Every year, thousands of women decide to have breast augmentation surgery. Common reasons women choose to increase the size of their breasts include enhancing naturally smaller breasts or restoring volume and shape following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some women also choose breast augmentation due to physical changes brought on by illness or disease.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to change the size and shape of your breasts, you will want to carefully weigh the pros and cons of the procedure. Like most cosmetic surgeries, breast augmentation comes with its own benefits and risks.
Keep reading to learn more about the many advantages and disadvantages of breast augmentation so you can decide if this procedure is right for you.
Advantages of Breast Augmentation
Feel More Confident
Some women with smaller breasts feel self-conscious about them. You may be embarrassed to be seen as “flat” and dream of having a curvier shape.
Or, maybe you recently finished breastfeeding, only to find that your previously full breasts seem deflated and saggy. Breastfeeding a baby has numerous benefits for both mother and child, but the practice tends to wreak havoc on the appearance of the breasts.
Whether you had small breasts to start with or as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding, getting implants can help you finally feel more confident about the shape and size of your breasts. Surveys of women who have had breast augmentation reveal that the majority of women notice a marked improvement in their self-esteem and happiness with their appearance after the surgery.
Implants Last a Long Time
Although neither saline nor silicone implants will last forever, many women get years of wear out of their implants before they need to either replace or remove them. In general, implants will last for a decade or longer.
You might decide to replace your implants even if they are not worn out or leaking yet. You might decide that you’d like smaller breasts as you get older or that you’d prefer to go a bit bigger. Natural changes to the shape or size of your breasts as you age can lead to asymmetry and you might wish to replace your implants to correct the problem.
Both saline and silicone implants last for about 10 to 20 years, but that doesn’t mean that they will always need to be removed in that time. Most women replace their implants only once or twice during their lifetime.
Keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to augment your breasts. Implants last a long time but are not permanent.
Surgery is Customized to Suit Your Body and Unique Needs
Breast enhancement isn’t a one-size-fits-all procedure. You and your plastic surgeon will work together to come up with a surgical plan that will best meet your specific needs.
Although many women prefer silicone implants for their shape and natural feel, it might be that saline implants are the best option for you. Depending on the size of your natural breasts and the amount of natural breast tissue you have, it might make sense for the surgeon to place the implants under the muscle.
For some patients, placing the implants on top of the chest muscle but beneath the mammary glands makes more sense. Women with more natural breast tissue will usually have the implant placed over the muscle. Implants that are placed over the muscle generally have a faster recovery time.
Your surgeon will also work with you to help you decide which size implant is best for your goals. The most appropriate size is influenced not only by how big or small you want your breasts to be but also by your height, frame, and the natural size of your breasts.
Look Better in Clothes
Women with smaller breasts often have trouble finding tops and dresses that fit. Even if the waist and hips of a blouse or sweater are the right sizes, the chest area can be too baggy. Since most clothing is designed to fit the average size breast (34DD in the United States), people with naturally smaller breasts may feel that most clothes don’t fit well.
After getting breast implants, many women find that they look and feel better in their clothing.
Breast augmentation creates improved body contours, which will make it easier to get the right fit when shopping off the rack.
Breast Augmentation: The Disadvantages
Surgery Requires Downtime
One of the biggest drawbacks of breast augmentation is that it requires a fair amount of recovery time afterward. You can’t simply head back to work immediately after your procedure. Usually, women with desk jobs take about a week off from work after a breast augmentation.
Some discomfort is normal during the first few days after surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain relievers to help you manage the discomfort.
After the initial recovery period, you should be able to return to work and resume light activities like walking. However, you may want to continue to take it easy for a few more weeks. Avoid lifting anything heavy (more than 10 pounds) and any other strenuous activity until your surgeon gives you the all-clear.
Like most cosmetic surgeries, breast augmentation involves a certain amount of risk. A few potential complications that can occur after your treatment include capsular contracture, loss of sensation in the nipples, and asymmetry.
Capsular contracture is when the body rejects the implant, either due to implant placement or the type of implant. This is the most common reason for reoperation and symptoms include pain, tightness, or asymmetry after the procedure.
Choosing a skilled, trained, and experienced plastic surgeon can greatly reduce your risk of developing complications during and after surgery.
Choosing the Wrong Implant
Another potential drawback of breast surgery is that you might choose implants that are the wrong shape and size or made out of a material that doesn’t work with your body.
Silicone tends to be favored since it more closely resembles the appearance of a natural breast. Saline implants are safer in case of rupture but are generally firmer to the touch. Saline may be the right choice for some women but may cause visible rippling beneath the skin in others.
Some women choose an implant that is simply too large for their frame, often against the recommendation of their surgeons. Picking an oversized implant can lead to deformities or irregularities in the breast and make it more likely that you’ll need a breast implant revision in the near future.
Breast implants won’t increase your risk for breast cancer, but the presence of implants can make it more difficult to get a clear mammogram image. The implants can cast shadows during mammography, which can make it harder to detect cancer.
When you get a mammogram after breast augmentation, it’s important to let the tech know that you have implants. Some techs have more experience taking and reading mammograms of women with implants. They will likely need to take more images to get a clear result.
Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation Today
To learn more about breast augmentation, contact the Aesthetic Surgery Center in Naples, FL at (239) 420-8503 to book a consultation appointment with one of our talented plastic surgeons. We believe that educating and communicating clearly with patients are the keys to helping them achieve successful, natural-looking results.
1175 Creekside Pkwy, Suite 100, Naples, FL.