More than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the United States last year. However, many women still find themselves reluctant to commit to the surgical procedure, even if they struggle with a small or asymmetrical chest. Common reasons women will avoid getting the help they desire include fears of pain, recovery time, and the chance for unexpected results. To make navigating the surgical process a little less stressful, Plastic Surgery Associates wants to share our 10 steps for a satisfying breast augmentation:
1. Look at as many Before/After photographs and patient testimonials as possible.
Before and After photographs can provide a wealth of information on prospective breast augmentation results. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and RealSelf offer hundreds of online pictures to review from the comfort of home. Besides general photos, carefully go through those from your prospective surgeon, as well. You can even find our patients’ Before and After photos here. While doing your research, read through your surgeon’s reviews and patient testimonials. These will help to create a snapshot of the doctor’s style and skill level.
2. Decide on your surgeon.
When choosing your doctor, always pick a board certified plastic surgeon. This tells you that the physician has received extensive surgical training, passed rigorous oral and written exams, and is current with their continuing education. Make sure the physician has extensive experience performing a variety of breast augmentation techniques. All of this information can be found on the surgeon’s website. You can also turn to the ASPS or the American Board of Plastic Surgery to locate a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.
3. Carefully consider your finances.
On average, a breast augmentation procedure will cost between $7,000 and $9,000. The exact price will depend on the patient and the type of implant. To make the procedure more affordable, most plastic surgeons accept a variety of payment types, including medical financing through Prosper Healthcare Lending or CareCredit. Although these easy payment options mean there are fewer reasons to put off your breast augmentation, it is vital to make sure you can afford the procedure before moving forward with surgery.
4. Arrange adequate time off for recovery.
The average breast augmentation recovery will take between one and two weeks. For the first few days, it can be helpful enlist the help of a family member or friend with household chores and childcare. Most women are ready to resume work in seven to ten days. However, ladies with physical jobs may need additional time off or a temporary adjustment in their work duties.
5. Do the Rice Test.
The Rice Test is an easy, at-home way to determine how you will look with larger breasts. All you need is a bag of uncooked rice, a large measuring cup, knee-high stockings, an unpadded bra in your desired size (without a lot of stretch), a tight-fitting t-shirt, a mirror, and a smart phone or camera. The homemade pouches of rice are placed in your bra, molding to your body, providing a realistic visual representation of how your implants will look. With the rice in place, try on your favorite clothing to see how well you like your ‘new’ figure. To get you started, Dr. Furnas has created a Rice Test instruction video.
6. Schedule a consultation.
Now that your homework is done, schedule your consultation appointment. This visit will give you a chance to see the office, meet the staff, and get to know your prospective surgeon. He/she will perform an examination and discuss the recommended breast augmentation procedure. You will be able to feel an actual breast implant and try on different implant sizers. At this time, you will receive your surgical quote and discuss financing with the patient coordinator.
7. Book your surgery
Once you have found the perfect plastic surgeon, go ahead and schedule your breast augmentation procedure! At our practice, you will be scheduled to come in two weeks prior to your procedure, for a pre-operative appointment. At this time, you will meet with our clinical team and review all of the necessary information to prepare you for a successful recovery. Remember, this is an outpatient procedure, so you will need a ride home from the surgical center. If your breast augmentation will be performed any distance from your home, your surgeon may suggest staying in an overnight recovery center or hotel before making the long drive.
8. Carefully follow your post-op instructions – patience is a virtue!
Your operating surgeon will provide detailed post-op instructions; carefully follow his/her advice. These instructions will include no exercise or heavy lifting for up to six weeks, wearing a surgical bra for an extended period of time, and refraining from smoking for at least six weeks after surgery. Be sure to get your follow-up appointments on the calendar and never miss a visit with your surgeon.
9. Shop for new bras
How exciting! It is finally time to shop for beautiful, well-fitting bras. There is so much joy in picking out undergarments for your new body. By the six-month mark, your implants will have settled on your chest and most of the swelling will have subsided. Your surgeon will let you know when an underwire bra can be added to your wardrobe.
10. Enjoy your results
Congratulations! You made an investment in yourself to feel more confident in your body. Enjoy your results for many years to come!
Considering a breast augmentation? Call our Santa Rosa office at 707.537.2111 or our Novato location at 415.895.5032.