Some women have naturally smaller breasts while others see their size shrink due to factors such as weight loss or pregnancy. For these women, a push-up bra or other stop-gap measures are not really a solution. Breast augmentation surgery is a cosmetic surgery that uses either artificial implants or natural fat tissue to enlarge a woman’s breasts. Also referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, breast enlargement is one of the most worth it cosmetic procedures. More than 193,000 women had this transformative aesthetic treatment in the US alone (even despite the downward impact of the Covid-19 pandemic).
If you have personally thought about having breast augmentation surgery, it is however important that you are aware of the pros and cons.
Pros of breast augmentation
For the right patient, breast enlargement surgery offers many unique benefits, including the following:
1. Improved figure and shape
Naturally smaller or underdeveloped breasts can make you feel self-conscious or unable to wear certain shirts or dresses. Deflation of the breasts due to pregnancy or weight loss could also leave you feeling overly conscious particularly when in public places. This is more so true when the deflation also comes with other adverse changes such as drooping of the breasts. Breast augmentation surgery entails placing implants to improve a woman’s breast size and volume. Patients often find that – following this aesthetic procedure – their breasts are more proportional to the rest of their body and result in a more feminine overall look. Keep in mind though that to attain this benefit, selecting the right size and shape of the implant is crucial. Make sure to carefully discuss your implant options with your plastic surgeon during one of your pre-op consultation visits.
2. Natural-looking results
One of the main concerns that women have before committing to breast augmentation surgery is whether their enhanced breasts will have a natural appearance. Choosing the right implant type, size, material, and position is very important. For instance, silicone implants tend to result in a more natural look and feel compared to saline implants. Working with a highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can also help to achieve the natural result that you so desire.
3. Long-lasting impact
Breast implants currently available in the market are designed to last a really long time (often between a decade or two). Some models will even last a lifetime, assuming the implant does not rupture at some point.
Cons of breast augmentation
Like any other cosmetic surgical procedure, breast enlargement has its fair share of potential disadvantages. These include the following.
1. Surgery requires downtime
Since this is a surgical procedure, you’ll need to set time aside for recovery. This is indeed one of the biggest drawbacks associated with breast enlargement surgery. Your plastic surgeon will ask that you stay off work and rest a lot over the first two weeks post-op. During this time, you may be unable to do much and will need to hire an assistant to take care of basic tasks and chores. Once this initial recovery period (2 – 3 weeks) is over, you’ll be able to resume light work. However, you may still need to wait up to a month more (sometimes even longer) before you are able to exercise or engage in other strenuous activities.
2. Implant risks and complications
Breast implants are prone to complications such as:
- Capsular contracture – this is one of the most common breast augmentation complications that manifest as hardening of the breast implant capsule. Breast implants may appear malformed or deformed, and sometimes the patient will experience pain. Plastic surgeons often address this issue through a revision breast surgery.
- Implant rupture – ruptured implants may be caused by issues such as damage during implantation, extreme pressure or excessive force to the chest, or wrinkling or folding of the implant shell. When saline implants rupture, the saltwater solution is naturally reabsorbed into the surrounding tissue – resulting in a deflated appearance. Silicone implants, on the other hand, do not deflate when they rupture. For this reason, women who have a silicone implant need to undergo routine MRI scans to make sure that it is working okay.
- Implant malposition – this is a common breast augmentation complication that occurs when breast implants are malpositioned. For instance, one implant may be sitting too high or too low compared to the other one. This condition may be caused by improper insertion of the implant pockets or trauma to the breast or chest region. Plastic surgeons typically perform revision surgery to address this issue and achieve a symmetrical breast appearance.
Breast enlargement has one of the highest success rates among aesthetic surgeries. An impressively high percentage of patients say that they are satisfied with the outcome of this treatment. Still, it is important that you discuss the pros and cons and other procedure considerations with your plastic surgeon. Scheduling a consultation visit with our office at Erick Sanchez Plastic Surgery is a good place to start.