Whether going bigger or smaller, there’s bound to be a few shocks along the way…
As the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure on the planet, more than 12,000 breast augmentations take place in Australia each year. With more women choosing to go under the knife, The Cosmetic Institute has put together a check list of 10 things to consider before signing on the dotted line to have surgery.
“Breast augmentations make up more than 90 percent of the surgeries we perform,” says Dr Huy Tang, cosmetic surgeon at The Cosmetic Institute, which performs some 5,000 breast augmentation procedures each year. “While it’s a fairly straight-forward procedure, any time a patient is considering surgery, we want to make sure they’re informed, educated and armed with the right questions to ask,” he said.
Here, Dr Tang outlines the 10 most important things to consider before going under the knife.
1. Be healthy
“Prior to your procedure it is critical that you are in excellent health,” says Dr Tang. “In particular, if you’re a smoker, it’s a very good idea to kick the habit at least eight weeks prior to your surgery.” According to Dr Tang, smokers have a much higher risk of serious complications during and after surgery, including infections and impaired wound healing.
2. Get educated
“It seems obvious, but make sure you’re well informed,” says Dr Tang, who recommends visiting forums, talking to people who have had the procedure and looking through the social media pages of the clinics you are interested in going with. “It is a very good idea to do this research before you meet your prospective surgeon so you can ensure all your questions can be addressed in your initial consultation,” he says.
3. Shop around
“Although it can be tempting to go with the first surgeon you find and book your procedure in straight away, don’t settle with the first clinic you visit,” says Dr Tang. “Ensure you have a consultation with at least two or three other clinics to gain some perspective on what’s out there and where you feel the most comfortable. In addition to getting to know the surgeon, you can familiarise yourself with the type of work they do by looking at before and after pictures.”
4. Get clear about costs
To avoid any surprises, make sure you are aware of the costs associated with your surgery up front. “Many clinics have hidden costs such as a facility hire fees, post op follow up fees and anaesthetist fees, so make sure all costs are laid out on the table before you decide,” Dr Tang advises.
5. Stay local
“I can’t stress strongly enough that patients need to think carefully before being lured overseas by the promise of cut-price surgery, as doing so exposes you to a number of unnecessary risks,” warns Dr Tang. In addition to being away from the comforts of home and the support of family and friends while recovering from surgery, Dr Tang points out that you’re likely to be travelling to a very hot, humid climate where the risk of infection can be increased and the standard of sanitation may not be as high. “You’ll also have no access to your surgeon once you return home, which may be crucial should complications occur weeks or even months after your surgery. We are lucky that Australia has one of the best medical systems in the world, so you couldn’t be in safer hands,” he says.
6. Ask for accreditation
“One of the very basic things you need to do is make sure both the clinic and the surgeon are accredited,” stresses Dr Tang, who warns that while the surgeon you’re talking to might be accredited, the facility may not be.
7. Ask about anaesthetic
“Enquire about who will be administering the anaesthetic and ask whether you will have a specialist anaesthetist on site dedicated to your care for the full duration of surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Make sure your surgeon discusses the type of anaesthetic that will be used and that you are well informed about the different types of anaesthetic options available.”
8. Get the low down on the implants
In terms of implant options, Dr Tang suggests you discuss everything from the type of implants your surgeon is planning to use (silicone gel or saline), to the size of implants they recommend based on your proportions, and their shape – which can be round or tear drop. “You’ll also want to ask about the texture of your implants’ surface – rough or smooth, whether your implants will be placed under or in front of the muscle, and the location of your incisions,” he says.
9. Be aware of the aftercare
“What happens after surgery is just as important as what happens during surgery,” says Dr Tang. “Following your surgery it is vital that you attend the recommended post op consultations with your surgeon and follow the aftercare directions they provide you with to the letter,” he says. He also suggests that you have a designated post op care partner to help look after you the days and even weeks following the procedure. “It is highly recommended that mothers in particular have assistance with general day to day activities as their upper body will be restricted and they won’t be able to do things like pick up their children, take a pram out of the car, or reach for anything above shoulder height.”
10. Keep your expectations in check
“Although breast augmentation is a relatively simple procedure, many people are unaware of the lifestyle adjustments that will need to be made following surgery and come in with unrealistic expectations about their recovery,” says Dr Tang. He advises that most patients will need to take a week or so off work and won’t be able to drive for a week either. “It’s also important to keep in mind that your new breasts will change dramatically in the first six to 12 weeks and will continue to settle over the 12 to 24 months following, so don’t expect immediate perfection,” he says.
In terms of scarring, Dr Tang says that patients are usually left with a thin line across the base of the breast, which fades over the following 12 months. And finally, because you’re breasts will still be healing, Dr Tang says that underwire bras are off limits for about six weeks.
With the demand for cosmetic surgery in Australia at an all-time high and growing at a rate of 30 per cent year-on-year, it is estimated that more than 12,000 breast augmentations take place nationwide each year. Yet according to The Cosmetic Institute, Australia’s largest provider of cosmetic surgery, a number of misconceptions about the procedure still exist.
“Breast implants are by far our most commonly requested procedure,” says David Segal, co-founder and Managing Director of The Cosmetic Institute and author of the book Skin – The Essential Australian Guide. ”Over the past 18 months, we have performed more than 3,000 breast augmentations and they make up more than 90 per cent of the surgeries we perform, yet we find that there is still a lot of mixed information out there,” he said.
Here, David outlines and corrects the 10 most common myths and misconceptions that exist around breast implants and breast augmentation:
While the media will often showcase celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Brynne Edelstein as examples of breast augmentation, in the “real world” many clients just want to go from an A to a B or C cup. “Most of the patients we see are women who simply want to fill out their clothing and feel more confident and feminine. Others wish to “replenish” what breast feeding has taken away or correct asymmetry, where one breast is smaller than the other,” says David. “The size of the implant is determined in consultation with the patient, taking into account their height, weight and frame, but for the most part, we don’t see women who are looking to go really big,” he said.
2. Breast implants will cause you to lose all feeling in your breasts
While the impact implants can have on sensation and sensitivity in the breast tissue will always vary from patient to patient. “The vast majority of patients experience no permanent sensory changes after undergoing a breast augmentation,” David said.
3. You can’t breastfeed after breast implants
Many people still believe that having breast augmentation can prevent a woman from breast feeding, however this is usually not the case. “Providing they are inserted correctly, there is no medical evidence to suggest that implants interfere with breastfeeding,” says David. “At The Cosmetic Institute we insert the implant under the muscle, meaning the implant does not affect the milk ducts,” David says.
4. Breast augmentation is painful surgery that requires a lot of time off work
Everybody has their unique pain tolerance level and will require differing amounts of post-operative pain relief, and while the length of time it takes to recover from surgery differs from person to person, most patients are able to return to work within five to seven days following surgery, says David. “Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the procedure and the time it takes to recover. The procedure itself takes just 45 minutes on average and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Patients are able to recuperate at home once discharged from recovery,” he says.
5. Heading overseas to places like Thailand for surgery is a cost-effective way to have your surgery whilst enjoying a holiday at the same time
According to David, there is a lot of romanticism surrounding cosmetic surgery holidays, when in reality, it can be near impossible to enjoy a tropical holiday while recovering from something like a breast augmentation. “In addition to not being able to swim, patients may be in pain and must keep movement to a minimum. Additionally, people are often travelling to very hot, humid climates, where the risk of infection is high, and most importantly, should something go wrong, a patient has no access to their surgeon once they have returned home,” David warns.
And, in terms of costs savings, once flights, accommodation, travel insurance and other expenses have been factored in, the costs can quickly escalate, resulting in no savings at all in the end.
6. Silicone implants are not safe
As one of the most thoroughly studied medical devices in the world, decades of research have gone into the safety and effectiveness of silicone implants. “Silicone is actually the most biocompatible material known to man and silicone-filled implants are supported by extensive pre-clinical testing, US clinical studies and European rupture prevalence data,” David says.
7. Breast implants can rupture and harm you
“These days, the chances of an implant rupturing are extremely low,” says David. “However, in the rare case that an implant did rupture, most likely due to some form of severe trauma, there would be no harm to the patient in terms of toxicity,” David said. As implants are made of a gel substance that remains within a solid membrane and does not “leak” into the body, the implant would merely be removed and replaced.
8. Breast implants make it hard to detect breast cancer
“While radiologists are well practised in administering breast screens to women with implants, it is believed that it’s actually easier to detect changes in your breasts if you have implants as they tend to push the natural breast tissue closer to the surface, making a lump easier to feel,” David says. Regardless, it’s recommended that all women (with or without implants) monitor their breasts and have a regular examination by a doctor.
9. Implants make breasts sag earlier
Gravity, weight and the breakdown of collagen and elastin tissue within the skin are all factors that affect the likelihood for breast to sag, regardless of whether the woman has an implant, says David. “Natural breasts are just as likely to sag as breasts with implants are, which is why it is important for all women to wear a good quality, supportive and well-fitted bra,” he says.
10. Breast implants need to be changed every 10 years
According to David, implants today don’t have a set lifetime. “Unless your breasts change shape or there’s impairment to the implant, then there’s no reason to replace them, regardless of how long they’ve been in your breast.”
The Cosmetic Institute operates two clinics, in Sydney’s Parramatta and Bondi Junction, and offers exceptional surgical outcomes, patient care and support at a fair price.
Have you ever been interested in breast augmentation surgery? Whether you’re thinking about going up a cup size, downgrading or even making your breasts look firm and shapely, this kind of cosmetic surgery is one of the most popular trends in Australia at the moment. Growing at a rate of 30 per cent year-after-year, it is time to debunk any myths about breast augmentation, and just face the facts if you’re interested in going under the knife.
The Cosmetic Institute is a world-class facility offering breast augmentation surgery, amongst other cosmetic procedures. With their flagship store located in Parramatta and second established just months ago in bustling Bondi Junction, they offer exceptional surgical outcomes, brilliant patient care and support at a fair price. Breast augmentation surgery at The Cosmetic Institute is available for $5,990.
Here are some common misconceptions about breast augmentation surgery, as told by David Segal, co-founder and managing director of The Cosmetic Institute, and author of the book Skin – The Essential Australian Guide.
Breast implants are only for women who want to increase their cup size
A far cry from the assets of celebrities such as Brynne Edelstein or Pamela Anderson, in reality, many clients just want to go from an A to a B or a C cup. “The size of the implant is determined in consultation with the patient, taking into account their height, weight and frame, but for the most part, we don’t see women who are looking to go really big,” says David. Implants are not a ‘one size fits all’ type of procedure. They are chosen in proportion to body-type, and how to best flatter the rest of the patient.
Implants will make you lose the sensation in your breasts
Although patients will usually have a different reaction from the procedure, in most cases this is treated as a rare concept. While everyone will react differently after the implants are inserted, the loss of sensitivity isn’t usually a permanent side effect. “The vast majority of patients experience no permanent sensory changes after undergoing a breast augmentation,” David said.
You cannot breastfeed after having implants
One of the most common misconceptions about breast augmentation surgery is definitely in regards to difficulty breastfeeding in the future. The implant is usually inserted under the muscle, since this will not interfere with any flow from the milk ducts. If you do plan to have kids or breastfeed, don’t let this common misconception deter you from the idea of breastfeeding.
Breast augmentation requires a lot of attention and time off work
While everybody is different and has a varied amount of pain tolerance, breast augmentation isn’t treated like a surgery which requires a tremendous amount of down-time. Most patients will be back and on their feet within 5-7 days after the procedure has been completed. “Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the procedure and the time it takes to recover. The procedure itself takes just 45 minutes on average and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Patients are able to recuperate at home once discharged from recovery,” says David.
Having the procedure in Thailand or overseas will be cheaper and act like a mini-holiday
A large number of people choose to get their breast augmentation surgery in countries such as Thailand, Lebanon and Bali. These procedures are often advertised as cheap and are romanticised since they also look like a mini-holiday which takes over the recovery period. In reality, this is nearly impossible since patients need an adequate amount of care, rest and follow-up support which doesn’t exist in these types of scenarios. “In addition to not being able to swim, patients may be in pain and must keep movement to a minimum. Additionally, people are often travelling to very hot, humid climates, where the risk of infection is high, and most importantly, should something go wrong, a patient has no access to their surgeon once they have returned home,” David warns.
Silicone implants are not safe
Much has been said over the past few years in regards to the safety of silicone implants. Actually, these implants have gone through numerous tests and research which determine that they are extremely safe and reliable. “Silicone is actually the most biocompatible material known to man and silicone-filled implants are supported by extensive pre-clinical testing, US clinical studies and European rupture prevalence data,” David says. If you are worried about the safety of silicone implants, do your research and read-up as much as you can on the topic before deeming it unsafe.
Implants make it difficult to detect breast cancer
Actually, quite the opposite. Breast implants have often had a bad reputation in regards to blocking the detection of breast cancer. Instead, the implants push forward the breast tissue, which makes it so much easier to detect any incoming lumps or bumps which are of concern.
Image via Dr Tim Vlog
Considering plastic surgery but don’t know where to start? Our new Plastic Surgery Guide will cover common procedures as well as the latest methods, starting with breast implants.
What is the procedure?
Breast implants, also known as breast augmentation and breast enlargement involves placing an implant into a pocket formed beneath the breast tissue or muscle which helps increase the size and volume of the breast. This is one of the most commonly performed procedures that Dr Barnouti at Sydney Plastic Surgery is well-known for which helps women achieve natural looking breasts that are in harmony with her figure. For women who are suffering from droopy or saggy breasts then the breast lift also known as Mastopexy is a good option. This procedure is especially good for women who’s breasts have lost their youthful shape or for women who have seen their breasts sag as a result of pregnancy, weight fluctuations, ageing, gravity and heredity.
The breast lift procedure can only be described as a fine art as precise millimetric measurements are taken of the breast. Through this meticulous process Dr Barnouti is able to produce natural looking breasts by implementing exact measurements to create a more predictable outcome…i.e. perky breasts that are positioned perfectly. Once these measurements are taken Dr Barnouti can then advise if a breast lift is performed alone or in combination with augmentation to further improve the breast shape. The breast lift is designed to raise and firm the breast by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. The augmentation can be performed using your own fatty tissue, also known as fat injection, or by using an implant.
Different type of breast implants
There are many decisions to make when considering breast implants including the implant type and size, the pocket and the incision placement – this is where Dr Barnouti will help you make the right decision. Breast implants come in two different shapes – round and tear drop and can contain saline or silicone.
1. Teardrop implants are contoured and are considered the most anatomical. They are shaped like a natural breast and create a sloped shape when placed over the chest muscles. While these are the most natural looking breast implants, it takes a skilled plastic surgeon to ensure they are placed properly. For this reason it is important to ask your surgeon to see photos of other patients that have received this type of implant.
2. Round Implants are the most common implants as they generally give women the most lift, fullness and cleavage. Certain types of round implants can also enhance the forward projection of the breasts. Some women however, feel that round implants are too artificial looking. Again its best to discuss these options with your surgeon and choose the right shape and size that works with your body frame and the look you are aiming to achieve.
Saline or silicone?
You can also choose between saline and silicone breast implants although saline implants are running out of fashion in Australia. Silicone breast implants are made of rubber shell and filled with highly cohesive silicone gel and are far superior to saline implants in terms of feel, shape and longevity. Where the breast implant is placed is something else to think about with the option of placing it under the muscle or above the muscle. While many options are available it is very important for women to sit down with their surgeon after a thorough examination and discuss which option makes the most sense for your body and the outcome you want to achieve.
The Brazilian implants are another excellent choice to enhance the breast and are covered in a layer of polyurethane-foam that creates a ‘furry’ feel to the outer shell in terms of feel. If you were to hold a Brazilian implant it would feel like fur or a suede material. Once inside your body they start off by feeling firmer than a regular silicone implant and can last longer than the normal ‘softening’ process of a regular implant – the idea is that they start out firmer but end up being softer than other implants in the end.
Other things to consider…
Another consideration you will need to make with your breast augmentation is the location of the incision – there are three common incisions or entry points for the implant used to augment the breast. The most common incision is placed directly under the breast with other choices including an incision around the areola (where your nipple is) or the armpit. Again this decision can be discussed with your surgeon to determine which option is best for you.
Consulting a plastic surgeon
To discuss your breast augmentation surgery, it will be helpful to bring along your partner and a list of questions that you have so you will not forget to ask any of them. An information sheet and breast augmentation after care sheet should be provided for you during the breast consultation.
You should pay between $10,000 -$12,500 this is inclusive of the surgeon’s fee, assistant surgeons fee, anesthetist’s fee, operating theatre, GST and all follow-up visits cost. Cost should also cover your choice of teardrop breast implants, round breast implants, Brazilian breast implants or any other breast implants you wish.
Considerations for breast enlargement surgery
– You will need between 8-14 days off work. For light duties or office work you can return after 8 days for heavier duties it is best to return to work after 14 days.
– Sport bra need to be worn for 4 weeks after breast augmentation surgery.
– You cannot do any vigorous exercise or go to the gym for 6 weeks.
– You cannot drive, drink or sign any important documents in the first 48 hours after your breast implants surgery.
– You must have realistic expectations – breast implants average size is 250-400ml.