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The questions that a patient should ask about getting a natural look include, "What does the doctor expect to see?" if there's any type of visual material that can be used. A picture is worth a thousand words. If a patient can bring in material or if a doctor can show a photo, I think that's gonna be a much more effective way to communicate than the patient describing what they think is natural or the doctor describing what they think is natural because each person's perception of that might be totally different.

I think that the most natural placement for a breast augmentation really depends on the patient's anatomy. For the most part, I prefer to go under the muscle for a number of reasons that include naturalness of the result but also safety and long-term benefits to the patient.

I think recovery for a breast augmentation patient varies. It varies on the surgeon and the technique used and the patient's perception of pain, but in general in my practice, I think I try to do as atraumatic technique as possible. I try to bang things up as little as possible so the patient has less risk of, not only discomfort post-operatively but also inflammation and scarring.

So I think, in general, I tell patients they'll be back feeling pretty much normal by a week. I'd like them to wait five to six weeks before I want them to fully engage in all their activities so they don't cause any problems. In general, I think the recovery is on the order of a week or less.

Breast implants typically last potentially a lifetime. I tell patients to expect to have to replace them in 10 to 20 years and I think that's a realistic expectation. And if they last longer than that, I'm a hero. If not, then I told them so. And of course there's a small chance that they might need to be replaced in the first 10 years.

The signs that breast implants need to be replaced are not necessarily obvious. There may be a change in the shape of the breast or there may be a palpable lump that a patient feels in their breast, but particularly with silicone, you may not know that they need to be replaced unless you get an M.R.I. which is an expensive test, as you know.

Breast Augmentation 101

Dr. Matthew Conrad discusses several aspects of a breast augmentation procedure, from questions to ask your surgeon during the consultation to post-op recovery.

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