Whether you’re looking to enhance your breast size or reshape them, breast implants can help you achieve the look you desire. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to know all the facts of breast implant surgery (commonly referred to as breast augmentation) and understand if it is right for you before making a decision. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for breast implants.
As with any aesthetic procedure, you should make your decision based upon your own goals and not those of others.
Am I a good candidate for breast implants?
In general, most patients who seek breast implants are good candidates if they:
- Are in good physical and emotional health
- Are aware of the risks and complications associated with breast implants
- Have realistic expectations for the results of surgery
- Have strong motivations for undergoing the surgery
If you are considering breast implants, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will evaluate your health and discuss your reasons and expectations for surgery to help determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure.
All implant devices will eventually fail (rupture) and will need to be removed and replaced or simply removed. There is no timeline for this, but you should be informed as you make your surgical decision.
Are there any reasons why I could not get breast implants?
Most individuals in good physical and mental health are good candidates for breast implants, but there are a few factors that may keep a plastic surgeon from recommending breast augmentation. These include:
- Current pregnancy or lactation
- Illness or infection
- Breast cancer or abnormal mammogram
- Unrealistic expectations regarding the outcomes of the surgery
- Smoking or vaping
You cannot receive breast implants if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. A surgeon will want to wait and see the new natural size and shape of your breasts post-pregnancy and breastfeeding before deciding on what type of implant will be best for you.
If you have a history of breast cancer or abnormal mammogram results, speak with your doctor first before considering having a breast augmentation. While neither of these will necessarily preclude you from having the surgery, they are important factors to consider.
Nicotine from smoking and vaping can negatively affect blood supply and wound healing. This is especially true in surgeries involving larger incisions such as augmentation with mastopexy (breast lift). Being nicotine-free in advance of surgery is always advised.
Lastly, unrealistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery may keep your surgeon from recommending breast implants. While breast implants can dramatically alter your figure, there are limits to even a skilled surgeon’s capabilities, and any idea of “perfection” is likely not possible. Be sure to discuss your expectations with your doctor so they can provide realistic advice on the outcomes that are achievable with your current anatomy.
Reasons for Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation is a personal decision and the reasons a woman may elect to have it are wide and varied. Some of the most common reasons include:
- To achieve a more proportionate figure
- To restore volume lost after weight loss or pregnancy
- To correct a difference in breast size
- To improve self-esteem and confidence
- Clothing fit issues—particularly with swimwear and form-fitting tops
- Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy
When is the best time for breast augmentation?
The best time for breast augmentation is unique for every individual, and there are a number of health and lifestyle factors to consider before determining when it’s right for you.
Best Age for Breast Augmentation
In general, the best age for breast augmentation is when a woman is in her 20s or 30s. This is because a woman’s breasts are typically fully developed by this age, and she is likely to have a good amount of natural breast tissue to work with. Additionally, a woman in her 20s or 30s is likely to have more skin elasticity, which can help the implants settle into place more smoothly.
However, a woman of any age in good health can be a good candidate for breast implants. Breast augmentation remains a popular choice for women in their 40s, 50s and beyond.
Before or After Children
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are also considerations for planning when to have breast implants. If you are considering pregnancy in the near future, it is best to wait until after the baby is born and you have finished breastfeeding before having augmentation surgery. This is because pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause changes to your breasts that could potentially affect how the implants will look.
However, if you are not planning on having children for several years, you may wish to have breast implants beforehand and enjoy the benefits the implants bring, and most women can safely and successfully breastfeed even with implants. Later, after you are finished having children, you may need to have revision surgery to restore the shape and size of your breasts.
Many women elect for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. There are several techniques that can be used to restore your breasts, such as implants, tissue from other parts of your body, or both. Breast reconstruction can be done immediately following the mastectomy or delayed for several months or even years, depending on what is right for your unique situation.
Types of Breast Implants
If you are a good candidate for breast implants and decide that augmentation is right for you, your plastic surgeon can help you determine which type of implant is best for your body to achieve your desired results.
Saline breast implants have a silicone shell that is filled with sterile salt water. They are available in different sizes and shapes, with the most common being the round implant.
- Less expensive than gel-filled implants
- Can cause rippling or wrinkling of the skin
- May not feel or look as natural as silicone gel implants
Silicone gel-filled breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel. They are used to increase breast size or fullness or to improve the symmetry of the breasts. They are available in different sizes and shapes.
- Look and feel more natural than saline implants
- Less likely to cause rippling under the skin
- More expensive than saline implants
- A rupture is determined by imaging (mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI)
Gummy bear breast implants are made of a special type of silicone gel that is more cohesive than traditional silicone gel implants. They are anatomically-shaped with a textured surface which can provide a natural shape for patients.
- Less likely to cause rippling or wrinkling of the skin
- Have a more natural feel than other implants
- Are slightly more expensive than traditional silicone gel implants
Tim R. Love, M.D., of Love Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics was one of the first plastic surgeons in the country to introduce gummy bear implants to U.S. patients as he participated in an FDA-sanctioned implant study. He has remained a pioneer in techniques and procedures that produce safe, long-lasting, and natural-looking breast augmentation results.
Alternatives to Implant Surgery
If you are not deemed a good candidate for breast augmentation, or don’t feel the procedure is right for you, there are alternatives to help you achieve the body you want such as:
Breast lift: A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that increases the perkiness of the breasts and improves their overall shape. It is often done in conjunction with breast implants to achieve optimal results, but can also be done without implants.
Fat grafting: Fat grafting is a process whereby fat is removed from another area of the body via liposuction and injected into the breasts to increase their size. While fat grafting isn’t usually capable of achieving the same results as breast implants, it may be used as an alternative. Fat grafting is commonly used as an adjunct to breast implants for breast reconstruction patients.
Beautiful Breast Implants in Oklahoma City with Dr. Tim R. Love
Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Tim R. Love of Love Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics in Oklahoma City has more than 30 years of experience helping women create their most beautiful bodies. He’s been a leader in innovative breast augmentation procedures for decades and specializes in the revolutionary gummy bear gel implants. Committed to delivering exceptional care and flawless results, Dr. Love remains one of the region’s premier plastic surgeons, earning awards and accolades year after year.
Find out if breast augmentation is right for you. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Love today and find out how he can help you discover your best self.