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When Is the “Right Time” for Breast Augmentation?

Planning for breast augmentation in Nashville, TN.

When I meet women planning breast augmentation here at my Nashville, Tennessee office, the question of timing comes up again and again. In my patients’ busy lives, the “perfect” time for plastic surgery may be a very small window indeed. It’s elective, of course, so you have every reason to think through the things that might make surgery an inconvenience. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common.

Pregnancy and Nursing

Many, if not most, breast augmentation patients tend to be women in their 20s or 30s — their prime childbearing years. If they haven’t already had children, they may be starting to seriously consider a family. So how does breast augmentation fit into the equation?

Happily, the surgery is actually much more compatible with pregnancy and breastfeeding than you might realize. Women with breast implants often become moms later. For future moms intending to breastfeed, what’s most important is to avoid the nipple during surgery, which is typically quite possible via the inframammary incision. The breast implants themselves, whether saline or silicone, don’t affect the quality or quantity of milk produced.

Weight Gain or Loss

Weight fluctuations are a natural part of life and are often attributable to aging and hormonal changes in addition to overeating and under-exercising. While a small shift of 5 or 10 pounds isn’t likely to have much of an effect on your breast implants, a larger change (whether a gain or loss) may alter their appearance. Being significantly over- or underweight can lead to complications during surgery, as well. Before you undergo surgery, be sure you’re at a reasonably healthy weight that you can easily maintain in the long term.

Time Off

Whether you have a demanding corporate career or work as a full-time mom or student, few of us have unlimited amounts of leisure time. Office workers and others with relatively sedentary routines should be able to get back to normal after about a week of resting and relaxing at home. It can take several more weeks before it’s safe to resume strenuous exercise and other activities. (I covered this topic in a previous blog post.)

Those with a more physically demanding day-to-day routine may need some extra time off, or a temporary shift in work duties. If you’re a mother to a young child, it’s important to arrange for extra help around the house while you heal, whether you lean on your spouse, a family member, or a trusted childcare provider.

Results You’ll Still Love in 10 Years

One of the most exciting parts of planning any plastic surgery is imagining your results. Maybe you’re dreaming of wearing a bikini on your next beach vacation or filling out a cozy sweater when fall rolls around. Short-term goals are fun to think about, but it’s important to consider your long-term preferences, too.

Today’s breast implants can last for more than a decade, so the size and shape that you ultimately choose should be versatile and adaptable to your future. Think about your daily lifestyle, as well as those big special occasions. Are you active and athletic, or more sedentary and mellow? What’s your personal clothing style? How do you want these things to change after your surgery?

It’s important to think ahead to the years after surgery, not just those first weeks and months. That’s how you get the results you’ll still want to show off 10 years from now.

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