Learn about Breast Augmentation
At the Plastic Surgery Group, one of the most popular procedures our plastic surgeons offer individuals in New York City and New Jersey is breast augmentation surgery. We have an impeccable reputation and high patient satisfaction rate among breast augmentation patients and cosmetic surgery patients in general.
Surgical breast enhancement can be accomplished with the use of saline or silicone breast implants; or, for a more subtle degree of enhancement, with the use of the patient’s own fat harvested from another area of the body.
- Introduction to Breast Augmentation
- Candidates for Breast Augmentation
- Saline Vs. Silicone Implants
- Choose the Right Size
- The Procedure
What Breast Augmentation Accomplishes
Women generally seek breast augmentation surgery to improve the size, or volume, of their breasts. They may have naturally petite breasts, or they may have lost breast volume due to breastfeeding or major weight loss. Other patients seek surgical breast enhancement to provide a subtle lift throughout the breasts or to correct breast asymmetry.
Who Is an Appropriate Candidate for Breast Implants?
The only way to establish with certainty whether an individual is an appropriate candidate for any surgical procedure, including breast augmentation, is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as the New Jersey plastic surgery providers at the Plastic Surgery Group.
Appropriate breast implant candidates generally include women who:
- Desire larger, more voluminous breasts and possibly a more dramatic degree of cleavage or outward breast projection from the chest
- Seek to achieve a subtle lift throughout the breasts and / or to correct breast asymmetry
- Are in overall good mental and physical health
- Do not smoke or are prepared to quit smoking for several weeks before and after the procedure
- Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding (and have not been breastfeeding for at least six months, allowing the natural shape and size of the breasts to return)
- Have decided to undergo the procedure of their own volition
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of breast augmentation surgery (i.e., they seek aesthetic improvement, not necessarily perfection)
- Understand the possible risks associated with surgery
Saline and Silicone Breast Implants
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of breast implant. During consultation, the plastic surgeon evaluates the patient’s anatomy, including body type and frame; listens to her aesthetic objectives; and recommends a suitable treatment protocol, including the type of breast implant which will best satisfy the patient’s unique needs.
Saline breast implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that the body can safely absorb in case of an implant leak, or rupture. This type of breast implant is filled after it is inserted during surgery, so the surgeon can use a slightly smaller incision to place saline implants than he would with silicone implants. However, saline implants are often not an appropriate option for women with thin skin or little body fat, as there may not be enough skin, fat and breast tissue to cover and support the implants properly. This can lead to visible rippling underneath the skin’s surface.
Silicone breast implants more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breasts than their saline counterparts. Also, this type of implant is less prone to rippling or folding within the implant pocket. With silicone implants, the plastic surgeon must use slightly larger incisions, as silicone breast implants come prefilled from the manufacturer.
|Saline Implants||Silicone Implants|
Look good and feel natural
If there is a rupture, the saline is safely absorbed into the body and the rupture easily detectable without the need of an MRI scan
Shorter incision length than with silicone implants
They have a more authentic texture than saline implants
Great for women with little body fat as they give a more natural appearance
How to Select the Right Breast Implant Size
Selecting the “right” breast implant size is highly dependent on the patient’s body type as well as on her aesthetic goals for surgery. The best way for a patient to make sure she selects the appropriate implant size is to come in for a consultation, so the plastic surgeon can evaluate her anatomy and suggest a suitable implant size. Prior to surgery, patients can also try on breast prosthetics of different sizes during their consultation. Patients are advised to bring in photos of women whose body type is similar to their own and whose breast size and shape matches the desired result. This will help ensure that the patient and surgeon share the same vision for the outcome of surgery.
Breast Augmentation Incisions
Breast augmentation patients have three choices of incision patterns. The first is the transaxillary approach, which involves positioning the incision under the arm, in the armpit area. The second incision option is the periareolar pattern, which involves making an incision around the outer edge of the areola (the darkly pigmented skin surrounding the nipple). The third choice of incision patterns is the inframammary approach, involving the use of a horizontal incision placed underneath the natural fold of the breast.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia. For select patients, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation may be a suitable treatment option.
After the plastic surgeon has made the chosen incision pattern, he or she lifts the breast tissue and / or the pectoral muscle to create a pocket in which the implant will be placed. Depending on the patient’s cosmetic desires and anatomy, the implant can be positioned either behind the breast tissue (i.e., over the pectoral, or chest, muscle) or underneath the chest muscle.
Once the surgeon is satisfied with the placement and symmetry of the breast implants, he or she closes the incision with sutures and dresses the treatment area with soft bandages and an overlying surgical bra for added support and to minimize swelling while the tissues heal.
Recovering From Breast Augmentation
After surgery, patients are taken to a recovery room for a couple of hours while the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Once they are cleared by the medical staff, they are released into the care of an authorized adult, so they can recover in the comfort of their own home.
Patients should expect to take about a week off from work or their usual activities. During this time, they should get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity, including heavy lifting or raising the arms above shoulder level. However, they should walk around the house periodically to encourage proper blood circulation and minimize the risk of developing blood clots, especially in the legs.
Initially, the breasts may feel tender, sore or numb, but patients can take the pain medications prescribed by the surgeon to alleviate any discomfort. The treatment area may also be swollen, firm-feeling, bruised or red, but these are normal symptoms that will gradually subside. Also, breast implants sit high up on the chest wall immediately after surgery, but will settle into a more natural position over time.
During the follow-up appointments, the surgeon will monitor the patient’s progress, including checking on the absorbable stitches used during surgery, which should dissolve on their own within two to four weeks, and letting the patient know when it is safe to resume more vigorous activities, including exercise.
To schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to learn more about breast augmentation, please contact the Plastic Surgery Group by calling (973) 233-1933. We are proud to serve patients throughout New Jersey and New York from our locations in Montclair, Livingston and Manhattan.