When it comes to cosmetic surgeries, breast augmentation is one of the most popular and long-lasting procedures offered today. The concept isn’t new, and modern augmentation surgeries have been around since 1962, but the quality of materials and the ability to achieve a result that looks natural and feels comfortable makes today’s procedures the best way to transform your breasts. The professionals at Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA offer top-quality breast augmentation with stunning results.
Understanding the Procedure
If you’re considering an augmentation procedure, chances are that you’re unsatisfied with your current breasts. Some of the most common reasons for augmentation include uneven breast sizes; recent weight loss; pregnancy and postpartum breast changes; restoration after a mastectomy; a desire to achieve a more youthful appearance; and reaching your ideal breast size or shape.
Many women experience some level of insecurity when they aren’t happy with their breast size or shape. It can be a long-term struggle for women who have never been able to achieve their ideal breast size or shape; it can affect women who have had mastectomies and want to restore breast fullness; it can also affect new mothers who have seen their breasts stretch with pregnancy and breastfeeding or older women who are concerned about signs of aging.
These insecurities can cast a shadow on all areas of life, including work and family life, workout routines, intimacy with partners, and overall poor body image. Whatever your reason for pursuing augmentation, living life with breasts that don’t feel right for you can cause you to lack confidence in many areas of your life.
Your choice of breast implant depends on your preferences regarding shape, feel, and texture; if you’re in a relationship, you may decide to include your partner in this conversation as well. There are two major types of augmentation material: natural fat grafts and artificial implants. The former is a newer procedure that uses fat from your body (usually thighs, legs, and buttocks) to rebuild the breast shape.
While it uses natural material to fill your breast, it hasn’t been tested on a large scale yet and fat absorption over time after your procedure may make it less permanent than other options.
Artificial implants include a range of options. Saline implants offer a natural appearance, and, should the implant leak, the saline solution can be safely absorbed by the body. These implants are FDA-approved for patients 18 and older. Silicone implants have a firmer, more natural feel. They require regular checkups to ensure that the implants are functioning properly, and they are FDA-approved for patients 22 and older.
While saline and silicone implants are the most common choices for artificial implants, other options include structured “Gummy Bear” implants, round implants, smooth implants, and textured implants. You should discuss your options with your doctor to select the best implant for you.
Your surgeon will insert your implants either under your pectoral muscle (submuscular placement) or behind your breast tissue (submammary placement). The placement depends on your personal goals for breast size, shape, appearance, and feel, so you should discuss the options with your doctor to ensure you get the best placement for you.
An augmentation procedure generally lasts between 1-2 hours, during which time you’re typically under general anesthesia to ensure your optimal comfort level. You’ll be closely monitored after surgery for a period of time to make sure your recovery is off to a smooth start; after your doctor approves your release, you’ll be able to return home. You should plan to have your partner, a family member, or a friend drive you home.
Your designated helper should stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery. You should plan to take about a week of recovery time after your augmentation to allow your body to rest and your breasts to heal properly. Your doctor will tell you to avoid lifting or unnecessary activity during this time. It’s best to have your partner, family member, or friend help you complete day-to-day tasks after surgery.
Your breasts will be bandaged and you should closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding cleaning or putting ointment on the incision sites. You’ll also need to wear a bra, bandeau, or other supportive garment as your breasts heal.
Your doctor will check the progress of your recovery regularly to ensure that your breasts are healing well. You should check with your doctor about resuming any physical activities. Even if you feel better, your body may not be ready to jump back into a full routine. Normally, your breasts will be healed after about 4-6 weeks, although submuscular implants tend to take a few weeks longer due to the added healing time of your pectoral muscles after surgery.
Once your body is healed, your breast implants will become part of your normal, everyday life. You should feel more confident and happier with your overall appearance. Your breast size will tend to fluctuate a little in the months after surgery as swelling reduces and your breasts heal completely, so don’t binge on new bras or lingerie right away. You should also take time to familiarize yourself with your new breasts, as this will help you to do breast cancer screenings at home between your regular breast exams and mammograms.
Your breast implants aren’t designed to last forever. In general, artificial implants can last up to 10 years with proper care, which should include visiting your doctor regularly to ensure that your implants are functioning well. Changes to your body can also have an effect on the appearance and longevity of your implants. Aging and pregnancy will change the shape and size of your breasts and may require you to eventually get new implants if you want to retain your original results.
Preparing for Breast Augmentation: Your Timeline
So, you’ve done your research and you’re ready to see your body in a new light by having a breast augmentation. There are several ways to prepare over the two weeks leading up to your procedure that will help make your augmentation safer and easier, as well as guarantee the best possible results. In addition to these helpful tips, you should also carefully follow any instructions your doctor provides pre-surgery.
Two Weeks Before Surgery
It’s time to say goodbye to alcohol and smoking for a little while. Switching your normal adult beverage for a tall glass of water can help reduce bruising post-surgery, while cutting out nicotine will speed up your recovery time. You should also avoid blood-thinning pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin. If you’re taking any herbal supplements, talk to your doctor about which ones may interact negatively with anesthesia and stop taking them at least two weeks before your augmentation.
This is the perfect time to get a head start on your recovery by arranging for child or pet care during your recovery time. Doing this now will reduce stress and ensure that your plans are in place long before your procedure. You can even take care of your own needs by selecting a reliable caregiver to help you in the days immediately after surgery.
One Week Before Surgery
Think of the last week before your surgery as your time to finish up tasks around the house while gathering supplies you’ll need during recovery. Get your last deep cleaning chores done so that you’ll feel comfortable and cozy in a clean house as you recover. Stock your kitchen with plenty of food so you won’t need to shop after your surgery. You can even cook and freeze meals for later to make your life easier during recovery.
Choose low-sodium foods to avoid fluid retention and prolonged swelling, and don’t forget some easy-to-digest, bland snacks like saltines and pudding or gelatin in case your digestive system is sensitive in the first couple days.
Pick up some antibacterial soap and laxatives on your next shopping trip. You’ll want to keep your hands germ-free, especially when caring for your incision sites, and laxatives can aid in any digestive issues caused by medication after surgery.
Finally, prepare your space. Set aside your most comfortable button-down shirts, pajamas, and robe to wear for the first few days. Queue TV shows to watch, podcasts to listen to, and stack books and magazines where you can easily access them. Have some extra pillows and a warm blanket handy and make sure to have a good-sized water bottle to remind you to stay hydrated.
The Day Before Surgery
Take a nice shower and wash your hair and body well; your doctor will give you specific instructions on when you can shower after surgery, so take a little extra time to pamper yourself now. You must stop eating and drinking eight hours before your surgery. This includes drinking water or even chewing gum. This step is imperative for your safety during the procedure as your stomach must be totally empty when you are on anesthesia. If you eat or drink anything within eight hours of surgery, let your doctor know so that you can reschedule your procedure and ensure your safety.
Take care of any last-minute tasks and make sure your recovery space is organized with all of your necessary supplies nearby. Don’t go to bed too late; a good, restful night’s sleep can calm nerves and refresh your body.
The Day of Surgery
You’ll want to remove any jewelry and contact lenses at home before you leave for your procedure. Don’t wear makeup and choose clothing that’s loose-fitting and comfortable to wear. Bring your partner, family member, or friend with you to your procedure; they should hold on to your valuables while you’re in surgery.
Make sure to ask your doctor any last-minute questions you have before your procedure. Don’t be shy and make sure you feel comfortable and confident by knowing the answers before your surgery. Once both you and your doctor are ready, you’ll be ready to begin your breast augmentation procedure!
Whether you want to address a lifelong insecurity or reverse the effects of aging or pregnancy, a breast augmentation can be the easiest, fastest, and best way to help you feel more at home in your own body. The procedure is simple, safe, and straightforward, and you can recover from the comfort of your own home under the regular supervision of your doctor.
Best of all, the results of your surgery can change your whole view of your body and have you looking and feeling your very best. If breast augmentation sounds like the procedure you’ve been waiting for, reach out to the experts at Chernoff Cosmetic Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA today!