Dr. Smith achieves a natural contoured look with silicone gel breast implants.
Breast augmentation, technically known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast. There are many reasons to consider a breast augmentation procedure:
- To enhance the body contour of a woman who, for personal reasons, feels her breasts are too small.
- To restore breast volume lost due to weight loss or following pregnancy.
- To achieve better symmetry when breasts are moderately disproportionate in size and shape.
- To improve the shape of breasts that are sagging or have lost firmness, often used with a breast lift procedure.
- To provide the foundation of a breast contour when a breast has been removed or disfigured by surgery to treat breast cancer.
By inserting an implant behind each breast, surgeons can increase a woman’s bustline by one or more bra cup sizes. If you’re considering breast augmentation, this will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. Because each individual case is different and dependent on your individual circumstances, we encourage you to contact our offices to schedule a consultation.
What is Breast Augmentation?
If you are dissatisfied with your breast size, augmentation surgery is worth considering. Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
- Improve the balance of your figure
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, the procedure involves using implants to fulfill your desire for fuller breasts or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Implants also may be used in breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury.
What Can’t Breast Augmentation Fix?
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast enlargement.
Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a highly individualized procedure, and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any ideal image. Breast augmentation may be a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breasts are fully developed
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
- Your breasts vary in size or shape
- One or both breasts failed to develop normally
If I Plan On Having Children, Should I Wait to Have Breast Augmentation?
You don’t need to wait to have augmentation. Know that the increased size of your breasts that will come with pregnancy can create some slight sagging after delivery and breastfeeding, but this won’t be to the degree it would be if you did not have implants in place. Some women believe that the slight sagging that can occur makes their augmented breasts look a little more natural, as it can decrease the round area of the upper breast just a bit. This is one of the differences that augmented breasts have — more volume up high on the breast — and women like this, but slight sagging here can decrease this a bit.
Pregnancy does not affect your implants at all. Your breasts will gain size, but this won’t hurt your implants. When your breasts return to their original size after pregnancy and breastfeeding, they will be the same size as they were before.
Augmentation can impact your ability to breastfeed, although it usually doesn’t. If Dr. Smith places your implants through the transaxillary incision in the armpit, the milk glands are not disturbed, and breastfeeding won’t be impacted. This is usually also true of the inframammary incision at the breast crease. However, if the areolar incision is your choice, this has the greatest chance of impacting breast milk production, at least to a degree.
You will need to discuss possible sagging and breastfeeding ability during potential pregnancy with Dr. Smith during your consultation.
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Breast Augmentation Before & After
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What to expect during my Mammaplasty consultation?
The success and safety of your breast augmentation procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Smith will ask some questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
- Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your breasts, and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, placement of your nipples
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast enlargement and any risks or potential complications
- Discuss the use of anesthesia during your breast augmentation
Preparing for Mammaplasty
Before surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- Post-operative care and follow-up
- Breast implant registry documents (when necessary)
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast augmentation surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Our surgeries can be performed at our locations in East Brunswick, NJ, Staten Island, NY, and Brooklyn, NY.
You’ll need help
If your breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What happens during breast augmentation surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Smith will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. You and your plastic surgeon will discuss which incision options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include:
Incisions vary based on the type of implant, the degree of enlargement desired your particular anatomy and patient-surgeon preference.
Step 3 – Implant choice
Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations when talking with your surgeon.
Implant type and size will be determined not just on your desired increase in size but more importantly on your breast anatomy, skin elasticity, and body type.
What types of breast implants are available?
Saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness, and feel of the breast. Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse, and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel. The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell or may escape into the breast implant pocket.
A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse. If you choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.
Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants, so there may be additional options available. Currently, Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older. Currently, Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years of age and older. Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.
Step 4 – Inserting and placing the implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
- Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
- Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ sub-glandular placement)
The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Step 5 – Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin. Over time the incision lines will fade.
Step 6 – See the results
The results of breast augmentation are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve, and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller breasts.
Am I able to Breastfeed after Breast Augmentation?
Dr. George makes every effort possible to not impugn the function of your milk glands during augmentation. He is usually successful in not interrupting your ability to breastfeed. But it is possible it may be diminished.
As mentioned above, much of this depends upon the incision location you and Dr. Smith decide upon for the insertion of your implants. If your implants are placed through the armpit or through the breast crease at the bottom of the breasts, odds are your milk production and subsequent ability to breastfeed will not be affected. If your implants are placed through incisions made around the areolae, breast milk production can be impacted.
Risks of a Breast Augmentation
The decision to have breast augmentation surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The risks include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Capsular contracture, which is the formation of firm scar tissue around the implant
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Anesthesia risks
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Breast implants do not impair breast health. A careful review of scientific research conducted by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine has found no proven link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
The Recovery Process After a Mammaplasty
After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.
Exercise and normal activity can resume in the direction of your plastic surgeon. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease, and incision lines will fade.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume regular activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Can I prevent scarring after breast augmentation surgery?
Any time human skin is cut, except for very shallow surface abrasions, it creates a scar. That is just how the body repairs the wound, and an incision is nothing more than a clean wound. So, there is no way around the development of a scar along with your incision locations.
That said, you have control of where you want that scar, as you’ll discuss with Dr. Smith where you want the incisions made to place your implants. Your choices are around the areola on the breast, just above the breast crease at the bottom of the breast, or through the armpit.
The areolar incision leaves a scar that is very hard to see, as it follows the contour of the areola. Over time, these become almost invisible. However, most silicone implants cannot be placed through this incision.
The inframammary crease at the breast bottom allows the most access and can handle larger silicone implants. However, it also creates the most noticeable scar. There will be a scar just above the crease (this is located so that it can be hidden under a bra or bathing suit top).
The transaxillary incision is made in the armpit. This seems crazy, but it is actually a very accessible location for Dr. Smith to place your implants, especially for placing them behind the pectoral muscle. This incision will create a vertical scar in each armpit, but Dr. Smith tries to place these in a natural crease, so they are inconspicuous. Besides, who’s really giving your armpits that much attention anyway?
How much pain should I expect during my recovery from breast augmentation?
Patients are often surprised at how little pain is involved with these surgeries. Yes, you will be sore. This was surgery, after all. The pain is not usually thought to be acute pain, but more soreness. We’ve had patients equate the feeling to the day or two after a really hard upper body workout at the gym, but that could be discounting it a little. Dr. Smith will prescribe pain medication, but many patients feel over-the-counter options are sufficient.
After a couple of days, most of the pain is behind you. Patients can often return to work in just three days, so you can use that as a gauge of pain…of lack thereof.
How soon will you go home?
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your operation. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Dr. Smith will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
How Long Do Breast Augmentation Results Last?
The results of your breast augmentation surgery will be long-lasting. You will find it easier to wear certain styles of clothing and swimwear. Like many women who have had breast augmentation, you may also have a boost in self-confidence.
Implants may need to be replaced or revised
Although the surgery effects will last a lifetime, it’s important to know that your breast implants are not permanent and may require replacement during your lifetime. You should expect to have future visits with your plastic surgeon to discuss changes in your breasts.
Over time, your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors, and gravity. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift or implant exchange to restore a more youthful contour.
Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
When will my sutures be removed after augmentation?
You return to see Dr. Smith the day after your surgery, and he removes your bandages and makes sure everything looks right. At this point, we’ll show you how to massage your breasts to relax the muscles and help the implants settle into their breast pockets. This type of postoperative massage has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of capsular contracture (where scar tissue contracts and hardens around the implant) and decrease discomfort.
You’ll return again after one week and Dr. Smith will remove your sutures.
How should I care for my skin after breast augmentation surgery?
Your incisions will be extremely sensitive to sunlight during your healing. You’ll be wearing your support bra 24 hours a day for the first month, but after that, you cannot have any direct sun contact (or tanning booths) for at least six months.
Your incision scars can be massaged with a high-quality moisturizing cream starting three weeks after surgery. This will promote early softening and better healing.
How much will breast augmentation surgery cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. A surgeon’s cost for breast augmentation may vary based on his or her experience, the type of breast implant used, as well as geographic office location. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Dr. Smith charges $6,600 for a breast augmentation. This cost includes:
- Anesthesia Fees
- Surgeon Fees
- Hospital Facility Fees
Prices may increase if more is needed than what is listed above.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Smith Today!
When choosing a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation, remember that the surgeon’s experience with breast implants and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery!
If you want to learn more about breast augmentation surgery, Contact us on one of our offices in near New Brunswick, NJ, Staten Island, NY, and Brooklyn, NY. You can also call us at (718) 608-1111, or check out our Cosmetic Surgery Blog.
Words to know
- Areola: Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
- Augmentation mammaplasty: Breast enlargement by surgery.
- Breast Augmentation: Also known as augmentation mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery.
- Breast Implants: Medical devices placed in your body to enhance existing breast size or to reconstruct your breast. Implants can be filled with either saltwater (saline) or silicone (elastic gel).
- Capsular contracture: A complication of breast implant surgery which occurs when scar tissue that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant and becomes firm.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and gasses used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Inframammary incision: An incision made in the fold under the breast.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation
to relieve pain.
- Mammogram: An x-ray image of the breast.
- Mastectomy: The removal of breast tissue, typically to rid the body of cancer.
- MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a painless test to view tissue similar to an x-ray.
- Periareolar incision: An incision made at the edge of the areola.
- Saline implants: Breast implants filled with saltwater.
- Silicone implants: Breast implants filled with an elastic gel.
- Submammary or sub-glandular placement: Breast implants placed directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
- Submuscular or subpectoral placement: Breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.
- Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
- Transaxillary incision: An incision made in the underarm area.
- Ultrasound: A diagnostic procedure that projects high-frequency sound waves into the body and records the echoes as pictures.