Warning! Noticabely Increases Self Confidence.

I went from a small size B to a size C and ...and...

I went from a small size B to a size C and ...and rather surprisingly gained more self confidence then I realized. It's a little embaressing to admit that breasts could do so much. Anyway, after years of nursing my 3 children, I joked that my breast looked like tube socks when I bent over.

My story and VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS to ask plastic surgeons:

Saline was the only thing offered 2 years ago. Though they look ok they are a bit hard to the touch. I'm evaluating replacing them with silicone gel implants in the next month. I had a bottoming out on one of my breast which needs to be repaired, so it makes sense to do a switch then.

I haven't had the best experience with my doctor and I'd like to point out a few VERY important issues.

1) Get more than one opinion, even if the doctor is highly recommended.

2). ASK the doctor what type of implants they use. Do they use various sizes? If they only use one type...i.e. round, high profile...RUN! I'm not saying that type is bad, rather that one TYPE isn't good for every body. It's like having one shoe to try and fit every person. The doctor needs to evaluate what looks best on you!

3) Ask if they have various implant sizes you can see and touch. DO NOT BASE YOUR DECISION ON PICTURES! 350 cc on one person can look completely different on another. I think your gut feeling should be a big factor and seeing various sizes might help you decide.

4) Go 25cc bigger than you plan. All but one of my 6 friends having implants wish they would have gone bigger, including myself.

5) Show the doctor pictures of what you DON'T want. MOST IMPORTANTLY bring the picture(s) the day of the surgery. Trust me, they will forget what you talked about during the consultation. They see tons of patients and usually weeks pass between the initial consultation and the surgery.

6) Ask the doctor if they've ever had to make corrections after they performed an augmentation. EVERY doctor should have had to make corrections at sometime, by no fault of their own in most cases. However, asking this question will open up a dialogue. You need to find out their opinion on what looks good. If you hear a doctor say that differences in sizes or variations between breast is completely normal....RUN! Believe me, that tells you that they're not concerned about giving you perfect breasts. Augmentation is not cheap...you should expect perfection or very close to it!

7) Lastly, ask their opinion on massaging after surgery. If they say don't massage question it. My doctor said don't massage because it can dislodge the breast. Well i didn't massage but my breast still bottomed out...a month after surgery... and he said nothing could be done. I've recently had 5 doctors say it can and should be repaired. My point about the massaging...if they say "don't" I'm guessing it's not a very secure procedure they're offering.

I'm sharing all this info because I hope I can prevent someone from going through what I've dealt with. $5500 for the original surgery now $7500+ to get it fixed 2 years later. Oh, that does include upgrading to slightly larger implants.

Even having said all this and my disappointment with my issues, I really have enjoyed having larger breasts. It's definately worth it!

Julie

3 Comments

I wanted to respond:

1) Strongly agreed. I would say get at least 3 consults from different board certified plastic surgeons. While we all try to be objective and analytical (which is good), there's also the chance you will just 'click' with one better than the others.

2) Agreed, although it's been my observation that a surgeon will develop a preference/loyalty for a specific manufacturer. A good surgeon will understand the subtle differences to be had between, say, a mod profile and a high profile.

3) Agreed with being able to hold various implant sizes in your hand, although you would be better prepared if you spent time at home doing the "rice test". As for the pictures, if you mean the surgeon's portfolio, that's certainly worth reviewing to see if you generally like or don't like the results, as this could be telling of what you can expect. Meaning, if you don't like what you see in the portfolio, you can probably expect yours to turn out similarly. Yes, gut feeling can go a long way, which is another reason doing the rice test at home is a huge plus.

4) "I wish I had gone bigger" is common, so this is good advice. However, 25cc is only about 1.7 tablespoons. 125cc is about half a cupsize. Again, experiment at home with the rice test.

5) Yes! But also bring pics of what you DO want. Don't bring in a huge fistful of pics, keep it down to at most 10. Try to provide different angles (front, oblique, side, etc) as pictures aren't nearly as good as having the real thing handy.

6) This might require clarification. Left/right differences (asymmetry) pre-op is common, and likely guaranteed. This is more dramatic in some women than others. But you're right, a surgeon should be striving to balance out that asymmetry as part of the augmentation. In some cases, the individual's uniqueness (eg, ribcage asymmetry) might prevent it from being perfect, but get clarity on this before your surgery, in order to best set your expectations. If at any time you feel the communication isn't going according to expectation (eg, the surgeon is doing all of the talking and none of the listening), then you should definitely get at least one other consult elsewhere.

7) It seems there are as many opinions on implant massage as there are surgeons. Allow me to share my wife's story. Her surgeon was adamant that she do the implant massage religiously, and she tried to, although it was quite tender. Her right side improved, her left side remained tender, if not worsened. By around 3-4 weeks post-op it became clear she had an infection in the left side (wound wouldn't stay closed, lots of mostly-clear fluid draining out). He tried putting in a couple stitches but it didn't stay closed, so he ended up removing the left implant. About 3.5 months later when he gave her the "all clear" for reimplantation, her recovery went MUCH more quickly (and no infection this time), she did NOT massage the implant (even though when the surgeon asked, she would tell him she was) and he was STILL quite surprised at how quickly the implant dropped and fluffed. Like we're talking about 2 weeks to catch up with her right side. She's quite the happy camper now, although there are some minor tweaks she'd like to get.

I would also add:

8) Round vs anatomical: Some surgeons (and some patients) swear by anatomicals, but I've found info from one surgeon where he compares X-rays of implanted breasts comparing rounds to anatomicals, and when standing up, even the rounds take on the 'teardrop' shape. Plus they have the added bonus of behaving more like natural breasts when the woman is laying on her back, instead of behaving like there's some unnatural gravitational force pulling from below her feet.

9) If you're considering saline implants, consider the following. During a consult with one surgeon (alas, not the surgeon we eventually went with) we mentioned reading about one of the local surgeons (couldn't remember his name right away) and how he reduces the rate of capsular contracture by liberal usage of antibiotics. The surgeon we were consulting with picked up on this and ran with it. He said that the surgeon who did the paper on this was Dr Adams, and said that his published approach definitely helps. Using injectibles as well as washing out the pocket with a Betadine solution (and rinsing with saline afterwards) is the way he (the surgeon we consulted with) prefers to do things. He mentioned that he also prefers to add a small amount of Betadine to the implant saline itself as yet another level of keeping things sterile. He said that there have been studies done showing that Betadine can be damaging to the implant shell, but he pointed out that (for those patients who agree to this technique) for the long-term patients who have been with him, they haven't experienced premature implant failure. He added that Dr Adams had come up with an alternative, that it wasn't quite as effective as using Betadine, but that it wasn't bad as alternatives go. His personal preference was still with using Betadine. If my wife ever gets a revision, I think we'll be going back to this surgeon. The only reason we didn't commit to surgery with him at the time (opting for another surgeon), was because he wanted to do her breast lift surgery separate from (3 weeks prior to) her augmentation surgery, effectively almost doubling the costs. So, something to consider.

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I am in the Colorado Springs area and just had a consultation with this doctor...who are you going to go to this time? This doctor again or do you know of someone else that is good? Any help on this would be appreciated, thanks!

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Thank-You for sharing your important information with us. I know you have helped me.
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Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon

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