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Prepping for Breast Augmentation

January 19, 2012

Written by: Christine G. Adamo

About Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation can improve the size, shape and appearance of your breasts by redefining sagging breasts and restoring lost volume. It can help correct proportions and boost self confidence. But, there’s more to breast augmentation than that.

“Know what’s out there, know what’s available and don’t settle for less,” says Terrye Tebbetts, co-author of The Best Breast and patient educator for John B. Tebbetts, M.D. “Go beyond one Google search, one forum or one book. You’re about to change your body forever. Educating yourself will help you make the best decisions.”

We agree. By preparing physically and emotionally for breast augmentation surgery, you get more than you bargained for. Follow our tips for making the most of this procedure and heed Terrye’s insider advice which is sprinkled throughout.


Why Breast Augmentation?

“Choose a surgeon who balances your expectations with clinical reality.” – T. Tebbetts

First, let’s consider what makes breast augmentation such an important decision.

None of us can change our inherited traits or avoid the impact pregnancy leaves on our bodies. In some cases, prior medical surgeries have left us feeling less than whole. Yet, we all want to live life to the fullest (and deserve to).
Breast augmentation surgery can help you take back control of your body, especially if you long for a physique that’s:
  • Proportionate – enhancing your body type
  • Feminine – with curves that are eye catching
  • Youthful – making you look younger & more desirable
  • Confident – especially in clothing & swim wear
  • Sexy – playing up your assets & self esteem

Breast Augmentation: Let’s Get Physical

“If a surgeon says yes to everything you want, run the other way.” – T. Tebbetts

The physical aspects of breast augmentation surgery include:
  • Breast Augmentation & Related Surgeries
  • Breast Implants & Other Options
  • Breast Implant Placement
  • Incision Size & Location
  • Anesthesia, etc.
Breast Augmentation & Related Surgeries – Breast augmentation may be performed alone or alongside a breast lift, liposuction, tummy tuck, etc. While that may seem efficient, can your body tolerate more than one surgery? Can you devote sufficient time to recovery?

Breast Implants & Other Options – Breast implants augment and reshape breasts. At times, so can fatty tissue from your own body (see Natural Breast Augmentation). If breast implants are used, know which texture, size and type (ex: saline breast implants or silicone breast implants) are best suited to your body’s individual needs.

Breast Implant Placement – Above or below the pectoral muscle? Both forms of placement have benefits and drawbacks. Below the muscle may interfere less with mammograms and lead to less visible implant rippling. Above the muscle may shorten recovery time and is good if little breast sag exists. Dual Plane placement may also be an option.

Incision Size & Location – Incision size and location varies, with incisions typically made at the breast crease, areola, armpit or navel. Navel insertion is less common and not advised with silicone breast implants. Incisions should be influenced by implant type and breast health.

Anesthesia for Breast Augmentation, etc. – The quantity and type of anesthesia used is based on your health, medications, medical history and more. General anesthesia and IV sedation are common. Terrye warns that herbs and dietary supplements may thin the blood and can be harmful; mention them to your doctor prior to surgery.

Breast Augmentation & Your Emotions

“The best advice for a loved one is to be supportive and ask questions.” – T. Tebbetts

When we make major decisions, emotions run high. The emotional aspects of breast augmentation include:
  • What Will My Breasts Look Like After Surgery?
  • Can I Afford Breast Augmentation Surgery?
  • How Will Others View Me After Surgery?
  • How Will I View Myself After Surgery?
  • Should I Make This Decision Alone?
What Will My Breasts Look Like After Surgery? – One way to judge likely outcome is with breast augmentation before and after photos supplied by your surgeon. If no photos exist, find another doctor. Also, ask about warranties (if implants are used) and revision surgery policies.

Can I Afford Breast Augmentation Surgery? – If you’re considering breast augmentation cost may be a factor. Want the best breasts money can buy? Do your homework. Get multiple estimates, but don’t let cost overshadow quality. Wait and save up, if need be.

How Will Others View Me After Surgery? – After surgery, lovers often swoon. Formerly supportive BFFs may be envious. But, this is a highly personal procedure. Anyone who reacts negatively is out of line; let them work it out alone. Never get surgery to please anyone but yourself.

How Will I View Myself After Surgery? – After breast augmentation, you should feel better about yourself and your body. During recovery, you’ll experience discomfort. Afterward? You’ll experience life like never before. But if you’re not sure it’s right for you, don’t rush it.

Should I Make This Decision Alone? – Your best resource may be a caring, qualified professional who promises realistic results. A trusted lover, spouse or friend can help, but their feedback may be biased. If your decision impacts someone else, invite them to your consultation.

Other Breast Augmentation Considerations

“Going to consults without knowledge is a waste of time and money.” – T. Tebbetts

Always put your health, safety and well being first. One way to do that is by working with an experienced plastic surgeon who answers all of your questions prior to surgery. Be aware, too, that all surgeries involve risk.
While uncommon, some people exhibit these signs after breast augmentation surgery:
  • Reduced nipple or breast sensitivity
  • Slow healing or infection at incision points
  • Permanent, visible scarring at incisions points
  • Pinching or capsular contracture of breast implants
  • Potential redness, swelling, bruising, soreness or pain
Contact your doctor’s office immediately if you experience any of them.

Ultimately, the best way to prepare for breast augmentation surgery is to learn all you can about its benefits and risks.

“Knowledge gives you power,” explains Terrye. “Educate yourself ahead of time, since your consult is only as good as the questions you ask. If you feel more confused when you leave the surgeon’s office, that is obviously not a good sign.” Need a referral? Browse through our Surgeon Finder for a list of experienced, board certified plastic surgeons in your area.


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