Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States.
Breast enlargement surgery involves using breast implants or fat to increase the size of the breasts.
Breast Augmentation Surgery can
- Increase fullness and projection,
- Improve balance, and
- Improve self-confidence
Patients elect to undergo breast augmentation for many reasons, including balancing unsymmetrical breasts, restoring lost volume following mastectomy, pregnancy or weight loss, or to produce a fuller appearance.
How Breast Augmentation is performed
Breast augmentation surgery may be performed in many ways. There are two main variables in the procedure: the location of the incision and the location of the implant. The incision may be made in the breast (inframammary), around the areola (periareolar), the armpit (transaxillary) or the navel (transumbilical). The implant may be placed under the breast tissue, beneath the muscle, or a combination in which the top of the implant is under pectoral muscle.
The procedure itself is performed under local anesthesia with sedation or under general anesthesia. After an initial incision is made, the breast augmentation surgeon will create a pocket and insert the implants, using sutures to reconnect muscle, tissue and skin.
Dr. Kessler will help you decide which technique is best for you.
Types of Breast Implants
Along with determining the best technique for the procedure, there are two main types of breast implants to choose from: saline and silicone implants. Both implants are safe and FDA-approved.
Saline implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water and inserted empty, while silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel. Many women report silicone implants produce a more natural result as the silicone gel mimics fat.
Along with the type of implant, there are several breast implant sizes if you opt for silicone implants. Implant size is measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s). Choosing the right implant size is important for the best breast augmentation results as the size should be proportional to your body for a more natural appearance. Your breast width and breast tissue will also determine the best size.
Breast implants are also available with a smooth or textured surface, which is designed to reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a possible risk of the procedure. Dr. Kessler will also help you choose an appropriate implant profile and shape to best complement your body.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Breast augmentation recoveries varies by patient, but most experience an initial recovery period of 24-48 hours, followed by reduced physical activity for several days. Therefore, it is suggested for your stay to be as comfortable as possible. Here in Newport Beach, CA, the great weather plus our nice staff will make your stay even better.
Now, for the first 4-5 days, you should avoid any lifting or physical work. Many women can return to work after one week. Vigorous exercise or heavy lifting should be avoided for at least two weeks.
Factors that impact the recovery time for breast enlargement include the size of the implants and the technique used. Implants placed under the muscle usually have a slightly longer recovery time, while women who change their breast size dramatically may experience discomfort for a longer period of time due to greater stretching of the skin. If you get a breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation, recovery time will be longer due to more incisions.
Breast Augmentation Risks
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with breast implants. This includes the following:
- Reduced sensitivity in the nipple or breast. This is usually temporary.
- Capsular contracture, which is the result of an immune response in the body that creates collagen fibers that form around the implant. Capsular contracture may cause a distorted appearance of the breast and pain.
- Implant ruptures which, while rare, may require revision surgery to replace the damaged implants.
- Less accurate mammogram results.
- Difficulty nursing if glands or milk ducts are damaged during the procedure. Nerve damage may also have an impact on nursing.
- Fluid buildup, infection or bleeding.
Not all types of breast enlargement carry the same level of risk. It’s important to discuss the risks associated with the technique your surgeon recommends, as some risks can be mitigated while choosing the procedure and type of implant used.
Common Breast Augmentation Questions
Am I a good candidate for breast enlargement surgery?
A good candidate for breast enlargement is a healthy woman dealing with underdeveloped or asymmetrical breasts or breasts that have lost volume due to weight loss or childbirth. You should also have realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you with a clear understanding of the benefits, risks and recovery of the procedure.
Can breast augmentation surgery fix drooping breasts?
Breast enhancement cannot correct severely drooping breasts, but it can achieve a lifting effect for some patients. If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may be necessary along with breast augmentation surgery.
How can I deal with pain following the procedure?
Dr. Kessler will place a long-acting local anesthetic block in the chest during the procedure to decrease post-operative pain and speed your recovery. You will also be prescribed pain medication, which should be taken regularly for the first 24 to 48 hours. After this, you can switch to over-the-counter non-narcotic pain medication to address any residual discomfort.
When can I return to work after breast augmentation?
Patients generally feel well enough to return to work within 4-5 days after a breast augmentation, but a week’s time off is recommended.
How bad will scarring be after the surgery?
This depends on the technique used and the location of the scar. Some scars can take 18 months to reach their final appearance and but most will be close to the final result by 3-6 months following the procedure. Dr. Kessler will provide a scar massage protocol to speed scar resolution. You may also use scar therapy cream.
Are silicone implants safe?
Silicone implants were taken off the market for some time due to concerns over their safety; the FDA has since lifted this ban after finding these concerns unfounded. Silicone implants are FDA-approved as safe and effective, although they do present slightly greater risks for certain complications over saline implants. Silicone implant technology has changed rapidly over the last few years and is now more stable than ever.
How soon can I return to work?
The answer to this question depends on the type of work you do, and your own personal recovery, which varies from person to person. If you have a regular desk job with little physical activity, you can typically return to work in less than a week. If you have a physically demanding job, you may need 2-3 weeks to recover.
Will breast augmentation surgery keep me from breastfeeding?
In most cases, you can still breastfeed following breast enlargement surgery. This is because breast implants are placed under the breast tissue and do not interfere with milk ducts that allow you to produce milk. This is true whether you get saline or silicone implants, although it is best to avoid a nipple incision to avoid breastfeeding issues.
Can I finance my breast augmentation?
Yes, Kessler Plastic Surgery located in Newport Beach offers great medical financing through CareCredit. With no money down, patients can finance their breast augmentation procedure interest free for twelve months. An application can be submitted online for immediate approval.