Can I Fix Uneven Breasts Without Implants? + 5 More Questions About Breast Enhancement SurgeryPosted on March 1, 2017 | by Boston Plastic Surgery
If you are considering your options to get better breast contours—whether that means larger breasts, smaller breasts, or a perkier shape—you are in good company. Breast enhancement procedures have always ranked among the most popular cosmetic surgeries. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than half a million women had cosmetic breast surgery in 2015 alone.
We’ve rounded up 6 frequently asked questions about breast augmentation and other breast procedures we hear from our patients. Take a look and see if we’ve answered anything you’ve been itching to know.
Do I need a breast lift or a breast augmentation?
This is one of the most common questions our Boston breast enhancement patients have when they are bothered by both breast sagging and volume loss. And the answer just might be “both!” Here’s why.
Breast implants can increase breast size or restore lost volume, but simply “filling out” sagging skin with an implant will not provide any lift—placing implants without also removing excess, stretched skin will only result in larger, sagging breasts. On the other hand, if would like a size boost in addition to perkier breasts, a breast lift alone will likely leave you disappointed in your results.
The good news is that the procedures work beautifully together: a breast lift with augmentation both corrects sagging and increases breast size, for fuller, shapelier breasts.
The best way to learn which breast procedure is best for you is to meet with an experienced plastic surgeon, who will give you an honest opinion based on your anatomy and help you understand if a breast augmentation, breast lift, or a combined procedure will give you the look you want.
Can I fix uneven breasts without implants?
Correcting breast asymmetry is a common reason women seek breast surgery, and placing two different sized breast implants is one way to improve symmetry. However, it’s not the only option. If you are happy with the size of your smaller breast, a skilled plastic surgeon can reduce the larger breast to bring both breasts into better proportion. If the breasts are fairly even in size, but unevenly shaped, a breast lift can help reshape natural tissue to achieve an aesthetically pleasing contour without significantly affecting breast size. If you’re unsure which way to go, consult with a plastic surgeon who can help you can try out different looks before you make a decision.
How long does it take for breast augmentation results to be final?
While breast augmentation will instantly increase breast size, your breasts will not look their best immediately after surgery. It takes time for breast tissue and chest muscles to adjust to having implants present, and at first your breasts will seem too high on the chest. Post-operative swelling can also cause the breasts to appear misshapen and feel firmer than normal for some time. Don’t worry—this is a normal part of the healing process. The majority of swelling resolves in 2 to 3 weeks, and after about 3 months, your implants will soften and settle into a more natural position (commonly called “dropping and fluffing”). If 3 months sounds like a long time, consider this: most patients are excited to show off their results much earlier in their recovery; after the first month, further improvement is so gradual that only you are likely to notice anything changing.
How long do breast implants last?
Today’s FDA approved breast implants are more durable than ever, containing a very thick, cohesive silicone gel or sterile saline solution encased in a strong, silicone shell. Rupture rates are especially low with the newest highly-cohesive silicone implants. However, even the newest generation of breast implants aren’t advertised as lifetime devices.
Here’s what you need to know. Breast implant failure rates remain very low for the first 10 years or so, and then gradually increase as implants get older. So, if you get breast implants, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you’ll need another surgery at some point in your lifetime.
Women who have already had their implants for a decade or two often choose to do an implant swap combined with breast lift surgery to correct sagging later in life. This provides an opportunity to adjust your implant size and shape and rejuvenate your breasts, in addition to resetting the clock on your implants.
Can I get a breast lift without the vertical scar?
Many patients would like a breast lift to get perkier, firmer breasts, but are apprehensive about the idea of having a scar running from the areola down the bottom of each breast. While a “scarless” breast lift would certainly be nice, the vertical incision is often necessary to remove the right amount of excess skin and create the most natural, aesthetically pleasing breast shape possible. However, there are exceptions. For example, for our patients who need only a modest lift, Dr. Samaha can often achieve a beautiful result using only an incision around the edge of the areola, which is nicely camouflaged once healed. Patients who need more of a lift than a periareolar incision alone can provide may be candidates for Dr. Samaha’s advanced technique which requires a scar under the breast fold, but avoids the vertical scar.
A board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast lifts will be able to tell you which incision pattern is appropriate for your anatomy and goals. It’s never a good idea to compromise on breast shape and tissue support in an effort to avoid a scar. Take heart knowing that in experienced hands and with proper scar care, breast lift scars will fade significantly over time.
Should I lose weight before breast reduction?
It’s a common misconception that overweight patients must lose weight before they can have breast reduction. Understandably, this leaves many patients frustrated—having very large, heavy breasts can make exercise very difficult, sabotaging any weight loss efforts. Being moderately overweight does not exclude an otherwise healthy patient from being a good breast reduction candidate. In fact, this surgery can be an essential step in a patient’s weight loss journey, allowing them to enjoy exercise with greater comfort and helping them stick to a workout program. However, if you are hoping to have your procedure paid for by insurance, you may be required to get your weight within a certain range for your height to qualify for coverage.
Get answers to all your questions about breast enhancement at a consultation
If you are in the Boston area, we would love to answer all your questions in person and encourage you to contact us for a personal consultation. Dr. Samaha is board certified in plastic surgery, and breast augmentation and breast lift surgery are two of his specialties. He will be happy to go over your options and help you choose the best breast procedure for you.