Breast augmentation has been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures around the world for years. Last year, it was the top surgical procedure in the United States. Many women report feeling happier and more confident following breast enhancement procedures. A majority of patients are extremely satisfied with the results of their surgery.
Before surgery, however, you should learn what to expect post-surgery and how long it will take to fully recover. This can help you better prepare for what can be a life-transforming experience.
One of the most common questions that women have about breast augmentation is how the surgery could affect the size, shape, or position of their nipples. You may be hoping to address a cosmetic concern related to your nipples as a part of the breast enhancement procedure. It’s also possible that you are hoping for as little change as possible to your nipples after breast augmentation.
Whether you are hoping for major changes or none at all, these four facts about nipples and breast augmentation surgery can help give you a better idea of what to expect:
Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift
Adding a breast lift can change the shape of your areolae
The areolae are at the center of each breast around your nipples and are of a darker pigment than the surrounding tissue. For some women, large or asymmetrical areolae are a cosmetic concern that they’d like to resolve as part of their breast enhancement procedure.
Breast augmentation alone does not typically affect areola or nipple appearance. However, adding a breast lift to your procedure is a great option if you do wish to can the size and/or shape of your areolae. Women who wish to breastfeed may wish to wait until they’ve completed their families to schedule this specific procedure.
Breast augmentation can fix inverted nipples
Inverted or retracted nipples are often genetic and present from birth. However, you may also have inverted nipples due to trauma or injury. One of our board-certified plastic surgeons can correct inverted nipples during your breast augmentation procedure.
Usually, this is done by making a small, simple incision through which your plastic surgeon can turn your nipple outward for an improved appearance. If you are not interested in increasing the size of your breasts, we can also fix inverted nipples by performing this procedure alone.
Let your plastic surgeon know if your goal is to be able to breastfeed after surgery so that he or she can take this into account when planning your procedure.
Breastfeeding After Breast Augmentation
Most women can still breastfeed after getting implants
If being able to breastfeed after getting implants is important to you, make sure you bring this up during your consultation with your plastic surgeon. Typically, the peri-areolar incision is avoided when this is the case in order to minimize the chances of interfering with nipple and duct function. As a result, your plastic surgeon will most likely recommend inframammary incision placement if you do wish to be able to breastfeed after the procedure. This incision is less likely to impact breastfeeding.
Changes in Nipple Position Over Time
Nipple position will soften as your implants settle
Don’t be alarmed if your nipples seem to be sitting a little too high on your chest wall directly after your breast augmentation, as this effect is normal. It can take some time for your breast implants to “drop and fluff,” or soften into a lower, natural-looking position. Before implants drop into a more natural position, you may notice a temporary change in nipple location and appearance. However, you should not worry. This is temporary and as the implants settle, the position of your nipples and areolae will also begin to look more natural.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Every woman’s body is unique. This means that there is no exact timeline for recovery from breast augmentation. However, most plastic surgeons estimate that full recovery will take an average of six weeks. However, many women will feel completely fine a week after their surgery.
Dr. Hess and Dr. Sandeen will assess your overall health and give you a more definitive timeline prior to the procedure. This will be based on your own personal health and the surgical procedure we perform.
At Hess & Sandeen plastic surgery, we want you to be an informed patient and get the best care possible. Please let us know if you have any further questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation where we can go over your specific case.