Mon 28 Sep 2009
My typical patient never thought they would have a plastic surgeon.
I am a plastic surgeon in Palo Alto, California. When I started my practice, I thought most breast augmentation patients would be 25 year olds who want to look good in a bikini.
I was wrong.
I have done hundreds of breast augmentations, and my biggest patient population is women after children. The mommy makeover. After baby tune up. Call it what you will. My patients are educated, assured. They have great self esteem. They are in shape and take pride in having a healthy body. They are not being pushed by a husband. They do not want hootchie mama breasts; in fact, they don’t want anyone to know they have done a thing. They are surprised they are in my office. They never thought they would do plastic surgery. They think no one they know would do this. (Though most of my patients come from a 10 mile radius, so they likely have a friend with breast implants.)
Breast feeding and pregnancy take a larger toll on us than it did our mothers. We tend to have our children later; we are having multiple children; and we breastfeed. Here in Northern California support for breastfeeding is everywhere. My mother had three kids. She started at age 24 and was done by 28. Her whole generation was one who thought formula and “science” was better for the baby than breastfeeding. Her post baby breasts fared better than mine .
A typical story, ” I was fine with what I had. I wasn’t large, but I was happy. Then I had kids. ____(insert number) And I breastfed for ________ months. (insert number) And now I have nothing left / my bikini rides up / I have to wear a push up bra or padding everywhere / I can’t put on a swimsuit / my breasts look like they are on the cover of National Geographic / I can’t stand to see my breasts.”
You never want to feel like you are common. I love the uniqueness of my patients. I love the strength of women. But there are trends we women fall into after having kids. Most of us are in a fog for the first couple years after children. And you don’t really know what is going to look like what. Most of us had more time with our pre baby bodies. It is hard to go through pregnancy and watch your body change. The generation of baby boomer women caused an increase in accepatance of plastic surgery. So you get done with kids, you are 40 and vital, and you think, why do I have to accept my breasts will look like this?
I see patients usually 2 -3 years after their last baby. It is at this point you are out of the fog, you have worked out and had time pass, and you can finally assess what your post baby body will look like. I always feel like I should hand out those iconic flags they stuck on the moon. This is MY body. I am not a milk truck. A jungle gym. A baby carrier. I am a woman. I am ME. And my patients reclaim their body and sexuality again.
Breast implants are not for everyone. There are risks, some patients are better candidates than others, some really need a lift, you have to accept you will outlive your first pair of implants… But for the right women, an implant can reconstruct the breast. Implants can be small or large and be made to look natural at either volume. Every doctor has an aesthetic. Look at photos to see if you and your doctor will click. Look for a doctor who is a true plastic surgeon, Board Certified by the Board of Plastic Surgery.
I will have more posts later on breast implant nuance: profiles of implant, gel or saline, in front or behind the muscle, biplanar or total muscle coverage. It is too much for this post. Please email me with questions.