One of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S., breast augmentation can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer,better-proportioned look through the placement of implants in the breast. Women may elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic motivations, including balancing breast size and compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery. The procedure may be combined with others such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Implants are silicone shells filled with saline (salt water) and are placed behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle. The procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia, although local anesthesia combined with a sedative is also possible. After surgery the patient’s bustline may be increased by one or more cup sizes.
Incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility (in the armpit, in the crease on the underside of the breast, or around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple). The breast is then lifted, creating a pocket into which the implant is inserted.
The most common breast concerns are:
- I want more fullness.
- I’ve lost weight and my breasts have no shape.
- My breasts sag, and my nipples point downward.
- My breast are too small.
- My breasts aren’t symmetrical.
- I don’t have enough cleavage.
- I want a more appealing figure.
Breast Augmentation with Implants
A common complaint from women of all ages and body types is that they think their breasts are too small. You may have been born with naturally small breasts that lack fat and tissue, or you may have lost volume with time or after pregnancy. Women are often unhappy with their natural breast asymmetries (one breast is smaller than the other), which can also be corrected with surgery.
Before deciding on breast augmentation, it’s important that we discuss the overall look you’re trying to achieve. Breast augmentation today is all about customizing the procedure to your desired look and body type, as opposed to just giving your bigger breasts.
We will make decisions together which size, type of implant and what placement is best for you based on your needs and wants, as well as your breast measurements. To get a feel for how you may look after surgery, you can place different sized and shaped implants in your bra or bathing suit. This is a good way of estimating what you may look like with larger breasts before committing to surgery.
What to Expect From A Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation sugery is done under general anesthesia; you should be able to return home the same day. You may experience some bruising and swelling, and some doctors recommend wearing a compression garment to help with healing. Most scars fade within four to six weeks and your breast shape will start to settle within weeks-although it may take six months to a year to see the final results.
Breast Implant Options
Breast Implants are measured in ccs- the higher the number, the larger the implant. About every 150 to 200ccs equates to an increase of approximately one to one-and-a-half cup sizes. (To determine the ideal implant size for you, the width of your breast and tissue needs to be taken into consideration.)
Breast Implant Filler Types
- Saline: These implants rely on saline (saltwater) and are filled at the time of surgery via a small incision that results in a small scar.
- Silicone: Prefilled silicone implants contain cohesive gel that helps prevent the silicone from migrating.
Breast Implant Shapes
- Teardrop: Teardrop implants have more of a slope and less fullness in the upper part of the implant.
- Round: Round implants provide the upper breast with the most volume.
Breast Implant Placement
- Submuscular: Placed under the pectoral muscle.
- Submammary: Placed behind the breast tissue, and on top of the pectoral muscle (aka subglandular placement).
Breast Implant Incisions
- In The Breast Fold: The easiest incision to make and provides symmetry.
- Perioreolar: A small incision around the nipple that heals well.
- Axillary: Uses an incision in the armpit made endoscopically to create a pocket so your implant doesn’t sit too high.
Breast Implant Profiles
- Low Profile: Gives a small amount of projection so the breasts don’t stick out that much from the chest.
- Moderate Profile: Slightly tapered with projection that’s between a low-profile implant and a high-profile implant.
- High Profile: These give ample projection and fullness because of their narrow width and small base.
What can happen if your implants are too large?
Not every body is built to accommodate large implants, which is why there is a risk of long-term problems like tissue, fat and muscle thinning, pressure atrophy and stretch marks.
FAQ Breast Augmentation
1. How long does a Breast Augmentation take?
A. A Breast Augmentation takes approximately 45-60 minutes.
2. How much does a Breast Augmentation cost?
A. The cost of a Breast Augmentation differs from region to region, and is influenced by the type of implant (tear drop shaped cost more), as well as the need for additional procedures (lift, or fat grafting).
3. How long is the recovery after Breast Augmentation?
A. Recovery is fairly rapid after a Breast Augmentation. Gradual increasing aerobic exercise (stationary bike, or light jog) is allowed after 10 days. Unrestricted activity as allowed after 3 weeks. Swimming and tub baths are allowed after 4 weeks.
4. When can I return to work after a Breast Augmentation?
A. You can return to a light duty job a few days after a Breast Augmentation. A job that requires heavy lifting is ideally returned to in 3 weeks after the procedure.
5. What incision is the best for a Breast Augmentation?
A. An inframammary incision for a Breast Augmentation is the most common incision. It allows excellent visualization and access for the procedure. The transaxillary (armpit) and periareolar (through the areola) are also acceptable incisions.
6. What type of implants are right for me?
A. Smooth , round implants are the most commonly used implants. If your implants are to be placed on top of the muscle, then a textured surface implant would be used. Some women prefer a more teardrop shaped implant.
7. Can I have implants at the time of a lift?
A. Implants and a lift at the same time , referred to as an Augmentation/Mastopexy, is quite common. This is performed to improve the shape and the size of the breast.