A Plastic Surgeon’s Guide to the Questions to Ask Before Breast Augmentation Surgery
October 9th, 2023 — by Dina Eliopoulos
Breast augmentation is the second-most popular cosmetic procedure for women and an inherently personal experience for each patient, so you bet there are a lot of questions to ask before making a decision about surgery. While some individuals may feel completely comfortable sharing their decision to undergo a breast augmentation, others may find it more private and would prefer not to discuss such a sensitive decision openly.
At a time when more than half of women are concerned about finding the right surgeon before breast augmentation, it's vital to have a relationship with a board-certified plastic surgeon who makes you feel comfortable asking the questions you might otherwise deem too embarrassing. As you prepare for your own consultation, consider these questions to ask before breast augmentation.
15 Good Questions to Ask Before Breast Augmentation
Some of these questions might make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable to ask, but it's essential to seek information and have a clear understanding before deciding to have the surgery and selecting a breast surgeon for the procedure. Don't hesitate to ask these 15 questions before breast augmentation:
1. What size should I choose?
Size does matter, and bigger is not always better. In fact, you can have more complications if you go too large, especially for your personal anatomy. When I recommend an implant size range for you, I will always recommend choosing an implant that has a base width (diameter) that does not exceed your own breast base width. This helps to minimize risks, including increased palpability and wrinkling.
At your breast surgery consultation, I'll guide you through the common misconceptions about breast augmentation sizes—like how getting your 'money's worth' does not mean you should put in the largest size implant. Contrary to popular belief, it is not more expensive to put in a larger implant.
2. Will they look natural?
Size can affect the 'naturalness' of your final look, and if we go too large for your own breast base width, your implants may look less natural. However, I always say it's different strokes for different folks! Some want a very natural look, while others are looking for a more augmented look—both goals are fine. A plastic surgeon's job is to help achieve the look you desire while staying as safe as possible.
3. Will my breasts be exactly the same?
Breasts are sisters, not twins! However, I always aim to achieve the best symmetry possible, and those efforts show in my patients' before and after photos. I use sizers during breast augmentation surgery to help find the best implant combination for you.
4. Will others be able to tell that I had surgery?
Implants in a size range similar to your own breast base width will appear more natural, so others may not be able to tell you had surgery. Larger-size implants may be more obvious, especially if you had a smaller chest initially. To make the transition seem more seamless, try extra padding to your bra before surgery.
5. What will the scars look like?
Scarring depends on the incision location. I recommend placing the incision under the crease of the breast for minimal scarring. Silicone implants require slightly larger incisions, but I will use a Keller Funnel device to insert your implants, which allows for as small an incision as possible.
6. Will I lose nipple sensation?
While the majority of women will retain sensation to the nipple-areola complex after breast augmentation or other procedures of the breast, it is important to understand that loss of nipple sensation may occur after. However, these sensory nerves very commonly heal, and sensation commonly returns. This is one of the most important questions to ask before breast augmentation, even if it feels uncomfortable.
7. Can I breastfeed after breast augmentation?
You can safely breastfeed once healed from breast augmentation surgery. Breast implants are placed behind your breast ducts and mammary glands, so you can still produce and excrete breast milk. However, I always tell patients that there could be a slight chance that someone is unable to breastfeed after procedures on the breast of any kind.
8. What do I wear to breast augmentation surgery?
I always recommend wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes to your breast augmentation surgery. Think along the lines of a zip-up sweatshirt or flannel shirt that you can easily remove.
9. How long does breast augmentation surgery take?
The breast augmentation procedure can generally be completed in two hours.
10. What should I do when I get home from surgery?
I typically recommend taking it easy. You will do better and feel better sooner if you are up and around, doing some light walking around your home, and gently moving your arms. These small movements will help your chest muscles relax sooner and help you ultimately use fewer pain medications. Stay nice and hydrated as well.
11. How will I sleep after surgery?
You'll be happy to know that you can sleep in any position, even on your tummy! In fact, sleeping on your stomach may actually help you turn the corner more quickly, as it helps you gently stretch those tight chest muscles. But I always recommend that you do what's comfortable.
12. Do I massage my breasts after surgery?
Only massage your breasts after your plastic surgeon has cleared you to do so. They will guide you on how to massage the breasts if needed to help with shaping and symmetry.
13. Can I fly after breast augmentation surgery?
To avoid any unwanted complications, it is best to wait to fly until after your first post-operative exam. Once cleared, I recommend waiting at least a week before flying.
14. When can I shower after breast surgery?
I recommend waiting up to 48 hours before taking a shower.
15. When can I wash my hair?
Like showering, I recommend waiting at least 48 hours to wash your hair after breast augmentation surgery. You may want to try dry shampoo and opt for a low ponytail or loose braid instead.
Have All Your Breast Augmentation Questions Answered
Every breast is unique. Just like a pair of jeans fits every woman differently, the contour of your chest following breast augmentation surgery is totally personal. My job is to help define the best shape that aligns with your aesthetic goals, as well as confidently answer any questions along the way.
Dr. Eliopoulos is passionate about helping every one of her patients achieve their aesthetic goals, enhancing their appearance and boosting their self-confidence. To find out more about the benefits of breast augmentation and whether it is right for you, contact our Chelmsford plastic surgery practice today to schedule a consultation.