According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the most requested procedure in 2014. Double board certified New York plastic surgeon Adam R. Kolker, M.D. who specializes in breast enhancements, gives us this list of things you should know before getting your breasts done. 1. Your first breast surgery probably won't be your last. Implants don't last forever. 25 percent of women will need another surgery after 10 years. The implant might leak over time or a "scar shell" might form around it, warping the shape and prompting a need for new ones. Weightloss, pregnancy and change in preference are also listed as reasons for a second surgery. 2. It will cost you around $3,678. This number, according to 2013 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, covers only the surgeons fee and not the cost of the anesthesia, facilities or materials used. The price depends on the doctor, patient and region of the country. The cost of a reduction also varies from patient to patient. A reduction could take up to 4 times longer than an augmentation which, of course, effects the price. 3. Generally, patients will only have to take five to seven days off work for a breast augmentation and about the same for a reduction. You aren't going to feel completely back to normal, but you should feel good enough to return to the working world, assuming your job doesn't involve manual labour. You may need more time if the implant is placed behind the muscle. Many women choose this route for a more realistic look and to reduce the chances of a scar shell forming, but it makes for a longer and more difficult recovery. 4. Breasts with implants feel different to the touch than real breasts. Silicone breasts feel similar to real ones but not quite. You are more likely to notice an implant if the woman began little breast tissue. You are less likely to detect them in a woman who had more breast tissue at the outset. Smaller implants, as well as ones placed below the muscle, are more difficult to detect. 5. You can try on different boob sizes before deciding on one. Using sizers (a bead filled neoprene sack), inside your bra can give you a better idea and help you determine the size you would like. 6. You can't go from small to huge all at once. Your body and skin need time to adjust from these drastic changes so most surgeons recommend going up only a couple sizes at first and then increase the size gradually over a few years. 7. Breast augmentations and reductions could possibly affect your ability to breastfeed in the future. The data for this isn't entirely clear as women with implants often choose not to breastfeed. But, if you have an areola incision, there is a risk you could damage the minor ducts and could disconnect the areola complex with the main portion of the gland, inhibiting your ability to breastfeed. Women with underarm incisions or those in the breast crease, shouldn't have an issue. 8. You might lose feeling in your nipples after a breast augmentation or reduction. The risk for losing sensation in the nipple depends on a few factors like breast shape and surgery type. But even if you lose sensation, the nipple will still respond to cold and to stimulation -- meaning they will still get hard, even if you don't feel it. 9. You're not a great candidate for a breast augmentation if you have a very strong family history of breast cancer, are obese, or smoke. These factors all play a part in increasing risks and complications during surgery. If you have major medical issues, you need to be cleared before you go forward. 10. Not all "plastic surgeons" are board certified and trustworthy. Research your surgeon and make sure s/he meets certain criteria before you choose. First, make sure the surgeon is certified from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be cautious about other 'boards.' Your doctor should also be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, both of which have a very high standard of criteria and maintenance. You should also speak to past patients and schedule a consultation. 11. You have a choice of two different implants: silicone and saline. The majority of implants in 2014 were silicone. Both have upsides and downsides. Silicone look and feel more realistic but it is harder to detect any ruptures. Saline will show ripples in certain areas because of their water like consistency but it will be easier to tell if there is a leak. 12. You can move fat from elsewhere on your body to your boobs. This is done through a new process called autologous fat transfer but very few people are candidates for this procedure. 13. You can get an areola reduction. This is also called a mastopexy. Often women who get a reduction will also get an areola reduction to match the new breast size. 14. You can't walk in to a consultation and say you want X implant type through X incision location. You and your surgeon will decide the best location for you: underarm incision, incision in the crease of the breast (inframammary fold), or through removal of the areola. Your doctor will consider your original breast size, shape, breast tissue and some other factors before deciding on a course. 15. Any breast surgery can have a small effect on breast cancer screening in the future. Before your surgery, have a proper breast exam. Most mammographers don't have an issue if the implant is placed behind the muscle but definitely talk to your surgeon about this. 16. Exercise, especially cardio that involves bouncing, is restricted after surgery. You will be able to do light cardio after a week but most women will have to limit their exercise for up to 12 weeks after the surgery. 17. Implants are more comfortable if the procedure is done postpartum rather than before the patient has kids. Although any implant under the muscle will increase discomfort. 18. Augmented breasts will affect your posture just like the weight of natural breasts would. The difference between the weight of saline, silicone and breast fiber is basically nonexistent. If you choose and implant size that is proportional to your frame, you won't notice much change in your posture. But if you go bigger than your frame, you will feel the difference. 19. Your boobs do not need to be a minimum size for a reduction. This is based on personal preference. Based on breast size before the procedure and desired breast size afterward, there are a number of incision options for a reduction for a huge range of results. If you wanted, you could even get a reduction and an implant to replace the volume you've lost over time. 20. It is possible that your boobs can grow back after a reduction. But, if you do the procedure after pregnancy and your weight stays consistent, than you shouldn't see a change in your breast size. 21. Ask yourself the following questions and be comfortable with your answers before going through with the surgery:
- How much does my current situation bother me?
- Why do I want this procedure?
- How excited am I to go through with this?
- Can I handle the time off from work and exercise?
- How much am I willing to expose myself to certain risks?