Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure used to enhance the volume and projection of your breasts. This is most commonly with implants but newer techniques are also using your own fat to increase volume. Breast augmentation continues to be one of the most common procedures performed in the United States, and if done correctly and for the right reasons, can significantly enhance a women’s self esteem.
Who are candidates?
- Any woman with a congenital breast deformity or asymmetry
- Any woman over 18 that desires increase in volume or projection with saline implants
- Any woman over 22 that desires increase in volume or projection with silicone implants
- Any woman whose weight is stable within 10-15 pounds
- Any woman that is not currently breast feeding
Breast augmentation can be done alone, or in combination with a breast lift to correct drooping. At your consultation, Dr. Hustak will discuss with you your aesthetic desires, examine you, and formulate a treatment plan. Dr. Hustak prides herself on ensuring every patient is fully educated during the consultation process.
There are many choices to consider for breast augmentation including implant shape, size, texturing, placement, and incision, and all of this will be covered in the consultation with Dr. Hustak. Each woman’s anatomy is as unique as her aesthetic desires and all of these variables will be considered and discussed in your consultation.
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What to Expect: Breast Augmentation
At your consultation, you will have the opportunity to look at different implants and try them on for size to see which one feels right for you. Dr. Hustak will help guide you in this process. Some information to help you on your journey includes:
Shape and Size
There are more choices of implants these days. The classic round shaped has been around for years and comes in a variety of sizes and projections. The newest option is anatomically shaped (or “tear-drop”) and is only offered by a few implant manufacturers. The choice of implant largely depends on your desired outcome and current anatomic shape. Dr. Hustak can help guide you on whether you would benefit from one over the other.
The implant can be placed under the muscle, under the breast gland, or under both using a dual plane technique. There are multiple reasons to choose one over the other. Main determining factors include how much breast tissue is currently present, how much volume increase is desired, daily activities or hobbies of the patient, and which type of implant is selected. Dr. Hustak will advise you on the right placement for you after your consultation.
Silicone versus Saline
This choice refers to what fills the silicone shell, whether it is saline (sterile salt water) or silicone gel (degree of cohesiveness changes with different implants and manufacturers). There are pros and cons for each (see below) and again the choice is largely based on your desired goals and current breast and chest wall shape. Silicone implants were placed back into the market in 2006 when the moratorium was reversed by the FDA. From 2006 until 2012, there have been two 4th Generation implants by two different companies, Mentor and Allergan. In 2012, a third implant company emerged, Sientra, and is only available through board-certified or board-eligible plastic surgeons. Dr. Hustak offers implants from all three companies.
Is silicone safe?
Yes. Silicone is safe. After exhaustive research, there has been no connection between silicone breast implants and the development of autoimmune disorders or other systemic diseases.
There are many options for incision placement to augment a breast. The most common is an incision of a few centimeters under the breast (inframammary fold). Larger incisions need to be made for anatomic shaped implants, silicone implants, and larger volume implants. Alternative incisions include around the areola (peri-areolar) or through the armpit (trans-axillary).
Everyone recovers at a different pace but in general, recovery is relatively quick, especially with sub-glandular placement. The procedure itself takes 1-3 hours depending on whether it is an implant exchange procedure or a combination breast lift, which are more involved. Surgical glue or steri-strips are placed on your incision. You will have a wrap or soft sports bra placed at the time of surgery that will remain in place for 24-28 hours. After that you can transition to a soft sports bra with no underwire. Drains are not routinely used. Post-operative implant massage instructions will be given in post-operative period and largely depend on the type of implant that was selected. Most women can return to work in a few days if no heavy lifting is required. Restrictions for heavy lifting and physical activity remain in place for 2-4 weeks as you heal. You can shower after 24 hours but are not to submerge your incisions in a bath or pool until completely healed, usually around 2 weeks.
Surgery is not without complications, but thankfully, complications are low after this procedure. There are complications associated with the procedure itself (bleeding or hematoma, scarring, fluid accumulation (seroma), changes in nipple sensation, infection) and those related to the implant (capsular contracture (scar tissue that forms on the inside of the breast in response to the implant that can become firm over time in some women), visible rippling of implant, implant leakage or rupture.
Other Important considerations:
-Implants do not last forever
-current implant manufacturers recommend replacement every 10 years.
-MRI recommended after 3 years after augmentation and annually thereafter to assess for silicone gel implant compromise
-Large changes in weight will continue to affect your breast tissue around the implant and may alter the relationship between the implant and your native breast tissue
Breast augmentation results are immediate, life altering, and routinely very satisfying.