The Whole Beauty Institute believes in empowering patients through education, transparency and clear communication. Our website includes other valuable information about breast augmentation, including our pages on ten questions to ask a surgeon during your breast implant consultation and ten important things to know if you are considering breast augmentation surgery.
Our founder Dr. John Q. Cook also answered your top ten breast augmentation FAQs — but the Whole Beauty Institute team knows that you probably have many more questions as you start your aesthetic journey. In this guide, Dr. Cook will address some more of the most common questions we hear when we see breast augmentation clients for their consultation.
1. How much does breast augmentation cost?
If you’re looking into cosmetic surgery, you likely already know that elective surgeries like breast augmentations are not covered by most health insurance plans. The unknown out-of-pocket expenditure often raises a question of just how much a breast augmentation will really cost. The truth is that you won’t know the price of your surgery until after your consultation; many factors determine the cost of a breast augmentation, all of which will be decided upon as you create your individual surgical plan with your plastic surgeon. Some of the factors that influence cost include:
- The implant type you choose
- The type of anesthesia you will need
- Your surgeon’s experience
- Where your surgeon performs procedures
- Your area’s cost of living
It’s important not to sacrifice the quality of your surgery to save on cost. You could be putting yourself in harm’s way if you choose a less reputable surgeon, or you could wind up disliking your results if you select an implant that isn’t right for your goals. The costs of follow-up care and revision surgeries add up quickly, and it’s not worth risking your safety and satisfaction to save money the first time around.
2. What is the best kind of breast implant?
Breast implants come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, so patients can find this to be confusing. It really comes down to choosing the implant that is best for your particular goals and priorities. Silicone gel implants often lend a more natural look and feel, for example, while saline implants often leave a smaller scar because they are filled after they are inserted. Both implants are available in all different levels of sizing and projection, so it is possible to achieve a variety of looks using either silicone or saline. Dr. Cook will work with you during your consultation to help you understand the pros and cons of each type, and to choose which material makes more sense for you.
3. Can I have other surgeries performed at the same time as my breast augmentation?
It is ( delete “relativiely”) common to combine a breast augmentation with other procedures. Women who are experiencing breast sagging, for example, often have a breast lift performed alongside their augmentation for best results. Many women also choose to have liposuction with their augmentation to achieve a fully sculpted look. And breast augmentations are a common component of the mommy makeover suite of procedures, which is designed to help women who have experienced changes in their appearance after pregnancy and childbirth. Overall, combining body sculpting experience typically makes sense as it helps our patients save on operational costs and on recovery time. If you have aesthetic concerns beyond breast size, you should bring these up during your consultation with Dr. Cook so he can help you determine if you are a good candidate for more than one procedure.
4. Will I need to take time away from work after my surgery?
Though breast augmentation is a perfectly safe and routine surgery, it is still a surgery, and your body will need some time to heal. Dr. Cook usually recommends planning for about one week away from sedentary work and daily responsibilities, possibly more if your job is physically demanding or if you care for small children or energetic pets. If your augmentation includes fat transfer or other procedures such as a breast lift, you may need a few extra days of rest before you are cleared for some activities. Your specific recovery time will be discussed as part of your surgical plan, and Dr. Cook will keep you updated on your recovery progress when you visit for follow-up appointments.
5. Will I be in pain during my breast augmentation recovery?
Some soreness, tenderness and bruising are completely normal after a breast augmentation, but you will be given customized instructions on how to manage pain and other symptoms. Some patients will need prescription pain medications, while others find that Tylenol and ice are enough to keep discomfort to a minimum. Dr. Cook also typically prescribes muscle relaxing medications, which can ease pain so that you don’t need to rely on narcotics. Dr. Cook will ask about particular concerns about pain and about your history with pain management medications during your consultation.
6. When can I exercise again after my surgery?
If your surgery includes only a standard breast augmentation, you will be able to resume most exercise about one month after your procedure. You should be sure to wear a supportive undergarment, particularly if you are doing any high-impact workouts like running or jumping. If you frequently lift weights as a part of your routine, you may need to wait a bit longer before adding this back in. This is especially true if you chose to have your implants placed under the pectoral muscle during your surgery. Dr. Cook also strongly suggests going slowly and listening carefully to your body — don’t jump back into your most intense exercise routine right away, but rather build back up at a pace that is comfortable and doesn’t cause any strain or pain.
7. How long will my implants last?
Breast implants are meant to last for quite some time. As long as you do not experience a rupture and don’t want to change the look of your breasts again, it is possible for your implants to remain safely in your breasts for the rest of your life. But as a general rule, you can expect your implants to last between 10 and 20 years before you need a repair or revision. As implants age, they become more susceptible to damage and rupture. Additionally, many women find that their breasts continue to change as they age and they seek a revision surgery to maintain a natural appearance.
As a note, if you choose silicone gel implants, it can be more difficult to detect a rupture since the gel maintains its shape even if the casing is damaged. If there is a question as to whether a silicone gel implant has lost its integrity, the best way to make a diagnosis is with an MRI study of the breast.
8. Will my scars be visible?
Dr. Cook uses his expertise and the latest techniques to ensure that your scars are as hidden as possible. Your augmentation incisions will be placed within the natural folds of your skin and won’t be visible while you are wearing low-cut necklines, bathing suits or undergarments. With proper aftercare, many women find that their scars fade to lie flat and blend in with the surrounding skin even when they are visible; however, this will depend somewhat on your skin type, age and other environmental factors. If you choose to combine your augmentation with a breast lift, you might have more visible scarring around the areola or between the areola and the underside of the breast depending on lift technique. Dr. Cook can work with you to help you minimize scarring by recommending certain surgical options and skincare tips.
9. What happens if I don’t like my results?
Perhaps an inexperienced surgeon misjudged the best size or shape implant for your body type, or you simply healed in a way that couldn’t have been anticipated. Maybe it has been some time after your augmentation, and you have changed your mind about having larger breasts. No matter the reason, you should not feel as though you are stuck with breasts that don’t make you feel confident in your appearance. Revision surgery is always a possibility. But remember that breast augmentation revision requires a different set of skills and expertise, so you should be sure to carefully search for a plastic surgeon who has experience with revisions as well as first-time augmentations.
10. How do I know which surgeon to choose?
The minimum requirements you should have for your surgeon are:
- A medical degree from a reputable institution
- Education experience in plastic surgery
- Board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- License to practice in your state and country
- Performs surgery out of a state-licensed surgical center
- Has demonstrated expertise with breast surgeries including lifts and augmentations
Beyond these, you should look for a surgeon who makes you feel comfortable and whose style of communication works well with yours. When you meet your surgeon for your initial consultation, you should be sure to ask plenty of questions and gauge how your surgeon answers them. If they seem unable to explain their surgical process, if they are hesitant to share patient reviews or photos and if they do not perform breast augmentations very often, you should consider seeking a different surgeon for your procedure.
Dr. John Q. Cook and the Whole Beauty Institute team offer world-class surgical procedures from breast augmentations to rhinoplasties. Dr. Cook’s career spans decades of surgical practice, and he is a highly sought expert on surgical and non-surgical cosmetic topics. When you choose the Whole Beauty Institute for your breast augmentation, you can feel confident that you are in capable and caring hands. Schedule your consultation today — call us at 312-751-2112.