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6 Important Things You Should Consider Before Getting Breast Augmentation

Here’s everything you need to know.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

I'm a plastic surgeon sub-specializing in cosmetic breast surgery at Neinstein Plastic Surgery in New York City, so I know breast augmentation helps many women maintain a positive body image and self-esteem. Many women seeking breast augmentation describe the decision as something they have been considering since they hit puberty. In these cases, women describe "feeling like they waited forever for their breasts to develop, but they never did."  Many women still want to be able to fill out the same tops and bathing suits after their breast enhancement but with more shape and volume. Others seek a volume that will provide more balance to their frame, or enhance their femininity. 

"While from the outside breast augmentation or breast enhancement surgery may seem frivolous or pure vanity, what if you put it through the lens of harmonizing the body," says Dr Ryan Neinstein of Neinstein Plastic Surgery. "Many patients seeking breast surgery are not looking for some audacious change to change the way the world perceives them; they are utilizing modern medicine to seek a balancing of their body. Many women want to establish the mind-body connection that is disconnected with their breast. In essence they feel as though something is missing and they are looking for options to balance that mind body connection."

He adds: "When we see our patients post-operatively they don't say 'I love my big boobs,' they say 'I feel complete now.' This insight from our patients has helped us evolve as surgeons and doctors to really understand the psychological nuances that go into cosmetic surgery. Quality of life is an important medical and life metric that we are proud to be able to help people with."

Women also seek breast augmentation as a restorative procedure post- breastfeeding and pregnancy. In these cases, postpartum mothers are left with frustrating lack of volume, deflation, and loose skin. No amount of diet and exercise can restore the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding to the breast and they often feel like they don't recognize their own body. Women in this category often seek implants to rejuvenate their look and reclaim their post- pregnancy bodies. Here are 6 important things you should consider before getting breast augmentation.

First, Find the Right Surgeon


Finding the right surgeon is an important step. Most importantly, you want to ensure you choose a board certified physician who practices in an accredited facility. It's also essential to choose someone who performs breast augmentation on a regular basis. Many plastic surgeons sub-specialize in specific area. Choosing someone who sub-specializes in cosmetic breast surgery helps ensure you select someone with extensive experience in breast enhancement. 

It is equally important to select someone whose aesthetic outcomes match your cosmetic goals. Many surgeons have their own style, which can be tailored to individual patient requests but will be evident in their before and after photos. Women seeking breast augmentation in NYC often have desires for smaller volume enhancements that provide more natural-looking results than are traditionally associated with breast augmentation (think Kendall Jenner vs Dolly Parton)

Lastly, it's essential to choose a surgeon that you connect well with during the consultation process. Surgery can be scary, and it is important to find someone you trust and feel comfortable guiding you though all stages of the surgery and recovery process. 

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Option One: Implant and Fat Transfer


The most common way to achieve the most customized, natural- looking results is combining breast augmentation with an implant and fat transfer. The breast implant provides structure and shape to the breast (giving you the ability to bra-less and maintain a perky shape), while the fat transfer provides natural volume, to hide visible borders of the implants and soften aesthetic lines. 

In these cases, a gummy bear (silicone) implant is placed through a small incision tucked into the braline. The implant can be placed above or below the muscle (depending on how much of your own breast tissue is present). Next, liposuction techniques are used to remove fat from stubborn areas elsewhere in the body.  This fat can be taken from any area, including the thighs, waist, abdomen, arms, or legs. This fat is then transferred over the implant to add natural volume that hides visible borders of the implant, softening aesthetic lines. 

Option Two: Saline Implant


Breast augmentation can also be performed with a saline implant. Saline implants have a higher risk of visible rippling, so are generally placed below the muscle and are best combined with fat transfer in thin women with little of their own breast tissue.  

Option Three: Fat Transfer Only (Less Common)


Less commonly, breast enhancement is performed with fat transfer only (no implant). This creates a very different aesthetic than breast enhancement with an implant. Because fat transfer does not have the same structure as an implant, enhancement with fat transfer alone achieves an even more subtle, natural- looking result. Fat transfer alone is typically not the best option for postpartum women with goals to improve volume to the upper portion of the breast (upper pole volume). Volume restoration to the upper part of the breast is best achieved with an implant. 

Common Mistake to Avoid When Considering Breast Augmentation


One of the most common mistakes is choosing implant size because you like how a specific volume looks on someone else. The same size and shape of implant can look VERY different on two women with two different frames. Therefore, if you love the way your friend looks and she has 295cc implants, that doesn't mean 295cc will be the right size to achieve your goals. 

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Communicate Your Goals Clearly


Communicating your goals well is essential to achieving your desired aesthetic outcomes. If you love the way a breast enhancement looks on any particular individual (a friend, a celebrity, an influencer, or a previous patient's before and after) saving those photos and taking them with you to your consultation will provide an excellent visual communication tool for you to discuss your desired results with your plastic surgeon. Similarly, if there are any photos of aesthetics that you DON'T like, these can be equally helpful to guide implant selection during your sizing appointment. 

💪🔥Body Booster: For breast enhancement ensure your surgeon is board-certified, experienced in breast augmentation, and works in an accredited facility. 

Dr. Anna K. Steve is a distinguished Plastic Surgeon with focused expertise in cosmetic breast surgery at Neinstein Plastic Surgery