Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. and one of our most popular services. Breast augmentation can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of saline or silicone implants in the breast.
Our patients elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic reasons, including balancing breast size, compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery, and correcting a congenital breast defect. Under our doctors' expert care, patients enjoy great-looking, natural-feeling breasts that are one or more cup sizes larger after the operation.
Fully Customized Breast Enhancement
We know that every woman is unique in both her desires and her body shape. With that in mind, we take the time during the pre-operative consultations to learn what each patient hopes to gain from breast augmentation surgery and to decide which implant type and implant placement is best. In this way, every one of our patients enjoys completely customized treatment designed with her specific goals in mind.
Breast augmentation can achieve dramatic and beautiful results on its own as well as in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery or non-invasive procedures. We sometimes recommend combining breast augmentation with other procedures such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Saline and Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel, including the latest generation of shaped silicone gel implants (aka the “gummy bear” implant). All of these implant types are very safe, and each offers its own advantages. We will help you decide which kind is right for you. During surgery, he'll place the implants behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle.
After many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved silicone breast implants for breast augmentation surgery. We are proud to offer patients the option of silicone gel-filled breast implants, since they are much softer and feel more natural than saline-filled breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Incision Techniques
The breast augmentation procedure lasts approximately two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. Incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility. These may be located:
- In the armpit (transaxillary),
- In the crease on the underside of the breast (inframammary), or
- Around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple (periareolar).
The breast is then lifted, creating a pocket into which the implant is inserted.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Placement Options
Implant placement beneath the muscle of the chest offers a few advantages over placement beneath the breast tissue only. These include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant) and less interference with mammogram examinations. Possible disadvantages may include elevated pain in the first few days following surgery. We will discuss which option may be best for you.
Most patients feel tired and sore after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes in a day or two. Many patients return to work within the week.
There are usually no stitches that need to be removed, and you should expect to be seen a week or two following surgery. Any post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks.
Scars from breast augmentation incisions will begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade for months or years.
Complications following breast augmentation surgery are uncommon and usually minimal. They may include capsular contracture, swelling and pain, infection around the implant, a change in nipple sensation, milk production if you nursed a baby within a year before the procedure, and breakage or leakage of the implant (implant rupture) as a result of injury or the normal compression and movement of your breast.
If a saline implant ruptures, the implant will simply deflate in a few hours and your body will absorb the salt water. If a silicone implant leaks, you will need to have it removed, and it can be replaced with either a saline or silicone implant. Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continuing breast and implant health.
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of aging and gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with breast augmentation for added size. There are various methods for performing the procedure including peri-areola, vertical (lollipop incision) and Wise pattern or anchor incision technique. Each of these techniques produces a different type of scar pattern. The method used is determined by your breast shape, length and size. This will be discussed with you in detail during your visit.
The procedure is done under general anesthesia; usually lasts from two to three hours and the results are long lasting.
Large breasts may cause physical discomfort and can even harm the women who have them -- the size and weight of large breasts can result in self-consciousness, improper posture, pain in the back and neck, indentations from bra straps, skin rashes, breathing problems and skeletal deformities. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide physical relief from these symptoms, not for cosmetic reasons. Performed under general anesthesia, this procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and trims resultant excess skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body. There are different techniques available to perform breast reduction surgery depending on the size of the breast and the patient’s goals. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast skin envelope before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be used to further contour surrounding areas while minimizing scars. Many patients return to work within one to three weeks and resume exercise about a month’s time.
Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy.
Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, the results are highly variable:
- A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
- Scars will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
- Certain reconstructive techniques will leave scars at the donor site, usually located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
A note about symmetry: If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.
The success and safety of your breast reconstruction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
- The options available in breast reconstruction surgery
- The likely outcomes of breast reconstruction and any risks or potential complications
- The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon, including procedures to achieve breast symmetry
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your breasts, and take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of nipples and areolae
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast reconstruction and any risks or potential complications