The Ultimate Guide to Breast Implant Surgery

breast implants

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When I finally decided to go through with getting breast implants I was anxious. Prior to my consultation, I attempted on doing some online research about breast implants: pros, cons, types, sizes, celebrities who had them, people’s experiences, the amount of pain, before and after photos, etc. I found tons of info, but I felt as if it was all scattered all over the place. I felt somewhat unprepared attending my consultation. Almost a year later, I decided to help women in similar situations by providing all the information in one place.

What you need to know about Boobs Jobs

Boob “shopping” is similar to finding the perfect hairstyle. You find a picture of what you like and you show it to the trainer professional. I didn’t do this, but would definitely recommend doing so, so that your surgeon knows exactly the look you are going for.

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Type of Implant

When deciding on the type of breast implants to get, there are a few facts you need to know. You have two choices either silicone or saline.

Silicone implants

  • feel more natural
  • they are easier to put in with recent technological enhancements
  • more expensive
  • pre-filled with silicone gel
  • BUT if they pop inside you (rare cases), it could lead to some harmful effects

Gummy Bear Implant Option

  • silicone implant
  • more expensive
  • won’t leak because the material is more gummy resembling you guessed it a gummy bear
  • firmer
  • fuller all around shape
  • require a larger incision

Saline implants

  • Cheaper
  • Safer (it’s basically just salt water, so if they pop (rare) your body just absorbs the liquid)
  • Inserted empty, then filled once placed inside.

Placement also varies depending on your needs so you have two options over the muscle or under the muscle.

Under muscle

  • You have a layer of muscle that allows for a more natural looking breast
  • When you flex the chest muscles, the shape of the implant is temporarily altered
  • A better option for petite women as they have less breast tissue in the breast area to cover the implant.
  • Rougher recovery because the muscle is impacted

Over muscle

  • You don’t have to worry about the muscle issues as you do with under the muscle procedures
  • Preferred for women with more breast muscle tissue and body builders because it gives the breast a more natural look without the distortion of shape when flexing pectoral muscles.
Incision Location

The location of the incision is another thing to consider when deciding exactly what you want. Here you have three options: under the breast (breast fold), through the nipple, or underarm. There is technically another method called the TUBA method, in which the implant is inserted through the navel, but it’s super rare because it’s more difficult to achieve accurate results.

Under Breast (typically the best option)

  • Accurate placement
  • Medium scar but usually heals pretty well

Through the Nipple

  • The nipple is basically cut out, the implant is placed, and the nipple is reattached.
  • Potential loss of nipple sensitivity (rare)
  • Could affect breastfeeding
  • Minimum scarring
  • Accurate placement


  • Scarring is almost non-existent
  • A risk of asymmetrical implant positioning.

The sizing of the implants is different from what we are typically accustomed to regarding boob sizes (ex. 34B). Implant sizes depend on the amount of liquid/gel product is placed inside the implant measured in c.c.’s. The average “size” is about 330 cc according to ____. I was contemplating between 325 and 350, but decided to go a tad bigger (go big or go home!).

How to determine the right size for you…

Obviously, this depends on what “look” you’re going for, your body size/shape, and the appearance of your breasts prior to surgery. Ex: I’m 5’6”, 113 lbs., very petite frame, my breasts were measuring at 34B before surgery, but they were super saggy. I knew what I wanted, a natural looking rack, not too big, just fuller, I did not want the stripper look!

Everyone is different though. If you have a bigger frame, you may require larger breasts for proportion purposes.

During your consultation, the doctor will give you a bra and various sizes of implants both silicone and saline. You get to put the implants in your bra and experiment with the sizes, how they feel, and how they look. That’s when you decide which look best suits you.

Once you decide on all of the above, you schedule a pre-op appointment where you go over all the details about the surgery and confirm sizes. Sometimes blood work is required during the pre-op appointment depending on your medical history.

Before Surgery

Your surgeon will provide you with instructions during your pre-op surgery explaining everything again in detail. I don’t remember exactly what was included, but it was a pretty big booklet. As with any surgery no food/liquids for an x amount of time before surgery.

  • Do all your housework beforehand
  • Take at least a week off from work
  • Arrange for full-time childcare for at least 5 days
  • Fill your prescriptions (pain killer and antibiotic)
  • Get a Zip Front Wireless Bra for after surgery. You will be living in this for at least a week after surgery. It needs to be big because your boobs will be super swollen so you don’t want anything tight. It needs to be front zippered because it will be difficult to move around and put in on/take it off for a while.
  • Do your grocery shopping and get some crackers and magazines.
  • Wear comfy clothes the day of surgery and a Front Zip Post Surgery Shirt for easy on/off. So, a button-up shirt or a zipper sweater.
  • Arrange for someone to take you to and from surgery as well as to dispense your medication as needed.
After Surgery

Day 1

Immediately after surgery, you will be in A LOT of pain. Like my chest felt tight. I literally felt like there was a ton of bricks on my chest. I was dizzy and completely out of it. It was hard to breathe. Once I got out of the car when I got home, I almost fainted from the pain. I sat on the ground of the garage for five minutes. The first day I was taking my prescribed Vicodin every 4 hours. I slept all day and all night. The hardest part was getting up. You have to lay/sleep propped up with pillows. It’s almost impossible to lift yourself up to take a sip of water or use the bathroom. My husband stayed with me and helped me up every time, even at night when I needed to pee (bless his heart <3).

Day 2

The next day I was super nauseous from the pain pills. I couldn’t eat. I basically slept all day. I threw up a few times which was brutal because it hurt so bad that I thought I was going to pass out. I started getting really gassy. Sorry for the TMI, but I had sharp pains in my stomach from lack of movement. Over-the-counter gas meds helped a little. It was a rough day, to say the least.

Day 3

I had my first follow-up appointment. It was a rough drive to the surgeon’s office. I threw up in the car. Every bump on the road felt like my boobs were being ripped off my chest. The appointment went well though. The doctor recommended I stop taking the Vicodin and try taking just Tylenol. He also recommended I walk around now to relieve the gas pains. He told me I could shower. Thank goodness cuz I was getting smelly and my hurr needed a good wash. However, taking a shower was quite the task. It was difficult to raise my arms up to wash my hair and shave my underarms.

Once I switched to Tylenol I felt way better; nausea subsided and I was finally able to eat. I craved Panera and a green smoothie (lol). So, my mother-in-law went to Panera, got me my Mediterranean panini and creamy tomato-basil soup. She went to Whole Foods and loaded me up with a nice variety of green smoothies!

Day 4

            I was much more active, eating, walking, and even managed to give my kids a bath (a half-assed one, but hey I tried). I watched Netflix and that’s about it. I was able to get around by myself. My boobs were super swollen and still hurt, but it was nowhere near as painful as the first two days.

Day 5

            Another follow-up appointment and a trip to Jewel. It was a pretty decent day. By then I was able to do little chores around the house. I was able to make my own food, shower normally, you know slowly returning to life. I had a well-deserved glass of red wine to finish up the day. It was a rough 5 days!

boob job

I hope this post was helpful. If you would like to know more about my reasons for getting a boob job, or my overall boob story check out my post Why I Got a Boob Job and So Should YouIf you have any questions comment below! My surgeon was Dr. Shah of A New You Plastic Surgery and Laser Center.








  1. Lyla

    December 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    How long until you were back to normal? Normal bras and normal everyday?

    1. marlenagsalerno

      December 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

      I was able to function somewhat normally 5 days later. Meaning I was able to care for my 3 year old twins and just everyday stuff. However normal bras and such depends on swelling amount: I went bra shopping after 3 weeks and got a cute lace bra. I just couldn’t wait although I believe doctors recommend waiting about a month for the swelling to go down and the implants to settle. For the first few weeks you have to wear a sports bra with a front zip opening.

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