Are you considering having a breast augmentation? According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation (‘boob job’) was the most popular of the cosmetics procedures in 2017, with over 300,000 American women receiving it. During breast augmentation surgery, plastic surgeons aim to improve the volume, shape, and fullness of the breast. This post highlights 8 breast augmentation facts that will help you prepare for the procedure and recovery.

1.     Finding a Great Surgeon is the Best You Can Do to Guarantee Satisfactory Results

You probably have seen one of those botched plastic surgeries on reality TV. If you pay close attention, you’ll find that most of the victims got their surgery from ‘shady’ little known cosmetic surgeons. The goal of every augmentation patient is to achieve a new breast size that is in line with their expectations. Many doctors and industry insiders agree that finding a skilled surgeon is the best safeguard patients can take to make sure that they get satisfactory results.

Only settle for a breast augmentation surgeon who is properly trained and highly experienced. If you have a friend or close relative who had breast implant surgery in the past, ask about their experience. Consider getting a list for 2-3 top-rated surgeons then dig more to find one that you are comfortable with. In many cases, an in-person consultation will help you gauge your comfort level with any particular cosmetic surgeon.

2.     Breast Augmentation Costs Around $3,700

The average cost of a breast augmentation procedure was $3,719. That’s according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Keep in mind though that this figure only highlights the surgeon’s fees and does not include associated costs (anaesthesia, materials, facilities, etc). Also, the price may vary greatly from one doctor to the other. Many experienced cosmetic surgeons may charge higher fees but in many cases this is worth it. You’d rather pay more to get the results you expect, than pay cheap only to have for revision surgeries later. Instead of just focusing on the cost, settle on an augmentation surgeon based on their experience.

3.     Many Augmentation Patients Are Up After a Week

Breast augmentation has one of the highest satisfaction rates among the cosmetics. Even better, patients need just a week to be back on their feet. You won’t be fully okay in a week. But you might be able to get to the office and do some light work. How long it takes before full recovery varies from one patient to the other. Make sure that you adhere to any prescribed drugs and follow your surgeon’s instructions to speed up recovery.

4.     You May Receive Silicone or Saline Implants

Breast augmentation patients can choose between silicone and saline implants. In 2016, over 80% of implants used by breast surgeons were silicone-based. This might be explained by the fact that silicone implants look and feel more realistic. On the down side, it is harder to detect leaks when silicone implants are used. Talk to your plastic surgeon about the type of implant that might be ideal for you.

5.     Breast Augmentation May Affect Breastfeeding

Many women who receive an augmentation choose not to breastfeed. For that reason, there’s limited data on how this cosmetic procedure affects ability to breastfeed. For patients who have an areola incision, though, there’s a risk of damage to the minor ducts. This may lead to hindered ability to breastfeed. If you’re planning a pregnancy, talk to your surgeon and chart the way forward before the augmentation procedure. In some cases, it might be reasonable to have the augmentation after the pregnancy.

6.     There Are Risks Involved

Like with all surgeries, there are also risks associated with breast augmentation. It is important that patients are aware of these risks beforehand.

  • Infection -the probably of getting an infection is actually very rare. When present, signs may include swelling, redness, fever, and discomfort. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe antibiotics or medication to prevent infections.
  • Bleeding – there’s a small chance that bleeding could occur in the implant pocket after augmentation. If this happens, then the implant will have to be surgically removed and the wound cleaned. Your plastic surgeon will take precautions during the surgery to minimize the risk of bleeding.
  • Capsule contracture – this is hardening of the tissue surrounding the implant. It may be accompanied by pain and surgery may be needed to remove the scar capsule. This is a more prevalent breast augmentation risk affecting up to 35% of patients.
  • Asymmetry – in some cases, the implant may slip out of its intended position – leading to a disfigured shape. A further surgery is usually needed to correct this defect.
  • Problems with mammography – it is common that breast implants block parts of the breast during a mammography. If you have had close members of your family get breast cancer, your surgeon may recommend you consider forgetting breast augmentation all the same.
  • Deflation – implants – both saline and silicone – have been known to leak. This is usually due to a weakness in the valve area, incomplete inflation, or other factors. Implant leaks are not usually dangerous, but require to be replaced through surgery.

7.     You May Lose Nipple Sensation after Breast Augmentation

Following a breast augmentation procedure, it is possible that you lose sensation in your nipples. Whether or not this happens will depend on surgery type, and the shape of your breasts. And even if you lose sensation, your nipples will respond to stimulation and cold. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about getting the surgery done without affecting nipple sensation.

8.     There May be Newer, Safer Implants

Plastic surgeons and industry stakeholders are always looking for new ways to give patients the results they are looking for. Newer kinds of implants –referred to as ‘gummy bear’ because they resemble gummy bear candies – are available. These are thicker, and use a more cohesive silicone gel. They are thus less likely to break and leak compared to traditional silicone implants.