17 Dos & Don’ts for Beautiful Breast Augmentation Results
If you’re dreaming of getting the beautiful and balanced hourglass shape you’ve always wanted, a breast augmentation could be the perfect solution for you. Before you jump right into your procedure, though, there are a few pieces of breast augmentation advice you’ll want to keep in mind to help you get the most out of your breast enhancement and love your final outcome.
Whether you’re still thinking about getting implants or have already scheduled your consultation, this all-encompassing list of dos and don’ts is an essential guide for any woman embarking on her breast augmentation journey.
1. Do Pick a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
The first step to getting beautiful, smooth results from your breast enhancement procedure is to carefully choose your plastic surgeon. Don’t settle for any qualifications short of board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as this demonstrates that your plastic surgeon has had extensive schooling and training within his or her field.
In addition to looking for board-certification, you should also pick a plastic surgeon who has plenty of experience performing breast procedures. Just as you wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for a broken bone, you shouldn’t choose a plastic surgeon who doesn’t focus on breast augmentations if that’s the procedure you want.
2. Don’t Shop around for the Best “Deal”
While it might be tempting to shop around for the best pricing deal on your breast implants, this isn’t the best way to choose a practice or plastic surgeon. As the age-old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and that’s certainly true of cosmetic procedures.
You don’t want to skimp on the surgical skill, training and expertise of your plastic surgeon to save on costs, because in the long run, you could end up paying a whole lot more in revision surgeries, extra time off work and your emotional wellbeing. Not to mention the fact that “discount” plastic surgeons may not necessarily follow the most up-to-date safety standards, which could lead to not only unsatisfactory results but also preventable complications both during and after surgery.
Leave bargain shopping for finding all sorts of new clothes to dress up your new breasts, not for your breast implants themselves.
3. Do Look at Before & After Photos
When planning the details of your breast augmentation, it’s crucial that you’re able to maintain realistic expectations about your final outcome. Because every woman’s body is unique, you can’t expect to your breast implants to look exactly like someone else’s results. With that said, using before and after photos as a guide to help you get a better idea of the kinds of results you’re looking for, as well as to more clearly explain your needs and goals to your plastic surgeon can be extremely helpful.
Another way you can use before and after photos is to take a look at the ones that your plastic surgeon has provided on his or her website or during your consultation. Browsing through some of the results this particular plastic surgeon has achieved in the past can help you to gauge his or her level of surgical skill and artistic fineness.
4. Don’t Worry about Cup Size
One of the first questions that women ask about their breast implants is what size they should get. By default, many women are inclined to discuss their implant size in terms of bra cup size, requesting to turn an A cup into a C cup, for example. However, this isn’t the most accurate method of sizing because different bra styles and brands can have vastly different cup measurements.
To avoid confusion due to nonstandard cup sizes, plastic surgeons talk about implant size using cubic centimeters, or cc’s, of volume. Try to resist the urge to convert this measurement into a cup size and don’t focus so much on what size bra you might fit into once your breast augmentation is all said and done.
Don’t get hung up on bra size. Instead, focus on choosing the best implant size to complement and enhance your natural body shape.
5. Do Discuss Your Implant Options
No matter what size of implant you go with, you’ll have a few options when it comes to the material that they’re filled with. There are two basic types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Saline implants consist of an outer silicone shell, which is then filled with a sterile saline solution once they are placed inside the breast pocket that your plastic surgeon will carefully make.
Thus, one of the benefits of saline implants is that they tend to require a slightly smaller incision than silicone implants, which are pre-filled prior to insertion. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of saline is that it can create a rippling effect that may be visible through your skin, depending on how much natural breast tissue you have.
Many women find that silicone implants, on the other hand, have a very natural look and feel to them, which is why this implant type is by far the most popular. Because silicone implants won’t immediately deflate if ruptured, though, an MRI will be needed to locate what are called “silent ruptures.”
The best way to determine which implant type might be right for you is to discuss your options in detail with your plastic surgeon and even ask to “try on” or feel each type.
6. Don’t Forget about Your Natural Curves
The decisions that you make when preparing for your breast enhancement should all be focused on highlighting your natural curves, rather than disrupting them. The best breast augmentation results won’t look “done” or fake but will elegantly enhance your silhouette and remain balanced with the rest of your body proportions.
If breast sagging a concern for you, keep in mind that the solution isn’t to get bigger implants. Instead, talk to your plastic surgeon about pairing a breast lift with your augmentation to help give you the best of both worlds — a balanced boost of volume and a lifted, perkier look.
7. Do Plan Ahead
Once you’ve thoroughly discussed your breast enhancement options with your plastic surgeon and feel confident that you’re ready to move forward with your procedure, it’s time to do a little planning to help make your surgery and recovery period go as smoothly as possible.
If you have kids or pets, arrange for another responsible adult to help you take care of them during the first week or so after your breast augmentation. You’ll also need some extra help with things like laundry, grocery shopping and other tasks that require heavy lifting or strenuous activity. Having some help around the house during your recovery can minimize complications and help to expedite the healing process
Resist the urge to play superwoman and take care of yourself after getting implants.
8. Don’t Forget to Schedule Time off Work
The amount of time that you’ll need to take off work can vary from person to person, and it can depend on how physically demanding your line of work is. For many women, scheduling a week off of work to recover from their breast augmentation is plenty of time to get back to feeling up to their normal routine.
As a general rule of thumb, plan for a longer time off work than you think will be necessary, just in case any unforeseen circumstances or complications should arrive. That way, you can either have a few extra days to yourself, or you can always go back to work early. The most important thing is that you give your body enough time to rest and recover before jumping back into your regular schedule.
9. Do Create a Relaxing Recovery Zone
Prior to the day of your breast enhancement procedure, work on creating a quiet, relaxing recovery space for yourself. You won’t want to have to worry about dust bunnies on shelves or a heaping pile of laundry in the corner of the room, so get all your cleaning done beforehand.
You can also equip your space with plenty of fluffy pillows and blankets, books, movies, crossword puzzles and other entertainment while you sit back, relax and let your body heal at its own pace.
Keep in mind that you may need to rest and sleep slightly elevated, so choosing a spot with a comfy recliner or an elevated pillow is a good way to plan ahead. In addition, you’ll need to avoid sleeping on your stomach or side while you recover, so if you’re not normally a back-sleeper, you may want to look into getting a body pillow or two to help make this position more comfortable for you.
10. Don’t Take Blood Thinners before Your Surgery
For about 1 to 2 weeks before and after your breast augmentation you should avoid taking any blood thinning medications or supplements. This is because these types of medications can cause prolonged bleeding during surgery and can also result in more pronouncing bruising afterwards.
Before you leave your plastic surgeon’s office, ask for a list of medications and supplements that he or she would like you to avoid taking. Although this is not an exhaustive list, the most common blood thinning medications to avoid are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, St. John’s wort and vitamin E.
If you’re experiencing a headache or other pain or discomfort before or after your breast procedure, Tylenol should be safe to take, but it’s still best to check in with your plastic surgeon first. You’ll also need to provide your plastic surgeon with a list of any prescription medications that you’re currently on, and bring those medications with you on the day of your surgery.
11. Do Meal Prep
Another great piece of breast augmentation prep advice is to do your grocery shopping and meal preparations ahead of time. Find a few healthy recipes that are easy to make, divide and freeze in individual portions for your convenience later on. That way, you’ll know you have plenty of healthy meals to eat when you get home from your breast augmentation without having to shop or cook.
It’s also important to stay hydrated during your recovery, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well as eating a balanced diet.
Stocking up on plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins is an excellent way to give your body the nutrients it needs to optimize its healing process after your breast surgery.
12. Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol before Your Breast Augmentation
Smoking isn’t just a general health hazard — it can also create complications during surgery and slow your body’s natural healing process. Because of this, it’s typically recommended that you quit smoking and using other tobacco products at least 4 weeks before your breast augmentation and continue to hold off on using these products for an additional 4 weeks after your procedure for the best results. Many women find that quitting smoking for their breast enhancement procedure is a great way to kick the habit for good.
In a similar sense, you should avoid drinking alcohol for about 48 hours prior to your surgery, as this can also increase the chances of complications and hinder your body’s ability to properly heal. You also want to eliminate the risk of an adverse reaction between any alcohol that may be left in your system and narcotics or anesthesia.
As your body continues to recover, check in with your plastic surgeon before indulging in alcohol after your procedure.
13. Do Wear Comfy Clothes to Your Appointment
On the day of your appointment, feel free to wear the comfiest, loosest-fitting clothing you have. A pair of sweatpants with an elastic waistband and a zip-up or button-up sweatshirt or t-shirt can do the trick. You also won’t need to worry about wearing a bra to your breast augmentation, as your plastic surgeon will provide you with a surgical bra to wear home.
You’ll be asked to wear this special bra for the first stages of your recovery, which can vary depending on your plastic surgeon’s specific instructions and the way your body is healing. Once your plastic surgeon gives you the okay, you can switch to a comfortable sports bra without underwire. Don’t stock up on too many new bras just yet, though, because the size and shape of your breasts can still change over the next few months.
14. Don’t Rush Your Recovery
As tempting as it may be to try to get right back to your normal activities and exercises, it’s important that you stay patient and allow your body the time it needs to properly heal after getting implants. Every woman’s recovery period will vary depending on her individual situation, so make sure you check in with your plastic surgeon before reintroducing a new level of physical activity to your daily routine.
Maintaining your follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon is a crucial aspect of your breast augmentation recovery and can make a big difference in your overall experience and final results.
15. Do Ask Questions
Should you have a question or a concern at any point in your breast enhancement process, don’t hesitate to ask your plastic surgeon. He or she should be your go-to resource for everything from what size of implants to get to which shirt you should wear on the day of your procedure, and anything in between.
This can be another determining factor of which plastic surgeon you ultimately want to work with, as you should feel 100 percent comfortable and confident asking as many questions as you can come with, no matter how silly or embarrassing you think they might be. If you feel like you can’t confide in your plastic surgeon, he or she probably isn’t the best choice to move forward with for your breast augmentation.
16. Don’t Worry about Asymmetry at First
As you move along with your recovery after getting implants, you might start to notice some unusual changes to the look and feel of your breasts. Don’t panic, though. These changes — which can include asymmetry, hardness, tightness and even a high, square shape — can be normal parts of breast augmentation recovery.
Over time, your implants will begin to look and feel much more comfortable and natural as they settle into place. This is sometimes referred to as “dropping and fluffing,” meaning that your implants will drop into a lower, more aesthetically pleasing position and fill out or “fluff” to reveal a softer, smoother look.
Keep in mind, too, that no woman’s breasts are completely symmetrical, so it’s absolutely okay and even to be expected if your breast augmentation results appear slightly asymmetrical at first.
17. Do Give Your Results Time to Develop
Remember that you’re not going to see instant breast enhancement results overnight, so try to be patient and don’t get discouraged as they continue to develop. The entire recovery process could take several months before you see your final outcome.
To enhance and prolong your breast augmentation results, take good care of your skin and body by wearing sunscreen, eating a nutritious diet and getting enough exercise once you’ve fully recovered.