Cost, benefits and what to expect from the procedure

  • Breast implants help improve self-esteem, rebuild breasts after masectomy, and correct sagging.
  • There are two types of implants: silicone, which may be safer, and physiological saline, which feels more natural.
  • Breast implants cost around $ 2,500, but the entire procedure can cost up to $ 14,000.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference Library for more tips.

From petite to voluptuous, breasts come in different shapes and sizes. But not everyone is happy with the breasts they were born with. In 2020 alone, nearly 200,000 American women underwent breast augmentation.

Breast implants won’t improve your physical health, but studies show they can increase self-esteem and sexual satisfaction. However, it is important to note that the procedure is not without risk.

Who can benefit from breast implants

Breast implants are, of course, a way to boost the self-esteem of women who want bigger breasts. Here are other reasons why someone might consider breast implants:

  • Corrects Uneven Breasts: Many women have two different sized breasts and for some it can be overwhelming to find the right clothes or bras. Breast implants might be a good option for you.,
  • Reconstructs the breasts following a mastectomy: Some people have to have a mastectomy, an operation to remove one or both breasts, after breast cancer. In this case, implants can restore the appearance of the breasts, says David Shafer, MD, certified plastic and general surgeon and RealSelf advisor. Depression is common among these breast cancer survivors. A large 2013 study of 10,826 breast cancer survivors found that 22% of them faced this mental health problem. Breast augmentation could have a positive impact on these people.
  • Corrects sagging due to pregnancy or aging: Implants can help remedy “the sagging and deflated appearance of the breast after weight loss, aging or pregnancy and breastfeeding,” says Shafer. With implants, the breasts will appear rounder and fuller.

Types of breast implants

All breast implants have a silicone outer shell. They are then classified into saline or silicone, depending on their filling.

  • Silicone implants: These are the most popular types of implants because they look more natural, Shafer explains. Silicone implants, also known as “gummy bear implants,” are made of silicone gel that maintains its shape and shape while being naturally soft. Due to their solid state gel, they are less likely to leak, even if the shells do rupture.
  • Saline implants: Saline implants are filled with salt water. While they don’t feel as natural as silicone, they’re generally cheaper. But they carry a risk of “rippling”, which means that some wrinkles in the implant could be visible under the skin.

Implants also differ in shape and can be round or teardrop shaped. These may look more natural, but there is a small risk that they may turn, which may require surgery.

The breast implant procedure

The surgery is relatively quick, taking around 60 to 90 minutes, with another hour for recovery. Here’s what to expect:

  1. The anesthesiologist first gives medicine to make you sleepy during the surgery. They will recommend either intravenous sedation, which means you are conscious but numb, or general anesthesia, which puts you in a state of sleep.
  2. Once you are anesthetized, “the surgeon makes an incision either in the crease under the breast, along the edge of the areola, or in the armpit,” says Ramanadham.
  3. They then create a pocket above or below the muscle that is under your chest.
  4. The surgeon then inserts the implant and then closes the incision.

“Most people take 2 to 3 days off work and activities to recover, and 2 to 4 weeks after strenuous exercise,” Shafer explains.

As you recover, your surgeon may limit the amount of weight you can lift or specific exercises that put pressure on the chest, such as push-ups. You may also need to refrain from swimming and wear underwired bras.

Although you can resume your normal activities in the first few weeks after the procedure, you will not fully recover for several months.

Just keep in mind that you may not be able to breastfeed after an implantation procedure. If you plan to breast-feed, consult your doctor before having implants.

Insider takeaways

Breast implants are a great option for solving cosmetic issues with your breasts, such as unevenness or sagging, or for improving your body image. Whether you choose round or teardrop, silicone, saline, or gummy bear implants, expect to pay around $ 8,000 to $ 14,000 for the procedure.

If you are considering breast implants, be sure to consider the risks as well as the benefits and consult a licensed plastic surgeon before making your decision.

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