As the calendar flips over to a new year and a new decade, you may be looking at ways to enhance your curves and give yourself a boost in confidence and self-esteem. Breast augmentation is one surgery that can help women with various concerns achieve a fuller, shapelier look. Here are six things you should know about this life-changing surgery:
It’s the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. Around 300,000 breast augmentation surgeries are performed each year.
You need to be healthy. While you will discuss your medical history at length during your consultation, you will want to make sure you are following a healthy diet, and that you don’t smoke or drink excessively. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have infections, cancer or other serious illnesses are not good candidates for surgery.
Most patients choose gel implants. While both are FDA-approved, silicone gel implants are more popular than saline implants. Silicone gel implants feel more like natural breast tissue. Both options are available, however.
Breast augmentation surgery does not correct sagging breasts. You may need a breast lift in combination with augmentation to reshape breasts for a fuller, lifted look. The procedure may also reposition and reduce the size of the areola, the dark skin surrounding the nipple, which is often an added benefit.
Patients typically return to normal activities in the first week. While recovery time varies from each patient, you will be able to resume exercise and normal activity at Dr. Dick’s direction. Acute pain should subside in that first week. Be sure to take it easy as you heal for the first few weeks, following instructions carefully.
You alone need to determine if the surgery is right for you. Breast augmentation surgery can boost self-esteem and give women more confidence. But patients shouldn’t be influenced by others or pressured into getting breast augmentation surgery because of someone else’s expectations. The decision is a highly personal one with many considerations.
Laser hair removal is a noninvasive technique that uses highly concentrated light to penetrate hair follicles. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft in the follicle-generating heat which damages the follicle to inhibit future hair growth. Therefore, plucking hair before treatment reduces the efficacy of the laser treatment as the target is absent. Because laser hair removal only affects actively growing hair follicles, it may take several laser hair removal treatments to provide significant hair reduction. Additionally, while laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth, it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. Periodic maintenance treatments may be needed.
What are the steps of a laser hair removal procedure?
Your plastic surgeon may perform the laser hair removal procedure, or may delegate this to a nurse or other licensed provider. A beam of highly focused light is absorbed by hair in disabling unwanted hair follicles. There is some mild discomfort that last a few seconds. People with white or gray hair may not have enough pigment target to be a candidate for laser hair removal. Because hair grows in cycles, it typically takes three to four laser hair removal treatments to provide significant hair reduction.
There are several criteria that patients should meet in order for a plastic surgeon to classify you as a good candidate for breast augmentation.
In general, you should be in good physical health. This means no active infections, untreated cancer or serious illnesses. If you have medical issues, it’s important to discuss them with your surgeon so that he or she can help you decide whether or not breast implant surgery is suitable for you.
If your breasts are sagging, flattened, elongated, asymmetrical or lacking adequate cleavage or volume, there is a good chance that you’re an excellent candidate for this surgery.
Most surgeons prefer that you do not smoke or consume significant amounts of alcohol.
Because this surgery can permanently alter your appearance, it’s important for you to be in a healthy frame of mind when you decide on this surgery.
While this is a surgery that will change how you look, it’s important to remember that it cannot fix body image issues or give you a wildly different appearance. You should maintain realistic expectations and listen to your surgeon’s honest assessment of your goals.
The best candidate for breast augmentation understands the risks as well as the rewards. The surgery is generally considered safe, and implants are FDA-approved, but with any surgery, there are some risks.
You understand that breast enhancement should be done strictly for yourself and because you believe it will increase your own happiness or confidence. You should never get cosmetic work done because someone else wants you to. You should have the ability to properly rest and recover post-surgery.
You will not be able to perform certain tasks or do any heavy lifting, so it’s important for you to have help in place.
For saline implants, the FDA requires you to be at least 18 years old. If you want silicone implants, the minimum age is 22.
WHO IS NOT A CANDIDATE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?
Generally speaking, anyone who is in reasonably good mental and physical health can be candidates for breast implants.
However, you are likely not a good candidate for this surgery if:
You’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
You have breast cancer or an abnormal mammogram.
You’re ill or battling an infection.
You have unrealistic expectations for post-surgery results.
Though most women can qualify for breast implants, it’s vitally important that you are open and honest with your surgeon during your consultation. Even if breast implants are not right for you, he or she may be able to recommend an alternative course of action to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
IS BREAST AUGMENTATION RIGHT FOR YOU?
Ultimately, the criteria above are just general guidelines to help you get an idea of whether or not breast augmentation can be right for you. Because every person is unique, the final decision on pursuing a breast augmentation is between you and your doctor. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon will allow you to get an honest medical opinion about your situation.
Breast augmentation is a highly personal choice that can help you to become a happier, sexier and more confident version of yourself, so don’t hesitate to speak with a qualified plastic surgeon to find out if it’s right for you and you’re right for it.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
In preparing for rhinoplasty surgery, you may be asked to:
Get a lab test
Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed.
Rhinoplasty may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, a licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What are the steps of a rhinoplasty procedure?
Rhinoplasty surgery includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Rhinoplasty is performed either using a closed procedure, where incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.
Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose.
Open rhinoplasty incision across the columella
Step 3 – Reshaping the nose structure
An overly large nose may be reduced by removing bone or cartilage. Sometimes surgery of the nose may require the addition of cartilage grafts.
Most commonly, cartilage from the septum, the partition in the middle of the nose, is used for this purpose. Occasionally cartilage from the ear or rarely a section of rib cartilage can be used.
Step 4 – Correcting a deviated septum
If the septum is deviated, it can be straightened and the projections inside the nose reduced to improve breathing.
Step 5 – Closing the incision
Once the underlying structure of the nose is sculpted to the desired shape, nasal skin and tissue is redraped and incisions are closed.
Additional incisions may be placed in the natural creases of the nostrils to alter their size.
Step 6 – See the results
For a few days, splints and gauze packing may support the nose as it begins to heal. Get more information about rhinoplasty results.
What should I expect during my rhinoplasty recovery?
During your rhinoplasty recovery, a splint and/or packing may be placed inside your nose and a splint or bandages placed on the outside to support and protect the new structures during initial healing.
While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome.
Swelling may come and go and worsen in the morning during the first year following your rhinoplasty surgery.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
How to care for the surgical site
Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your rhinoplasty surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
When will they be removed?
Are stitches removed? When?
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
When do I return for follow-up care?
What results should I expect after rhinoplasty?
The results of rhinoplasty surgery will be long-lasting. While initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, it may take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully refine. During this time you may notice gradual changes in the appearance of your nose as it refines to a more permanent outcome.
Three of the top five surgical procedures focus on the body, and in 2018, there was an increase in all three. In fact, there were more than 12,000 more liposuction procedures performed in 2018 than in 2017, while breast augmentations increased by four percent. There were also surges in other body-sculpting procedures like buttock augmentations and thigh lifts.
“Liposuction continues to be the gold standard in body contouring because of its versatility, efficiency and effectiveness,” said ASPS President Alan Matarasso, MD. “With liposuction, one treatment may be all you need to reshape problem areas. A plastic surgeon can treat more areas—and larger areas—in one procedure. Liposuction also provides a more consistent and predictable result than non-invasive treatments, but new non-surgical fat reduction machinery continues to evolve and play a role in reshaping areas of the body.”
While the two facial surgical procedures in the top five—nose reshaping and eyelid surgery—both decreased slightly, patients are now choosing among more options than ever before, particularly with emerging non-surgical nose reshaping and eyelid puffiness improvement. Specialized procedures for different areas of the face and neck, such as a neck lift procedure that can be performed without the need for a full facelift, may also account for some of these changes.
How Surgical and Non-Surgical Options Work Together
Whether you’re interested in surgical or non-invasive procedures, a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you explore all of your options. Oftentimes, this includes marrying surgical and non-surgical procedures together—for example, performing a facelift but also using fillers in conjunction with the procedure—to achieve optimal results. ASPS member surgeons’ extensive and ongoing training enable them to offer a full range of procedures to meet their patients’ goals.
“Board-certified plastic surgeons are on the cutting edge of developing emerging technology and creating the newest advancements in both surgical and non-surgical techniques,” said Matarasso. “Our board-certified plastic surgeons take into account each patient’s specific objective and anatomy to come up with the best course of action to achieve the natural look they want.”
About the ASPS Annual Procedural Statistics
ASPS members may report procedural information through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures, Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data, combined with an annual survey sent to American Board of Medical Specialties’ certified physicians most likely to perform these procedures, results in the most comprehensive census on plastic surgery.
HOW TO CHOOSE A SURGEON In the process of selecting a plastic surgeon, you may choose to have multiple consultations or receive referrals from friends and family. If you have located a surgeon using Smart Beauty Guide’s Select a Surgeon search tool, then you have already started the process of finding a qualified plastic surgeon. If you get a referral from a friend or doctor, be sure to find out if they have the right qualifications before the consultation.
Here are some helpful links to get you started on your research: Ask a Question: Find your answer Planning Resources: Make an informed decision How to Choose an Injector: Don’t take a risk Planning your Office Visit
TOP TEN QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN A PLASTIC SURGEON Have confidence when choosing your plastic surgeon. Here are the top ten qualities your aesthetic plastic surgeon should have: Board Certification ASAPS Membership Experience Facility Accreditation Hospital Privileges Reliable References Thoroughness Rapport Follow-up Care Reasonable Cost Board Certification
A doctor’s board-certification is the best indicator of his or her training in a particular medical or surgical specialty. In the USA, look for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery. In Canada, look for certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCSC). International plastic surgeons should be board certified in their country of origin and a member of ISAPS and IPRAS.
ASAPS MEMBERSHIP ASAPS membership ensures that in addition to certification by the ABPS or RCSC, a doctor also has significant experience in cosmetic surgery. ASAPS membership is by invitation only. Plastic surgeons who are not citizens of the United States or Canada who meet the high professional and ethical standards required for ASAPS membership may become ASAPS international active members. To ensure that your doctor is a member of ASAPS, search for them with our Select a Surgeon tool.
EXPERIENCE Experienced aesthetic plastic surgeons generally perform a wide range of cosmetic surgeries on a regular basis. Patients should ask about the surgeon’s experience with the particular procedure being considered. If considering a “new” technique or technology, patients should inquire whether results that substantiate safety and effectiveness have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
FACILITY ACCREDITATION Cosmetic surgery can safely be performed in a hospital, a surgicenter or an office-based surgical facility: Current published data show that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. However, the majority of office-based surgical facilities are not accredited. Another advantage of selecting an ASAPS member is that all ASAPS surgeons operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.
HOSPITAL PRIVILIGES Before granting operating privileges, hospital review committees evaluate a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures. Wherever the surgery will be performed, be sure that the surgeon has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the same procedure being considered.
RELIABLE REFERENCES Asking your primary care doctor for recommendations is a good place to start, and friends may offer suggestions, but the surgeon’s board-certification should always be verified independently by contacting the American Board of Plastic Surgery (www.abplsurg.org). Free referral information to board-certified plastic surgeons with significant experience in cosmetic surgery can be found using the Select a Surgeon tool.
THOROUGHNESS The consultation is an important opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. It should include a candid discussion of risks as well as benefits of the surgery. A thorough consultation also involves a review of medical history including any existing medical conditions. All these factors help the surgeon to custom-tailor the operation to best meet the needs of each patient.
RAPPORT Even the most experienced surgeon is not the “right” surgeon for every patient. Any successful relationship depends on good communication. Patient satisfaction is enhanced when surgeon and patient candidly discuss goals, agree on realistic expectations, and plan the course of the surgical journey together.
FOLLOW-UP CARE Good surgical care does not end with the surgery. For most surgeries, plastic surgeons want to see the results and monitor your progress. Nonsurgical procedures usually require a consistent schedule, so you can maintain your results. You should inquire about follow-up visits and about the doctor’s policies should surgical revisions be necessary.
REASONABLE COST National averages for surgeons’ fees can be found here. Keep in mind that costs may vary considerably depending on geographic region, surgeon experience and individual patient factors. Not all patients can be treated with the same technique, and the complexity and length of surgery affect cost. Patients should note that cosmetic surgery is not usually covered by insurance.
The most important factor in all of plastic surgery – the one which determines your safety and outcome – is who you choose as your plastic surgeon. Always chose your surgeon wisely and carefully. Make sure he or she is board certified, experienced and safe.
Ask if your plastic surgeon is board certified.
Ask if your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Legally, any surgeon can perform plastic surgery procedures. Choosing a surgeon which has been certified by the ABPS is the best way to ensure your surgeon has had extensive training specifically in plastic surgery. This is the only board which issues certifications based on extremely rigorous criteria including 6-9 years of training dedicated to plastic surgery.
Ask if your plastic surgeon has operating privileges
Ask if your plastic surgeon has hospital operating privileges to perform your procedure. These privileges are granted to surgeons based on rigorous credentialing by their peers. This is not the case in an office setting, which often have little to no oversight.
Ask if surgery is done in an accredited ambulatory facility.
Ask if your plastic surgeon operates in an accredited ambulatory facility. This one is key. Accredited ambulatory facilities have been reviewed and identified as capable of responding to medical emergencies. This is your assurance that the team can take care of the patient if there is a problem and that they will have all the life support capabilities, training and equipment to respond to life threatening situations.
Ask about your surgeon’s experience
Ask how often your surgeon performs the procedure. This is not a question of specific numbers, it is about experience and expertise. Find out what your surgeon’s relationship is with the procedure you are seeking. The best surgeons not only perform the procedure regularly, but they also publish in medical journals, they perform research, they engage in teaching and training and offer contributions to the advancement of the procedure.
Ask if you can view before and after photographs.
Ask to see some before and after photos of patients who have had the procedure with your surgeon. Examine these photos carefully. Make sure you are not paying attention to irrelevant factors such as lighting, but to the details of the outcome of the surgery. Every cosmetic surgeon has their own aesthetic sense – their definition of beauty. Make sure you own aesthetic sense matches well with your surgeon’s.
Ask about risks and complications.
Ask about the risks of the procedure as well as the benefits. There is risk to any surgical procedure and you should be fully aware of all the risks before choosing to have your procedure.
Ask if the surgeon uses a certified anesthetist.
Ask who does the anesthesia. It’s vital that the he or she is a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). It’s very important to make sure that the surgeon uses an anesthetist which has been trained and certified by this strict criteria and rigorous training, as it is one of the riskiest aspects of most cosmetic procedures.
Ask about your recovery
Ask about your recovery, especially the first 24-48 hours. Ask when you will be able to return to work, when you can return to strenuous activity such as exercise and how long until you should start to see your final results.
Ask for a second opinion.
Ask for a second opinion and seek a consultation with other board-certified plastic surgeons. It’s good to receive additional perspectives to help you decide which of many options to take, or to affirm that a specific treatment is appropriate for your specific situation.
Ask real people.
Ask for information from real people – family, friends, referrals and other physicians. Ask for references from other patients which your surgeon has operated on, and talk with these patients about their experience. Do not rely solely on the internet or the media and marketing networks to provide you with information about a procedure. There is a considerable amount of misleading information out there and patients should consider the accuracy of information from dubious and unverified sources.