The breasts can be an important part of a woman’s body image. Consequently, if a woman views her breasts as disproportionate with the rest of her body, if she feels her breasts lack symmetry, or if she simply feels her breasts are too small, it can impact her self-image.
The decision to have breast augmentation is a big one, and it can’t be made at the behest of a partner. Beyond that initial decision, there is a host of other decisions such as implant type and incision location. Dr. Lipton will give you all the information you need to help you make each of these decisions.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation involves using breast implants to increase the size of your breasts. This procedure can also restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy, achieve a more rounded breast shape or improve natural breast size asymmetry.
Breast Augmentation Procedure
Dr. Lipton usually performs augmentation with the patient under general anesthesia. After the incision is made, the next step is to create a pocket for the implant. If you have opted for saline implants, the empty shell is placed in the breast pocket and is then filled. Silicone implants are put into the pocket fully filled. The size of your silicone implants can limit your incision options. Once both implants are placed, Dr. Lipton checks for symmetry and balance. Then the incisions are closed.
Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants
You’ll decide if you want silicone or saline implants. Both have their pluses and minuses. Today’s silicone gel is much more cohesive than what was used in the 80s and 90s — the consistency is now more like Jell-O. The general consensus is that silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue than saline implants do.
Saline implants are made of a silicone outer shell that is filled with sterile saline solution. Saline implants require a smaller incision because they are filled once in place. This allows more flexibility in size, as it can be tailored after Dr. Lipton places them in the breast pocket.
What if My Breast Implant Ruptures?
If a silicone implant ruptures, silicone may leak into the breast pocket, but it tends to stay either in or next to the implant. If a saline implant ruptures, the body simply absorbs the water. In either case, however, revision surgery will be necessary: to remove the shell and any leaked silicone gel with silicone implants, to simply remove the ruptured shell with saline implants, and to replace the implants.
Types of Breast Implant Incisions
Dr. Lipton can place your implants through three incision locations:
- Periareolar – around the areola
- Inframammary – along with the crease on the bottom of the breast
- Transaxillary – through the armpit
Transaxillary incisions leave no scarring on the breasts. Periareolar incisions can’t handle larger silicone implant sizes. Inframammary incisions create the largest scar.
Breast Augmentation Implant Placement
Many patients don’t realize this is the decision to make. Dr. Lipton can place your implants either beneath the pectoral muscle of the chest or on top of this muscle. Implants placed beneath the muscle tend to look more natural. They also tend to have a lower incidence of capsular contracture (where a shell of scar tissue forms around the implant and tightens over time). Your recovery is somewhat easier when implants are placed atop the chest muscle. However, if there isn’t adequate breast tissue, sometimes this placement can lead to rippling with saline implants.
Choosing The Right Breast Implant Size
You’ll decide on the size of your implants. This is the amount of material placed in the implants, measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s). There is more flexibility with saline implants because they are filled once in place. Silicone implants come in myriad sizes but are filled and sealed at the factory. Beyond size, you’ll decide on projection and on the shape of the implant, either round or teardrop. Projection is also called profile, and this denotes how much the implants project and how much of the material is higher on the chest. Higher profile implants have smaller bases.
Can Breast augmentation be combined with a breast lift?
If the patient has a good deal of sagging breast skin, either from pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, or from gaining and losing a good deal of weight,
Dr. Lipton may recommend performing a breast lift with augmentation. This enables Dr. Lipton to remove much of the excess skin and sagging prior to placing the implants. Augmentation alone doesn’t solve breast sagging.
Breast augmentation Recovery
Recovery from augmentation surgery is not as difficult as you might assume. For the first few days, you will have some discomfort, but it doesn’t usually require serious pain medication. Your chest will likely feel tight, but this is perfectly normal as the tissue needs to stretch and the implants need to settle into place. When you first look at your new breasts, they may appear too high on the chest. But this is also normal, as settling will bring the implants down somewhat. Most patients can return to work in just four or five days. You can begin non-impact activity in a week or so, but impact exercise needs to wait for at least one month. Specific upper body exercises can resume in six weeks.
How long will my implants last?
It’s important for patients to understand that breast augmentation surgery is not a one-and-done thing. Implants do have a lifespan, although that lifespan is increasing. Generally, it is assumed that implants will last around ten years, although they can last longer. When an implant reaches its lifespan it will rupture, and you’ll need to have replacement surgery. Most people will have at least two surgeries over the course of their lives. Replacement surgery is somewhat easier, however, because the incisions can be made through the original incisions.
Breast augmentation Side Effects and Risks
Breast augmentation is major surgery, and it has the risks involved with any surgery: anesthesia reaction, bleeding, infection, and such. For augmentation, there are some specific risks. These include:
- Loss of nipple or breast sensation
- Breast implant leakage or rupture (if the implant is somehow nicked during placement)
- Improper positioning
The main enduring risk or problem with implants is capsular contracture. This is the body’s reaction to the implants, which is to build scar tissue around them. If the scar tissue becomes too aggressive, it may deform the implants and cause them to feel overly firm or hard. If this happens, they will need to be replaced and the excess scar tissue removed.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on the best breast augmentation procedure for you, contact our office today at 972.420.0023 to schedule a consultation. Our practice serves Lewisville and surrounding areas in Texas.