WHAT IS A BREAST AUGMENTATION?
A breast augmentation, also known as mammoplasty or breast enhancement, is a surgical procedure that improves the fullness and volume of the breast through implants. While breast augmentations are customarily elected for cosmetic purposes, they also restore the breast after illness or surgery. Breast reconstruction is standard after a mastectomy or traumatic accident. However, natural anatomy, weight fluctuations, breastfeeding, and age all impact the appearance of the breasts and are typically what prompt women to seek breast augmentation surgery.
BENEFITS OF A BREAST AUGMENTATION
The benefits of breast augmentation depend on the needs of the patient. However, they generally include:
- Prominent, rounder, more symmetrical breasts
- Natural-looking breasts that fit your body flawlessly
- Breasts restored to their pre-baby shapeliness
- Breasts reconstructed after mastectomy
- Enhanced confidence for an invigorated, more vibrant version of yourself!
TYPES OF BREAST IMPLANTS
- Contents: Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution and have a silicone outer shell.
- Look and Feel: Saline implants are heavier and offer a rounder look than their silicone counterparts. Patients desiring saline implants should also have enough breast tissue to avoid undesirable rippling effects. The surgeon can adjust the implant size once the shell is in place for a custom look and feel.
- Eligibility: Saline implants are FDA-approved for individuals 18 years and older.
- Durability: Saline breast implant ruptures are rare. Still, in the occurrence that one does tear, it immediately becomes visibly apparent. The body harmlessly absorbs leaked saline. Saline implants last 10 to 20 years for maximum implant longevity with no need for yearly MRI scans, as traditional silicone implants require.
- Openings: Saline implant shells are collapsed, placed in the breast by themselves, and then filled with a saltwater solution to achieve the desired look. Since the implant casings are compact, the incisions are also smaller than pre-filled silicone implants.
- Contents: The implant is filled with a gel-like silicone and has an outer shell also made of silicone.
- Look and Feel: Silicone breast implants have a natural look and feel that mimics breast tissue. They also pose a lower chance of rippling than saline-filled implants since they maintain their shape more easily.
- Eligibility: Silicone implants are FDA-approved for individuals 22 years and older.
- Durability: Silicone implant ruptures are called "silent ruptures." When severed, the thick silicone gel spills and encircles its shell, not outwardly reflecting the rupture. Leaked silicone may escape into the breast implant pocket and must be remediated since the body cannot absorb silicone. Silicone breast implant ruptures are extremely rare, as silicone implants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. However, they are usually replaced every 8 to 10 years for cosmetic reasons.
- Openings: Since silicone breast implants come pre-filled, they require a larger opening during the surgery, resulting in a more extensive scar.
Gummy Bear Implants
- Contents: Gummy bear implants are filled with a dense and highly cohesive silicone gel.
- Look and Feel: Ultra-cohesive silicone gel breast implants are famed as "gummy bear implants" since they maintain their substance when cut in half, similar to a gummy bear candy. Being made of a cohesive silicone gel, they have a firmer feel. The consistency of the gummy bear implant is thicker than traditional silicone implants, resulting in a shell that better holds its shape. Standard saline and silicone implants are round, but the gummy bear implants have a natural-looking teardrop shape.
- Eligibility: Gummy bear implants are FDA-approved for individuals 22 years and older.
- Durability: These are form-stable silicone implants that retain their shape, even when the outer shell breaks. Therefore, the silicone does not migrate elsewhere in the body in the event of a rupture.
- Openings: Incisions may be longer when placing gummy bear implants since they are teardrop-shaped and require more room to insert.
BREAST IMPLANT TEXTURES
Smooth Breast Implants
Both saline and silicone breast implants can have a smooth surface. Smooth breast implants have thinner shells than textured implants, which give them a cushioned, more natural consistency. Their polished surface allows them to move around more freely in the breast, mimicking organic breast tissue. Since smooth implants mold to the body's everyday movements, their shifting is more prone to cause slightly visible rippling in the skin in patients with limited breast tissue.
Textured Breast Implants
Textured breast implants have a rougher silicone shell. The gritty texture allows the implant to form a tighter grip on the tissue and remain in its proper position over time. Although they feel firmer than natural breast tissue, many patients elect textured breast implants since they are less likely to shift and cause skin rippling. Since textured implants are firm, all teardrop-shaped breast implants are textured by design to maintain the proper placement in the body.
BREAST IMPLANT INCISIONS
Around the areola: Periareolar or areolar incisions allow surgeons to insert the implant through an opening made where the darker border of the areola and the skin meet.
- Advantages of the Periareolar Incision: Periareolar openings facilitate greater visibility and control when placing the implant. This breast incision technique allows for the breast implants to be placed anywhere over the muscle or underneath. It also leaves minimal scarring–nearly invisible–since the incision blends with the areolar border.
- Disdvantages of the Periareolar Incision: There is an increased risk of infection with the periareolar incision technique. Since bacteria naturally live in the milk ducts, the incisions become vulnerable to bacterial infection once the implant passes through these ducts. Periareolar openings also pose the risk of temporary or permanent loss of nipple sensation, as it requires the surgeon to remove and reattach the areola back onto the breast.
Under the breast fold: Inframammary incisions are made in the crease underneath the breast. Once the opening is created, the surgeon slides the implant into place behind the areola. This breast implant incision technique is typically performed with form-stable or teardrop-shaped implants because their size and lack of flexibility require a larger incision. However, they can be created even smaller to inserted deflated saline implants.
- Advantages of the Inframammary Incision: Unlike other breast implant incision techniques, the inframammary incision presents no additional risk of nerve damage and loss of sensation in the nipples since the implants are placed underneath the breast, away from the areola. The incision scar is typically between 0.5" -2" inches wide and unnoticeable since it sits underneath the breast. It can be reopened for subsequent surgeries, eliminating the likelihood of additional scarring. Inframammary openings also allow increased control over bleeding and implant placement, making them popular with most patients.
- Disadvantages of the Inframammary Incision: The main disadvantage of inframammary implant placement is that the incision scar makes it challenging to alter the breast size later. If a patient wants to increase their breast size, the scar will move upward, and if they wish to decrease, it will move downward.
Through the armpit:Transaxillary incisions are made on the armpit. The surgeon creates a pathway from the armpit to the breasts and guides the saline implant casing through the groove. It is filled with a sterile saline solution according to the patient's desired size once correctly in place.
- Advantages of the Transaxillary Incision
Transaxillary incisions make for a virtually scarless breast augmentation since the opening is in the armpit. This breast implant technique is also less likely to damage the mammary gland than other incision types, thus, being most suitable for patients still planning to have children hoping to breastfeed with a full milk supply.
- Disadvantages of the Transaxillary Incision
Transaxillary openings can only be used once, and thus new scarring will be incurred if a breast revision is necessary. It can also be challenging for surgeons to create symmetry with this incision type since it requires more precision when measuring implant placement.
Through the navel: Transumbilical incisions are formed during a Transumbilical Breast Augmentation (TUBA), where the shell of a saline implant is collapsed and funneled through a pathway in the belly button. Once placed, the surgeon fills the implant with a sterile saline solution according to the patient's desired size.
- Advantages of the Transumbilical Incision: The transumbilical incision leaves no visible scars in comparison to traditional breast augmentation implant openings. Since the incisions are not placed on the breasts, there is also less risk of exposure to external bacteria and reduced risk of infection. The scars are hidden within the navel, leaving the breasts to appear untouched. TUBA patients recover quicker than patients who have undergone other forms of breast augmentation techniques.
- Disadvantages of the Transumbilical Incision: The transumbilical breast augmentation does not allow for much visibility when placing the implants, interfering with proper implant placement. Also, TUBA incisions cannot be reused. This poses a disadvantage, as the patient will incur new scars with every breast revision procedure. Since the transumbilical openings are through the crest of the navel, it is not suitable for patients with abdominal scars, hernias, or slender builds.
BREAST IMPLANT PLACEMENT
Breast implants may be placed over the pectoral muscle or underneath, with each placement having its own pros and cons. Factors such as your body type, style of implant, and desired size all dictate which placement is best for you.
Breast implants are inserted into a pocket underneath the pectoral muscles of the chest.
- Produces a more natural appearance since the implant is covered by more breast tissue (especially on thinner patients with less breast tissue)
- Reduced rate of capsular contracture
- Longer postsurgical recovery
- Higher discomfort during postsurgical recovery
- Recovery takes longer and feels more unpleasant since the muscle was affected
Breast implants are placed over the pectoral muscle, underneath the breast tissue and mammary ducts.
- Provides a lifting effect
- Reduced rate of capsular contracture
- More likely to interfere with breastfeeding
- Can cause rippling in women with less breast tissue
- Increased chance of capsular contracture
BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCESS
Anesthesia: A licensed and experienced professional administers general anesthesia before the breast enhancement procedure begins.
Incision : Your surgeon creates an opening to place the implant. The placement of these openings vary depending on the incision method you decided upon during your private consultations.
Implant Placement : The surgeon inserts the implant through the incision and into the designated region to achieve the most natural-looking results.
Incision Closure & Recovery: Once the incision is closed, you will be wheeled into Body Aesthetic Center’s ultramodern recovery room and gently soothed out of anesthesia by a licensed nurse before discharge.
BREAST AUGMENTATION RESULTS AND RECOVERY
Body Aesthetic Center patients should expect to see the final results of their breast augmentation after 6 months. However, the level of adherence to aftercare instructions affects the timeline of your healing process. It is essential to have a family member, close friend, or nurse assist you in recovery during the first few days after surgery.
24 Hours Post-Op
The first 24 hours after your breast augmentation will feel unpleasant. Bruising and swelling are common. However, you may also experience aching at the incision site, fatigue, and nausea. Your breasts may either be oversensitive or considerably numb, depending on your body's reaction to the surgery. All this reactions are common 24 hours after your breast augmentation procedure.
First Week Post-Op
Discomfort peaks during the first week. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to ease discomfort. It is essential to rest and limit strenuous movements to avoid added soreness. Swelling and tingling are common. You may also experience sharp pains in the breasts and nipples; this is a normal indication that the nerve endings are healing after being stretched. After the first week, you may return to regular walking, sitting, and mild desk work. However, you must avoid sudden movements and stretches. It is imperative to make deliberate body movements and avoid carrying objects over 10 pounds.
1 Month Post-Op
Swelling and bruising around the surgery site will subside after one month. You will be able to engage in lighter exercises and resume sexual activity after four weeks, but it should commence gently. Raising blood pressure too high so soon after surgery increases the risk of internal bleeding and pressure on the incision site. It can also provoke complications that are harmful to your health and aesthetic results. Continue wearing your post-surgical bra and avoid any stress on the incision site at this time for optimal results.
3 Months Post-Op
Three months after your breast augmentation, swelling and bruising will no longer obscure your results. Your breasts will settle as they approach the final stages of their appearance; they should look fuller, rounder, and feel slightly softer. Residual firmness in the breasts is still expected, as the breast pocket in which the implants were placed has not yet stretched to accommodate them. Nonetheless, you will be allowed to switch from your compression bras to sports bras since your healing process is nearly complete!
6 Months Post-Op
After six months, your breasts should be settled and at their complete softness. The final look and feel of your breast augmentation will be apparent, and most, if not all, symptoms will have subsided. Some patients may still experience slight tinges of pain for up to a full year, as the implants take longer to settle and drop into a more natural-looking position. Most patients, however, are mainly concerned about how to fade their breast augmentation scars at the 6-month mark. Your surgeon will provide you with a scar care routine to fade the small scars at your incision site.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER A BREAST AUGMENTATION?
If you are of age and in good general health, you can consider a breast augmentation procedure to increase breast size and correct asymmetries. Patients seek breast augmentations when their breasts lack fullness, projection, and proper proportions. However, they must be of age to be permitted to undergo breast augmentation surgery. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for individuals 22 and over, and saline breast implants are FDA-approved for those aged 18 and above.
BREAST AUGMENTATION COST
AT Body Aesthetic Center
The average cost of a breast augmentation procedure at Body Aesthetic Center ranges between $3,000 to $6,000USD. The price of your breast enhancement depends on the procedure's objective and elected methods. Since every situation is unique, you will receive personalized pricing at your initial consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.
YOUR BEAUTY TRANSFORMATION AWAITS
Body Aesthetic Center caters entirely to your needs as you embark on your beauty transformation. Whether you are a local or out-of-town patient, our team delivers premier care so you can focus exclusively on creating your most vibrant self! Please leave your contact information to schedule a private consultation with the Body by Unique surgeon of your choice. Once your request is submitted, we will contact you to arrange an appointment and escort you through the formation of your newfound confidence.
BREAST AUGMENTATION FAQS
Body Aesthetic Center will provide you with specialized guidelines on how to prepare for your breast augmentation. Your coordinator and board-certified surgeon will ensure you have a list of all instructions, pain medications, and essential items. Nonetheless, there are general guidelines all patients should follow.
At least one month before surgery, patients must cease consumption of:
- Alcohol (since it inhibits wound healing)
- Smoking devices
- Aspirin, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, and any miscellaneous supplements that your surgeon has not approved
Patients should also prepare:
- Loose clothing that is easy to remove
- Surgical bras
- Pain medication
- Vitamins and scar creams
- Healthy pre-cooked meals and accessible snacks
Various factors determine candidacy for a breast enhancement. While it is best to schedule a consultation with your surgeon and receive a personalized assessment, some signs you are a good candidate for a breast augmentation procedure include:
- You are in good general health
- You are older than 18 for saline implants and at least 22 for silicone implants
- Your breasts are too small for your liking
- One breast is noticeably larger than the other
- Breast volume has diminished after weight loss
- You have undergone a mastectomy
You are not a good candidate for a breast augmentation if you currently:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have untreated cancer or precancer
- Have had an abnormal mammogram
- Have an infection
Age does not determine if you are a good breast augmentation candidate (unless you are younger than 18 for saline implants and 22 for silicone implants). While most patients get breast implants in their 30s, many in their 40s, 50s, and even upwards of 60 have undergone a breast enhancement. The determining factor in whether you are eligible for breast implants is your general health and expectations. No matter your age, gender, or cultural background, Body Aesthetic Center's experienced board-certified surgeons are equipped to answer any questions at your private evaluation
Breastfeeding with implants is both possible and perfectly safe for you and the baby. Mothers with implants can produce milk, but not all of them will produce a full milk supply. We recommend considering a breast augmentation after childbirth to ensure an optimal milk supply and your best-looking results. Pregnancy changes the size and shape of every woman's breasts, whether she has implants or not. It is best to avoid any unfavorable changes to the cosmetic appearance of your augmented breasts.
While a breast augmentation can add volume to the breast, it cannot fix drooping breasts. In fact, increasing breast size can sometimes exacerbate the appearance of sagging. A breast lift surgery (also known as mastopexy) must be performed along with a breast augmentation to get rid of loose skin and perk the breasts up once more, particularly if the nipples droop below the lower crease of the breast.
Natural-looking, beautiful breasts require more than just size customization. Patients must take their current breast shape and overall proportion into account when selecting a breast implant. As a general rule, every 130-150cc of implant volume increases the size of your breasts one cup size. However, patients with a larger band size require more cc's to increase one bra size.
Selecting a proper breast size, shape, and volume is essential to your complete satisfaction with the procedure. We take your contentment very seriously and want you to know you are not alone in this process. Your surgeon will assess your current bust and aesthetic desires to recommend the best breast implant size and shape to achieve your desired result. We encourage you to develop an idea of the look you want going into your initial consultation. You will be able to show the surgeon photographs of looks you admire and describe your aesthetic desires.
Saline and silicone implants are FDA-approved and considered safe for breast enhancements and breast reconstruction. However, like any surgery, a breast augmentation procedure carries some risks, including but not limited to:
- Prolonged breast pain (dull or sharp)
- Loss of sensation in the breasts and nipples
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant)
- Rupture and deflation
- Limited milk supply when breastfeeding
- Thinning of the breast tissue and skin
- Hematoma (collection of blood near the surgical site)
While there are existing risks, Body Aesthetic Center will equip you with all the proper aftercare instructions to avoid unnecessary and preventable complications. Our surgeons enforce the strictest safety measures for your security
Capsular contracture occurs when the body detects the breast implant as a foreign object. The immune system forms internal scar tissue around the breast implant to protect itself; it tightly encapsulates the implant, making it feel firm and often painful. Aside from the implants feeling hard to the touch, they often appear high-set and distorted, even after the standard 6-month healing period, and must be surgically corrected.
Capsular contracture occurs due to a person's immunoreaction to the implant and is mostly unavoidable. However, irritants around the implant can prompt the immune system to detect it as a foreign object and attack. For this reason, Body Aesthetic Center takes preventative steps to avert the introduction of bacteria around the implant and help avoid capsular contracture.
Breast augmentation scars are permanent. Nevertheless, the implant incision areas (navel, armpit, around the areola, and underneath breast crease) are discreet. The scars are also small, only a few inches in length, making them practically unnoticeable. Body Aesthetic Center will provide you with an effective scar care routine to help them fade to near invisibility.
The timeframe for which you can return to work after a breast augmentation procedure depends primarily on the physical demands your job places on your body. Lifting over 10 pounds must be avoided for at least one month after your breast enhancement, and patients should also abstain from reaching over their heads for up to 3 months. While individuals with sedentary desk jobs are typically able to return to work sooner, it is still best to consult with your surgeon to see what timeline is best conducive to your healing and results.