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Breast Procedure FAQ’s
How do I know which breast procedure is right for me?
If you have lost a significant amount of weight, have had a child and/or breastfed, or have naturally small breast size then a breast augmentation may be right for you. A breast augmentation restores cup size and volume using a saline or silicone implant. So, if your main concern is to increase your cup size, this would be a good procedure for you. If you have lax or sagging skin on your breasts or if they hang lower than they should, then a breast lift is probably the procedure that would help the most. If you have a combination of lost breast volume and sagging skin or breasts that hang too low, an augmentation plus a breast lift would be our recommendation. Finally, if your main concern is that your breasts are too large (with or without sagging from the large cup size) then a breast reduction (plus lift, if needed) is recommended. Only one of our surgeons can give you an exact idea of which procedure(s) would help you most. Please call us to schedule a free consultation so we can meet with you in person to discuss your individual concerns and how they can be addresses with a cosmetic surgery procedure.
How much time will it take to recover from a breast procedure?
Though every individual heals at a slightly different rate, you can expect to be very limited in activities for the first week. After that, light duty can be started with no strenuous activities for at least one full month. This means no heavy lifting, weight lifting, or other strenuous activities that could disrupt the tissues that are healing. We require a compression garment or surgical bra to be worn at all times for the first month. It will then be up to the discretion of the surgeon to recommend a regular bra, perhaps massage at some point during the process, or anything else that would help you heal properly.
How long will it take for the implants to “settle”?
Breast implants are foreign objects in the body, so they do not naturally take a position within the chest that looks normal at first. Sometimes, patients may need to wear an elastic strap to encourage the new implants to settle in where they need to be, lower on the chest wall. This produces a more natural placement in the chest. Other times, a light pushing down with your hands is all that’s required, several times a day, to encourage proper placement. Many women notice that at first, their implants may appear like a “Snoopy nose”, very round and high up on the chest. Once the implant settles into its placement within the chest wall, it will look more natural.
What types of implants are available?
Implants can be broken down into two main categories and several subcategories. The two types of implants include saline filled and silicone filled. The saline implants generally come unfilled, but some types arrive pre-filled by the manufacturer. Silicone implants are the other type of implant that is available. They always arrive pre-filled and sealed by the manufacturer. Within those two types of implants, there are several different shapes that patients can choose from. The first type are high profile implants which are greater in height (when lying flat) than other types of implants. The second type of implant shape is a tear drop shape and the third is a regular profile implant (evenly rounded on all sides).
How are the unfilled implants filled up to the size I want?
The unfilled implants arrive in a sterile sealed box and are made to be filled to a specific capacity as predetermined by you and the surgeon. Considerations will be made for your body frame, how large you want your breasts to be after the surgery as well as how much existing breast tissue you have. During the surgery, the surgeon will attach a filling tube (a flexible tubing that attaches on one end to the implant and the other end can be filled using a sterile syringe). The implant will be rolled up so that it can be carefully slid into place under the chest muscle. The surgeon will then fill the implant to the specified size and then overfill it to a certain degree to avoid any rippling or sloshing of the implant after the patient is closed up. To read more about how the procedure is performed, please click here
How do I know what size implant to choose?
When you come in for your free consultation, the surgeon will speak to you about what cup size you are looking to accomplish. If you are not sure what cup size you want, we have pre-filled implants for you to try on in the office. You can place them inside of your bra and see which of them is right for you. The doctor will recommend a size that will likely get you to the size you want, but it is ultimately up to you to see which implant will help you achieve the cup size you want.
How painful are breast surgeries?
As with any surgery, there will be post-operative pain due to the disruption of the delicate tissues in the breast. Blood vessels, nerves, muscles, fatty tissue, and all of the layers of skin are involved in any breast procedure you have done. The degree of disruption to the tissues depends upon how much alteration of the existing tissues is involved. For example, a breast augmentation alone disrupts less tissue than a breast lift or breast reduction. Therefore, the recovery times and the amount of discomfort for each patient can vary. Rest assured that after about 3-4 days, no matter which procedure you have, the discomfort is greatly reduced. While you are in those first few days after surgery, we will prescribe an appropriate pain medication to help keep you comfortable. Many patients find that they need only Tylenol after that.
Is it OK to smoke cigarettes if I want to have breast surgery?
We ask that our patients stop smoking for at least two weeks prior to surgery and that they do not smoke afterwards. The reason for this is because cigarettes have a negative effect on the blood vessels in the skin, thus impeding healing and compromising your health. Please plan on discontinuing the use of all tobacco products prior to having surgery.
What are the risks involved in having breast surgery?
As with any surgery that involves some degree of risk, so do breast procedures. Due to the use of general anesthesia, there are risks involved with being “put under” general anesthesia. The doctor will go over each and every risk during your pre-operative appointment and answer any questions you may have. Infection is also another risk to consider with any surgery. The skin is the body’s best defense against infection and once it is cut open, that risk is increased. We take every precautionary measure possible to avoid infection complications for our patients. Additionally, we prescribe antibiotics following surgery to prevent infection. Another risk with implants is the possibility of having a “capsular contraction”. This is a term used for the body’s abnormal reaction to having an implant inside of the breast. Though it is normal for the body to form a protective “scar capsule” around the implants, it is not normal for the capsule to constrict the implant so tightly that the breast is grossly misshapen and painful. If a capsular contracture occurs, the surgeon can sometimes fix it by prescribing massage for minor cases. In instances where surgery is the only option, the patient is re-opened and the capsule is corrected. Unfortunately, for patients who are prone to capsular contractures, many times they can recur after corrective surgery.