Thinking about breast augmentation surgery? You're probably excited, nervous, and a little scared - all totally normal!
There are many personal decisions involved in getting breast implants. The first, and most important, decision you'll have to make is who you'll trust to perform your surgery. You'll want to find a board-certified plastic surgeon, ideally one who is a member in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Membership in these organizations ensures that your surgeon is qualified to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and adheres to a strict code of ethics.
Read reviews on sites like RealSelf.com. Schedule a consultation and make sure that you feel comfortable talking to them. Don't be afraid to meet with a few doctors until you find someone you can trust - clear communication with your surgeon will help you achieve the look you want!
You'll also want to learn more about each of the decisions you'll have to make, as well as what to expect from recovery. Read more about these topics here, and let us know what questions we can answer!
Decisions to Make
One of the most important - and most personal - decisions to make is what size breast implants you'd like! To determine this, you'll first need to do a little reflection and research.
Ask yourself: Do you simply want fuller breasts to create a more proportionate, feminine silhouette? Do you want noticeable, voluptuous cleavage, or subtle curves? Do you have existing breast tissue? This will also affect what size implants you get.
It's important to note that implant size is measured in cubic centimeters, or cc's - not cup sizes. Since cup sizes differ quite drastically between bra manufacturers, it's not an accurate way to measure breast implant size. As a frame of reference, each 130-150cc will roughly increase the size of the breast by one cup size. A patient with an 34A bra size who gets 300cc might end up with a 34C or 34D bra size. 350-400cc might increase her size to 34DD.
Although large implants (450cc or more) have been popular in the past, today many women are opting for more subtle breast implants - from 250-400cc. Everyone's body is different - 300cc might look dramatic on someone with a smaller frame, while not making a noticeable difference on someone taller or with a broader chest.
Dr. Majewski always recommends going to RealSelf.com to find before and after images of women with a body type similar to yours. This will help you visualize what different implant sizes will look like on your frame! Feel free to use these images in your consultation.
Silicone or Saline Implants
There are two types of breast implants available: silicone-filled and saline-filled implants. The shells of all implants are made of silicone rubber; the difference is in a material filling them. Implants come in variety of sizes, shapes (round vs. shaped), surfaces (smooth vs. textured) and profiles (from moderate to ultra high).
Dr. Majewski will provide his recommendations for the most appropriate implants during your consultation. Note that your anatomy (chest width, rib cage shape, soft tissue thickness and quality) will determine what options may or may not be well-suited for you.
Over or Under the Muscle
Another decision to make is whether you'd like to have the implants placed over or under your chest muscle. The chest muscle provides additional soft tissue coverage, and it can help shape the upper portion of the breasts.
In women with very little of their own breast tissue, you generally want to place as much tissue as possible over the implant so that it will look as natural as possible. Placing implants under the muscle is usually the best option for women with little existing breast tissue, or who are receiving a breast lift and augmentation at the same time.
Under the muscle is also a good choice for many women because it helps create a natural slope on the top part of the breast. Since saline implants are stiffer than silicone, and require more pressure on them to achieve that slope, many surgeons decide to go under the muscle with saline implants.
However, for women who already have some breast tissue (B cup or larger), over the muscle could be the better option. Dr. Majewski will explain the various options to you to help you make a decision that meets your goals!
Also Do Breast Lift?
If you're looking to add volume and lift to your breasts, Dr. Majewski will likely recommend a breast lift (mastopexy), with or without implants depending on the size of your existing breast tissue.
Read this article to learn more about whether a breast lift might be the right choice for you.
Breast augmentation is a short procedure, usually taking between 1-2 hours. Once the procedure is over, recovery begins. Dr. Majewski will go over his recommend recovery protocol, which involves rest, proper hydration, gentle massage, scar care, and ice as needed for pain. You will also wear a specific type of bra designed for breast augmentation recovery for a period of several weeks.
Take a few days off after your surgery to sleep, eat well, and rest. Limit activities that will require you to stand for extended periods of time. Take some time to catch up on your favorite TV shows or movies! Just be sure to stand and stretch every once in a while. Leisurely walks can be refreshing and promote faster healing.
Ask a friend, partner, or family member to spend time with you as you recover for a few days, so you don't have to overexert yourself. A caretaker can also help ensure that you're eating, drinking, and taking pain medicine as needed.
Breast augmentation is surprisingly less painful than you might think. Of course, it will take your body time to adjust to the implants - but most patients find that they are able to stop taking pain medicine within 3-7 days after surgery. Taking time to rest, hydrate, eat well, and do some gentle movement will help reduce any pain.
Avoid raising your arms above your head, or lifting or carrying anything more than a few pounds for several days after surgery. If something feels uncomfortable, don't do it. This is not the time to be a superhero! You'll regain strength over time, but you might find everyday actions - such as closing the trunk of an SUV or opening a jar - will be difficult in the weeks after surgery. Learn to ask for help in these types of situations, and plan ahead so that you're never alone in the days following your procedure. You should be fairly self-sufficient within 4-6 days.
Food and Drink
Drink lots of water. Pain medication can make you feel dehydrated. For an extra boost of electrolytes, enjoy some chilled (unsweetened) coconut water or some watermelon chunks.
Although it'll be tempting to eat comfort foods, be sure to include high-fiber fruits and vegetables too. Pain medicine can cause constipation, which can be incredibly painful. Some high-fiber foods include:
- Chickpeas or chickpea pasta
- Lentils or lentil pasta
- Sweet potatoes
If eating these foods whole doesn't sound appealing, try adding them to a smoothie! Here are a few recipes to try:
Dr. Majewski likes to see patients 1 day after, 1 week after, and then 6-8 weeks after the procedure to ensure that everything is healing beautifully. If you have any questions during your recovery period, Dr. Majewski will happily answer them over the phone or in person in between regular appointments.
Work and Activity
You should plan to take a few days off from work following the procedure. Most patients are able to resume light housework and office work within a few days after surgery.
Dr. Majewski typically recommends waiting 6-8 weeks before resuming intensive physical activity, and even longer for exercises that use the chest muscle (such as pushups or pull-ups) or require extensive jumping/bouncing. Walking is a recommend form of gentle exercise in the weeks following surgery.
Breast implants are placed through a small (usually 1.5-2") incision beneath the breast. With proper scar care (we recommend the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel), the resulting scars can heal and become barely visible. Also, as the breast implants "settle in" over the course of 6-12 months, they will often hide the scars by simply laying over them.
Ready to Schedule?
Dr. Majewski is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 15 years of experience performing breast augmentations. As a member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Majewski stays up-to-date on the latest techniques and information to continue to provide the highest quality care. Patients love Dr. Majewski for his thoughtfulness, precision, and thoroughness. Here are a few reviews from Dr. Majewski's patients: