Breast augmentation yields some of the most satisfying results in plastic surgery. The procedure can be used to add natural-looking volume, reduce sagging or simply perfect your proportions. New methods of enhancement ensure completely natural-looking results and a barely-visible scar. Breast augmentation surgery is also helpful for creating symmetry in the chest if one breast is smaller or droopier than the other, which is common.
After childbirth and breastfeeding, this procedure artfully restores breasts to their former pre-pregnancy glory, usually in conjunction with a breast lift. During surgery, an incision is made, breast tissue is lifted, and a ‘pocket’ is created in the breast area for slipping the implant inside. For decades, implants (silicone, saline or gel) have been relied upon to create more volume up top, but if you have a bit of extra fat to spare elsewhere on your body, fat transfer can be used to create the same effect. Still relatively new, fat transfer uses liposuction to remove fat from another area of your body (thighs, stomach and/or hips) and transfers it into your breasts.
Saline implants are silicone shells filled with saline. They can either be pre-filled to a predetermined size or filled at the time of surgery to allow for custom modifications.
Silicone implants are solely available in pre-filled form so often require a slightly longer incision. They are filled with a smooth, squishy gel that feels more like real breasts and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Cohesive gel implants, often referred to as ‘gummy bear’ breast implants are pre-filled with a cohesive gel that’s comprised of crosslinked molecules of silicone, so they’re firmer, thicker and able to hold their shape better than traditional silicone.
Breast augmentation is ideal for women who:
• Want their figure to be more proportioned and ‘hour glass’-shaped
• Want their clothes to fit better without resorting to padded bras and ‘chicken cutlets’
• Seek to restore their breast size or shape after childbirth
• Want to regain symmetry if one breast is smaller than the other
What To Expect
Understandably, women always want to know what to expect when it comes to breast implant scars and pain. The procedure is no spa day, but if you’re really adamant about adding more volume to your chest, you’re sure to love the results. One thing to be mindful of is that bigger breasts sometimes means bigger areolas.
As for the incisions and resulting scars, there are several options. An incision can be made underneath the breast near the natural crease, in the navel, near the armpit or around the lower edge of the areola. Pictures may help you better decide which method is best for you. General anesthesia or intravenous sedation is used so you're comfortable throughout the procedure.
During your consultation at our Walnut Creek, CA location, you’ll be able to see and touch breast implants of various sizes and shapes to determine which ones appeal to you. You will also be encouraged to ‘try on’ different implants in your bra, under a tight tank top or t-shirt to see how you’ll look. As with any procedure, you’ll need to stop smoking for at least six weeks to ensure your body can heal optimally.
For your safety during the breast augmentation surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. Following insertion and placement of breast implants, sutures are used to close the surgical incisions. Your chest area will be dressed in a surgical compression bra to provide support and assist with healing. Breast augmentation with autologous fat transfer requires two procedures: liposuction and fat injection. Using liposuction techniques, fat cells are removed from other areas of your body with a thin cannula, then the fat is processed and injected into your breasts. Your liposuction incisions will be closed with sutures, and you will wear compression garments over the donor areas.
Post-procedure, you’ll be wrapped in a surgical dressing or support bra and taken into a recovery area, where we will ensure you’re on your way to a speedy recovery. As the anesthesia wears off, there may be some discomfort at your chest, such as a sore or tight feeling. Your dressings will be removed within a week. Sometimes tissue glue or tape is used, which eventually and naturally falls off within about two weeks. Since this is an outpatient procedure, you’ll be able to return home from our Bay Area surgery center after the initial recovery period and your chosen pre-operative pal should be prepared to drive you back to your home and help with your recovery.
Things To Consider
• Your implants will likely need to be replaced down the line, in about ten years. After breast implant surgery, you should have a periodic examination to monitor your implants.
• We recommend a mammogram before (and a few months after) surgery. Following treatment, you should continue to perform breast self-examinations and regular check ups.
• Expect to refrain from lifting, pulling or pushing anything that causes pain and limit strenuous activity or upper body twisting if this causes discomfort during your recovery.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. Breast augmentation surgery stretches the breast tissue and muscles so can be painful – especially when implants have been placed under the chest muscle. Typically, the most pain is experienced within the first 48 hours after surgery. Your level of pain will decrease day by day and can be effectively treated with various pain medications. Your breasts may feel tight and sensitive to the touch and your skin may feel warm or itchy. You may also experience difficulty raising your arms.
Q. How much downtime should I expect?
A. You should be able to walk without assistance immediately after breast augmentation surgery. It is very important that you walk a few minutes every hour to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in your legs. You may be able to return to work within a few days to a week, depending on your the work you do.
Q. How long will the procedure take?
A. Most breast augmentation procedures take from one to three hours.