More than 310,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the United States last year. Many women find an increase in their confidence when they can achieve their goals of volume and shape restoration through breast augmentation. However, many women still find themselves reluctant to commit to the surgical procedure, even if they struggle with a small or asymmetrical chest. Common reasons women will avoid getting the help they desire include fears of pain, recovery time, and the chance for unexpected results. To make navigating the surgical process a little less stressful, Plastic Surgery Associates wants to share our 10 steps for a successful breast augmentation:
1. Look at as many Before/After photographs and patient testimonials as possible.
More than any procedure, it is Breast Augmentation where looking at your prospective plastic surgeon’s work will pay off. Before and After photographs can provide a wealth of information on prospective breast augmentation results. This is your surgeon’s best work and it allows you to look for women who have your approximate height and weight before surgery and see what results they got from specific breast implants. Check for the type of implant, silicone or saline, round or shaped, and look for a result that you find appealing. We see many women who request a full C cup. Don’t worry too much about cup size as that measure varies depending on the bra manufacturer and is not very accurate. While doing your research, read through your surgeon’s reviews and patient testimonials. These will help to create a snapshot of the doctor’s style and skill level.
2. Decide on your surgeon.
When choosing your doctor, always pick a board-certified plastic surgeon. And not all Boards are equal- certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the gold standard. It even allows your plastic surgeon to have a wider choice of the implants they can provide you. Some breast implant companies will only sell their implants to members of The American Board of Plastic Surgery, and you want that option. This tells you that the physician has received extensive surgical training, passed rigorous oral and written exams, and is current with their continuing education. Make sure the physician has extensive experience performing a variety of breast augmentation techniques. All of this information can be found on the surgeon’s website. You can also turn to the ASPS or the American Board of Plastic Surgery to locate a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.
3. Carefully consider your finances.
On average, a breast augmentation procedure will cost between $7,000 and $9,000. The exact price will depend on how experienced your surgeon is, the specific anatomy or condition of the patient (tuberous breast, pectus excavatum for example) and the type of implant. Do not look for a “deal.” Anyone can offer a cheap price, but you want to make sure that you are getting what you pay for. This is your body and you want to trust only the most experienced. And if you have to pay for revisionary surgery because the initial procedure was done on the cheap, that will be even more expensive. To make the procedure more affordable, most plastic surgeons accept a variety of payment types, including medical financing through Prosper Healthcare Lending or CareCredit. Although these easy payment options mean there are fewer reasons to put off your breast augmentation, it is vital to make sure you can afford the procedure before moving forward with surgery.
4. Arrange adequate time off for recovery.
The average breast augmentation recovery will take between one and two weeks. Our doctors perform Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation to ensure you can return to normal as soon as possible. That method of doing the breast augmentation emphasizes minimal bleeding and manipulation of the tissues during surgery so that the patient has minimal bruising and swelling. The less swelling and bruising you have, the quicker you are on the way to recovery. For the first few days, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a family member or friend. Most women whose jobs are not very physical are ready to resume work in seven to ten days. However, women with physical jobs may need additional time off or a temporary adjustment in their work duties.
5. Do the Rice Test.
The Rice Test is an easy, at-home way to determine how you will look with larger breasts. It has been used for years not only around the San Francisco Bay Area, but by women across the United States. All you need is a bag of uncooked rice, a large measuring cup, knee-high stockings, an unpadded bra in your desired size (without a lot of stretch), a tight-fitting t-shirt, a mirror, and a smart phone or camera. The homemade pouches of rice are placed in your bra, molding to your body, providing a realistic visual representation of how your implants will look. With the rice in place, try on your favorite clothing to see how well you like your ‘new’ figure. Dr. Furnas has created a Rice Test instruction video. There are other methods to help you decide on which implant you want, but the rice test has withstood the test of time.
6. Schedule a consultation.
Now that your homework is done, schedule your consultation appointment. You can have an on-site consultation or an online virtual breast augmentation consultation. This visit will give you a chance to see the office, meet the staff, and get to know your prospective surgeon. He/she will perform an examination and discuss the recommended breast augmentation procedure. You will be able to feel an actual breast implant and try on different implant sizers. At this time, you will receive your surgical quote and discuss financing with the patient coordinator.
7. Book your surgery
Once you have found the perfect plastic surgeon for your needs, go ahead and schedule your breast augmentation procedure! At our practice, you will be scheduled to come in for a pre-operative appointment about two weeks prior to your procedure. At this time, you will meet with our clinical team, finalize your implant size, and review all of the necessary information to prepare you for a successful recovery. Remember, this is an outpatient procedure, so you will need a ride home from the surgical center. If your breast augmentation will be performed any distance from your home, your surgeon may suggest staying in an overnight recovery center or a local hotel before making the long drive back to your home.
8. Carefully follow your post-op instructions – patience is a virtue!
Your operating surgeon will provide detailed post-op instructions; carefully follow his/her advice. The better you follow these instructions, the more likely you are to obtain a great long-term result. These instructions will include no exercise or heavy lifting for up to six weeks, wearing a surgical bra for an extended period of time, and refraining from smoking for at least six weeks after surgery. Be sure to get your follow-up appointments on the calendar and never miss a visit with your surgeon.
9. Shop for new bras
How exciting! Your surgeon will let you know when the time comes to finally shop for beautiful, well-fitting bras. There is so much joy in picking out undergarments for your new body. By the four-month mark, your implants will have settled on your chest and most of the swelling will have subsided. Your surgeon will let you know when an underwire bra can be added to your wardrobe.
10. Enjoy your results
Congratulations! You made an investment in yourself to feel more confident in your body. Enjoy your results for many years to come! Considering a breast augmentation? Call our San Francisco North Bay office.