How to make sure your breasts look their best for longer after surgery Introduction When you decide to get a new pair of bigger and perkier breasts, you probably have two things very clear in your mind: you want to look and feel better, and you are prepared to put in the efforts for this. Getting good care and a certified and experienced doctor can be rather expensive, especially when we talk about plastic surgery. So, like any other big spending, you should treat your boob job like an investment. This means you need to care for your implants from the very beginning and be very careful in choosing and discussing all the details with the plastic surgeon of your choice. Implant size It is a known truth that breast implants are not lifetime devices and, at some point in your life, you will need to replace them or take them out forever. But of course, your intended goal should be to make them last as long as possible and not put yourself through several more operations. The first step you need to take in ensuring a long-lasting result is choosing the right doctor, and the right doctor should be the most experienced one, and not the cheapest or more affordable one. Your surgeon needs to have all the necessary certification and a member of every important plastic surgery association in your country. He should be able to talk to you, answer your questions, and discuss with you the options you have for your operation. He will have to help you choose several important aspects of your operation, all of which will clearly have an impact on the resistance of the implants. These are the size, shape, type of implant, placement of implant and incision, the texture of implant, etc. The first important thing to decide is the size of the implant. The surgeon will take some measurements of you such as natural breast tissue, tissue elasticity, chest width, weight, height, and constitution. All of these indicators, together with what you want in terms of size, will result in the most appropriate size for you. This means that the extra weight should not put a strain on your tissue and will also look natural for a long time. Choosing and insisting on getting a bigger implant than advised by the doctor that takes into consideration all the aspects of your body will not prove to be a wise choice in the long run. Some of the risks and complications of ending up with a bigger pair of breasts are symmastia (uniboob), bottoming out, implant rippling, stretching of the skin, and many others. Symmastia, commonly known as the uniboob, is when the implants seem to touch in the middle, leaving no natural space between breasts. Bottoming out, as the name suggests, is when the implants go below the breast crease, the nipple moves in an upper position, and the upper part of the breast has no fullness anymore. Implant rippling is when the implant folds or ripples and looks like big cellulite sites on your breasts. Implant type Another important aspect of ensuring a long-lasting result is the type of implant you choose. There are two main types: silicone and saline implants. Both are made of a silicone shell, but the saline one is filled with a sterile saline solution and the silicone one with a cohesive silicone gel. Saline implants are regarded as safer for general health in general but are said to last less than silicone ones and feel less natural. Silicone implants are considered to last for up to 15 years and even more. The American Food and Drug Administration recommends replacing or taking them off after 10 to 15 years because they wear off and might become dangerous for your health. Both patients and doctors seem to feel that these implants are the ones that look and feel much closer to the natural breast. The silicone gel can maintain this cohesive texture that gives fullness and resistance. On the other hand, the risk with silicone implants is that you might not notice implant rupture. You might not experience any of the symptoms commonly such as lumps, swelling, soreness, etc. Since silicone is a gel that doesn’t really flow, it might be difficult to assess if your implant is intact or not. It is recommended with these types of implants to get an MRI scan every three years to determine if there has been a silent rupture. The saline implant is said to last for a maximum of 10 years, but some would say it tends to rupture even faster. The upside of this type of implant is that being filled with water that is very fluid, you will immediately notice there is something wrong with your implant and you won’t have to worry about silent ruptures. Another advantage will be the fact the water is just water and will be absorbed by your body without any potential side effects compared to silicone gel spreading throughout you. Implant placement In terms of implant placement, there are two potential positions: subglandular and submuscular. Subglandular means that the pocket made for the implant will be between your pectoralis muscle (in front of it) and your breast tissue (under it). The main advantage of this type of placement is that the pain will be less and you will also have a short recovery. The disadvantage is that the implants seem rather exposed being only protected by your breast tissue, and it makes it more visible. The other possible placement is under the pectoralis muscle. This will result in a more painful recovery and a longer one, but carries more advantages in the long term. Some radiologists seem to think that mammograms have more relevant results if the implant is placed under the muscle. Also, both patients and doctors consider the muscle being between the implant and the skin as a kind of an extra protective layer for the implant. Care after the surgery Your mission to protect your new implants will not end after the surgery. There is the recovery period and the long-term care that you need to take into consideration and follow through. Immediately after surgery, you will need complete rest for about 48 hours. You will need to sleep and eat well, have someone take care of you, and delegate anything you need to do. You will have to take a medical or personal leave for a week or more depending on what you want, but in a week you should be okay to work if your work does not involve any strenuous or physical activity. Listen to your body and if you consider you need more than one week off, take that time. Remember, you are investing in your future look. You will not be allowed to shower for about 48 hours or until the doctor removes your stitches. You need to rest a lot, but it is also good not to stay still but move a little bit around the house to get your circulation going and prevent the formation of any blood clots. You will have to be careful with your arms, meaning that you will not be allowed to lift them up, and this includes not reaching for items on a shelf or combing your hair. This will just be for 2 or 3 days until the incision begins to heal. Your surgeon will instruct you to sleep on your back. This is a very important rule, and under no circumstances should you sleep on your tummy or side. This is crucial for the correct settling and positioning of your implants. You will not be able to resume your exercise routine or lift heavy objects (heavier than 2 kg) for 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. Before resuming exercise, consult your doctor and get his or her approval. Most probably you will wear a surgical bra for about a week. This will help the healing process and keep the implants in position. Afterwards, you will be advised to wear a sports bra for three months or even longer. You need to avoid wearing any sophisticated or wired bras until your breast is fully settled. Some doctors recommend soft breast massage techniques during the recovery period. This could help with preventing the occurrence of capsular contracture and help settle the implants faster. But you also need to be very patient and not try too hard and overdo the massage or exercise just to make the implants settle sooner because you might just spoil the result. Be careful and patient, because beauty takes time. Long-term care An important thing is breast support. Wear a bra as it will help your implants look better for longer by preventing sagging. As times goes by, skin ages and it loses one important feature: elasticity. To avoid losing tissue elasticity, you should regularly use a moisturizing cream, preferably a natural one like shea butter. Another is to eat healthy, exercise, and avoid gaining weight. Changes in your weight will surely affect the way your breasts will look even with implants. Conclusion Taking care of yourself is always important, so to make sure your implants will last as long as possible, you need to make sure you stay healthy in general. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep, and relax. Remember, you have to monitor the health of your breasts and the state of your implants. You need to have mammograms regularly if you are after 40 years old and you also need to get an MRI scan if you have silicone implants to check if all is okay with your implants.