Being an elective procedure, breast implant surgery and its related costs are generally not covered by health insurance. Nevertheless, you may tap into a vast array of financing options such as unsecured medical loans, regular or medical credit cards, home equity loans, and bank loans.
It is also a common practice among plastic surgeons to offer their own breast augmentation payment plans.
However, one financing option that some patients may tap into is loan from family and friends.
One of the pros of this financing option is the flexibility. Your loved one might agree to an excellent terms (with no interest or penalty) and will most likely be flexible should you make a late payment.
(Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos)
Nevertheless, money is really a tricky issue especially when it involves your intimate relationships. In the event that you default on the agreement, you will feel really bad, assuming that it’s not in your nature to run away from your debts.
Simply put, money issues could jeopardize your relationship when not handled properly. Also, family reunion could be awkward, if not hellish.
Borrowing money for an elective procedure like breast implant surgery might also be embarrassing for some. But if you feel comfortable with this financing option, you may want to consider peer to peer lending websites such as LendingKarma.com, which creates a legally binding loan agreement document or promissory note.
You might also consider Crowdfunding websites such as GoGetFunding to raise money, although you might be required to make a small transaction fee, which is usually 3 percent or less. But if you are really creative, you could even launch a social medial campaign that also allows you to share your makeover journey.
Other possible options include online gift giving websites such as Shareagift, FriendFund, MyRegistry, and GoGift.com, which can allow your friends and relatives to make cash deposits electronically.
Breast implant surgery has one primary goal—to provide patients with satisfying results, which is only possible through strict patient selection, careful surgical planning and preparation, and proper postop care.
Of course, honest communication between plastic surgeons and patients also plays a crucial role in achieving cosmetically pleasing results.
According to a survey involving board-certified breast plastic surgeons and female patients, the satisfaction rate after breast augmentation was around 98 percent. Nevertheless, the same study has shown that 15 percent of the respondents would have preferred a smaller or bigger result.
Dr. Tarick Smaili, one of the leading Los Angeles plastic surgery experts, explains the different options you might consider when not satisfied with your breast implant result.
* The general rule of thumb is to wait for all the residual swelling to subside and the implant to drop to its final position—a process that typically takes around six month—before any revision is attempted to make sure the breast has reached its final size and “stable” appearance.
“Waiting” instead of rushing to make a decision is also helpful because temporary postop blues is not uncommon after surgery, and some people just need to get used to their new appearance. Nevertheless, some complications—such as inframammary fold asymmetry and capsular contracture—are best treated early on.
* Return to the original plastic surgeon. Assuming that he is board-certified and qualified to perform breast augmentation, and the patient remains confident in his skills, he might be in the best position to provide a sound advice.
* Find a second opinion. It remains helpful to consult two or more plastic surgeons, especially if you have postop complication or deformity that is difficult to address or improve.
It is particularly helpful to discuss your options with plastic surgeons who mainly focus on revision breast implant surgeries, which in some situations are more complex than primary procedures.
* Consider non-surgical treatments first. Some postop complications can be treated or improved by “simple” procedures. For instance, breast implant massage, or medically referred to as prosthesis displacement exercise, can correct the appearance of excessive fullness in the upper cleavage.
Aside from implant displacement exercise, chest band, thong bra, and compression garment might also prevent or address minimal breast displacement.
For patients with early symptoms of capsular contracture (i.e., hardening or abnormal thickening of the scar tissue around an implant), non-surgical treatments typically include off-label use of asthma medications, ultrasound, breast massage, and vitamin E.
Pregnancy can affect the breast’s appearance to some degree, hence some women choose to postpone their breast implant surgery until they are done having children. However, others prefer to have augmentation regardless of their plan to have a family in the future.
When it comes to the issue of breast augmentation before or after children, it is difficult to determine the most ideal timing without looking into the variables such as motives and expectations of patients, their emotional and physical preparedness, maturity, lifestyle, and even their career and other responsibility—i.e., whether they can afford one to two weeks of downtime.
Even without pregnancy, several factors can change the shape, projection, and overall appearance of the breast. Examples include natural effects of aging, sun exposure, poor lifestyle, and weight fluctuations. However, ptosis or sagging is the main issue that is difficult, if not impossible, to predict.
Some patients have significant changes in their breast size and appearance a few years after surgery due to pregnancy or aging, while others have minimal or almost none.
Dr. Tarick Smaili, a celebrity surgeon in Riverside plastic surgery, says women of childbearing age who are physically fit and emotionally mature to understand the ramifications of implants may opt to undergo breast augmentation before having children, although they may wish to postpone any body contouring surgery if they are planning to get pregnant in the nearest future (within a year).
If a woman elects to have breast implants and becomes pregnant subsequently, one way to minimize the impact of breast involution is to make sure weight gain is within the normal range, as suggested by Dr. Smaili.
The same “advice” applies to women with unoperated breasts since significant weight fluctuation is strongly linked to higher risk of sagging and upper breast pole deflation, he further explains.
Dr. Smaili allays the common concern of patients with augmented breasts who might avoid breastfeeding over fear that their implants might contaminate their milk supply, citing studies which have found that there is no difference in the quality of milk between “operated” and “unoperated” breasts.
One study has even suggested that the amount of silicone is considerably higher in cow and formula milk than milk produced by women with silicone breast implants.
However, Dr. Smaili says that some women may find it more “reassuring” to have implants or other breast-related enhancements only after having children especially if they are aware of their susceptibility to sagging based on their family history or changes in their mother’s physical appearance.
Revision breast implant surgery is performed to address early or late onset complications, which could be related to implants or physiological issues such as drooping of the tissue and skin thinning. Occasionally, a cosmetic problem is caused by multiple factors—e.g., inappropriate implant size and pre-existing breast sagging—that must be treated simultaneously to deliver pleasing results.
In general, you should consider going back to your original doctor to determine the underlying cause of your problem and the potential solutions that could improve your appearance. Take note almost every [prudent and ethical] board-certified plastic surgeon wants the best for his or her patient.
To achieve good results from primary or revision breast augmentation surgery, the general rule of thumb is to only consult a board-certified plastic surgeon, or to be exact, a doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is an assurance that he or she has specific training in this medical field and has passed the institution’s rigorous exams taken every 10 years.
Aside from board certification, it is imperative that the surgeon performing your revision must have chosen breast surgery as his or her main practice. Bear in mind that a doctor whose niche procedure is facial rejuvenation may not be able to deliver optimal results when assigned to perform breast-related procedures.
And because revision breast surgeries tend to be more challenging and complex than primary procedures, take note that some doctors in Orange County plastic surgery have even made these as their “niche.”
Good rapport, honest communications, and trust are crucial for any patient-surgeon relationship, especially if the surgery’s goal is all about cosmetic improvement. Make sure that all these variables are present to help you achieve satisfying results and to minimize risk of complications and botched outcome.
While in most cases it would ideal to at least talk to your original plastic surgeon, it remains helpful if you ask for second opinion. The goal is to compare each doctor’s opinions, ideas, treatments, and “visions” from others, and then choose the one that “makes sense” to you the most.
By knowing and understanding your options, it would be easier to make a sound judgment.
Dr. Tarick Smaili, one of the leading Orange County plastic surgery experts, says that it astounds him that many patients do not conduct background check on their surgeons or scrutinize them the same way as they would inspect a new car or house.
A word of advice from the renowned breast augmentation surgeon:
“We typically spend lot of time and effort before buying a large or expensive asset. The same amount of effort must be also given when choosing a plastic surgeon who will work on our body. For anyone considering cosmetic procedures, he or she must practice the highest level of prudence.”
Intense itching after breast implant surgery is not uncommon due to the return of normal sensation. Despite the discomfort, this is a good sign that the injured or displaced nerves are gradually healing themselves through a process called reinnervation.
Sometimes the stretching of skin leads to itching during breast augmentation recovery, which is often accompanied by “shiny” appearance and excessive dryness. These “symptoms” tend to be more pronounced with the use of large implants, which are generally defined as having a volume of 400 cubic centimeters or bigger.
Some patients may take anti-histamine medications to minimize the itching and other related discomfort, although “helpful” they are not generally necessary since the symptoms will always dissipate or subside on their own as the body recovers from the surgical trauma, as suggested by Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili.
If the skin appears “overly tight” and/or dry, Dr. Smaili might recommend the application of moisturizers such as baby oil and cocoa butter, although the still sensitive incisions must be avoided because they could cause irritation and lead to allergic reaction and poor scarring.
The renowned plastic surgeon also advocates breast implant massage, or more accurately referred to as implant displacement exercise, in which the prosthesis is pushed towards the outermost corners of the “pocket” to make the tissue soft and the breast shape and projection appear natural.
Breast implant displacement exercise, he adds, has also been known to “re-train” the nerves, a process also referred to as systematic desensitization. He typically recommends the postop treatment a week after surgery, although the timing, frequency, and exact “mechanics” differ from patient to patient, he adds.
While itching and other related symptoms will resolve in time, some experts might also suggest the use of “vibration stress” to soothe or desensitize the nerves. This is done by placing a vibrator device on the chest and then gradually moving it toward the most sensitive area; it is ideal to remove or press the stop button before the sensation becomes unbearable.
Performing this “exercise” could treat hypersensitivity, itching, and other sensation-related problems within a week, or sometimes even sooner.
Another possible way to control intense itching after breast augmentation surgery is to put ice packs (covered by washcloth) on the lateral side of the breast, where most of the skin stretching occurs. However, Dr. Smaili warns that there should be no direct contact between the skin and ice to avoid “cold burns” and other complications.