What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast Augmentation is an elective outpatient plastic surgery procedure that uses breast implants to increase breast size and to improve shape. Breast implants can also be used to reconstruct the breasts following mastectomy or other breast trauma. Here at our Southwest Michigan Plastic Surgery practice, we have breast implants available in a broad variety of sizes, shapes and textures. I’m certain that we have the right breast implant size, shape and projection to give you the look you desire! Our goal in your breast augmentation procedure is to create natural looking breasts that fit harmoniously with your body shape and size.
What Kinds of Breast Implants Are Available?
All breast implants have a silicone outer shell. The difference between them is based on the material within the shell.
1. Saline Breast Implants are composed of a silicone shell that is filled with sterile saline (salt water) after each breast implant is inserted into the body. Because it’s inserted “empty,” these implants can be placed through a very small incision through a variety of incision locations including those under the armpit, under the breast and through an incision around the areola. These breast implants have two distinct drawbacks: (A) If they break (rupture), you will notice the deflation immediately and essentially have a “flat tire” in that breast. (B) They can ripple, which can be felt and occasionally seen. This can create an unattractive look in very thin women or women who do not have much breast tissue.
2. Gel-Filled Breast Implants were originally called silicone breast implants because the material inside the shell was liquid or semi-liquid silicone. These original breast implants created problems when they ruptured and the gel leaked into the breast tissues. The current gel-filled or gel breast implants are filled with a cohesive gel that does not leak if the breast implant ruptures, making them more tissue-friendly. They have been used extensively and safely for the last 10 years!
3. Gummy Bear Breast Implants, also called form stable breast implants, are made of a silicone that’s firm, yet pliable, like the candies that go by the same description, hence the name.
We have a wide variety of breast implant options to choose from at our Southwest Michigan plastic surgery practices, including saline breast implants, gel-filled (once called “silicone breast implants”) and “Gummy Bear” breast implants, which is another word for shaped or form-stable breast implants.
Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
Women who are healthy and desire larger, fuller, and shapelier breast are considered good candidates for breast augmentation surgery! A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is essential to determine exactly how suitable breast augmentation is for you. At your consultation, we will discuss at length your desires, goals and objectives. We will then evaluate your breasts to determine how best to achieve your desired outcome. Our approach is to be honest and realistic about what can be achieved for each particular individual. We will discuss at length issues like desired breast size, shape, and contour. We will then use the safest and surest technique to accomplish the job based on your particular anatomy. At Southwest Michigan Plastic Surgery we are absolutely committed to the education of our patients so that they can make a sound decision regarding a potential breast augmentation procedure.
What Are My Choices in Breast Implant Incision Locations?
There are 3 primary choices for the incision used in breast augmentation procedures. An incision can be placed:
1. Beneath the breast in the crease where the breast meets the chest wall, called the inframammary fold.
2. In the armpit, called the axillary approach.
3. Around the areola, called the periareolar approach.
Although each woman’s anatomy is different, the choice of incision is most influenced by the size and type of implant as well as the desired location of the final scar.
A Caveat About Axillary Breast Implant Placement
Depending upon your age, you may wish to avoid an underarm (axillary) breast augmentation. While today’s breast implants are extremely safe and durable, it’s logical that most women will wish to replace their implants after 10-20 years or if they experience problems such as capsular contracture or implant rupture. For this reason, I advise women under the age of 40 to avoid an axillary incision for their breast augmentation because, if and when the implants are removed and replaced, the underarm approach cannot be used again. Therefore, replacing the implants would result in two scars: under the arm and under the breast. While the scars do fade with time and my suturing technique creates as thin a scar as possible, if you’re at an age that replacement may happen in your future, placing the incision in the inframammary fold or around the areola may be a better option for you. I will review your incision options with you in great detail during your breast augmentation consultation.
Will A Breast Implant Lift My Breasts?
Living life takes it’s toll on your breasts just like it does on the rest of the body. Childbearing, breastfeeding, genetics and aging can cause the breast to sag and stretch out. This can result in loss of the natural and youthful shape of the breast. The insertion of a breast implant will sometimes improve sagging breasts, depending on the degree of sagging. When you come to my Michigan plastic surgery office for your breast augmentation consultation, I will take measurements to confirm whether a breast lift, in addition to your breast augmentation, would give you a more satisfying outcome.
Where Is My Breast Augmentation Performed?
All of my cosmetic surgery procedures are performed in one of two local accredited ambulatory surgical facilities near my Southwest Michigan plastic surgery office. I always work with a board certified anesthesiologist. Many of the operating room staff at these centers have been working closely with me for the past 15 years. These same-day surgery centers offer you the safety of a hospital operating room without the exposure to hospital-based bacteria, plus the benefit of a friendly, caring, and personalized experience.
How Is A Breast Augmentation Performed?
After pre-operative markings are made on the breasts, patients are transferred to the operating suite and general anesthesia is induced. Patients are completely “put out” for the procedure. I then carefully create a “pocket” under the breast muscle to house the implant. Once the implants are inserted, I compare the breasts to be sure they are as close to each other as possible, after which I close the incisions. A special bra, which will be worn for several weeks after your procedure, is placed on you before you go to the recovery area. After a couple hours in recovery, you’ll be released to go home in the company of a friend or relative (you can’t drive yourself home because you had general anesthesia).
Recovery From Breast Augmentation
Most of my Southwest Michigan breast augmentation patients experience some soreness and tightness in the breasts for 1-2 weeks while the skin and tissues adjust to the new breast implant. Some bruising may also appear. Ice packs to the breasts are usually adequate to control discomfort, though some women wish to also take pain medication; prescriptions will be provided at your final pre-op appointment. Most breast augmentation patients return to work within a few days. You will see me in my office within 5-7 days after your procedure. During the first six to eight weeks following your breast augmentation, I will instruct you how to care for the incisions to achieve the best final scar. During the first 6-8 weeks after your breast augmentation, you will need to avoid strenuous exercise and any heavy lifting.
Breast augmentation can give you long-lasting, beautiful results that will delight you both in and out of your clothing. Women tell me that they feel an increased sense of self-confidence and are highly satisfied with their body image following breast augmentation. At Southwest Michigan Plastic Surgery, we are committed to complete patient satisfaction through our professional and caring approach to each individual patient.