Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States, and one of the most commonly performed in our practice as well. Our goal is to give you the fuller breasts you’ve always wanted.
Breast augmentation patients should be generally healthy and have small to moderate sized breasts. If there is a significant of drooping to your breasts, you may need a lift as well. Try this test: if your nipple hangs lower than the fold where the lower part of your breast meets the chest, you will probably require a lift as well as an implant to correct your appearance.
Types of Implants we use
- Silicone – For the majority of our patients, we utilize round, smooth walled silicone gel implants. For most patients we find that the silicone implants have a softer, more natural feel than the saline implants. The silicone implants now available are superior to those used many years ago that were prone to leakage and rupture, as the gel that fills the implant is thicker and the outer shell is more durable than the early styles.
- Saline- In the early years of our practice, before silicone implants were available for routine use in cosmetic patients, we had many patients with great results using saline implants. In terms of appearance, the difference between a saline and silicone implant is seldom visible. Although they don’t feel quite as soft as a silicone implant, there are some advantages. In addition to being a less expensive implant, they can generally be placed through a smaller incision as they are filled to their final volume once they are inside the breast. Minor size adjustments can be made on the operating table to correct asymmetry by putting different amounts of saline (salt water) in each implant. Although long-term studies have shown they are more prone to leak after many years than a silicone implant, they are easier to replace should a leak occur.
- Round versus teardrop shaped- We typically use round implants for cosmetic augmentation, although we have placed the anatomic (teardrop) shaped implants in the past. While we had no real problems with the anatomic implants, they were more expensive, somewhat more difficult to place, and we really couldn’t see much difference in the final appearance compared to a round implant. We are now looking at some of the newer anatomic gel implants as these seem to offer advantages in some patients, particularly in reconstruction.
- Smooth Versus Textured- For most patients we use smooth walled implants, as the textured implants offer no significant advantage.
- Low, Medium, or High Profile- The “profile” of an implant essentially refers to how tall it is relative to the size of the base. A low profile implant has a broad base but is relatively flat compared to a high profile implant. For most patients, we use a moderate profile implant, but we may suggest a high profile implant if you have a narrow chest but need a lot of volume.
Choosing the right sized implant
The implant size we use during surgery depends on many factors. We feel there is no magic formula or computer imaging system that can pick your implant for you. Choosing the right sized implants requires time. We begin by measuring your breasts and chest wall and assessing the amount of tissue already present. We’ll talk to you about your desired appearance, your level of physical activity, and other factors. We then have you try different sizes of implants placed within your bra to see what you think looks full and natural for you. Based on our measurements and your input, we’ll work with you to choose the right implant that fits you and your lifestyle.
Placing the implant
We perform our breast augmentation procedures at the Lawrence Surgery Center, a fully accredited outpatient surgery facility located in our office building. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and takes about 1-1½ hours. The incision will be placed under your breast or on the lower part of your areola. We often use the Keller Funnel for placement of our silicone implants to keep our incisions shorter. The implants are generally placed under the muscle, as we feel this gives a more natural appearance to the upper part of the breast and better protects the implant. Before closing your incisions with dissolving sutures, we put a local anesthetic into the pocket around your implants to help decrease your pain after surgery. Finally, you are placed in a special surgical bra to help support your new breasts.
After your recovery at the surgery center, you will be sent home with pain medication, which most patients find they need for the first 2-4 days. We have had patients who never took a single pain pill, while others may find that even a week after surgery they still need an occasional pill, especially at night before going to bed. We always check our patients in the office the day after surgery to assure that there are no problems with their breasts, medications, bra, etc.
The time before you can return to work and everyday activities varies from patient to patient, but a week is adequate for most patients. Again, some have returned to work much sooner, others have taken longer, especially those with jobs requiring heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
Breast augmentation can often be performed at the same time as other procedures on the breast, body, and face. We have frequently combined this operation with:
- Breast lift (mastopexy)
- Facial cosmetic procedures
- Botox and other injectables
While combining procedures can save you a second trip to the operating room and recovery time, we will sometimes suggest NOT combining procedures if we feel it would compromise your chances for a good result or would significantly increase your risk.
Over 275,000 patients underwent breast augmentation in 2015, making it the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure.
5 Reasons why you should have your breast augmentation performed at Lawrence Plastic Surgery:
- Experience– We have hundreds of happy patients and great results after performing this procedure for over 20 years. We were investigators in both the Allergen and Mentor Silicone Breast Implant Adjunct studies which were conducted before silicone implants were made available for general use by other surgeons.
- Accredited facilities– We only perform this operation at Lawrence Memorial Hospital or the Lawrence Surgery Center.
- Choices– We offer a wide variety of implant types, sizes, and incisions to suit your individual needs. We don’t take a “one size fits all” approach.
- Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
- Personal attention– We spend the time it really takes to help chose the implant and the procedure that will give you the natural, fuller look you desire.