Considering breast augmentation? You’re not alone. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons report breast implants as the most requested surgical procedure in the world. These surgeries happen every day, and it’s a great way for you to feel more confident, look younger, and love your body more. But before jumping in, though, you should evaluate the total picture.

Here are some things you should know about an upcoming breast procedure.

  1. Different Types

At its basic level, breast augmentation is a simple procedure that’s designed to change the size and shape of the breast. There are two types of procedures available for the enhancement: saline and silicone implants.

Saline implants are filled with salt water (saline) after they’ve been implanted according to your selected size. As a result, they can easily be reduced or enlarged after the surgery is over. The incision will be smaller because they’re implanted when empty, and if the implants leak, it’s perfectly safe because the saline solution is natural. The risks are lower, but they’re firmer and look less natural, which makes them an unappealing option to some.

Silicone implants look and feel more real. They’re made of a silicone pocket filled with a silicone gel that moves to the touch. The result looks better, but the procedure is more invasive. The size of the incision will be the size of the implant because the pockets are filled before they’re inserted. There are also some health risks if the implants leak.

It’s important to know the pros and cons of each before choosing which implant you prefer. Discuss your options with your physician before scheduling your procedure.

  1. The Cost

Breast augmentation isn’t cheap, but it’s not as expensive as you might think. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for a breast augmentation procedure at the end of 2016 was $3,719. That’s just for the procedure, but you’ll also have fees for anesthesia, operating room facilities, medication, medical tests, and related expenses. Insurance will not cover this cost, so you’ll pay out of pocket.

The cost of removing breast implants is about $2,506, not including other fees. This stresses the importance of getting exactly what you want with your augmentation. You won’t want to reverse it, as it’s an expensive and painful procedure.

  1. Potential Side Effects and Risks

Don’t forget that breast augmentation is a surgery, and like all surgeries, there are side effects and risks. Here are some that you should be aware of before doing the surgery.

  • Infection from bacteria and mold from an improperly placed implant
  • Risks relating to surgery, including anesthetic reactions
  • Chronic breast pain
  • Temporary or permanent loss of feeling in the breast or nipples
  • Scar tissue
  • Hardened and misshapen breasts
  • Capsular contracture
  • Inability to breastfeed in the future
  • Fatigue
  • Silicone migration into your organs or lymph nodes

The side effects and risk factors are typically minimal and vary with each patient. A good surgeon will be upfront with you and let you know whether or not you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Talk to your surgeon about any specific risks you face before undergoing the surgery.

  1. Size Matters

There are many factors that go into choosing an appropriate implant shape and size. Most importantly, you can’t go from small to large immediately. Your body and skin need time to adjust to different sizes, so it’s better to choose a smaller size first and go up with time.

You should also consider the size and shape of your body to make sure the enhancement will look good on you. Try stuffing your bra to get a visual idea of the size you want.

Finally, make sure that your body can support the extra weight of the implants. If you have a tiny frame and are looking to double the size of your breasts, you could develop back and shoulder pain from excessive strain. If you’re going up significantly in size, do exercises to strengthen your back.

  1. Recovery Time

A breast implant patient will need about a week for recovery time. It’s an outpatient procedure, which means you should be home and resting for five to seven days. Quick recovery means being as still as possible at the beginning, and avoiding manual labor and physical exercise.

If you have a job or responsibilities that require manual labor or heavy lifting, you should take a few extra days off to recover. Some procedures and individuals will require longer recovery periods than others, so check with your surgeon ahead of time, and take adequate time off work.

A breast augmentation is a serious procedure with side effects and risks. It’s a great procedure for most women, but proper consideration should be made first.