Today women have more options than ever when it comes to breast augmentation. And the truth is-there is no single breast implant that is perfect for everyone.
1. Choose the right type of implant for YOU!
There are many things to consider when choosing the right breast implant. With the guidance of your surgeon, you will have to make several decisions about the type of implant you want and the look you are going for. Instead of worrying about precise measurements, focus on achieving natural-looking breasts that match your body’s frame. Understand the pros and cons of each:
Silicone vs. Saline– Saline implants usually have more rippling, stretch the tissues more, are heavier and feel firmer. Silicone implants have less rippling, are lighter, feel very natural, and stretch tissues less.
Round vs. Teardrop (anatomical)– Round implants tend to be more popular and reliable. The selection of breast implant to be used is dependent on the dimensions of your chest, your current breast shape and size, skin elasticity and the appearance you desire.
2. Find breast implants that match your lifestyle
Many women who want larger breasts forget to think about how this will impact their current lifestyle. When choosing breast implants, it’s important to factor in your lifestyle and fitness routines. For active women, it’s important to find breast implants that will let you continue to work out comfortably. Consider the following factors:
Implant Size- Breast implants that are too wide or large may interfere with how you move your arms. In general, small to moderately sized silicone gel implants will be the lightest and be less likely to hinder movement.
Implant Placement- For more active or athletic women, your surgeon will likely recommend placing the implants under the pectoral muscles. This is called sub pectoral, and can help with stability.
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3. Select the right incision location
Breast augmentation is an invasive cosmetic surgery, so it’s important to remember that all operations leave a scar that will take to time to heal and fade. There are 3 possible incision positions in which the breast implant can be inserted, depending on your personal preference, your body type and your surgeons personal preference. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages:
Inframammary- This is the most popular surgical approach, allowing excellent expose of the space where the implant will be placed. It involves a 4-5cm incision which is made under the natural crease along the bottom of the breast.
Periareolar- This is when the surgeon creates a small, semi-circle at the border of the areola (pigmented skin surrounding the nipple). The size of the implant that can be used may be limited by the size of the areola. Risks include loss of nipple sensation and possible distortion in the incision.
Axillary- This incision is in the armpit, leaving no visible scar on the breast itself. However, if the scar does not fade with time, it can be obvious when the arm is elevated, preventing you from wearing short sleeved clothing. Bruising is considerably more common with this incision and there are some technical disadvantages with this approach during surgery.
4. Know the risks involved
No one likes to talk about it, but as with any surgery, there are always possible risks and potential complications. Luckily for breast augmentation they are generally rare, and if they occur are detected and managed during your post-op follow-up. The most common risks and complications include:
Capsular contracture- This is when the body forms scar tissue around the implant, often referred to as a “capsule”. In up to 5% of women, this capsule can thicken and shrink making the implant firm and hard and in some cases painful. The shape of the implant may also be distorted, and if severe enough, the implant may have to be replaced or removed.
Calcium deposits- Deposits can form in the capsular tissue around the implant and are often confused with calcium deposits seen in cancer. Removal for further examination may be necessary.
Fluid accumulation- Natural bodily fluid and blood can accumulate around the implant after surgery; and treatment to drain the excess fluid may be required.
5. Consider your recovery time
After the surgery is finished, most women are ready to go home within a few hours. Some surgeons may ask that the patient stay overnight. Some discomfort and pain are normal, and your surgeon may recommend pain relief and antibiotics to help aid the healing process. A post-op surgical bra will also be provided and worn for 6 weeks after surgery. Tips for a quick recovery include:
- Lots of rest, plenty of fluids and small, healthy meals regularly.
- For the first 1-2 weeks it is recommended that you sleep on your back or side.
- Avoid smoking for at least 3 weeks after surgery.
- Returning to normal activities and work is fine, but avoid heavy upper body activities and strenuous physical activity for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
It is also worthy to note that more active, athletic women can generally expect to heal more quickly due to their improved cardiovascular health.