Timing Your Breast Augmentation Surgery

Whether you are planning a beach vacation or a wedding, hoping to get pregnant or lose weight, or entering a sports competition, timing is everything when you are considering breast augmentation surgery.

Taking a Beach Vacation
Around three weeks after your breast augmentation surgery, you can go in a hot tub, swimming pool or the ocean. At that time,Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.27.01 PM the incision will be healed enough so that water won’t penetrate it and possibly cause an infection. You can go tanning as early as three weeks after surgery, too. Ultraviolet light, whether from the tanning bed or the sun at the beach, can make a scar redder for a longer period of time, so protect your incisions with sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

It’s best to wait at least eight weeks before making a major investment in new bras and swimsuits. At that time, you will be able to more accurately determine your postoperative size and shape and get a truer fit.

Wedding Planning
It takes about eight weeks for breast implants to begin to settle into their new size and Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.28.34 PM shape. If you want to get a true fit, it would be unwise to go wedding gown shopping before then. Since wedding planning calendars usually recommend that you order your gown 8-10 months out, it means your surgery should be a year before the big day. If you can’t plan that far ahead, you could schedule surgery anywhere up to about four months before the wedding. That way, you’ll be able to get your gown’s bodice adjusted at the fitting, which is usually done about 6-8 weeks before the ceremony.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
If you are thinking about having a child in the next year or working on it now, I would suggest that you wait because your post-pregnancy breasts might look different from your current pair. During pregnancy, your breasts will enlarge from hormonal changes and milk production. Afterward, they might return to their original size or get smaller, bigger or droopier. You won’t know the verdict until six months after you have stopped breastfeeding or, if you are not breastfeeding, six months after childbirth.

If parenthood is further in your future and you are anxious to enjoy new breasts now, you don’t have to wait. Just understand that you might need a revision after pregnancy.

Weight Loss
When you lose weight, it not only reduces the size of your waist and thighs, but it might also reduce the size of your breasts, because breasts are made up mostly of fatty tissue. If this happens, you might be left with saggy breasts and stretched skin. If you are planning to lose 10 percent or more of your body weight, it makes sense to wait until you have reached your goal before you have breast augmentation surgery. In order to choose breast implants that will make you proportional, you need to know your true starting size.

Training for a Competition
Three weeks after surgery, it’s OK for you to do aerobic activity (treadmill, stationary bike, Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 7.26.45 PMetc.), running and lower-body weight training. Women are usually comfortable doing arm exercises (upper-body weights) starting about six weeks after surgery. I have Triple Crown bodybuilders and kickboxers who go back into competition after getting implants. They start with light training at six weeks and heavier training after eight weeks. None of their implants has deflated.

For more information about breast augmentation surgery, click here.

Breast Augmentation: The Second Time Around


Times change. And so may your breast size.

When women come in for a breast augmentation consultation, I tell them about two circumstances that could change their surgical results in the future: pregnancy and significant weight change.

During pregnancy, breasts enlarge from hormonal changes and milk production. Afterward, they could return to their original size or get smaller or bigger. And because breasts are made up mostly of fatty tissue, they will get bigger or smaller as you gain or lose weight. Often, they are the first indicators.

Although your breasts may change, your implants will remain the same. They don’t need to be replaced every 10 years. In fact, I’ve changed a woman’s implants after 19 years – she had a child, got smaller and wanted to go bigger – and the implants looked the same as they did the day I put them in.

About 10 percent of my breast augmentation patients come in for a consultation to get information about making a change. The average time elapsed is about 10 years, though it varies greatly.

They tell me, “I’ve gained a lot of weight, and I’m much bigger than I want to be. I’d like to go a little smaller.”

Or, “After my two children, my breasts got smaller. I just want to get my pre-pregnancy size back – and maybe a little extra.”

Others say, “I went for the gusto 15 years ago. I’ve enjoyed them and they served their purpose, but now that I’m 50something, I just want them a little smaller.”

Like the first time, we look at before and after photographs of women who started out similar to them in height, weight, frame size and breast volume. They tell me, “too big,” too small” or “just right” so I know what size implants to order.

Breast augmentation surgery is easier the second time around. Here’s what’s involved in upsizing or downsizing:

Less discomfort: To change each implant, I go through the same incision that I made initially in the crease beneath the breast. I don’t have to make a pocket beneath the chest muscle for the implant, so there is less manipulation of breast tissue and therefore less discomfort post-op. All you’ll feel is the incision. Consequently, you’ll likely need less medication after surgery for discomfort.

Shorter procedure time: This second surgery takes less time than your initial breast augmentation surgery, which means less anesthesia and a lower possibility of post-operative nausea and vomiting.

Shorter recovery time: You should still take it easy for a week, but you could probably get back to work on the third day because there is much less chance of bleeding. So if your surgery is on a Friday, you could return to work on Monday. First-timers are generally back to work in an office setting in 5 days. And you don’t have to wait until the sixth week to do upper body weights. You can start up again after three weeks.

Quicker results: Because your skin and chest muscle have already stretched to accommodate your implants, the implants won’t start off high like they did the first time. You’ll pretty much see the final result when you get home. After surgery, I’ll have you wear something supportive like a sports bra for three weeks to protect your incision. At that time, you’ll be able to wear and do anything and everything you want. No waiting eight weeks this time to go shopping for new bras and bathing suits.

 

 

How soon after pregnancy can I get a breast augmentation?

When you are pregnant, the developing placenta stimulates the release of hormones, causing your milk glands – and your breasts – to grow and swell. This rapid growth can also cause your skin to stretch. When the milk is gone, your breasts might return to their original size or get smaller, bigger or droopier.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 1.07.40 PMTo know your true post-pregnancy breast size and shape, it’s best to wait at least six months from the time you give birth or from the time you stop breastfeeding, whichever is later. At that point, you’ll be able to choose breast implants that will make you proportional.

Breastfeeding itself does not cause the breasts to droop. A study in the journal Aesthetic Surgery identified the following risk factors for an increased degree of breast sagging: body mass index (BMI), the number of pregnancies, a larger pre-pregnancy bra size, smoking history and age. Breastfeeding was not found to be a risk factor.

If you are thinking about having a child in the next year or so, I would suggest that you wait because your post-pregnancy breasts might look different from your current pair. But if parenthood is several years down the road and you are anxious to be more proportional, fit better into your clothes or correct some asymmetry, you don’t have to wait for a breast augmentation. Just understand that you might need a revision after pregnancy.

Did you know? During pregnancy, hormonal changes cause the nipple and areola to get bigger and darker. Scientists speculate that it is evolutions way of making it easier for an infant to find and latch onto the breast.

IF YOU ARE DIETING . . .

Like pregnancy, weight loss can take a toll on your breasts. When you lose weight, it not only reduces the size of your waist and thighs, but it might also reduce the size of your breasts, which are made up primarily of fatty tissue. If the skin doesn’t retract when some of the fat disappears from your breasts, you could be left with droopy breasts, stretched skin or empty-looking breasts, which might make you a candidate for a breast lift alone or with an augmentation.

If you are dieting, be sure to save a few dollars for shoe shopping. Some women report that along with losing a cup size, they lose a shoe size.

If you are dieting, be sure to save a few dollars for shoe shopping. Some women report that along with losing a cup size, they lose a shoe size.

If you are planning to lose 10 percent or more of your body weight, it’s wise to wait until you have reached your goal before you have cosmetic breast surgery so you’ll know your starting size. That way you’ll have the best chance of getting a satisfactory long-term result.

 

 

I used to have perky breasts. What happened?

By Dr. Ted

No crystal ball can predict how much and how soon your breasts will lose their shape and firmness, but you can blame the following factors for the droop (medically known as ptosis).

When you are pregnant, the developing placenta stimulates the release of hormones, causing your milk glands – and your breasts – to grow and swell. This rapid growth can also cause the skin to stretch. When the milk is gone, your breasts might return to their original size or get bigger, smaller, or droopier.Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 11.38.37 AM

Although the number of pregnancies and your pre-pregnancy breast size are factors in post-pregnancy sagging, breastfeeding itself is not.

Significant weight gain and loss – yo-yo dieting ­– can also affect your breasts. When you lose weight, it not only reduces the size of your waist and thighs, but it might also reduce the size of your breasts – sometimes dramatically. If the skin and ligaments don’t retract when some of the fat disappears, you could be left with saggy or empty-looking breasts.

As women age and their hormone levels drop, the lobules (the part of the breast where milk is produced) shrink, and breast volume is lost. In addition, the body’s elastin fibers, which keep the skin from drooping, and collagen fibers, which give tissue strength and flexibility, decrease. Smoking can speed up this process. That’s because the carcinogens in the smoke cause those elastin fibers to break down in the body.

Breasts can start drooping at any age depending on your genes and the elasticity of your skin. That’s why it’s not uncommon for teens to have droopy breasts. Some girls say that they were “born with saggy breasts” or that they “just developed this way.” The rate of droop is largely determined by genetics, although pregnancy and weight changes factor in. And while a bra will keep your breasts from sagging while you are wearing it, there is little evidence that wearing a bra delays or prevents breast droopiness.

Did you ever wonder what your breasts would be like in outer space where there is no gravity? (They’d look like they would if you go swimming braless.) Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke did. In his book Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Some women should not be allowed aboard a space ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting.”

Did you ever wonder what your breasts would look like in outer space where there is no gravity? They’d look like they would if you go swimming braless.

Gravity gets a bad rap. The pull of gravity on your breasts – or your face – isn’t a significant factor in droopiness. It’s more like the skin isn’t as strong as it once was, and it begins to fall down – like a pair of sweatpants that has lost its elastic.

If you are thinking about having surgery to perk up your breasts, you’ll need to know your true starting size. Losing 10 percent or more of your body weight could make your breasts smaller, so you should wait until you have reached your dietary goal before you have breast augmentation surgery. To know your post-pregnancy breast size, it’s best to wait at least six months after you have stopped breastfeeding or, if you are not breastfeeding, six months after childbirth. At that point, you’ll be able to see if you want more breast volume or if you are a candidate for a lift.

Next time: Learn how to take the “pencil test” to see if you are a candidate for a lift.