Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure designed to enhance volume, contour, and shape in the breasts. With the precise placement of silicone or saline breast implants, women can effectively rejuvenate the appearance of their breasts and feel more confident about their overall body proportions. There are many options for implants and incision placement that can enhance your silhouette naturally, balance your figure, and improve your appearance in certain types of clothes. Breast augmentation remains one of the most frequently performed surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures and is one of Dr. Dana Coberly’s areas of special focus here at our practice. Our board-certified plastic surgeon is extensively trained and experienced with breast enhancement procedures and will customize your breast augmentation treatment plan to achieve your goals while producing results that look both natural and beautiful.
- Breast Augmentation Benefits
- Breast Implant Options
- Breast Implant Locations
- Breast Augmentation Incisions
- Breast Augmentation with Fat Injections
- Breast Lift with Augmentation
- Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- What Is TXA?
- Restrictions After Breast Augmentation
- Breast Augmentation Scars
- Breast Augmentation Cost
What Are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation has remained at or near the top of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the nation for many years. This treatment offers women an array of significant benefits, including:
- Noticeable enlargement of the breasts for fuller, more contoured results
- Enhanced breast symmetry, balance, and shape
- Improved overall body proportions
- Restoration of volume that has been lost in the breasts due to pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process
With advances in breast implants and surgical techniques combined with the skilled hand of an experienced breast surgeon such as Dr. Coberly, patients can achieve successful, natural-looking breast augmentation with beautiful results. During your initial consultation, Dr. Coberly will talk with you about your goals and help you determine the best breast augmentation options for your unique needs.
What Are the Available Breast Implant Options?
Breast Implant Types, Shapes, and Sizes
Silicone gel and saline breast implants are available in the United States and approved by the FDA. The implants are all smooth and round. Textured implants are no longer available. All of the implants are round and are available in many different sizes and projections. The “projection” is how much the implant projects forward compared to the base of the implant. The base of the implant is against the chest wall and should match the width of the chest so that the implant does not stick out too far on the side.
Implants are available in low, moderate, moderate plus, high, and ultra high projections, depending upon the brand. Dr. Coberly will take measurements to help you choose the best implant for you.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are available as simple single-chamber implants, and as the Ideal Implant®. The Ideal Implant® is a saline implant that is designed to provide the peace of mind of a saline implant with the feel of a silicone gel implant. Compared to traditional saline implants, it is less likely to have rippling and feels more like a gel implant. “Rippling” is when the ripples in the implant show through the skin. This is especially likely when the coverage over the implant is thin, in women who are thin, and in women who do not have very much breast tissue. Ideal Implants® have two chambers and multiple layers with small passages inside designed to make the implant feel and look more natural.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone gel implants for breast augmentation have been FDA-approved for all women over 22 years old for many years, and are approved for breast reconstruction patients of any age. The newest implants to be approved are 5th-generation gel implants made by Allergan, and are called “soft touch” implants. They are soft enough to feel natural, but thick enough to prevent most rippling.
Many silicone gel implants are made with cohesive gel—these implants are also known as “gummy bear” implants. This means that the gel is thicker than older-style implants and that it wants to stick together.
Will My Breast Implants Be Over or Under the Muscle?
Silicone gel and saline implants can be placed under the muscle. The implants can be placed completely under the pectoralis major muscle or partially under the muscle. When the bottom part of the muscle is released, it is called a dual plane technique. This lets the implant sit in the correct position under the breast.
Will Having My Breast Implants Placed Under the Muscle Hurt More?
Placing the implants under the muscle is no more painful than putting them over the muscle. The technique used to make the pocket for the implant determines how much discomfort you will have after surgery. A long-lasting pain medicine can be injected during surgery to make you more comfortable for the first three days after the procedure.
Where Will My Breast Augmentation Incisions Be?
Your incision will either be in the crease below your breast, around the bottom edge of the areola, or in the armpit. Dr. Coberly does not recommend placing a silicone gel implant through the axillary (armpit) incision because it makes too large of an opening in the upper outer pocket where the implant will be. Regular saline implants work best with that technique.
When you meet with Dr. Coberly to talk about your goals for breast augmentation, she will answer any questions you may have and go over all of your options regarding breast implant type, shape, and size. She will also discuss the best approach for implant location and incision placement based on your needs and expectations. Once you have made your decisions, Dr. Coberly can develop the customized treatment plan.
What Is Breast Augmentation with Fat Injections?
Breast augmentation with fat injections is a technique which can enhance the size and appearance of the breasts using the body’s natural fat instead of breast implants or in combination with breast implants. This treatment, also called fat transfer or fat grafting, involves taking excess fat cells from one area of the body (usually the abdomen, thighs, hips, or “love handles”) via liposuction and transferring extracted fat cells to the breasts. With this “natural breast augmentation” approach, women essentially receive two benefits in one: body contouring in another area of the body to produce enhancement of the breasts.
While breast augmentation with fat injections can be a wonderful option for some patients, it may not be ideal for others. As a standalone breast augmentation procedure, this treatment can only provide mild to moderate breast enlargement (typically about one cup size). However, it can also be helpful for some individuals as an adjunctive treatment with breast implantation by enhancing the results to create improved symmetry and the most natural appearance possible.
Dr. Coberly can talk more with you about this option during your initial consultation and help you determine whether breast augmentation with fat injections may be ideal for your needs and goals.
How Do I Know if I Need a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) with My Breast Augmentation?
If your nipples are already in the correct position, or not too saggy, then a mastopexy (breast lift) is usually not needed. Sometimes the skin is too stretched from breastfeeding or weight changes and a lift will be recommended. An examination is required to determine if you need a lift and what type of lift is best for you. A breast lift will have incisions around the areola, and possibly from the nipple down to the fold under the breast, and sometimes also in the fold. The implants can often be placed utilizing the same incisions made for the breast lift component of this procedure, depending on the specific technique utilized.
Once you have been evaluated by Dr. Coberly during the consultation she will be happy to talk with you about whether a breast lift with augmentation is an option worthy of exploring based on your needs and the aesthetic goals you are hoping to accomplish.
How Is the Breast Augmentation Procedure Performed?
Breast augmentation is most often performed on an outpatient basis. While the exact length of the procedure is dependent upon the technique utilized and each patient’s individual needs, breast augmentation is typically completed in about one to two hours. Since general anesthesia is necessary for this procedure, you will need to arrange for someone to bring you home following surgery.
To perform breast augmentation, Dr. Coberly will follow the customized treatment plan that was developed prior to surgery. The implants will be carefully inserted through delicately-placed incisions, and Dr. Coberly will close the incisions with attention paid to ensuring that the resulting scars are as light as possible (you can find more information on scarring in its section below). Dr. Coberly and her team will go over all aspects of the treatment and recovery process with you before surgery and will provide you with a detailed post-operative guideline to help you heal safely and comfortably.
What Is Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?
Breast augmentation involves major surgery and will require a recovery period following the procedure. Most women only need pain medicine for a few days after surgery. The chest feels tight and you may feel pressure against your chest. We want you to wear a bra for one month after surgery. You may remove it to shower the day after your procedure. We will let you know which bra we want you to wear so that you get the best results. Swelling and a degree of numbness in the breast areas can be expected for at least a few weeks after breast augmentation surgery; however, any significant pain and discomfort usually dissipates within a few days after the operation and can be controlled with medication.
What Are My Restrictions After Breast Augmentation Surgery?
You should not exercise or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for one month after surgery. Normal activity is fine, and walking is encouraged. Depending upon your need for narcotic pain medication and your occupation, you may be able to go back to work after two or three days. Some patients take a whole week off. Be sure to check with your work to see if you can go back with restrictions, and if light duty is available if needed.
What is TXA?
Tranexamic Acid (TXA) is a medication given during surgery to help prevent bruising. Our patients who receive TXA during surgery have less post-operative discomfort, less bruising, and a quicker recovery.
How Noticeable Are Breast Augmentation Scars?
Where scars will be located and how noticeable they will be is understandably one of the most common questions asked by patients who are considering this procedure. The answer is completely dependent upon which surgical technique is utilized to place the implants. If the implants are placed through an incision made in the underside of the breasts, there will be a noticeable scar in that area; however, Dr. Coberly is careful to close the incision in such a way that the resulting scar is as light as possible. A periareolar incision (one that’s made in the area around the nipple), typically results in a smaller scar that tends to blend into the natural pigmentation of the skin in this region, making it less noticeable. In many cases, the least visible scarring results from the transaxillary breast augmentation technique since the incision is made in the armpit; however, the transaxillary approach is not the most common since it can only be utilized in certain circumstances, and can only be performed for patients who are having saline breast implants placed.
While there will be some degree of noticeable scarring after breast augmentation, it is important to note that Dr. Coberly will perform advanced suturing techniques to make them as discreet as possible. Additionally, scars tend to fade to a certain extent over time.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
Since this procedure is customized for each patient, the cost of breast augmentation is often significantly variable depending on the unique treatment plan. Factors that will affect the final cost of breast augmentation include the particular type of breast implants being placed, the surgical technique performed, the overall complexity of the operation, fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, and use of the surgical facility, and other associated expenses. Dr. Coberly believes patients should have a full cost estimate of the procedure they are considering upfront so they will know what to expect. Once your treatment plan is developed by Dr. Coberly during the initial consultation, a friendly member of our team will present a price estimate that includes all costs relating to the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Our practice accepts a wide array of convenient payment methods, including plastic surgery financing plans through CareCredit®. This healthcare lending agency offers an expansive selection of payment plan options that can help qualified applicants pay for their breast augmentation procedure over time.
If you have additional questions about breast augmentation, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coberly, please contact us today.