The way we feel about our bodies is incredibly important and incredibly personal. If you are unhappy with the way you look, then this can change the way you act in every aspect of your life and the way you feel, no matter what you are doing.
And for women, a big part of that confidence is often tied up in the size of their breasts. Men find larger breasts highly attractive and so women will often find this is a large part of their identity and their self-confidence.
But it’s not just about what men think. Having large, firm breasts can make you look and feel sexier in your clothes, it can generally be highly empowering.
Fortunately, there is a way that women can change the size and look of their breasts relatively easily and it’s probably not as invasive as you might expect. Read on and we’ll look at what a breast augmentation involves, how it works and whether it is right for you.
A breast augmentation uses breast implants or sometimes fat (called a fat transfer breast augmentation) in order to increase the apparent size of the breasts, or to help restore breast volume. Technically, this is referred to as an augmentation mammoplasty.
The objective of a breast augmentation is to:
However, what a breast implant will not do is to correct drooping or sagging breasts. If your nipples are pointing downward and your breasts are hanging low, then you will likely require a breast lift in order to reposition them and reshape them. Often the terms breast lift and breast augmentation are used synonymously, when in fact they are two very different procedures.
While a breast augmentation is aimed at women with small or un-full looking breasts, breast lifts are better suited to women with medium sized breasts who are unhappy with their shape or position.
Of course it is possible (and common) to get a breast implant at the same time as a breast lift, in order to take a more wholesale approach to improving the look and feel of the breasts.
The process itself will depend somewhat on the patient, as well as the surgeon and type of implant. First, there will be pre-operative preparation. Here, the surgeon will begin by cutting an incision ready for the implants. These incisions will be small and should be positioned to cause the minimal aesthetic impact.
Often they will be placed underneath the overhang of the breasts (inframammary fold incision), or they might be placed at the sides (transaxillary incision). You may discuss this with your surgeon.
Another common and popular place for the incision is the ‘peri-areolar’ incision. This is a small cut just below the nipple, where the areola meets the lighter skin around it. The implant will then be rolled into a sleeve and inserted beneath the nipples, so that the implants may be placed right in the center of the breasts.
If you are concerned about the appearance of scars, then you may opt for a TUBA (trans-umbilical augmentation) incision. This is less common as it is more invasive and painful and involves a tunnel being cut between the subcutaneous fat from the belly button, up to the breast. The implant is rolled up and pushed through the tunnel all the way to the breasts.
From there, the surgeon will cut a path through the tissue to the end destination of the implant. This will be in the center of the breasts, behind the nipples. At this point, you rely on the skill of the surgeon to choose the best location for the most appealing appearance and minimal invasiveness.
The next part is the uncomfortable part, as the surgeon will need to create a pocket at this point, which will usually involve separating tissue or muscle. The surgeon may then use implant sizers, which are temporary implants, inserted to allow the surgeon to test the appearance of differently sized implants. The sizers can be filled via a tube, so that the surgeon can see what the augmentation will look like prior to going ahead with the procedure.
Once the surgeon is happy with the placement and size of the implants, they will then go ahead and insert the real implants. These will usually be made from saline or silicone, which have mildly different properties. Saline filled implants are filled with a sterile saline solution, while silicone implants use a thick, sticky silicone gel.
In other scenarios, fat can be used, which is an example of body-reshaping. Here, fat will likely be removed from one part of the body and then inserted elsewhere. This body shaping can further help to improve the balance of the physique and thereby create a more appealing silhouette.
In scenarios where women choose to get larger augmentations, they may also require repositioning of the nipples, which can of course increase recovery time and bruising.
The risks, side effects and recovery time of a breast augmentation procedure will vary greatly depending on the nature of the incision, the material used and the size of the augmentation.
The main risk of a breast implantation is that it might lead to infection. This is a possibility with any type of surgery but if your surgeon is skilled and you follow their after-care advice, then you should be able to minimize this likelihood. Look out for signs of abnormal swelling, discoloration, pus and fever.
Another risk is rupture. If a saline implant ruptures, then this can cause the sterile water to leak into the surrounding tissue, resulting in noticeable deflation of the breasts. This is not dangerous however, as the saline solution can be absorbed by the body without any health implications. Women will probably want to have the implant shell removed however, at which point they may opt to get new implants inserted.
If a silicone implant ruptures, this might not be immediately apparent. That is because the silicone will normally remain in the fibrous tissue without moving, resulting in what’s known as a ‘silent rupture’. Silent ruptures are not thought to cause systemic or long-term health issues. However, in some cases they can become uncomfortable, in which case surgical removal might be recommended.
It is usual to experience bruising, swelling and soreness following a breast augmentation procedure and most surgeons will prescribe analgesics and creams to help with recovery. You will likely be required to wear bandages and a surgical bra. The exact recovery time will depend on the nature of the augmentation but this will normally be somewhere between a few days to a few weeks. It is recommended that you take a week off of work.
Scarring is a normal side effect of breast augmentation and at first this will be very red and noticeable. Fortunately, this will usually fade over time to become thin white lines. If you have considerable scarring, then you can opt to use cortisone creams and other treatments to help reduce it.
The price of a breast augmentation will depend on the surgeon, on your requirements and on your current condition. However, the cost will normally be somewhere between $2,500 and $5,000. Expect to pay somewhere around $4,000.
If you should decide you want the process reversed, then the removal of breast implants will cost a little less, at around $2,000-$3,000.
Note that the surgeon’s fee will often be related to their experience and the type of breast implants they are using. Be very wary then of overly cheap breast augmentation, as it may suggest a lower cost.
It’s also important to recognize that there may be other associated fees, including:
Check that the price you are quoted is all inclusive before agreeing to go ahead! Most health insurance plans do not cover breast augmentation.
Of course the big benefit of breast augmentation is how it makes you feel about yourself. Having larger breasts is not just going to make you feel more attractive but it will allow you to wear a wider range of clothes and will give you more confidence. That in turn can lead to what is known as the ‘law of attraction’.
When we start feeling more proud of our bodies, it changes the way we walk and the way we present ourselves. You will likely dress more confidently, stand taller and notice the way people look at you differently. In turn, this makes you act happier and more confident and that can help you to start getting what you want in life.
There are few things more important than the way you feel in your own skin.
Breast augmentation is suitable for any candidate who is physically healthy with fully developed breasts. It is commonly used by Mums who have noticed a reduction in fullness post-childbirth and who want to regain the feeling of sexiness and confidence they had in their youth. It’s also a great choice for women who have always wanted larger breasts and who are unhappy with their current cup size.
Breast augmentation can also be used to fix asymmetry or for women whose breasts have an elongated shape. It is often used following mastectomies and may be used in conjunction with breast lifts.
What is also very important, is that the patient understand the implications of a breast augmentation and that they are psychologically prepared for the process. A good surgeon should conduct some form of psychological evaluation prior to the procedure to make sure that the patient has realistic expectations and have the right motivations.
If you are someone who is generally unconfident and unhappy with your looks, then it might be that your breasts are merely a focal point and this can lead to unhealthy addictions to surgery. But if you are someone who genuinely wants larger breasts and who feels this would make them happier, then this can have a huge positive impact on nearly every aspect of your life.
As long as you have the time and are willing to go through the recovery process, there’s very little reason not to have the body you always wanted.
Still not sure if a breast augmentation is for you?
The following before and after pictures will help you to get a better idea of exactly what a breast augmentation can accomplish. Remember though: every woman is different and there are many factors influencing the outcome. Discuss with your surgeon in order to get a realistic idea of how a breast augmentation is likely to affect you personally and of what you should expect.