Breast enhancement surgery can be a terrific confidence booster that will help to give you the figure you’ve always dreamed of, but not everyone is a suitable candidate for this type of procedure. At Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL, we schedule a consultation to get to know you, your medical history, and your surgery goals to determine if breast implants might be right for you.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Implants?
There are several criteria that should be met before we can schedule a breast augmentation procedure. First and foremost, the patient should be in good physical health, with no active infections or untreated conditions that could potentially get in the way of making a full recovery. It is important to be upfront with the doctor during your consultation about any health concerns you may have.
The ideal candidate, who is healthy and preferably a non-smoker, will have sagging, flat, or asymmetrical breasts that would respond well to implantation. If you want larger, more symmetrical breasts, or simply a fuller, more lifted appearance to the chest, then excellent results can be achieved with breast implants.
The Decision To Get a Breast Augmentation
Patients may seek breast augmentation for any number of very personal reasons. As one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries requested, this is a procedure that our highly skilled team of cosmetic surgeons has performed countless times with great success. However, we cannot automatically say “yes” to every person who inquires about this procedure. We must first take a closer look at the individual and their medical status to determine if breast implants would be a good choice.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate
Patients with severe body image issues, or who are in a very negative state of mind, should not undergo any procedure that will permanently alter their appearance. People who fit this description often have very unrealistic expectations for what surgery can achieve and will likely still be unhappy with their appearance even after the procedure.
We also ask that any patient considering a breast augmentation have adequate time to recover. If you have a very physically demanding job and will only be able to take a few days off work, this simply won’t do. Patients must have the ability to rest post-surgery and will not be able to do any heavy lifting for at least three weeks.
There is a minimum age requirement for breast augmentation. The FDA requires patients to be at least 18 years old for saline implants, or 22 years old for silicone implants. Even with parental permission, we strictly follow the FDA guidelines on this matter.
You Are a Good Candidate, Now What?
Once you have been accepted as a breast augmentation patient, the exciting journey of achieving your new look can begin. Prior to your procedure, you will need to decide what type of implant you want, and exactly what size you want your breasts to be. If your natural breasts are asymmetrical, we will size the implants accordingly so that you end up with a perfectly symmetrical end result.
Saline vs Silicone
Saline implants consist of a silicone outer shell that is filled with a simple saline solution. A deflated implant is inserted during the procedure and very slowly filled with saline until the correct sizing has been achieved.
Silicone breast implants, on the other hand, are already filled before they go in. They consist of a silicone gel that gives them a softer and more pliable texture. While a very natural look can be achieved with either type of implant, some patients do find that the silicone implants achieve a result that is more like a natural breast. Both types of implants are considered equally safe and have of course been approved by the FDA.
Choosing the Implant Shape
Implants come in round or teardrop shapes. The teardrop, or “Gummy Bear” implant creates a look that is fuller on the bottom and more tapered at the top of the chest. This sloped effect creates a very natural look, but some patients like the fuller, rounder appearance of a traditional implant. This is a completely personal choice and there is no advantage to one implant shape over another.
During your consultation, we can further discuss the advantages of each and the ultimate look that you are hoping to achieve. We will also look at factors such as how much natural breast tissue there is to work with, and overall body shape.
What About Scarring?
Breast implants are inserted through a small incision in the armpit, where any scarring will not be obvious. Another option is to make the incision around the areola, where the darker color of the nipple will conceal any redness left behind as the tissue heals. Either way, with proper acter-care, any scarring should fade completely over time. Your doctor will likely prescribe a cream or ointment to speed this process.
What To Expect During Recovery
During the days following your procedure, it is important to wear an athletic bra around the clock, except when you are bathing. Your new breasts will need this extra support as they heal and “settle” in place. Getting plenty of rest and not exerting yourself at all during this time is crucial. You will need to sleep in a semi-upright position for the first week (a recliner is perfect for this).
It is also important to note that your breasts will not achieve their final appearance for a few weeks. If they seem to be very firm, or the nipples look a bit lower than what you were expecting, this is completely normal. Your breasts will gradually soften and take on a more natural shape in the weeks ahead. Your recovery will be closely monitored during follow-up visits, so we will be able to put your mind at ease if you have any concerns.
While this is an outpatient procedure, you will still feel very drowsy when you wake up and will need to have a reliable person to take you home. Having someone with you during the first and second day after surgery is always a good idea. You need someone there to make sure you are eating properly, staying hydrated, and resting in a comfortable position. If your doctor has prescribed any medication, make sure that you take it exactly as directed.
Two to Three Weeks After Your Procedure
At this point, most patients can begin some moderate physical activity. It is still important at this stage to be wearing a very comfortable sports bra daily. You will notice around this time that your breasts are becoming softer and more natural looking, although there may still be some slight asymmetry because the breasts will not necessarily both heal at the exact same rate. Again, this is a completely normal part of the healing process and nothing to worry about.
While it might take two or three months to get there, the final result of having beautiful, shapely, symmetrical breasts is a reward well worth waiting for. You may wish to continue using a scar cream for a while to speed healing, but you will soon begin to notice that any discoloration around the incision sites is disappearing.
How Safe Is Breast Augmentation?
Saline and silicone implants are considered equally safe. Unless a very dramatic impact takes place (such as a serious car accident), the incidence of rupture is low. The overwhelming majority of women who undergo breast augmentation surgery are satisfied with the results and do not experience any short or long-term complications.
Will You Eventually Need Another Surgery?
While implants can last for many years, some patients may find that they eventually wish to replace them with new ones (sometimes combined with a breast lift, if sagging has taken place). Some patients wish to go with a different size or shape of implant. Replacing an implant is not as involved a procedure as the original surgery, and the recovery process is usually shorter.
Schedule a Consultation with the Best Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in South Florida
If you think you might be a good candidate for a breast augmentation, contact us today at Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL. We can set up your initial consultation and answer any questions you may have about this life-changing procedure. Our highly-skilled, board-certified cosmetic surgeons can help you achieve the results you are looking for.