or have a breast implant replacement. You may experience complications such as capsular contracture, or the implants may leak. Factors such as weight loss, pregnancy, or simply ageing can also alter which size implants you consider appropriate. Keep in mind that you will need to have the funds for these additional procedures.
5. How much time you will need to take off work after breast augmentation?
While you will be able to return home the same day as your breast augmentation procedure, you will need to take time off work in order to fully recover. The exact amount of time will vary from person to person and will vary depending on what type of job you have, and which placement type you chose (an implant placed behind the muscle will take longer to recover). You may need to take five to seven days off work if you have a job which is not physically demanding. If your job is very labour intensive, you may have to take a longer period of time off. Make sure you are able to take off the right amount of time from your job.
6. Smoking can affect wound healing
If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to the procedure, and continue to stop smoking throughout the recovery period. This is because smoking can have many negative effects on surgery and wound recovery. Tests can be done to ensure patients have complied with the non-smoking period. If a surgeon suspects a patient is still smoking, the procedure may be cancelled, as the surgeon may consider it too risky to be carried out.
7. You will need to restrict exercise for the first 6 weeks
Exercise may be a big part of your life. When you are recovering from breast augmentation, you will need to limit any strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks. This is in order to avoid any damage occurring to the breasts and the incision site. During this period, you will also be wearing a compression garment, which will help to support the breasts. It is also important to consider what impact your new breasts will have on your usual exercise regime. If you are getting particularly large implants, doing exercise, particularly cardio, may become more difficult, or you may need to purchase more supportive sports bras.