What Should I Consider Before Getting Breast Implants?

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Are you unhappy with the current shape or symmetry of your breasts? Are you looking for a perky, more youthful shape? Do you think your confidence could be improved by changing the appearance of your breasts?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be considering getting breast implants. If so, congratulations! Getting breast implants is a life-changing decision that often results in increased confidence and self-esteem, as well as an improved outlook on life.

Those of you who are considering making the change might be asking yourself: What should I consider before getting breast implants? Below is a checklist of things to consider before going through with the decision.

1. Am I Old Enough?
Patients considering a breast augmentation must be at least 18 years old for saline implants and 22 years old for silicone implants. This is because women’s breasts should be fully developed before undergoing the procedure. This will ensure the best results and is safer in the long run.

2. Am I in Good Health?
Patients considering a breast augmentation should be physically healthy, non-smoking (or willing to stop at least a month before surgery) and not have any serious medical or bleeding conditions. Any prior surgical complications should be discussed with the doctor to determine the best surgical plan.

3. Saline, Silicone, or Gummy Silicone?
There are three types of implants available for women considering a breast augmentation. Each offers unique benefits and drawbacks and should be chosen based on the patient’s surgery goals.

Saline: Filled with a sterile salt water solution, saline implants are among the safest types of implants. If a saline implant ruptures or leaks, the body will simply absorb it without harm.

Silicone Gel: These implants have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel. They come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. Many women opt for soft silicone implants because of their natural look and feel.

“Gummy Bear” Silicone: A firmer silicone implant, the “gummy bear” implant is pre-shaped and provides a very natural appearance. Because they are pre-shaped, “gummy bear” implants require a longer incision and more careful placement.

4. Above or Below the Muscle?
When inserting breast implants, surgeons can either place the implants above or below your pectoral muscles. Each method has specific pros and cons. You should research each, and in conjunction with your surgeon, decide which option makes the most sense for you.

Above Muscle: Implants placed above the muscle are simpler to place and are perceived as less invasive. The implants also do not become distorted when the pectorals are flexed. The cons of placing implants above the muscle is that they tend to look less natural and rounder. Breasts are more susceptible to visible rippling as there is less tissue covering the implant along the upper border.

Below Muscle: Implants placed below the muscle tend to look more natural than implants placed above the muscle. These implants also tend to be a safer choice for those seeking a breast lift as it preserves better blood flow to the nipple. The main cons of implants placed below the muscle are that the surgery is perceived to be more invasive, and that breasts may appear to sit a bit high until the muscle fully relaxes about four to six weeks after surgery.

5. Do I Understand the Recovery Process?
Patients should understand the recovery process before undergoing a breast augmentation. After a breast augmentation, patients will need to take a few days or more off from work depending on whether or not their occupation involves strenuous activity. Patients will need to refrain from vigorous exercise and lifting heavy objects for the first few weeks following surgery. Patients should strictly follow surgeon guidelines for incision care and resuming everyday activities to help speed along a successful recovery.

6. Do I Want the Surgery for the Right Reasons?
Before any plastic surgery, it is important for patients to consider why they want plastic surgery. Many times, influence or pressure from outside sources makes a person feel inclined to have plastic surgery. You, and only you, should make the final say in whether or not you decide to get breast implants.