If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to have realistic expectations of what your breasts will look like after the surgery. While breast augmentation is typically a very positive experience, enhancing your breast’s appearance and improving your confidence in your body, you need to be aware of the real-life outcomes of the surgery.

Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon will ensure you get the best possible result; however, you should go into the procedure knowing that your breasts may never be completely “perfect”. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t see significant improvements after your surgery! Most breast augmentation patients are highly pleased with the outcome of their surgery, finding that their breasts have a more desirable shape, size, and/or appearance.

Below, we will discuss the top four areas where breast augmentation patients must have realistic expectations:

Realistic Breast Symmetry Expectations

No two breasts are entirely symmetrical – the human body does not exist in perfect symmetry. Likewise, breast augmentation surgery will not achieve perfect symmetry, particularly when patients have markedly asymmetrical breasts before the procedure.

That said, breast augmentation surgery is ideal for making asymmetrical breasts more symmetrical. In most cases, whether breasts are mostly symmetrical before the procedure or not, you will find your breast augmentation improves the symmetry of your breasts.

So while it is not possible to achieve absolute symmetry through breast augmentation surgery, you can typically look forward to a higher degree of symmetry.

Realistic Expectations for Areolae

Breast augmentation can stretch your areolae. This effect is often minimal, and is simply a result of the areola stretching to fit the enlarged breast. Many patients do not even notice this stretching, as it is typically proportional to the breast enlargement.

Sometimes, areolas can undergo more significant stretching. The amount to which your areolae may stretch depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Implant size
  • Placement of breast implant (e.g. sub glandular implant position)
  • Skin tone
  • Skin elasticity
  • Undergoing a breast lift at the same time as the breast augmentation

If you are worried about areola stretching, you should discuss your concerns with your cosmetic surgeon before the procedure. You may want to consider a smaller implant.

Realistic Breast Size, Spacing, and Shape Expectations

  • Size:

Do you know how big you want your breasts to be after your surgery? Be sure to discuss expectations with your cosmetic surgeon. Your surgeon will be able to make recommendations about breast sizes that will best suit you and which are ideal for your specific body.

You cannot always get the largest implant available. In some cases it is not possible to get an implant bigger than a certain size due to your existing measurements – it simply will not fit. Your skin and breasts will not stretch beyond a certain threshold; therefore, you cannot get an implant larger than your body will allow.

We always recommend that your implant size be proportional to your body type and shape. For example, the thickness and quality of your breast tissue must be assessed to determine the ideal implant size.

  • Spacing:

Breast augmentation can alter the spacing of your breasts on your chest to some extent. If your breasts are extremely widely spaced apart, your cosmetic surgeon can bring them closer together but your body will dictate to what degree.

  • Shape:

If you present your surgeon with an image that represents your desired outcome, keep in mind that a breast augmentation will not completely change the shape of your breasts. It will make your breasts larger and firmer, but it cannot change their fundamental shape or your body type.

You may be able to obtain breasts that are closer to your desired profile and appearance, but ultimately the unique features of your body will determine what is possible.

The profile, width, and projection (e.g. do you want breasts that stand out from the chest further, or a broader look?) of the implants will all affect your final results and can impact how large your breasts look under your clothing day-to-day. Your cosmetic surgeon should have the expertise to help you get as close to your desired size and shape as your body allows.

Realistic Scarring Expectations

Breast augmentation is surgery that requires an incision. With all surgeries, you must come to terms with the fact that you will be left with a small scar. Because you are seeing a “cosmetic” plastic surgeon, every effort is made to produce minimal scarring; however, the healing process varies from patient to patient.

Where your scar is will depend on the incision placement. Common places for the incision (and therefore the scar) are:

  • The lower edge of the nipple areola (periareolar): This incision is favoured because the colour of the areola can often reduce the visibility of the scar, it typically heals well, and it presents the fewest risks.
  • Under the breast (inframammary): This incision may be used because the fold under the breast can hide the scar; however, this area tends not to heal as well as a periareolar incision.
  • In the armpit (transaxillary): This incision may be used because there will be no scarring on the breasts; however, only saline implants can be used with this incision and it presents greater risks.
  • Belly button: This is a less common incision placement, as it can only be used with saline implants, it makes the placement of the implants more difficult, and it complicates the procedure (adding significant risk such as loss of sensation, etc.).

You should discuss your incision options with your cosmetic surgeon to fully understand the risks and benefits involved.

Patients also wonder whether breast implants will cause stretch marks. Occasionally, they may cause stretch marks depending on your skin resiliency and the size of your implants. Usually, patients find that the stretch marks fade over time or they do not get stretch marks in the first place.

Best Possible Results from Breast Augmentation Surgery

Having realistic expectations for your breast augmentation surgery is so important because your expectations and goals will affect whether you are happy with your outcome. You should strive to obtain the best possible result for your desired appearance and your unique body features.

Your cosmetic surgeon should discuss outcomes with you beforehand. After your conversation with them, you should feel confident that:

  1. they fully understand what you want, and,
  2. you fully understand what to expect based on your body.

Knowing the truth about breast augmentations will prepare you to love your implants and enjoy the newfound confidence they afford for years to come.

>> The Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa has served the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 1994, and safely performs many breast augmentation procedures each year. Book a consultation today.

Visit our breast augmentation before and after gallery to see our results.

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About Dr. Robert Sleightholm

Dr. Robert Sleightholm is one of the founders of the Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa. He is the clinic’s Director of Surgery and, since its opening in 1994, has safely and successfully completed more than 200 cosmetic surgery procedures each year. An Ontario plastic surgery veteran, he is a board-certified Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC).

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