Last year, I attended two Kortesis After Hours event for breast augmentation (breast implants) hosted by Dr. Bill Kortesis, board certified plastic surgeon at the Hunstad Kortesis Plastic Surgery + MedSpa. While talking to the ladies attending, I’ve realized there are 10 important questions about breast implants that women want to know. Here are the answers to each of these questions based on my experience.
1. Do they hurt?
I experienced soreness rather than pain after surgery from the moment I woke up from anesthesia and throughout my recovery. It was a nice surprise to feel so well. Later I’ve learned that my lack of pain, while a “nice surprise” to me, was the result of three specific measures that Dr. Kortesis, who performed my surgery, took to minimize pain. This is what he does for all his patients:
- First, he uses Exparel, which is a long lasting anesthetic to numb the area operated on. The wonderful thing about Exparel is that it lasts for 3 days so it truly helps patients during the time when pain is at the worst.
- Second, Dr. Kortesis uses advanced techniques to perform breast implant surgery rendering the procedure bloodless (blood is a major source of pain following surgery or any trauma to the body).
- Third, Dr. Kortesis teaches his patients muscle stretching exercises to help with muscle spasms.
2. How long is the recovery?
Breast augmentation surgery recovery is different from person to person. Factors such as incision type (under the armpit vs underneath the breast), location of the implants (on top of the muscle vs under the muscle), your body’s ability to heal, determine how quickly you will heal. That being said, on average it takes one week to recover.
I was able to resume my work in the office and household chores within a week with ease with the exception of driving. I started driving after a week and a half but it took me over two weeks to drive comfortably again. My advice is to listen to your body. If your body tells you it needs to rest, rest. If your body tells you it has energy and is ready to get back to normal activity, then do it. Your body will let you know what it can and cannot do.
3. Can I run and exercise vigorously with breast implants?
Once healing is complete, all you need is a supportive sports bra, and you can workout as much as you want without affecting the integrity and the look of your implants. Breast implants put no limitations on running or working out including doing pushups, bench presses or other chest exercises. I run 4 times a week and workout 4 times a week without any issues from my breast augmentation surgery.
4. How long until my implants drop?
Right after surgery your implants sit high because of tight muscles and tight skin. The size and the surface of your implants and your muscle tone influence the length of time it takes for implants to drop. Usually, by month three, the chest muscle relaxes and implants drop, thus the breast takes on more natural contours. Until the implants are completely settled do not wear underwire bras.
For me, my doctor told me at my consultation appointment that my chest muscle is stronger than average and my implants will sit higher than most women. Still somewhere between 1 and a half months and 3 months my implants settled.
5. How do I pick the right implants for my body?
Find a doctor for your surgery who offers the Vectra 3D Imaging. The Vectra Imaging allows you to preview your post surgery result and compare different implant sizes and shapes; the experience is similar to looking at yourself in the mirror. Moreover, your doctor can rotate the “after” image around from almost every angle giving you a clear idea of the result you can expect after surgery. You will feel at peace that you have made the right decision for your body.
6. Do the implants feel heavy and make my back hurt?
For the first few weeks you may experience aches in your upper body due to several factors:
- While your chest muscle heals, other muscles in your body compensate when engaging in activities for which you normally use your chest muscle such as driving or washing and styling your hair. The additional work put on other muscles, can cause aches.
- You body has to adjust to the weight of the implants on your chest
- Having to sleep on your back for at least two weeks and in a reclined position can contribute to aches in the back.
My recovery was a pleasant experience, but if I had to pick an element that was frustrating, the aches in my upper back were my challenge. During week 3-5, as I resumed all normal activity and working out, my upper body muscles were achy and tiring quickly. By week five, I got accustomed to the extra weight, the implants became part of me and the aches went away.
7. What can I do to avoid capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture refers to the hardening of the capsule, which normally forms around the breast implants, causing the breast to feel hard or look distorted. Capsular contracture was my main concern, but Dr. Kortesis takes certain measures to minimize his patients’ risk:
- Performs a bloodless surgery
- His surgery technique involves no touching of the implants
- Treats the implants with antibiotic solutions
In addition his surgery instructions demand cleansing the body with an antiseptic solution prior to surgery to reduce bacteria and, after an initial healing period, Vitamin E supplements. Moreover, research shows that capsular contracture chances decrease even further when using textured implants and placing them under the muscle and avoiding a through the nipple incision. My implants are smooth implants not textured so I also have to do a few simple massage exercises.
8. Will my breast implants look fake?
Your breast implants will look fake only if you want them to look fake. Some women prefer the “done” or “fake” look and that’s what they ask from their doctor. Communicate to your doctor your preferences and your doctor will tailor a plan to ensure your surgery result is exactly what you want. Generally, choosing silicone over saline implants in a size that fits your body and placing the implants under the muscle offers a natural look vs a “fake” look.
Prior to my surgery I asked Dr. Kortesis for one thing only: for my breasts to look and feel as natural as possible. Dr. Kortesis offered me exactly what I asked: natural looking breasts that blend with my body.
9. How long do implants last?
There are lots of misconceptions that implants have to be replaced every 10 years or every 15 years. Implants do not have to be replaced unless there is a problem with them such as an implant rupture or capsular contracture. A yearly breast exam performed by your plastic surgeon will let you know if there are any issues of concern. If you are happy with the size and shape of your breasts, there is no need to replace your implants.
10. How do I find the right doctor?
Finding the right doctor is easy: go to Dr. Kortesis. He is the best doctor! He stays current on the latest research and innovations in both surgical techniques and products to always offer his patients the best available. Beyond that he cares about every patient he has and shares his personal email and cell phone number with surgery patients. You can reach him directly any time of the day should questions or concerns arise.
In addition to my breast augmentation surgery, he has done the Fractional CO2 laser for my face, Dysport, any fillers I may need and Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP). Every procedure he has performed for me has been outstanding and I’ve been thrilled with the results. I know I’m always in good hands in the care of Dr. Kortesis.
I hope my article has been helpful in providing clarity to questions about breast implant surgery. I truly hope you will have Dr. Kortesis perform your surgery as he will always be there to answer all your questions and provide you with the best care you deserve.
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