Pec Implants Boosted My Confidence
Before and afters
No matter how much I exercised, I couldn't build up my pec muscles – and ultimately opted for pectoral implants with the plastic surgeon my girlfriend used for her nose job.
Over the years, I did see some minor improvements to my chest, but definitely not what I thought I’d see from agonizing years of bench presses, push-ups, etc. Maybe it's from media hype or thousands of years of the evolutionary need to puff up the chest before a fight, but I admit I was always a little embarrassed when I took my shirt off at the beach or when I was getting intimate with a girl. So, as I approached my late-20's I started to wonder if plastic surgery could get me a bigger chest.
I did some research on pec implants, the procedure itself, average cost, and then searching for board-certified plastic surgeons in my area that specialized in chest enhancements for men. I quickly found out that pectoral implant surgery is not uncommon, and a lot of other guys were happy with their results. I guess I had always been a bit sexist when it came to cosmetic surgery, thinking that it was a "woman" thing, especially after helping my girlfriend get through her nose job. But, I learned that more men than ever before are going to dermatologists and to plastic surgeons for anti-aging and body contouring.
I narrowed my search to a few plastic surgeons and set up consultations with them; saving my girlfriend’s surgeon for last. I knew I didn't want to choose any of the huge, hulking results I saw for those people that volunteered videos of their procedure and results, I just wanted to look like I had the chest I thought I would with all the gym work I do already. I live within an hour or so drive of New York City, so finding surgeons that specialize in this procedure wasn’t hard – and I knew I could choose the doctor I thought would be best to understand what I wanted and could deliver a safe/good aesthetic result.
At the consults, each doctor went over the following info with me, more or less:
- Male pectoral implant surgeryis similar to breast augmentation/breast implants for women and a quick review of anatomy of the pectoral area and how the procedure works.
- Selecting a size is based on what I want and what is right for my body.
- There are different types of implants available (mine are silicone implants, which is the most popular), some more rigid or less rigid than others, essentially.
- The do's and don'ts pre- and post-procedure, average recovery time, the number of and repetition of expected follow up
Most importantly, was the discussion we had about my goals for this surgery. My objective was to have my pecs look like natural, hard-earned pectoral muscles that I got through diet and exercise while fitting in seamlessly with my overall physique. I felt like each surgeon knew what I was talking about, but some seemed more down to earth than others.
I chose the plastic surgeon (the surgeon who did my girlfriend’s nose job) that I thought was the best for me (note: the decision was not based on price) and after discussion with my girlfriend, I called up the coordinator at his office to set up a date for my surgery.
I showed up to the outpatient surgery center 2 hours before my procedure, as instructed, and was pretty nervous beforehand. Beforehand, I was given the option to choose general anesthesia or sedation, and I went with general because I was too worried I would feel the pain of the procedure while I was supposed to be in “twilight”. Waking up and not having that ‘drugged up’ feeling takes a little longer with general anesthesia, but I wanted to be completely "out".
I don’t remember much other than being wheeled into the operating room, but from what I was told beforehand in the consult, I know (for the most part) what he was going to do:
- He would make small incisionsin my armpits, he would create a pocket for the implant, and the silicone implants were inserted through the incisions.
- Once he thought it looked good and symmetric, he would close the incisions with stitches and wrap my chest in a compression-like bra and bandages.
The surgery itself took about 90 minutes, according to my girlfriend, but I was told during my consultation that it could take anywhere from an hour to two hours. I left the surgery center after a few hours and was in a descent amount of pain that felt like pressure on my chest, but I was given pain killers and muscle relaxers to dull the discomfort.
That day, and for one week following the procedure, I had to wear the compression garment and could only take it off to shower – which my girlfriend had to help with (that wasn’t so bad). We would both peak at my new pecs and were both pretty excited to see things develop. There was a good amount of swelling and soreness for that week and the pain was probably the worst on the third day and improved after that. I was nervous about moving my arms too much after the procedure and displacing the implant or swelling my chest too much, because of the risks that the surgeon told me could happen if I over did it. So I took a week off from work just to make sure that I was able to keep my movements at a minimum.
By the second week, I was able to go back to work, walk at a leisurely pace on the treadmill at the gym, and do most of the things I would normally do at home and at work (I don’t do physical labor, but I didn’t have to adjust for restrictions in a way that would give up the secret of my recent surgery to my co-workers).
I took the post-procedure advice from my plastic surgeon very seriously. If this was my one shot at getting this right, I did not want to jeopardize the healing process, the money spent, or my appearance by getting back into the gym prematurely. I didn’t exercise for a full six weeks following the procedure as per doctor’s orders. I felt like a soft, flabby mess, but I refused to ruin the chest I was starting to see reveal itself as the swelling went down. Like I mentioned, I did walk a bit each day and followed my normal diet. When I did go back to the gym I started did more reps with less weight. It took me a few weeks after that to gradually work my way back to my pre-procedure work out.
It's been several months since my surgery and I feel great. The warmer weather is here and I've been able to wear T-shirts without feeling like something was missing, and have even been to the pool and beach a few times. The incisions are almost completely hidden in my armpits and are only seen if I move my arms behind me and my chest looks like how a chest should look for the amount of time I spend at the gym. I was told before and after my surgery that individual results always vary on the person, but in my case, everything worked out, no pun intended.