Model. Not actual patient.
The Benefits of Breast Augmentation
Year after year, breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States. If you’re thinking about getting breast implants yourself, you’ll be joining over 300,000 women – just this year – who have undergone a breast augmentation too.
A reason for this popularity is thanks to the benefits a natural looking transformation can create. For most patients, the benefits of a breast augmentation will look something like this:
- A natural looking increase in the size of your breasts.
- Your enhanced breasts will blend in seamlessly with your body and proportions. They might look so natural that no one will ever guess you’ve had work done. They’ll just know you look amazing!
- Breast augmentation can increase your confidence and self esteem, making you feel more like a “woman”.
- You might finally feel comfortable in your own skin, especially if you think that your exterior appearance really reflects your self image.
- Many patients enjoy improved breast symmetry and shape.
- Your overall proportions may look a little more youthful (and make you feel a little younger as a result).
The benefits of your breast augmentation procedure will be tailored to your body and your goals, helping you achieve an individualized, natural looking transformation.
Implant Placement Location
One big decision you and Dr. Endara or Dr. Fulks will tackle is how deeply to place your implant. Most patients will choose one of these two options:
- On top of your pectoral muscle: With this implant placement technique, the breast implant is placed between your breast tissue and your pectoral muscle. This technique is seldom used, and it’s usually reserved for anyone who really needs to preserve the strength and appearance of the pectoral muscles (body builders, for example).
- Beneath the pectoral muscle: This is the preferred option for most patients, leading to a more natural looking result. Placing your breast implant beneath the pectoral muscle will also minimize certain complications (such as visible rippling or capsular contracture).
Breast Augmentation Incision Placement and the Location of the Resulting Scar
There are several breast augmentation incision placements. The three main options are usually:
- Fold of the Breast (Inframammary): The preferred method for nearly all breast augmentation procedures is inframammary. This technique allows for the most flexibility in terms of implant placement and the lowest rate of complications, according to medical research. Inframammary incisions are usually, but not always, the most reliable and effective incision option. Our surgeons know that any breast implant will change the shape of the breast (by design), so we make incisions where the “new” fold will be. That way, your inframammary incision and resulting scar will remain well hidden within the fold.
- Armpit (Transaxillary): A small incision is made in the armpit. Transaxillary incisions can be tempting because they are easy to hide, but they are only viable with saline implants and can often lead to higher complication rates related to poor placement and displacement.
- Areola/Nipple (Periareolar): An incision is made around the areola. This technique may be appropriate for some instances, but can lead to a higher rate of capsular contracture, due to contaminants on the tissue of the skin.
We typically prefer the inframammary incision for the majority of breast augmentation patients because of its placement accuracy, reduced risk rate and consistently high satisfaction rate.
Breast Implant Types Available: Silicone or Saline?
Maybe the biggest decision you’ll have to make about your breast augmentation is the type of implant you want. Usually, you’ll have one of two options: saline or silicone. While they fulfill the same basic role, saline and silicone implants are quite different.
- Saline implants: Saline is, essentially, medically purified salt water. The benefit of an implant filled with saline is that, in the event of a rupture, the implant material is quite easily (and safely) absorbed by the body. Generally, saline implants are not the first choice of most surgeons, though they are appropriate to use in specific circumstances, such as in patients under the age of 22.
- Silicone implants: More often than not, silicone-based breast implants are going to be the implant of choice. Silicone looks and feels more natural than saline. And patients then have more options in terms of possible sizes. Silicone also has a well deserved reputation for being a safe and reliable option.
As you’re deciding on your implant type, you’ll probably also spend some time thinking about the size of your implants. Most of our patients are trying to achieve natural looking results, and that means finding the perfect size for your frame and for your proportions. You’ll be able to try on variety of sizers while wearing a sports bra so you can determine the right fit for you. When choosing a size, we'll examine how the breast implant looks and how it will look in the future, taking into consideration how the size improves the upper portion of your breast. (If necessary, we can even perform fat transfer to the upper pole to create a smoother contour!).
The Breast Augmentation Surgery
Your breast augmentation procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis, so you’ll probably get to return home the same day as your procedure. Surgery itself will probably take a couple of hours, and it will be performed under general anesthesia.
Once anesthesia has kicked in, we use a lighted protractor-enabled technique to keep your incisions as short as possible (ensuring your recovery is as speedy as we can make it). The pectoral muscle is released up to the sternum to ensure the implant looks natural when sitting on or beneath the muscle. We then use direction vision to create a precisely-sized pocket for the implant. A process called lateral dissection, which ensures the implant has a stable pocket to sit in, is performed. Other surgeons may use directed thermal energy, such as lasers, to accomplish this step, but our methods limit the thermal energy your breast is exposed to. That means there’s less chance of damage to the nerves during the procedure so the risk of nerve damage is dramatically reduced.
Our surgeons use manual breast implant insertion methods and do not use extra devices such as the Keller Funnel. This ensures we have maximum control when placing your implant.
A Sterile Process
The breast implant is unpackaged and prepped at the last possible moment to avoid any possible contamination from the environment. The waiting breast pocket will also be thoroughly irrigated with 50-50 betadine and flushed twice with a triple antibiotic solution. This helps reduce the risk of infection.
Your Breast Augmentation Recovery
During your recovery, you can expect:
- Being instructed to avoid showering for roughly 48 hours after your procedure
- To be instructed how to apply antibacterial gauze (steristrips and zeroform) to your incision site.
- Wearing a compression garment for up to three weeks to help control swelling
- That your first checkup will probably be scheduled about three weeks after your procedure
- How to massage silicone cream on your incision site, in order to help scars fade more quickly
- To be given personalized and detailed instructions, so you will know exactly what you can and cannot do (and when) during your recovery.
Your Breast Augmentation Results
You'll be able to see that you have larger breasts immediately after surgery, even though they'll be covered up with bandages and a compression bra. However, your breasts may look a little strange. They may have a flattened out or take on a squarish appearance. They may also sit abnormal high on your chest and look swollen. Don't be alarmed — this is totally normal in the first stage of your recovery.
It takes a few months for your body to accommodate the implants. To do this, your tissues will need to relax and stretch out, allowing the implants more space. The process is commonly known as drop and fluff. As your tissues relax, the implants gradually become less compressed and settle into their surgically formed pockets with the force of gravity. As it does this, your breasts "fluff out", taking on the more natural shape that you hoped for. Swelling and bruising will also disappear.
The drop and fluff process typically takes about 3-4 months, but it may be a little longer for patients who have firmer skin and naturally smaller breasts. If the breasts continue to sit a bit too high, Dr. Endara or Dr. Fulks may recommend that you wear a bandeau across the top of your breasts to help push them down a bit. However, this is usually not necessary.
Once your breasts have settled into position and swelling disappears, you'll be able to see your desired improvement.
Breast Augmentation FAQ
Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure that enhances the size of the breasts. It can also improve the shape of the breasts to a certain extent.
Breast augmentation is the name of the surgical procedure that increases the size of the breasts. Breast implants refers to the devices that are put inside the breasts to increase their size.
Breast implants vary in price depending on several factors. Factors that affect price include the following:
- whether they're filled with silicone or saline (generally speaking, silicone implants cost more than saline)
- the brand (Allergan, Mentor and Sientra are three popular brands in the country)
They're generally a couple of thousand of dollars.
The cost of breast implants are typically included in the total cost of breast augmentation surgery.
Breast augmentation surgery can be anywhere from $6000 to $10,000. The price is based on several factors, including:
- breast implant price
- surgical facility fee
- anesthesia costs
- surgical staff costs
There may also be additional costs that are unique to a specific practice.
During the consultation process, you'll be given a quote that details the cost of your surgery and what that includes. It's a good idea to go over the quote to find out if there are any fees that may not be covered, such as medications or post-surgical garments.
Gummy bear implants are a type of silicone implant. The structure of the silicone filling is more cohesive. That's why they're also called cohesive silicone gel implants. Gummy bear implants are popular for their natural feel and look.
The natural effects of gravity and aging can cause the breasts to sag over time, whether you have breast implants or not. Weight fluctuations and pregnancy can also affect breast size and shape. To reduce the rate of sagging, consider wearing a good supportive bra at all times. Choosing implants that are proportionately sized, rather than going for something too large, can also reduce the rate of sagging.
Breast implants aren't manufactured to be lifetime devices. They will most likely need to be replaced at some point in a woman's life. However, there are cases where patients never have to replace their implants. So, while it is possible that breast implants may last 30 years or more, patients should expect to replace them at least once.
If your breast implants aren't causing you any issues and you're happy with them, then there is absolutely no need to replace them.
However, if they are causing you issues and are affecting your health, then you should replace them for your well being.
A "boob job" can takes a couple of hours to complete, depending on the surgeon and the type of breast augmentation performed. Dr. Endara and Dr. Fulks are meticulous surgeons who perform advanced surgical techniques that are designed to reduce risks, like displacement. They believe that the procedure should be done accurately and carefully. For this reason, it takes 2 hours or so.
Absolutely. Fat transfer to your breasts is a common way to enhance breast shape and size. When done with breast implants, fat transfer can be performed to enhance cleavage and achieve a smoother shape.
There’s nothing more exciting than seeing the results of your breast enhancement!
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1601 Hatcher Ln.
Columbia, TN 38401
1003 Reserve Blvd, Suite 220
Spring Hill, TN 37174