What is a Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that increases the size and symmetry of your breasts. The procedure can be performed with insertion of implants, composed of either saline or silicone. If you are interested in a small increase in breast volume, you can opt for fat transfer from another part of your body.
With appropriate surgical technique, breast augmentation surgery will not affect your ability to breastfeed. You do not need to postpone breast augmentation until you are finished having children. However, pregnancy will change the shape of your breasts. Breast augmentation is not a breast lift, it does not correct drooping breasts.
Am I a good candidate for a Breast Augmentation?
- You are dissatisfied with the size of your breasts and believe your overall body shape and proportion will improve with a larger bust.
- You are at a stable and healthy weight and would like to achieve a more feminine silhouette.
- Breast augmentation is the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedure in the United Statescountry. It also consistently produces one of the highest patient satisfaction rates. The shape of your breasts is affected by pregnancy, breast feeding, weight fluctuations, and gravity. Breast volume is a product of a combination of genetics, your body fat composition, your weight, and hormonal responses.
- The size of your implants is largely up to you. Your plastic surgeon will guide your decision making if an expert opinion is necessary. It is helpful to bring in photos with you to your initial consultation showcasing women with your ideal breasts.
All breast implants have a silicone outer shell. This shell can be either smooth or textured. Smooth shell implants have the advantage of more natural movement within the breast capsule your body invariably creates after an implant is placed. However, rotation within the breast capsule is a potential complication with a smooth shell. Textured shell implants stick tightly to the newly formed breast capsule and does not glide naturally within the capsule like its smooth shell counterpart. However, this shell cannot rotate (or turn upside down) within the breast capsule and there is a lower risk for capsular contracture with the textured shells vs the smooth shells. There is an extremely rare association of textured implants and the development of BIA-ALCL (Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma), a treatable cancer of the immune system. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of your options with your plastic surgeon.
Saline: your plastic surgeon fills the silicone shell with sterile water in the operating room to your desired size. Saline is much cheaper than silicone, but there is a risk of developing visible rippling, or skin folds over the implant in the future. However, saline implants have the advantage of being able to be filled with more saline after your breast augmentation surgery. This is especially applicable to those individuals undergoing oncologic breast reconstruction after mastectomy and require gradual expansion of the small breast envelope to prepare it for an implant in the future.
Silicone: these implants have varying degrees of consistency. Increased molecular bonds increases the cohesiveness therefore viscosity of the silicone filling. These cohesive silicone implants are also known as “gummy bear implants.” These implants have the advantage of low risk of skin rippling and implant leakage. They are also firmer than the traditional silicone filling that is of liquid consistency, thus are able to hold their shape.
Subglandular: This technique places the implant “above the muscle”. This method is reserved for women with healthy thick skin and who have some existing fatty breast tissue. This method is preferred by female athletes and body builders, due to the lack of animation, or implant movement upon contraction of your pectoralis muscle, that occurs with this placement.
Submuscular: This technique places the implant “below the muscle”. It produces the most natural looking results but the implants do move with muscle contraction, (animation).
Dual plane: This technique combines the two aforementioned methods.
- Mild to moderate pain is expected but this is well controlled with prescription and over the counter medications
- Most patients return to work 5-7 days after the surgery
- Typically patients require 1-2 weeks to recover. Physical exertion such as opening heavy doors may be difficult for you during this time.
- Bra shopping is recommended at least 6 weeks after your surgery. We recommend using a front closure sports bra and avoid wearing bras with underwiring during this time.
- Avoid sexual activity or any activity that may raise your blood pressure for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
- Avoid rigorous physical activity for 4 weeks.
- Daily massage for at least the first 2 weeks is recommended.
- Your breasts will “drop”, or settle into their new breast pockets after about 3 months.