Boobs. Yep, we are going to chat about boobs.
You've had a baby, you've had milk filled breasts and had the life sucked out of them by your adorable little bebes. They no longer sit up high and perky. The nips no longer sit front and centre and the skin that used to be nice and tight is now loose and stretch marked. Sound familiar? Charming isn't it?
Now let me start by saying I am no Plastic Surgeon. I have no qualifications to be able to perform any breast surgery HOWEVER, I have worked in the industry previously and know quite a bit about the ins and outs of this procedure.
Here is my back story. I was an A cup my whole adult life and decided on breast augmentation in 2014 at the age of 32. I went with round, high profile silicone textured implants 400cc for both (I had fairly symmetrical breasts where I didn't need 2 different sizes). At that stage, I had no intentions of having babies (I have written a blog about this previously I think?) so I thought, why not? I felt I was at a good age to have the surgery. Young enough to enjoy them and the look they gave me, but old enough to know that I was definitely not happy with my itty bitty boobs. I worked within the industry so had done all the research and had asked all the questions before I even considered having major surgery to change my body.
Let's talk about the differences between the 2 types of surgery that I know is running through a lot of mamas minds. Breast Augmentation and Breast Augmentation with Lift.
Two very different surgeries, two very different outcomes. Yes, you will have implants and the boobs will be bigger but there is a lot of aspects to what is needed for YOUR surgery. You may want a Breast Augmentation BUT it doesn't mean that it is the best surgery for you.
BREAST AUGMENTATION: is a surgical procedure that aims to increase the size, shape, or fullness of the breast. It is an enhancement of your natural breast.
BREAST AUGMENTATION WITH LIFT: is a surgical procedure to change the shape of your breasts. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed and breast tissue is reshaped to restore firmness and raise the breasts.
What does a plastic surgeon look for in a patient before determining the best procedure for you.
* Volume of breast tissue - How much breast tissue is present, is there too much? Is there very little?
* Skin Elasticity - Has the patient lost weight? Has the patient breastfed? Is the client a 'yo yo' patient meaning they lose and gain weight rapidly?
* Nipple positioning - Do the nipples sit central to the breast? Do they sit below the breast fold? Do they point downwards?
* Breast Symmetry - Is one breast larger than the other? Does the patient have a breast deformity? Does one breast sit higher than the other?
* Body weight - Is the patient overweight?
* Distance of breasts (width and height) - Do the breast sit a fair distance from the collarbone? Do the breasts sit far apart or very close together?
* Medical History - Does the patient have past/present medical conditions/issues?
All of these things come into play before you even talk about the surgery details. Now a lot of women become disheartened by what the Plastic Surgeon tells them that they need (especially if the patient wants a Breast Augmentation and she really needs a lift as well - very common) and then go from surgeon to surgeon until they find one that will do the surgery for them. Most of the time, they will find a Cosmetic Surgeon (Doctor) that will do the surgery for them. Great for now, but what about the long run?
Did you see how I have referenced a Plastic Surgeon AND a Cosmetic Surgeon (Doctor)? Here is why this is so important that you know the difference.
PLASTIC SURGEON - In Australia, Specialist Plastic Surgeons have studied specialist surgery for a minimum of five years and have at least 12 years of total medical and surgical education. Plastic Surgeons are also Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and have undergone extensive training to perform invasive surgical procedures.
COSMETIC SURGEON (DOCTOR) - They will complete a medical degree, followed by 1 year as a medical ‘Intern’ and then 1 or 2 years as a ‘Resident’ Medical Officer in a Hospital. They can then undergo a weekend workshop with a breast implant distributor – and start to perform Breast Augmentation surgery on patients. Many of these self-described ‘Cosmetic Surgeons’ are not surgically trained. Chances are many ‘Cosmetic Surgeons’ will lack the technical surgical expertise to operate with the full range of breast surgery options such as below or above the muscle and dual plane placement (including the 4 full levels of dual plane), round or anatomical shaped tear drop implants, even the periareolar (nipple) and axillary incision (armpit) incision sites. Many ‘Cosmetic Surgeons’ adopt a ‘One-size-fits-all’ approach and invariably recommend a high profile, textured round implant, placed under the muscle, with a breast fold incision – because they do not have the technical surgical expertise to offer any other surgical option for your anatomy and aesthetic preferences.
Why would you need a different type of surgery/implant/placement/incision? Here are some images to help me explain to you why you may need a lift as well as the augmentation.
Pic #1 - Very Large, sagging breasts (too much heavy tissue, low sitting nipples and breasts)
Some tissue may need to be removed as it is very heavy and can continue to stretch the skin. An implant only will add weight and therefore bring the breast down lower and more pressure on the skin.
Pic #2 - Uneven Breasts (little to no tissue on one breast/too much on the other)
Depending on the extent of the fullness in the larger breast, a lift with a small implant may be required with a larger implant required for the smaller breast.
Pic #3 - Tuberous Breasts - Breast tissue that is constricted around the nipple area.
This type of breast requires reconstructive surgery to release the tissue and glands to accommodate the implant.
Pic #4 - Sagging breasts (Ptosis) - breasts will sit low and nipples will also sit lower.
This is the one where patients think they can get away with an augmentation only. Unfortunately this is not the case. An implant will exaggerate what you already have. If you have a low sitting breast, the implant will sit behind that existing tissue meaning you will just have a bigger, low sitting breast, not the perky breast you are hoping for. Extra weight on a low sitting breast equals stretched skin (a lift is inevitable 12 months down the track).
Pic #5 - Very little to no breast tissue - This may require a different implant type, like a Tear Drop Implant. As the breast fold is quite small and tight, it requires a heavier bottom to help push the breast out. A round implant may do but as the tissue is fairly non existent, the implants will look like 2 balls on your chest.
Pic #6 - A 'normal' breast (as stated by a surgeon). Nips sit central, breast tissue is even and high, distance between breast fold and nipples are decent and skin elasticity is accommodating. A round or tear drop implant can be used.
What about if I want to have more babies? My advice? Wait. Wait until you have had all the little bebes that you can handle and THEN look into having surgery if you still desire it. Your breasts will change SO much when pregnant and post baby. There is no point in spending a stupid amount of money on some awesome breasts and then only have your body change dramatically and change them up (and have another surgery unnecessarily). My boobs went from a D cup to a G cup while pregnant, up to an H cup while breastfeeding and now they are back to a DD cup. Do they sit high anymore? Nope. Not all. They sit lower than what I had originally, although they do look a lot more natural.
So before you think about breast surgery, answer these questions to yourself.
Am I done having children?
Am I prepared to hear that I may need a lift instead of just an augmentation?
Am I open to a smaller implant size if recommended?
Am I financially prepared for a larger surgery?
Am I doing this for me?
If you answered 'No' to any of these questions, step back and reassess what you want until you can answer yes to these.
Like I said, I am no surgeon and you need to book in with a PLASTIC SURGEON to determine the best outcome for you and your surgery. If you are still breastfeeding, it is best to wait until you have finished LACTATING before having any type of breast surgery as the risk of infection is higher (as is being overweight and a smoker). Google Necrosis, it's bad. Really bad (*vomit).
So there you have it, my little bit of info on breast surgery. I hope it was somewhat helpful and if you do decide to go ahead with surgery, save up for new bras/clothes/gym clothes/booby tassels (for the hubby *wink wink*).