Can you believe it's been over 20 years since we performed our first breast enlargement surgery? This detailed guide will go over some of our expert knowledge with you.
What is breast augmentation? (breast enlargement)
Breast augmentation (also referred to as breast enlargement or breast implants), technically known as augmentation mammaplasty, increases the size and shape of the breast through the surgical placement of implants behind the breast.
A breast implant has a silicone shell filled with either silicone gel or a salt-water solution known as saline. When you go in for your consultation, you will have to opportunity to see and feel for yourself what the differences in these two types of implants are.
In general, the multiple benefits to breast enlargement surgery include:
- Increase the fullness and projection of my breasts
- Restore the breast volume lost following pregnancy, breast-feeding, or weight loss
- Make the breasts look more symmetric
- Give your body a more balanced figure
Is breast augmentation right for me?
The decision for breast augmentation is unique and personal.
Many women desire to enlarge small breasts, change the shape of the breast, restore breast volume lost following pregnancy, breast-feeding, or weight loss, balance uneven breasts, or simply to obtain a more balanced figure.
Breast augmentation does not, however, correct sagging breasts. To correct saggy breasts, a breast lift can be performed at the same time, or instead of the breast augmentation. Talking to your surgeon is the best way to determine whether breast augmentation, breast lift, or both is the best way to achieve your goals.
Have you ever wished for any of these?
- I wish I could increase the fullness and projection of my breasts
- I wish I could get back the breast volume I lost following pregnancy, breast-feeding, or weight loss
- I wish my breasts could look more symmetric
- I wish my body had a more balanced figure
If so, breast augmentation may be able to give you exactly what you have been hoping for. Some women have always had small breasts. Other women have developed smaller breasts over time, due to having children or weight loss.
Whatever the reason, many women have considered getting breast enlargement surgery. With today’s latest advances in technique and technology, breast augmentation is safer and better than ever before.
How is breast enlargement surgery performed?
You’ve heard that real estate is all about “location, location, location”? Well, when it comes to surgery, it’s all about “technique, technique, technique”. Our surgeons bring the most up-to-date scientific research and techniques to every breast enlargement surgery that they perform.
Breast enlargement surgery usually takes one to two hours to complete.
The method of inserting and positioning your breast implant will depend on your anatomy and your surgeon’s recommendations. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or in the armpit. Every effort will be made to make sure that the scar is as minimally noticeable as possible.
Working through the incision, the breast skin and tissue is lifted to create a pocket for the implant. The pocket can be created either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the chest wall muscle, called the pectoral muscle. The implants are then centered beneath the nipples.
Attention to detail is the hallmark of every successful breast augmentation. To achieve the highest degree of precision, our surgeons take the time to use “breast implant sizers” to create the perfect sized breast pocket prior to placing the final implant. Using the sizers also aids in achieving better breast symmetry. In addition, our surgeons sit the patient up during surgery to see how the implants sit “in real life”. After all, the important thing is not how the breasts look when you are lying down, but rather how they look when you are standing or sitting, with the effect of gravity at work.
You will be happy to know that we don’t use any stitches that need to be removed after surgery. We use internal cosmetic suturing that avoids the “track mark” scars that can sometimes occur with external sutures.
The extra steps that we take may take a little bit more time, but we feel that it is well worth it. Our surgeons will not rest until they feel that they have achieved the best possible outcome for you.
How is the breast augmentation recovery process?
The recovery process is easier than you may think. The road to a successful recovery starts even before you set foot in the operating room. First of all, you will be meeting with your surgeon before the surgery to go over everything you need to know:
- What preparations you need to make before the surgery
- What to expect on the day of surgery
- What you need to prepare and know for after the surgery.
- Knowing what to expect will ease your mind in preparation for the big day.
Due to their extensive experience in breast augmentation, our surgeons believe that it is important to take extra care to treat the breast tissue gently while they are performing the procedure in an attempt to decrease the amount of inflammation that occurs. In addition, they place pain-numbing medication into the breast at the time of surgery, thus alleviating some of the post-operative pain. Furthermore, you will also receive pain medication to take after surgery. We do our very best to ensure your comfort.
After the procedure, we recommend that you do not do any pushing, pulling or lifting in the immediate period after surgery. This is to allow your tissues to heal. Afterwards, you may continue doing many of your routine activities.
Every person’s healing is different and occurs on its own timeline. However, we have found that as long as you carefully follow the after-surgery instructions, most will have a speedy recovery. In fact, many patients tell us that the recovery was faster that they expected. Most patients are able to return to work or school within 5 to 10 days, depending on the level of activity required. Vigorous physical activity such as exercise or sports is not allowed for two to six weeks.
What are common risks and complications for breast enlargement surgery?
Capsular contracture occurs if the scar tissue (also known as the “capsule”) around the implant begins to tighten. Your body normally forms some amount of scar tissue around any foreign body. For example, if you get a splinter in your finger, your body will form some scar tissue around that splinter. Usually you will not even notice that there is any scar tissue because it is a light layer.
However, in some individuals, their body starts to form a great deal of scar tissue around the implant. You can imagine it like this: whereas normally you might have one layer of scar tissue, in capsular contracture it is more like 100 layers of scar tissue, thus causing the breast to feel hard.
Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways, and sometimes requires surgical removal of the scar tissue and removal and replacement of the implant.
As with any surgical procedure, bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.
A small percentage of women develop an infection around an implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within a week after surgery. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed for several months until the infection clears. A new implant can then be inserted.
Changes in Nipple Sensation
Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, undersensitive, or even numb. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients.
Implant Breakage or Leakage
Occasionally, breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of injury or from the normal compression and movement of your breast and implant, causing the shell to leak. If a saline-filled implant breaks, the implant will deflate quickly and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body.
If a break occurs in a gel-filled implant, however, one of two things may occur. If the shell breaks but the scar capsule around the implant does not, you may not detect any change. If the scar also breaks or tears, especially following extreme pressure, silicone gel may move into surrounding tissue (this is more rare). The gel may collect in the breast and cause a new scar to form around it, or it may migrate to another area of the body. There may be a change in the shape or firmness of the breast. Both types of breaks may require a second operation and replacement of the leaking implant. In some cases, it may not be possible to remove all of the silicone gel in the breast tissue if a rupture should occur.
Interference with Mammography
While there is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, they may change the way mammography is done to detect cancer. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure tell the technician that you have breast implants. Most mammography centers are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required. Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit in some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant.
Almost every woman has some differences between her left and right breasts (asymmetry). This is both common and normal. This becomes even more true in any woman that has had children or gone through weight fluctuations. Our surgeons will attempt to correct for asymmetry, however, it is not possible for the breasts to “match” after surgery. Even if you look at your own face carefully, you will notice that your two eyebrows, eyes, and sides of the mouth are not exactly the same! The goal is to make the breasts look better after surgery but “perfect symmetry” simply does not exist.
Rippling of the breast tissue can occur when there is thin breast tissue coverage over the implant. Often, this is due to having small or stretched out breasts to begin with. Sometimes it can occur if you experience significant weight loss after breast augmentation.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How much time is required for a breast augmentation?
A: A breast augmentation requires approximately 1-2 hours. That's shorter than some of your favorite movies! As with all surgeries, the amount of time needed varies from patient to patient.
Q: Is a breast augmentation an inpatient or outpatient procedure?
Q: What is the recovery time?
A: Most patients are able to return to work or school in 5 to 10 days.
Q: How do I decide on the exact cup size?
A: Your surgeon will use multiple methods to help you determine your desired size. The breast implant size chosen will be influenced by amount of breast tissue currently present, the width of your chest and other anatomical and personal factors.
Q: Do breast implants affect fertility or pregnancy?
A: There has been no evidence that would suggest that breast implants affect fertility or pregnancy. The ability to breastfeed depends on both maternal and baby-related factors. In our experience, many of our patients that have undergone breast augmentation have been able to successfully breastfeed.
Q: Do breast implants cause breast cancer?
A: There has been no evidence that correlates breast implants with breast cancer.
Q: Do silicone breast implants cause diseases of the immune system, such as scleroderma and other arthritis-like symptoms?
A: Research has found no clear link between the breast implants and the symptoms of what doctors refer to as “connective-tissue disorders.” However, we recommend that you thoroughly investigate the issue for yourself before making a final decision.
How do I schedule a breast augmentation appointment?
Our surgeons would love to meet and go over everything you need to know about breast augmentation surgery with you. Just give us a call at 951-699-9201 or use the link below. We look forward to meeting you soon!