Studies show that over one-third of women are dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts. Breast augmentation using implants is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in America, and throughout the world. Over 300,000 patients undergo breast implant surgery every year in the U.S. Prior to surgery, most patients are self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts. Remarkably, over 90 percent of patients report an improvement in self-esteem following breast surgery. No other cosmetic surgery can match breast augmentation for patient satisfaction (98.1%). On a scale of 1-10, the average patient rated their results as 9.3, with over half giving themselves a 10 rating.
Breast augmentation is one of the most satisfying procedures for the patient due to the instant transformation in a woman’s shape. It is an operation where patient gratification is almost immediate and it reliably meets or exceeds expectations. Other types of cosmetic surgery of the face and body may have inherent limitations. Even mature women can enjoy more youthful looking breasts with the right combination of implants and lifting.
Why Do Women Seek Breast Augmentation?
Patients may choose breast augmentation for different reasons. Maybe she feels she has naturally small breasts and finds that it is not consistent with her body proportions. She may have asymmetry involving the size or shape of her breasts. Adding volume with an implant can help to disguise these differences. Additionally, many women lose volume in their breasts following pregnancy or substantial weight loss.
Most patients are seeking more fullness in the upper portion of their breasts. Replacing lost volume with an implant can help to regain this more youthful fullness. It is not surprising that most bras, padding or inserts are meant to enhance the upper pole of the breasts.
How Do You Know What Size Implant To Use?
The size of the breast implant is generally determined during the office consultation with James M. Shaw, MD. Individual measurements will be taken to determine the patient’s overall proportions. There is a wide range of available implant volumes and dimensions for breast augmentation. It is very helpful to “try on” several different size breast implants during the examination to get an idea of how the end result will appear. The ideal implant will vary greatly from person to person depending on factors such as height, weight, shoulder and chest width, symmetry, the amount of existing breast tissue and of course personal preference. The majority of patients simply want to have their breast size increased to better match their proportions. This change allows them to wear the clothing they prefer without making extra accommodations with specialty bras or inserts.
What To Expect After Surgery
The surgery, performed by James M. Shaw, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon, will be done under general anesthesia in an ambulatory surgery setting. The anesthesia provider is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. The surgery center is also fully accredited by the appropriate regulatory agencies. Patients go home the same day and a responsible adult driver is required for dismissal. Patients who live more than one hour from Wichita, Kansas are encouraged to spend the first night in a local hotel or with family or friends.
The gauze dressing can be removed or replaced the day after surgery and it is okay to shower at that time. The incisions can get wet while showering, but soaking in a tub or pool should be avoided. A thin tape (Steri-Strip) remains in place over the incision. The tape will gradually loosen on its own over several days. If it comes off, it does not need to be replaced. You will have prescriptions for pain medication, but continuous use of cold packs will be even more useful. Ibuprofen can also be used following surgery, but aspirin is to be avoided.
Most patients will go home in a bra provided by the surgery center. It is okay to wear a sports bra instead of the garment provided if you prefer. The purpose of the bra is to reduce breast movement and the associated discomfort. The bra will not “shape”or “mold” the breast. If you prefer not to sleep in the bra, that is fine.
Patients are encouraged to stay at home after breast surgery and limit arm activity for the first four or five days. After this, most daily movements and activities will be fine. However, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first few weeks. The best advice is, “if it hurts, don’t do it.”
Swelling and bruising will vary greatly from one patient to another. The swelling usually increases steadily until the third day after breast surgery, then slowly resolves. Typically one side will have more bruising/swelling than the other. Most patients have some degree of pressure sensation and skin tightness. This will resolve over the first several weeks as the skin relaxes and the swelling goes away.
Due to the pressure and skin tightness, there may initially be changes in breast sensation. This can range from numbness to hypersensitivity, and is usually a combination of both. Sensations experienced in the right and left sides usually are not the same. These changes in sensation commonly resolve over the first six or eight weeks. It is rare to have a long-lasting change in sensation.