A few weeks ago, I hosted a candid Instagram LIVE talk with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and Dr. Shafer, a board certified ASPS surgeon based in Manhattan. I talked about my breast augmentation story, including the stages leading up to my procedure and my results.
This was something I’d never discussed publicly before but it felt like the right time to do it. Plastic surgery is a very serious topic and without a doubt, a life changing event. It benefits us all to be more open and informed about our options, as well as the risks involved. You can watch the replay from our talk below!
In my opinion, there's nothing to be ashamed of in terms discussing it, unless you choose to remain private (which is also OK). I know there's a stigma with plastic surgery, but I'm hoping that opening up about my own story will help reduce that. Getting breast augmentation more than 8 years ago really changed my life and my relationship with my body in a very positive way. I knew I wanted breast augmentation from a very early age, and I actually waited until I was 34 to get it (when I could finally afford to pay for it myself). My plastic surgeon was Dr. Kari Colen who I had a wonderful experience with, and definitely recommend. Everything was as expected and I believe this was mostly due to the extensive research I did to find the best surgeon match for me. Dr. Kari Colen is an ASPS surgeon and you can find her via ASPS Connect. What I remember really loving about Dr. Colen in addition to her personality is her background in breast reconstruction for cancer patients. My augmentation was 8 years ago (time flies!) and while I'm still very happy with how everything looks, I am seriously considering the 10-year touch-up. This is actually something I plan on consulting with Dr. Shafer about, as I feel it's very important to re-examine your implants at the 10-year mark.
Since we weren’t able to answer every plastic surgery question asked during the LIVE, I blogged my responses here for you! Should you have any other questions you'd like me to address, feel free to list them in the comments or message me through my contact page here.
Question: How can you find a qualified plastic surgeon in your area?
My answer: The first and most important step is selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). I remember during my process I was looking at a handful of surgeons, diving into their profiles and reviewing their B&As to determine if I liked their work. ASPS’ Connect is a great free online resource to learn more about procedures and find a local board-certified plastic surgeon.
Question: When is the right time to consider plastic surgery?
My answer: The decision to receive a procedure is personal and only you can make that decision. Once you have identified your goal, the next step is to book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your surgical objectives, determine if you’re a good candidate and align on realistic expectations. As much as you are interviewing the surgeon, the surgeon is interviewing you too to determine if it’s a good fit. Dr. Shafer mentioned during the IG Live that when a patient first comes in, his goal is to partner with them and hear their story about why they want surgery to ensure they are doing the procedure for themself.
This really depends on the procedure. If you’re interested in a surgical procedure like breast augmentation, breast reduction or a mommy makeover, you need to look ahead and find a couple weeks where you don’t have to do anything – not chasing after kids, not traveling for work, etc. It’s also important to find a time where a family member or friend can pamper you after surgery.
Question: What questions should I ask my plastic surgeon?
My answer: ASPS Connect includes a handy checklist for top procedures. A few questions include:
- Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
- Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
- What will be expected of me for best results?
- When and how will the procedure be performed?
- Do you have B&A photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
- Can I contact a patient of yours who had the same procedure?
Question: Do breast implants have an expiration date?
My answer: Breast implants aren’t meant to last a lifetime. In the IG Live, Dr. Shafer noted that if you receive implants you should plan on having another procedure later on in life. He recommends planning ahead for that and thinking about whether breast implants are really the right procedure for you, and a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you with that decision.
Question: Is there a difference between a breast lift and a breast augmentation?
My answer: Yes, a breast lift and a breast augmentation are completely different procedures. A breast lift makes the breast more perky whereas a breast augmentation increases the size of the breast. Some patients receive both at the same time. It’s a matter of preference and what you want to accomplish. ASPS has a great VIDEO that explains the difference and what results to expect with each procedure.
Question: What should I expect during a breast augmentation recovery?
My answer: When done in the right conditions, Dr. Shafer assured that breast augmentation is a very safe and predictable procedure. During your breast augmentation recovery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. Before leaving, you will be given specific postoperative instructions for your breast implant recovery and a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon.
Question: What are the risks associated with breast implants?
My answer: As Dr. Shafer said during the LIVE, any surgery can have risks. The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the risks and potential complications of breast augmentation, which a board-certified surgeon will communicate to you. Once you have that information, only you can make that decision for yourself.
Question: Is Liposuction just for around the stomach area or other sections of the body as well?
My answer: Liposuction was one of the top three procedures performed in 2020 according to ASPS annual Trend Report. Liposuction can be performed in a number of areas including the abdomen area, neck, thighs, hips and buttocks, upper arms.
GOT MORE QUESTIONS? Please leave them in the comments below or as mentioned, just shoot me a personal message from my contact page here.