You have a vision as to what you want your new breasts to look like. Maybe you want them to project out. Perhaps you want to go big (we mean really BIG). You might even want them to sit up high or have some sag to appear like natural breasts. Plastic surgeons can do wonders in changing the appearance of our breasts, but they are not miracle workers; they can only work with the canvas (your body) provided to them. See how you can keep your expectations realistic.
Keeping Your Expectations in Check
When considering plastic surgery, you must make sure that you have realistic expectations and goals, otherwise you risk being disappointed despite your board-certified plastic surgeon's best efforts. Your plastic surgeon will look at the dimensions of your breasts and chest to help you determine the best implant for your proportions.
Many women considering breast implants assume that they can pick a photo out of a magazine, take it to a surgeon and say, "I want these breasts." Unfortunately, that's not how it works. You can’t place an order for breasts like you would place an order for fast food at a drive-thru. Your anatomy plays an enormous role in the final outcome. For example, if you have breasts that are spaced widely apart, you will still have breasts that are spaced widely apart after your breast augmentation surgery. The opposite is also true—if you have breasts that are naturally close together, a plastic surgeon cannot make them farther apart.
Realistic expectations are important. If you go into any plastic surgery procedure expecting perfection, or expecting to come out looking exactly like a photo you gave to your surgeon, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Does all of this mean that you won't look great after your surgery? Absolutely not. Plus, it would be pretty boring if plastic surgeons offered cookie-cutter breasts!
Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Implant Surgery?
Ultimately, the best candidate for breast implant surgery is one who enters the process with realistic expectations. For the best outcome, the patient should be fully aware their results are individual to their body and the doctor’s work, and will not be a carbon copy of anyone else’s breasts. Also, know that the following conditions may not qualify you for breast augmentation:
- You are under 18 years of age
- You’ve had radiation therapy
- You’re currently pregnant or breastfeeding
Preparation Is Key: Do Your Research
Once you start researching breast implants, you’ll find there is more than one option for your implant, and more than one option for the procedure. Implants come in all different sizes, shapes, and even different textures. They can be inserted into your body through the armpit, areola, or through the breast fold. They can also be placed either over the muscle or under the muscle. There are so many decisions to be made when narrowing down the perfect implant and procedure for you, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Instead, prepare yourself before your initial consult by familiarizing yourself with the options. Click the links below to read up on details of each option before your initial consult:
- Silicone vs. saline implants
- Round vs. anatomical/teardrop implants
- Smooth vs. textured implants
- Implant under the muscle vs. over the muscle
- Incision in the breast fold (Inframammary)
- Incision around the areola (Periaerolar)
- Incision through the armpit (Transaxillary)
Look at Before and After Photos of Breast Augmentations
Examining patient before and after photos will give you visual understanding of what the outcome of different size and shape implants may look like after recovery. Keep in mind, however, that results will vary from person to person, but you should be able to get a generalization. When looking at before and after photos, consider your body type and what you want. How big, relative to the chest and body, would you like your breasts to be? Should they be proportional to your chest? Do you want them to protrude forward significantly? Do you prefer a round, pushed up appearance, or a more natural breast shape? Remember, no matter how closely you may resemble someone else's "before" photos, never forget that you will not look identical to their "after" photos.
Updated September 2016