Breast Augmentation: Everything you need to know about this popular cosmetic surgery procedure.
You’ve likely heard a lot about breast augmentation in popular culture. Some people call the procedure a ‘boob job,’ and most know plastic surgeons are the go-to specialists to meet their goals. People choose breast augmentation to enhance the size, shape, and/or projection of their natural breasts and chest, which is done with silicone or saline implants or through fat transfer.
These methods help people improve their confidence, which can result in a better quality of life. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation remained in the top five cosmetic surgical procedures in 2020, the most recent year for which data are available.
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?
A great candidate for breast augmentation is someone who has fully developed breasts, is in good health and within 20 lbs of goal weight, and understands what breast augmentation can and cannot do.
The desire for larger breasts, the loss of volume after weight loss, pregnancy or the aging process, uneven breasts, and emptiness at the top of the breasts can be improved by breast augmentation. Sagging breasts will not be corrected solely by breast augmentation but may be paired with a breast lift to achieve improved lift, shape, and volume.
Preparing for your consultation and procedure
It’s good to be prepared for the breast augmentation consultation. Consider any family history of breast cancer or other breast diseases. Discuss the need for a screening mammogram with your primary care provider. Ask people you know about their experiences with this procedure and with the surgeon.
Looking at reviews, before and after photos, and getting questions answered will help make the process go smoothly. Check out these general questions to ask your surgeon and plastic surgery team.
You’ll have the opportunity to ask about implant-based versus fat-grafting breast augmentation.
There are various types of implants available, such as saline, silicone, round, gummy bear, smooth, and textured.
Associated risks related to implants and surgery should also be discussed.
Finally, you need to find out how to take care of breasts with implants. It’s important your questions are answered and that you feel confident in your decision and care team. Read more about patient safety related to breast augmentation and implants HERE.
Day of surgery care
Breast augmentation is a relatively quick procedure that is completed in under 2 hours. You will be asked to avoid eating and drinking after midnight the night before the procedure. This helps reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.
A favorite friend or family member will be your buddy for the drive home and for the 24-hours following surgery. Pain medication will be prescribed for use after surgery. Narcotic pain medications have a habit of causing constipation.
Take measures to prevent this by walking, drinking water, reducing narcotic use (amount and frequency), and by taking stool softeners and/or laxatives as prescribed.
After surgery care
- Step 1: Love and admire yourself.
- Step 2: Avoid repetitive shoulder and upper arm movements for four weeks and prone (stomach) sleeping for 6+ months.
- Step 3: Stay in touch with your beautiful body. After surgery, it’s more important than ever to practice self-care. By following up as scheduled with the plastic surgeon, getting routine breast screenings, primary care, etc., you’ll be protecting your most valuable asset: your health.
Smoke is damaging to every system in the body. The chemical compounds found in cigarettes work against the body to destroy the skin, restrict healthy blood flow, and elevate blood pressure. For health’s sake and especially after surgery, it’s essential to avoid exposure to smoke months before having surgery.
Smoking interferes with the body’s ability to heal, leading to post-surgical complications. It can be a struggle to quit smoking and a challenge to avoid it if a loved one smokes. Let the prospect of your enhanced shape and good health motivate this change.
Nutrition, activity, and skin health
Healing will be faster and more complete with hydration and nutrition–drinking eight glasses or more of water daily in addition to the coffee, tea, and other fluid intakes will keep the body on track. Eating fruits and vegetables can add essential nutrients to the diet as well as contribute to the hydration the body needs. Protein aids the healing process. Add nuts, beans, eggs, grass-fed meat, and dairy products to help preserve muscle mass and stay satisfied.
Getting the daily values of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, is best through whole foods. Skip processed foods and reach for the apple and water bottle.
A balance between activity and rest is essential. Walking is encouraged for overall health and to prevent serious surgical complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that forms in the legs and moves to the lungs. After surgery, it’s recommended to avoid vigorous exercise until released by the surgeon to return to certain activities. Learn more HERE:
Applying sunscreen to both the scars (and to all skin exposed to the sun) is a great way to prevent unintended darkening of the scar, premature aging of skin, and skin cancer. Post-surgical Silagen Scar Refinement products flatten and soothe breast augmentation scars. Read below for more information: https://www.silagen.com/silagen-scar-refinement/#ss-sc
Post-op skin is improved with ZO Skin Health’s Recovery Crème! Recovery Crème reduces redness and signs of neck aging. Pair your lovely curves with healthy, youthful neck and face skin. Learn more at ZO Skin Health.
Check out these resources to learn more about breast augmentation procedures.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Board of Cosmetic Surgery