Would I Be a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
Maybe you’ve always felt that your breasts weren’t proportional with the rest of your figure. Maybe your breasts are a little uneven or asymmetrical (most women have some degree of this). Maybe you feel your breasts have flattened somewhat with age and you would like to add volume.
Or maybe you’d simply like to have larger breasts and a shapelier figure.
One thing that Dr. Barrera stresses with his patients considering augmentation is that the decision needs to be made for you first and foremost. This isn’t something to have done due to pressure from a spouse or partner. It’s important that this is what you want.
That said, breast augmentation has one of the highest satisfaction rates of all cosmetic procedures. A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 98 percent of women felt their augmentation either met or exceeded their expectations. Over 90 percent of the women also said they felt the procedure increased their self-esteem.
What Procedures Are Included in A Mommy Makeover?
Dr. Barrera takes a unique approach to each patient’s mommy makeover, weighing the goals and expectations. He’ll then recommend and discuss his strategy for the procedure with you. These are the procedures that make up a typical mommy makeover:
- Breast lift
When the breasts gain size and weight during pregnancy, the skin and support tissue tend to stretch and sag. A breast lift removes excess skin and brings the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest.
- Breast augmentation
Breastfeeding often decreases breast volume; this tends to flatten the breasts. Many women simply want to have breasts similar to what they had before pregnancy. Others decide they’d like larger breasts. To accomplish this, Dr. Barrera places breast implants at the completion of the breast lift procedure. This is an easy extension, as he can place the implants through the incisions made for the breast lift.
Stubborn pockets of fat can show up after pregnancy. You may have lost your baby weight, but fat accumulated in unwanted pockets that won’t respond to exercise. Liposuction removes these pockets on the inner and outer thighs, hips, and abdomen.
- Tummy tuck
In many women, the localized weight gained during pregnancy stretches the muscles and stomach skin to a degree that they can’t return to their former degree of tautness. This leaves a pooch on the lower abdomen. In some cases, the muscles may have separated. A tummy tuck trims excess sagging skin and repositions separated muscles to give you back a flat stomach. It usually involves two incisions, a long lower incision stretching from hipbone to hipbone that sags down to be covered by a bikini bottom or underwear, and a second incision around the navel to address sagging above that area.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
Overly large natural breasts create a combination of physical and emotional problems. These are the common health issues that often accompany a woman’s decision to have reduction surgery:
- Spine problems
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tingling hands
- Balance problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Headaches and migraines
Women with hypermastia often avoid sports and most types of exercise because their breasts are a hindrance to participation. The unwanted attention their breasts generate can impact social and professional environments. Having had to deal with this problem usually since high school, good candidates are ready to lose the burden and downsize their breasts.
How Long Is Recovery from A Breast Procedure?
Due to the lengthy incisions made with reduction surgery and with breast lifts, you’ll have soreness, swelling, and bruising. After two days, your bandages will be removed and replaced by a surgical bra. The most important part of your recovery is being completely committed to supporting your reduced or lifted breasts. Dr. Barrera will stress the importance of wearing your surgical bra, then transitioning to a support bra, and finally a strong sports bra for 24 hours a day for one month. This removes any weight and pressure on your incisions. You’ll have to take it easy for the first one to two weeks. Strenuous exercise or activity will be out for around six weeks. You’ll need to take at least one, and more likely two weeks off of work.
Breast augmentation isn’t anywhere near that kind of recovery. Patients are surprised at the lack of acute pain afterwards, equating pain to more of an aching sensation. Most patients can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Your sutures will be removed after one week. You’ll wear a support bra 24 hours a day for one month after your surgery so as not to place any stress on your incisions. As with reduction or lifts, this is very important. Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. Upper body exercise, such as lifting weights, will need to wait for six weeks.
What Are the Risks with Breast Procedures?
Any breast procedure is major surgery, so they all involve the risks inherent in any surgery.
There are some risks specific to breast augmentation. These include:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Implant shifting
- Changes in nipple sensation
- Impaired ability to breastfeed
- Breast asymmetry
- Visible rippling of the implant
You may have heard the recent news of the FDA asking the manufacturer Allergan to voluntarily recall all textured breast implants. This is in response to a possible link between textured implants and women developing a very rare condition known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Textured implants were developed to keep the implant from rotating in the breast pocket, but they were never widely used and are no longer available.
The main risk specific to reduction mammoplasty is loss of nipple sensation or overall changes in breast sensation. This is because the nerves can be impacted by the changes in the breasts. Also, the ability to breastfeed will likely be impacted. Dr. Barrera is usually able to avoid damage to nerves and sensation, but it is a risk.
When a patient is considering breast reduction, it’s important to weigh these risks and future scarring against the ongoing health issues caused by their large, heavy breasts. Most patients feel the tradeoff is definitely worth it.