Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the US right now, and with good reason – with an experienced and skilled surgeon the results are beautiful, natural-looking breasts.
But there are many instances in which the results look fake and ugly, and can cause patients to regret getting the procedure (hello, Victoria Beckham).
The fear of ending up looking like you have two cantaloupes stuck on your chest is one of the most common reasons people choose not to get breast implants, and it is a natural and understandable fear. But fear not — if you go to the right plastic surgeon you will leave with natural, beautiful, new breasts and a confidence boost to match!
How to Get Stunning, Natural Results from Breast Augmentation
Find the Right Surgeon
This is likely the most important tip: seek out an experienced, reputable, and trustworthy doctor to perform your surgery.
Breast augmentation is a complicated process that requires attention to detail, fine skill, and an understanding of the female body. Make sure you are getting the best results possible by choosing a great plastic surgeon.
How do you go about choosing the right doctor?
First, check out their “before and after” photos from previous operations. Look out especially for patients whose age, body type, and end goal match yours so you will have an idea of how your results might look. Looking through many photos will help you determine if a surgeon can reliably produce natural results or if they produce results that are inconsistent and less refined. Do be aware, though, that some people actually want over-the-top breast augmentation that isn’t meant to look natural, so if you see very large and unnatural “after” photos that may have been the patient’s intended result.
Pay attention to your how your surgeon acts during your consultation. Does this surgeon listen thoroughly to your goals and take the time to answer your questions as well as explain all of your options? Do they go through a detailed physical exam to assess your situation? You want to make sure your surgeon is dedicated to providing you with the results you want, and makes you feel comfortable and safe along the way. Your surgeon needs to be detail-oriented to provide the best results, so make sure your surgeon isn’t evasive or flaky.
Finally, go with your gut. It’s important that you feel confident and comfortable with your plastic surgeon. If you get a bad feeling during your consultation, it’s definitely OK to look for a different doctor. This is ultimately your decision, so you should feel good about your choice.
Choose the Correct Implant Size
Every woman’s body is different, and your ideal breast implant size will depend on your body type, body size, and tissue elasticity. Many women choose implants that are too big for their body, and they end up with oversized, obviously fake, and unrealistically bulging breasts. Implants that are too large also carry more risk of complications such as “rippling” or “bottoming out”.
You also don’t want to choose implants that are too small. This can lead to your breasts being underfilled and appearing droopy and misshapen.
It’s also important to note that some women choose to have oversized implants, knowing they might look excessive and unnatural. Ultimately, it is your body and your choice. But it is critical that you make that decision with all possible information available, so choosing a good surgeon who will discuss all of the risks with you is crucial. If you are clear and honest about your desired results, a good surgeon will help you reach that goal while keeping you well informed about the consequences of your decisions. Some surgeons even offer 3D computer simulations so you can see exactly what different implant sizes will look like on your body.
Choose the Correct Implant Type
There are many different types of breast implant, including round silicone implants, teardrop-shaped implants, and saline implants. Silicone implants usually produce the softest, most natural look and feel to your breasts compared to saline.
Consider the Placement of Implants
In a breast augmentation procedure, the implants are placed either over or under the muscle. Generally, implants placed underneath the muscle look and feel more natural as they have the benefit of real muscle tissue over the implant. Under-the-muscle implants also reduce the risk of things like rippling and capsular contracture.
Choose the Right Incision Location
As with any surgery, an incision is made and then closed with sutures that should heal into a faint scar after a few months. There are several common locations for incisions, including:
- Lower crease below the breast (inframammary crease incision)
- Along the lowest border of the nipple (periareolar incision)
- Through the underarm (transaxillary incision)
- Through the navel (transumbilical or TUBA)
Depending on your body shape and the type of implant you want, one location might be a better choice over the others. TUBA incisions are generally not recommended, because it is difficult to control implant pocket formation and can lead to less than desirable results. Your surgeon should walk you through each technique to decide which is best for your situation.
Ask If You Need a Breast Lift
Many women develop drooping breasts after having children, through natural ageing, and even just through genetics. While breast implants can increase size, a lift might also be needed to avoid having drooping tissue sitting on top of the implant, a “rock in a sock” effect. An experienced doctor will be able to determine if you should get a lift in addition to implants.
Consider Breast Augmentation Using Fat Transfer
If you don’t want to use implants, you can add volume through fat transfer. This is a process in which fat is taken from your thighs, belly, or hips with liposuction and then inserted into your breasts. This procedure is especially ideal if you are also hoping to slim down other areas while enhancing the appearance of your breasts. It is completely natural, using only what’s already in your body, and avoids the need for foreign implants.
One more thing to avoid unnatural results: avoid “fake” plastic surgeons.
Board-certified surgeons are the only people qualified to carry out these procedures. They have to go through several years of extensive training, pass many thorough exams, and perform hundreds of procedures successfully before they are certified, so you know you are getting the best care.
Be wary of “fake” plastic surgeons, or people who call themselves “cosmetic surgeons” but are not board-certified. They generally offer prices that are too good to be true. These can often be real doctors, people who are trained in general surgery, general practice, emergency room medicine, or family practice. But they have not gone through the specific, extensive training of real plastic surgeons. Just as you wouldn’t go to a gynaecologist for heart surgery, you shouldn’t go to anyone but a certified plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation surgery.