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 Dr. Stephan’s 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. It is sometimes recommended to combine 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. Both implant types are very safe, and each offers its own advantages. In consultation, the pros and cons of each implant type will be discussed at length to determine the right choice for each patient. During surgery, the implants are placed behind each breast, most commonly under the muscle and occasionally under the breast tissue itself. This is referred to as submuscular or subglandular.
After many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved silicone breast implants for breast augmentation surgery. We are proud to offer patients the option of silicone gel-filled breast implants. Many patients believe these provide a softer, more natural feel and appearance to the breast.
Breast Augmentation Surgery – Incision Techniques
The breast augmentation procedure lasts one to 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)
- Around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple (periareolar)
A pocket is then created for placement of the implant. The most common place is under the pectoralis major muscle.
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 include need for drainage tubes and elevated pain in the first few days following surgery. We will discuss which option may be best for you.
After the implants have been inserted and positioned beneath the nipples, the incisions are stitched closed, then taped and bandaged. In a few days, these bandages may be replaced with a surgical bra.
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.
Most commonly, the stitches placed will dissolve. An appointment will be made within one week to evaluate the patient. 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 see a doctor immediately. Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continuing breast and implant health. Specific requirements for monitoring silicone implants are made by the FDA and will be discussed at the consultation.