What Happens During Breast Augmentation?
Undergoing a cosmetic procedure to increase the size of your breasts is far more complex than simply heading to the plastic surgeon and asking them for a size DD. Though breast augmentation surgery (“mammoplasty”) is one of the most popular aesthetic surgeries of all time, each surgery is unique. Some women hope to restore breast volume to a previous level, and others simply want to feel confident about the size of their new breasts. In any case, a one-on-one consultation with your cosmetic surgeon will help set realistic, achievable goals for your surgery.
When you head into the consultation, your surgeon will help determine whether you’re a good candidate for breast augmentation. If your breasts are fully developed and you’re in good physical condition to undergo surgery, you’ll choose between saline and silicone implants (find more information about the difference between the two here). Expect to discuss the location of the incisions for the implants with your doctor, and decide upon the most effective process based on your individual goals. Finally, your surgeon will also ask you questions about your current and expected weight: As Northern New Jersey breast augmentation experts at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery explain, you’ll “discuss any plans for major weight loss with your plastic surgeon. He will likely suggest that you reach these goals before undergoing surgery to ensure that the results will not be sabotaged later down the road.”
However, one of the most important breast augmentation questions, especially for women who are concerned about the size of their breasts, is regarding what size they should choose. Both patient and surgeon want the surgery to be a success, and size is a major factor in patient satisfaction. So, how can you be prepared for this appointment? What kind of research should prospective patients do before meeting with their surgeon? How can you predict what size you’ll be happy with post-surgery?
How Should You Choose Your Implant Size?
For the most part, women who undergo a breast augmentation procedure want to look “natural”: The goal is rarely to wind up with a pair of breasts that look “done,” or “fake.” The ideal implant size will be one that looks natural and cohesive with the existing body shape, rather than disjointed or slapped on.
- Don’t think about cup size. Knoxville plastic surgeon Dr. David Reath notes that “women tend to think in cup sizes, because that is how we buy our bras. The most common comment we hear from women is, ‘I’d like to be a C-cup…’, but cup size for patients having breast augmentation is a very subjective measurement.” Since bra manufacturers make shapes and sizes differently, you may not be explaining what you want accurately if you’re using cup measurements. Instead, focus on proportion and shape. If you want your breasts to look like they fit the rest of your body, be willing to disregard the number or letter of the cup size along the way.
- Trust your surgeon. If you’ve done your research and chosen an accredited, well-qualified cosmetic surgeon, trust their knowledge when it comes to size and timing. This will be your first (and most likely, only) breast augmentation procedure, but they’ve done this hundreds, maybe thousands of times. While the decision about size is ultimately yours, your surgeon’s recommendation will help create realistic and naturally sized breasts.
- Consider your activity level. As board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Cohen from Belecara Health notes, “while thousands of augmented runners, triathletes, and even bodybuilders enjoy their sports without giving a second thought to their breast implants, the happiest of these athletes have implants that give them the shape they want without being too big to exercise comfortably.” If your ideal day involves running, swimming, climbing, or other intense physical activity, keep in mind that too-large breasts will make your activities less comfortable than would be optimal.
- Try them on for size. During your implant sizing appointment, you’ll be given a bra that fits a variety of implant sizes so that you can test them out on your own body. It really helps to see the actual shape and form in the mirror, especially as it impacts your silhouette. Make sure to wear a form-fitting, low-cut shirt, so that you can really see how they’ll look in just about any clothing, and if possible, bring a friend or family member to provide their opinion. While it’s your choice, the opinion of a trusted loved one can help you gauge just how “natural” your new breasts will look.
Make Your Expectations Realistic
It’s absolutely true that breast augmentation can work wonders. If you want to change your silhouette, implants are often a wonderful way to do so. However, most surgeons will urge you to keep your expectations of how the surgery will change your body (and your life) realistic. Breast augmentation won’t make you perfect, and it won’t change your life by virtue of the surgery itself. If you are searching for a way to achieve your appearance for your own body, not to imitate a celebrity’s, there is a much higher chance that you’ll be happy with the results of your procedure.
If you have questions about breast augmentation, reconstruction, or other plastic surgery-related questions, please leave them in the section below, anytime!