Having breasts that are full and proportional to the rest of the body are what many women desire. Unfortunately, due to various factors such as aging, pregnancy, and heredity, not all women are naturally able achieve this appearance.
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that increases volume and projection of a woman’s breasts with the use of implants. Also known as “augmentation mammaplasty,” this cosmetic procedure is one of the most common cosmetic surgeries performed every year. In fact, according to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic procedure performed on women in 2012.
During your initial consultation at Finesse Plastic Surgery, our team of board certified plastic surgeons and physician assistants will discuss the breast augmentation procedure with you in detail. By listening to your preferences and evaluating your medical history, the Finesse Plastic Surgery team will help you decide if a breast augmentation is right for you.
Finesse Plastic Surgery is ONE of only five practices in Orange County to offer the Vectra 3D Breast Imaging System.
Candidates for Breast Augmentation
You may be considered a good candidate for breast augmentation if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- Your breasts are fully developed
- You are in good physical health
- You are have realistic goals and expectations
- You are bothered by the fact that your breasts are small or underdeveloped
- Your are dissatisfied with the loss of volume or shape in your breasts after pregnancy, weight loss, or aging
- Your breasts lack symmetry in size and/or shape
- Your breasts failed to develop normally
It is important to know that breast augmentation will not correct severely drooping breasts. Therefore, if you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
During your initial consultation, you and our team of board certified plastic surgeons and physician assistants will discuss your goals and desires. You will also be asked a number of questions about your health and lifestyle. The success and safety of your breast augmentation will depend on you being completely candid with the Finesse Plastic Surgery team. We encourage you to be actively involved during your consultation concerning any problems, concerns, and questions you may have about your procedure.
During your consultation, you and the Finesse Plastic Surgery team will discuss everything surrounding your breast augmentation procedure. You should be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want breast augmentation surgery, including your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
- Previous surgeries
- Family history of breast cancer
- Results of any previous mammograms and/or biopsies
In order to fully evaluate you for breast augmentation, the Finesse Plastic Surgery team may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any preexisting health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your breasts, including taking detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of your nipples
- Photograph your breasts for your medical record
- Discuss your surgery options, including implant type, incision location, implant position location
- Discuss anesthesia to be used during your breast augmentation
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast augmentation and any risks or potential complications
During your consultation, you will be shown many before and after photos of other patients of Finesse Plastic Surgery who have undergone breast augmentation so you will have a better understanding of the results you may expect to achieve.
Prior to your breast augmentation, the Finesse Plastic Surgery team will give you instructions on what you will need to do before surgery. These instructions usually include the following:
- Lab testing and/or medical evaluation
- Baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Begin taking certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery
- Avoid taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, as this can increase your risk for bleeding.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure
Our plastic surgery team will also discuss in detail what you will need to do after your breast augmentation is complete.
Our plastic surgeons are board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which ensures that they have the qualifications and experience to perform your breast augmentation surgery with safety and effectiveness. Our plastic surgeons perform breast augmentations on an outpatient basis.
For your comfort, medication will be administered immediately prior to and during your procedure. The choices of anesthesia include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Our plastic surgeons will recommend the best anesthesia choice for you.
The types of incisions used during a breast augmentation vary depending on several factors, including:
- Current size and shape of your breasts
- Degree of enlargement desired
- Type of implant
- The surgeon’s preference
- Your preference
- Your age
There are four different types (or locations) of incisions:
- A horizontal incision is made underneath the fold of each breast.
- Inconspicuous incisions are made in the natural folds of the skin in the armpits.
- Incisions are made around the edge, or just within, the areola (the darker colored skin surrounding your nipple).
- An incision is made on the rim of the naval (belly button) in the abdomen.
There are two types of breast implants available for you to choose from: saline and silicone. Both implants are great options, and both offer their own benefits. During your consultation, the Finesse Plastic Surgery team will help you determine which type of implant is best for you.
Saline implants are FDA approved and consist of empty silicone shells that come in a smooth or textured shape. After they are inserted, they are filled with a sterile saline solution (sterile saltwater) and the incisions are closed. Patients must be at least 18 years of age to undergo surgery using saline implants, unless breast augmentation is for reconstructive purposes.
Benefits of Saline Implants
- If a saline implant ruptures, it is very noticeable to the human eye and presents no complications since the salt water solution inside of the implants is naturally found in the body.
- Since the implants are not filled until after they are inserted, the incisions are often smaller than a breast augmentation using silicone implants.
Like saline implants, silicone implants are also FDA approved and come in a smooth or textured shape. However, these implants consist of a silicone shell that is pre-filled with silicone gel. After incisions are made, the implants are inserted, and the incisions are closed. Since a silicone implant rupture is not noticeable to the human eye, an MRI will be needed in order to determine the result. Patients must be at least 22 years of age to undergo surgery using silicone implants, unless breast augmentation is for reconstructive purposes.
Benefits of Silicone Implants
- Silicone implants tend to have more of a natural feel than saline implants.
- Silicone implants are less likely to ripple or rupture than saline implants.
Currently, saline breast implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation in women 18 years of age and older, and silicone breast implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation in women 22 years of age and older. However, either saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstructive purposes.
Implant Placement Location
After the incision is made, the breast implant is inserted into a pocket either under or over the pectoral muscle.
Under the Muscle
- The breast implant is placed under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement).
Over the Muscle
- The breast implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/subglandular placement).
The placement location of your breast implants will depend on several factors, including:
- Type of implant
- Degree of enlargement desired
- Your body type
- Surgeon’s recommendation
During your consultation, our plastic surgery team will discuss the benefits of these locations and help choose the location that will be best for you.
Once the implants have been placed and positioned, your incisions will be closed using layered sutures in the breast tissue, and sutures, skin adhesive, or surgical tape to close the skin. The incision lines will fade over time.
After your surgery is complete, you will be provided with written instructions, including:
- Postoperative care to follow at home
- Prescription(s) for medication(s)
- Followup appointments
- Breast implant registry documents (when necessary)
After the breast augmentation procedure is complete, your breasts will be bandaged and wrapped with a specialized compression garment to reduce swelling. You may experience some pain and soreness in your breasts during the first couple of days after surgery, but prescribed pain medication can be taken to alleviate these symptoms.
Although the recovery time for breast augmentation surgery varies from person to person, most patients can expect to return to work after about a week. However, you should abstain from any strenuous activity or exercise for the first two to three weeks after surgery. Even though scarring is inevitable, the incision lines will diminish over the next few months.
Potential Risks and Complications
With any type of surgery, there is the possibility of complications developing. Bleeding, infection, collection of excessive fluid, and reaction to anesthesia, although rare, can happen. In order to properly recover from breast augmentation, it is best that you follow our plastic surgeons’ postoperative instructions.
The entire cost of a breast augmentation procedure depends on several factors, including:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
- Implant cost
- Prescriptions for mediation
- Postsurgery garments
- Medical Tests
The total cost of surgery will be affected if a breast augmentation is combined with other procedures, such as a breast lift, tummy tuck, or liposuction.
Results of Breast Augmentation
The results of breast augmentation are noticeable immediately after surgery and will continue to improve over the coming weeks and months. Women typically feel more confident after a breast augmentation and look forward to wearing certain styles of clothing, such as form fitting tops and bikinis during the summer. Unless the event of implant deflation happens, the results of breast augmentation surgery are expected to be long lasting.
Implant Replacement or Revision
Breast implants are not intended to last forever. Things can occur, requiring implant replacement or revision. Sometimes implant deflation occurs, resulting in the need to replace the implants. In addition, your breasts may change over time due to aging, weight fluctuations, gravity, or hormonal factors. If you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift and/or implant exchange to restore a more youthful contour to your breasts.
Therefore, you should expect to have future visits with Finesse Plastic Surgery to discuss any changes in your breasts. It is equally important to continue to follow the Finesse Plastic Surgery team’s instructions to ensure the best results for your breast enlargement or breast enhancement surgery and to attend all your followup appointments as scheduled.
For all of your breast enhancement needs, we welcome you to contact Finesse Plastic Surgery. To schedule your consultation, please call (714) 978-2445 or fill out our online contact form.