Breast Augmentation: What Moms Really Want to Know
We may all know the basics of breast augmentation: saline or silicone implants, taking a little time off from work to recover. But what about those other questions -- the ones you've wondered about, but don't really know who to ask? We've got you covered. This quick question-and-answer article offers answers to your most burning questions.
How Much Does It Cost?
When you're researching any kind of plastic surgery online, it can be notoriously difficult to find a straight answer regarding pricing. That's frustrating, but it's not intended to be a secret. Because the extent of a procedure varies widely between patients, it's very difficult to offer a precise number to a general audience online.
In the absence of an exact number, there are plenty of resources online that can give you a ballpark figure before you ever set foot in a surgeon's office. For example, plastic surgery resource RealSelf.com offers an interactive map that breaks down costs based on location. You can easily zoom in to the region where you live to see what other patients are paying.
In Missouri, for example, the cost of most breast augmentation procedures falls between $3,000 and $7,000. Unless you're undergoing breast augmentation as part of reconstruction after a mastectomy, the procedure is not covered by insurance. However, many surgeons' offices offer some form of financing.
How Will The Implants Feel?
If you've seen Mean Girls, you're familiar with the scene in which Amy Poehler's "Cool Mom" character and her rock-hard breast implants swoop in for an unwanted hug. Thankfully, this symptom is far from the norm. Poor Mrs. George was probably experiencing capsular contracture, a very rare complication that causes the development of hardened scar tissue around the implants. Choosing a highly qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon is a good strategy for reducing your risk of capsular contracture.
Pop culture aside, augmented breasts won't feel exactly like the real thing, but device manufacturers have made great strides in improving the way implants feel and move. Every doctor and patient has unique preferences, but most people seem to agree that silicone implants have an edge over saline when it comes to that soft, natural feel.
What About Nipple Sensitivity?
Issues with nipple sensitivity after surgery — whether they become too sensitive or not sensitive enough — certainly can occur after breast enhancement surgery, but much of that depends on how much the nipple is involved in the procedure. For example, most surgeons perform both the inframammary incision, which is made in the deep crease beneath the breast, and the periareolar incision, which traces along the bottom edge of the areola. Other breast augmentation specialists, such as Columbia, Missouri's Dr. John Seaberg, offer incisions in the armpit, avoiding leaving a mark on the breast entirely.
The inframammary incision is by far the more popular option because it offers surgeons maximum control during surgery. Its risk of causing changes in sensation is very low, like the incision made in the armpit, because it doesn't involve the nipple at all. In any case, changes in nipple sensitivity after breast augmentation are usually temporary and go away as the nerves in the vicinity "wake up" and heal.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do (besides surgery)?
Not really. Late-night television and pop-up ads on the web often tout miraculous herbs or newfangled remedies to get bigger breasts, but there's no proven way to permanently enlarge breasts without some sort of surgical intervention. Certain topical treatments and ingestible supplements often contain ingredients that haven't been thoroughly researched, so they can be ineffective at best — and downright dangerous at worst.
If you're longing for larger breasts but aren't ready to commit to surgery, try a safer option, like bra inserts, instead of throwing your money away on something with no guarantee.
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