The process of preparing for breast augmentation surgery can be overwhelming, with a plethora of information, personal anecdotes and images available online - paired with a mix of excitement, nerves and sometimes, trepidation! Amidst this information overload, it’s important to remember some basic truths about breast augmentation surgery. Before your procedure, ask yourself five important questions to see if you’re prepared and ready for surgery:
1. Do I have realistic expectations?
Your surgeon wants you to love your breasts after your surgery, but they also need you to be realistic. Every woman, and every pair of breasts, is different - and so your results will be too! Your original breast shape, nipple position, droop, natural asymmetry etc will impact your end outcome. Do you expect the surgery to address self esteem or anxiety issues; and have you considered how your self esteem will feel if the results don’t live up to the ‘dream’ breasts you imagine? Understanding the results we can sensibly achieve for you, what your optimal implant size is, the restrictions involved in your recovery process and the time required to let your implants settle, is the best way to ensure your satisfaction after surgery.
2. Is achieving a specific cup size the most important thing?
In a world that measures women’s breasts in cup sizes, it’s easy to obsess over the ‘dream’ cup size you want to achieve. But the best thing you can do before your augmentation surgery is to focus more on your ultimate post-surgery ‘look’ rather than a specific cup size. What do you want your overall appearance and proportions to look like after breast augmentation? Which implant size will best suit your current breast shape and chest width? During the consultation process your surgeon will measure your chest. This will give you both an idea of the standardised ‘ideal’ breast implant size range for your body. Choosing an implant that exceeds this range can increase your risks of post operative complications, posture and back problems and further surgery in the future. Bigger is definitely not always better, and cup size can be deceptive.
3. Am I patient enough to wait for my breasts to settle into their final result?
It will take about six weeks to heal from your breast augmentation, but your breasts will continue to change long after this period. While you’ll notice an immediate difference in their appearance straight after surgery - in the months following your surgery, your implants will settle into position; it can take up to a year for you to see your final result. So patience is vital!
4. What factors matter when choosing the right surgeon for me?
Breast augmentation surgery changes your body forever; even if you have your implants removed at some stage in the future, your breasts will never look exactly the same as they did before your surgery. It’s a big decision, and your relationship with your surgeon should be life-long; choose carefully. Any registered doctor in Australia can legally perform breast augmentation surgery, but not all are Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) qualified, denoted by the ‘FRACS’ you see after a surgeon’s name. You can confirm your surgeon’s qualifications here. The priority when selecting a surgeon should never be how cheap they are, what credit plans they offer or how quickly they can do the surgery; none of these are the key factors that predict a good surgical outcome. Choose a surgeon that you’ll want to stay in touch with for ongoing care and concerns into the future; one that is RACS qualified - and who is approachable and respectful throughout the consultation process (it’s a good sign of the compassion and care you’ll receive during, and after, surgery).
5. Are I ready to care for and maintain my breast implants?
Breast implants are low maintenance - they’re very easy to take care of, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require any maintenance at all! Following your surgery, you will receive information about how to care for and monitor your implants, these include:
- Self examination: your breasts will feel different after the surgery - and once you’re healed, you’ll need to become familiar with your new breasts. If you feel an irregularity or change in your breasts, don’t presume it’s just your implants and brush it off; make a prompt appointment with your GP. Regular self checks are an important habit each month, even when you have breast implants.
- Screening: if you’re at the age where you require screening, or have a family history that makes you a candidate for early screening, don’t overlook this important detection tool. Let the imaging centre know that you have implants when you book your appointment, and mention it again to the technician on the day.
- Watch for changes: ruptures are uncommon with modern implants, but they do happen. If you notice irregularities, unusual firmness, changes to your breast shape and position - or experience discomfort, ask your GP to examine them and refer you for imaging, and if applicable, back to your surgeon.
Call 3202 4744 today to schedule your breast augmentation consultation with Dr Sharp.
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