Before I dive into what I wish I had known before getting a lift and breast augmentation, I wanted to say that this article is in no way about why you should or shouldn’t have plastic surgery. This is solely information on the things I had no idea about and wanted to share that with anyone considering getting a breast augmentation.
After having 3 kids in the last 15 years, and breastfeeding each one for more than 2 years plus, I was ready to have my body back and feel confident again. Getting plastic surgery was something I looked into and considered for over 10 years and finally made the decision to go through with it and I’m so glad I did! While this article is not endorsed by my surgeon, Dr. Kaufman at Kaufman and Davis Plastic Surgery in Folsom, California, I want to give him a HUGE shout-out as he is a miracle worker. He was so patient with me and his aftercare was something I’ll never take for granted.
Like anything, there are so many things to learn and boy was that true after my surgery! So many things I had no idea about and things I never thought to ask until after I had my lift and augmentation. So what are those things?
What I Wish I Knew Before Breast Augmentation.
If you thought you were going to come out of surgery with perfectly-shaped breasts, I’m here to say sorry! Some don’t have it as bad as others but if you’re going under the muscle, they are going to sit HIGH and TIGHT and usually in the form of what Spongebob looks like. They are not pretty at first but give it time and they will “fluff and drop” and look great!
Speaking of giving it time, did you know that surgeons don’t even consider you completely “dropped and fluffed” until the 6-month mark at the MINIMUM? Yep. Recovery time takes at least 6 months, but I’ve heard of women still changing shape until the 1-year mark. It’s a process that definitely teaches you patience, but it’s worth it in the end. Always trust the process!
When in doubt, ask your surgeon. Throughout the process, I’ve learned that every single surgeon gives their patient different advice. It’s crazy to me, but each one typically ends in a beautiful end result. Some surgeons want you to wear a surgical bra for months, 24/7. Some surgeons say no bra at all. Some surgeons say for a short time and then a sports bra. Each one is so different so you should always advise your specific surgeon’s post-op instructions. After all, you chose them for a reason!
One of my least favorite parts of recovery. While most surgeons use dissolvable sutures, some sutures find their way to the surface. It’s actually more common than you think and nothing to worry about. Spitting a suture basically means that your body rejects it before it completely dissolves. It’s usually red and can look like a hard whitehead. It will eventually heal but if it does happen, ask your surgeon how you should treat it.
Be prepared not to be able to use your arms for pretty much anything. T-rex arms are exactly what you imagine them to be. You can only use a portion of your arms to do things. Washing your body, hair, grabbing things from shelves, etc. can be very challenging. Before surgery, I recommend putting things at a level where you won’t have to reach. My surgeon instructed me to have T-rex arms for 2 weeks, so keep that in mind.
Zero Arm Strength
Along with T-rex arms, you’ll also have NO arm strength. I was not ready for this part. You never realize how much you use certain muscles until you can’t anymore. The day after surgery, I couldn’t even hold a normal water bottle so I had to live off of drinking through a straw in my toddler’s cup. I also couldn’t open any of my pill containers. You know, the ones with the child locks? I got really good at putting it between my knees and pushing the bottle to get it opened. If you plan ahead, get one of those neat pill containers. Just keep them somewhere your kids won’t get to but not high enough to where you can’t reach them either.
Another thing I was not prepared for was constipation. Apparently, it’s the anesthesia that causes it but it’s SO common and chances are, it’ll happen to you, too. Your surgeon should prescribe you a stool softener so make sure to stay on top of that. I ended up having to take Miralax on day 5 and thankfully that did the trick.
Many people only focus on the pre-surgery meetings — your initial consultation and your pre-op appointment. I can not stress enough to ask about your surgeon’s post-care as well. Complications can happen and if they do, you want to make sure to get all your questions and concerns taken care of and that you’re made a priority. Not all surgeons are created equally and I’ve read stories from women who are dismissed when it comes to their very serious concerns. So ask before you book your surgery!
For reference, my surgeon has an after-hours number you can call and speak to an on-call nurse (at any time). They also have a great app they use to send photos or chat about any problems or concerns. I’ve used it so many times and always had a response back ASAP. Not once have I ever waited more than 30 minutes.
Remember, 400 CC’s can look a lot different on me than it may on you. We all have different breast tissues, body shapes, and sizes, etc. So if you have a number in your mind because you knew someone with that size, know that it will most likely look different on you. I’m a firm believer in showing your surgeon your goal photos — photos of how you envision your size and shape to look like on your body. From there, your surgeon can help you figure out what size CC and what profile (yes, there are even different profiles) will work for you.
While advising your surgeon should always be the first thing you do if you have a question, there are some great places to get support. Even if it’s a simple question like, “how long did it take you to poop?”
Bustmob is an online community that has been incredible and non-judgemental and I definitely recommend it, even if you haven’t had surgery. So many questions are being answered and no question is considered a bad question. They even have some great surgeons at Amelia Aesthetics that are there to help answer questions! If you’re interested in joining (it’s free and on Facebook), you can learn more by visiting bustmob.com.
Another great resource for support is RealSelf. Surgeons all across the globe are there answering questions and I’ve learned so much by browsing the posts.
This post in no way should be considered medical advice. Please always consult your doctor or surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.