Women who see me for breast augmentation with implants here in Portland, Oregon, are often intensely focused on the immediate “after” of the procedure, which means they want to know about recovery, healing, and getting back to normal. But the long-term “after” comes with its own set of questions, too. Many of my breast augmentation patients worry about the same issues and inconveniences expressed by my breast reduction patients. That’s understandable, because large breasts are known to cause some physical and even emotional symptoms. So it’s no wonder women undergoing breast augmentation have questions about the long-term consequences of their surgery. Let’s take a look.
Concern #1: “Everyone will know I’ve had a breast augmentation.”
Reality: Not if you don’t want them to. Breast augmentation is entirely customizable and can be adjusted based on your specific desires. Many patients are looking for a subtle improvement—something they notice and enjoy personally without making a major, bold statement. During your consultation, I’ll carefully listen as you describe your desired results. We use VECTRA® 3-D imaging software to explore the possibilities visually and try different results on your unique body. Discreet results are perfectly attainable with breast augmentation, and no one needs to know unless you tell them.
Concern #2: “I won’t be able to exercise comfortably with larger breasts.”
Reality: Many women with naturally oversized breasts complain about being uncomfortable when exercising, so it makes sense to worry about this topic before undergoing a breast augmentation. The key to this concern relates to “proportion.” For example, a breast reduction reduces the size of naturally large breasts to bring them into proportion with the rest of the body, and breast augmentation adds volume to naturally smaller breasts to bring them into proportion with the rest of the body. The overwhelming majority of breast augmentation patients want a result that looks natural, subtle, and flattering. The nominal extra weight created by the implants is unlikely to cause physical discomfort or make it difficult to participate in your favorite physical activities. If you are avidly into a particular sport, such as swimming or gymnastics, it is reasonable to consider how implants of any size will affect your performance. But for most hobbyists, implants don’t have much of an impact on their leisure time activities.
Concern #3: “I won’t be able to dress conservatively after breast augmentation.”
Reality: You can dress any way you like after your breast augmentation, although there may be a learning curve. Your new breasts will take some getting used to, and you may have to try on different fashions to discover your “new normal.” However, dressing conservatively with larger breasts is perfectly possible. For example, look for higher necklines than you’re used to wearing, or add a tank top under a low-cut blouse to reduce unnecessary cleavage when the occasion doesn’t call for it.
Being open and honest with your plastic surgeon about your preferred results and the type of life you want to live is the first step you can take to ensure your results keep you mentally and physically comfortable for years to come.