What You Need To Know Before Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
New Jersey's Best Breast Augmentation Cosmetic Surgeon
We have put together some information to help you before your breast augmentation consultation. Our plastic surgeon has also included steps to take after your procedure is completed.
Before your Breast Augmentation Consultation
1. Size matters! - Show your doctor exactly the cup size you want. Don't just guess or be vague or leave it up to him. It is not unheard of for a plastic surgeon to confuse what he might find personally attractive with what the patient would find desirable. Give your doctor an idea as to whether you would prefer to be a little bit too big or little bit too small. That way you won't be disappointed.
2. Go a bit bigger! - Breast Augmentation, like all plastic surgery, is an art rather than an exact science and many women feel slightly disappointed a few weeks or months after surgery that they didn't choose to go a bit bigger when they had the chance. Also remember that depending upon your age you will lose breast tissue as your breast atrophies over time. Also remember that if you plan to get pregnant, whether or not you choose to nurse your baby, your breasts will become larger. Both pregnancy and age-related atrophy reduce the volume of your breasts so if you start off slightly larger than your ideal size, over time you might be just the perfect size rather than too small for your liking. Bring a push up or padded bra that will demonstrate the fullness you wish to achieve at the top, sides and cleavage area.
3. Cleavage Counts! - Tell your plastic surgeon you want cleavage and insist on it. Ask to see examples of previous patients. If you do not see beautiful cleavage is almost every photo, keep looking until you find a surgeon who can provide this anatomically essential element to your breast augmentation. Providing cleavage requires the proper sized implant, the proper profile implant, the proper dissection (which is neither too aggressive nor too conservative in the midline), and the proper placement in your chest wall.
4. Hide The Evidence! – If a breast augmentation is done by an expert, the breasts look natural and not "done". So the only evidence that might reveal that you had surgery is the visibility of the scar. The three most popular approaches for insertion of a breast implant are (1) around the lower portion of the areola from the 4 o'clock to the 8 o’clock position (2) inframammary fold and (3) armpit. The axillary or armpit approach give the surgeon the LEAST access to the cleavage area, where dissection is so important and is therefore the approach I endorse LEAST. The other two options depend upon patient preference and surgeon’s experience. I personally have changed my preferred approach in the last 10 years from inframammary to infraareolar because this incision often heals with barely a clue that surgery was performed. Your plastic surgeon should have an equal comfort in placement of breast implants through either of these approaches. There is no benefit of one over the other in terms of maintenance of nipple/areolar sensation.
5. You Might Need a Pick-me-Up! If you are not sure whether a breast augmentation alone will give you more of a perky appearance to your breasts, do "the pencil test". Place a pencil beneath your breast along the inframammary fold. Now stand sideways and look in a mirror. If your nipple is positioned ABOVE that pencil line, all you need is an implant. However, if your nipple is resting at or below that line, you will most likely benefit from a combination breast augmentation and breast lift (Mastopexy).
6. Implants Don't Belong in Armpits! – One of the most troubling consequences of a breast augmentation done by an amateur is the over-dissection of the pocket laterally (under the armpit) and the relative under-dissection of the pocket medially (in the area where cleavage is desirable). When this occurs the implant tends to fall to the side when the patient is lying down. This can also occur when an excessively wide implant is used. Occasionally this may occur in patients following massive weight loss who do not have strong tissue connections to the deep layers but this should be anticipated by the surgeon and prevented by using a special type of implant placed which is less lately to move.
After your Procedure
7. Your Doctor Says "Don't Go to the Gym"! – Since the implant is being placed in a space created below your chest wall muscle (Pectoralis major muscle), it is better for that muscle not to "fight" against the implant since this can lead to pain and muscle spasm. I recommend that my patients don't work out their chest for a week or two before surgery, and to wait at least 4 weeks after surgery before restarting their chest regimen…and to start at 50% lower weight and slowly increase the weight as tolerated. I also recommend icing the chest before and after workouts for the first few weeks to avoid any postoperative complications. A chest wall “charley horse” is quite painful and almost always avoidable. I also prescribe a medication which reduces muscle spasm as a precaution, which is taken for the first week.
8. Its Only Natural! – There are two herbal/homeopathic agents which have been shown to be very effective in reducing swelling and brusing following sports injury and surgery. I prescribe Arnica Montana pills (5 dissolved under the tongue 3X daily) and Bromelain (which comes from the heart of the pineapple, the chewy core. It is available in pill form, 500 IU 3X daily) starting the day before your surgery and for a week after.
9. Massage, Massage, Massage! – After the first week, when the chest wall muscle has begun to relax and accommodate the new implant beneath it, it is very important to start moving the implant in all directions to prevent the space created by your surgeon from closing in on itself. While this might be a bit uncomfortable at first, it gets easier very quickly. It is essential to a great result that you or a significant other perform this massage twice a day for the first few weeks. I recommend to my patients that this can more comfortably be performed in the shower or bathtub when they are a bit more relaxed. If you are unsure of how to perform this massage, call your plastic surgeon and he or a qualified staff member will gladly show you.
10. Lay Down Your Arms! - Tried to limit the use of your upper arms for the first few days after surgery. The same muscle (Pectoralis major muscle) that can go into spasm if you lift weights can also go into spasm if you use your upper arms because part of the muscle is attached to the upper portion of your humerus bone. So try to use your forearms only for the first few days. You can try to lift your arms slowly when showering/shampooing on the third postoperative day but do it slowly. Thereafter, you can slowly start using the full arms again as tolerated.
Feel free to contact one of the top plastic surgeons in New Jersey online or by phone at 201-585-2388 with any questions you may have or to set up your consultation.