It might seem like a Kardashian tush is where it's at these days, but a perky pair of boobs is far from out of style. In fact, getting your girls done is super popular and more commonplace than ever—290,467 women in the U.S. had a breast augmentation surgery in 2016, a rise of 4 percent year over year and 37 percent since 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Thinking about giving the surgery a go? Here are seven things you should know about boob jobs from women who've had them.
Devi Laidley, 33, got her implants in November 2007 at the age of 24 and went for the cheapest option available...and says she ended up with a bum doctor. "A lot of girls really want their breasts done but can't afford reputable surgeons, so they go with what's cheap. I was young and just went with what I could afford," she says. She now wishes she had done more research and waited until she could afford to work with a surgeon who had a better reputation and was board-certified by the ASPS. "My stitches busted open and my doctor said it would just heal. I thought that was the wrong answer, and it ended up scarring really bad," she says. Six years later, in 2013, when she had saved up enough money, she found a new surgeon and had scar-revision surgery. (You don't want to end up like these 13 examples of plastic surgery gone wrong.)
If you can, schedule your surgery on a Thursday or Friday—and expect to miss a few days of work. For two days following her surgery in June 2014, Lauren*, 36, said her mom took care of her while she recovered. "Sometimes the sides of my boobs hurt so bad I could hardly stand it," she says. "It felt like burning or someone stabbing me under my armpit, especially when I lifted my arms. It made me want to throw up." The pain was the worst for the first three days, then eased up; she couldn't lift a jug of milk for a week. That said, she was back at her spin class about nine days after going under the knife, though she had to ditch upper-body weights for six weeks.
Brookelyn Ashleigh, 27, was a AA cup before surgery and got CC implants in 2014, making her a DD—and the pain was intense. "I couldn't use much of my upper torso and needed help sitting up, eating, and even getting my pants down to go to the bathroom for about three days," she says, though she notes that some women she knows were up and moving around the next day. Her doctor told her that her level of pain was due to the large, firm implants stretching her pec muscles, which were tight since she worked out a lot.
RELATED: 6 CELEBS OPEN UP ABOUT HOW THEY REALLY FEEL ABOUT THEIR BREAST IMPLANTS
At first, Lauren says had a "slight gap" between her implants and her chest. And because of the positioning, she could feel the implants from the sides of her breasts. "I didn't have a whole lot of breast tissue to begin with, so they were noticeable. For the first few months, I was a bit hesitant if they were how they were supposed to look," says Lauren. Within about six months, the implants dropped into her chest cavity and settled into place, which, her surgeon explained, was par for the course. "They have filled out and moved into the right place, but it took the better part of a year," she says.
Your new breasts may change how clothing looks on you since they can change your entire silhouette. "I had to relearn the innate skill we've all mastered of dressing ourselves," says Jessica*, 33, who had her surgery in March 2014 and went from a 34A to a 34C. "I have a different style now because the clothes that work best with my body—even skirts and shorts—have dramatically changed. But you'll have lots of old bras and tops to donate to friends!" That said, not everyone finds they have to re-haul their closet: Brookelyn says that most tank tops, t-shirts, blouses, and dresses still fit her despite going from a AA to a DD.
If you've never had boobs before, it can be hard to know how big to go. "At first I felt like my implants were ginormous and fake looking. I was afraid I'd look overweight when I wore loose clothes because of my breasts," says Jessica. Although her breasts were mostly healed in three months, she didn't feel "normal" until a year later. "It's a huge body image transition, and it was overwhelming. I was a bit of a hypochondriac the first year, but now I've adapted and feel really comfortable with them," she says. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women's Health's Look Better Naked DVD.)
Lauren says after she came home from surgery, she cried quite a bit. "I think some was the medicine, but part of me was a tiny bit unsure if I had made the right choice," she said. But now she loves her implants. "I am so happy with them. I was so self-conscious about my chest. Now I don't think twice about it," says Lauren. "I look very normal, not like I had implants. They're a great size for my body shape and height. I only wish I had done it sooner."
RELATED: 17 PROBLEMS ONLY WOMEN WITH BIG BOOBS UNDERSTAND
Ten years after Devi's surgery, she is downsizing from a DDD to a DD or D in July of this year. As her body has changed with time, so have her breasts—and while the size was initially perfect, now the implants are a bit big for her frame. "Over the years and getting into bodybuilding, it's been a hassle trying to find things that fit, especially sports bras," she says.
*Some names have been changed