The thought of getting a breast augmentation can be both exciting and daunting. Getting the procedure done is a deeply personal decision; you should go ahead only if you're doing it for yourself and not someone else. As with any surgery, there are side effects and possible complications, and reading about them can be scary. That's why the Michael Horn Plastic Surgery Med & Spa team thought it might be helpful to hear directly from one of our patients. But first, let's give you some facts about breast augmentation so you can make the best decision for yourself and start your journey to a happier you.
What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is designed to enlarge or bring symmetry to your breasts by inserting either saline or silicone breast implants. The procedure can also restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy. However, while the procedure can help with fullness and symmetry, it does not correct severely drooping breasts.
How does the procedure work?
Breast augmentations are performed under general anesthesia, so you don't feel any pain during the procedure. After making a small incision, Dr. Horn will insert your breast implants. During the consultation, you will have a chance to select the size and type of implant. After Dr. Horn has successfully placed your implants, he will close your incisions with stitches and then bandage them securely with surgical tape. You'll be monitored during recovery, and once the anesthesia wears off, you'll be released to go home.
Here is what our patient's experience was like:
"Overall, my experience with breast augmentation surgery was relatively easy. I was so excited! Starting from waking up from anesthesia, I thought I was waking up from a dream in my bedroom until the nurse softly touched my arm to help me become aware. I was foggy and sore throughout the rest of the day, similar to a hangover, but this only lasted for the first day. Having someone there with you is definitely important."
What can I expect following the procedure?
You will have to wear a bandage that compresses your breasts during your recovery, and you may be prescribed medication for pain. Dr. Horn and his team will advise you when you can return to regular work and recreational activities. For most people, it only takes a few days before they can go back to work. You will have to avoid anything strenuous for a minimum of two weeks. Once you can remove the bandages, you might find the results look very different than what you expected. This is perfectly normal due to swelling and tenderness. You won't be able to assess your final results until your body has a chance to begin healing.
This is what our patient experienced:
"Following my surgery, the first reveal of my new breasts was not what I was expecting. When I saw the shape and how high they were on my chest, I was in a bit of shock, but once I was assured this was normal and how the post-procedure process worked, etc., I was back to being happy and excited! I remember saying out loud, 'I have boobs!' and we all laughed. I may have even had tears of happiness.
For me, there, of course, was some discomfort, difficulty breathing, and a sore chest, but on a scale from 1 to 10, I would say my pain was a 5-6 throughout the six-week recovery process.
The first time I had to massage my breasts, that was the worst pain of the entire process for me. It hurt more than the discomfort from the surgery!
I had my mom, who helped me bathe and wash my hair for about the first five days, give or take. I was very cautious and made sure not to do anything I wasn't supposed to.
I worked as a receptionist then and went back to work in 5 days.
I had one breast that was more swollen than the other, and that lasted for months. The breast that was more swollen, every once in a while, I would get a tingly pain/sensation [almost like little needles] that would randomly happen from time to time - I learned this was nerves waking back up from surgery.
Personally, my swelling didn't completely go down until almost a full year.
Overall, my experience with breast augmentation was smooth sailing. It was no more pain than what I was told it would be, and I did not have any complications, infections, etc. I was left with an amazing transformation that gave me exactly what I was missing, self-confidence. Getting my breasts done was the best decision - I would do it again!"
Is breast augmentation right for you?
Ultimately, the only person who can answer this question is you. Breast augmentation is a very common procedure, and thousands of women love the results and newfound confidence it gives them. Since it is a surgical procedure, it does come with risks, and while breast augmentation is a long-lasting procedure - the implants may have to be renewed in the future. A great way to get more personalized answers and an assessment is during a consultation with our experienced board-certified Chicago plastic surgeon and breast specialist, Dr. Michael Horn, where he will go over everything with you. So, are you ready to start your breast augmentation journey?