Breast augmentation surgery is performed to enlarge or restore the size of breasts using implants. Being one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed, breast augmentation is a safe and effective solution to enhance, regain, and restore balance to a woman’s figure. Breast augmentation can be achieved using many different techniques to meet the needs of each individual patient.
Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation?
Candidates for breast augmentation surgery are those who are unhappy with their small breast size, have smaller or deflated-appearing breasts due to pregnancy or weight loss, have asymmetry of the breasts, or are self-conscious with their body due to their breasts. Ideal candidates are in good health and have realistic expectations of breast augmentation surgery.
It is important that patients understand all facets of breast augmentation surgery before making a decision. Augmentation is a long-term solution for achieving a desired figure, and will help you to look and feel better in clothing and swimwear. However, breast implants require monitoring and do not last forever. Implants commonly last for 10 years or longer before they need to be replaced. During a consultation with Dr. Hall, all of the pros and cons of this surgery will be discussed so that an educated and well-informed decision can be made.
Breast Augmentation – Patient 310
A woman in her late 20’s who had been thinking about breast augmentation since she was 18. She feels that she is tall at 5’8” and 147 lbs. and has full hips and wanted to have fuller breasts that were more proportional to her frame, but still natural in appearance. She is a 34 B cup bra before surgery and a full C after. She is shown before and again, 8 weeks after bilateral partial subpectoral breast augmentation with the placement of Sientra, 5 th generation silicone cohesive gel round smooth high profile implants placed in a partial subpectoral position through an inframammary incision. Her Inframammary fold was reinforced at the time of surgery by anchoring it to the rib periosteum with long lasting absorbable sutures.
Discussion: After careful sizing and measurements in the office she has a base width of 12.2cm on her left and 12.4cm on her right. Her nipple to Inframammary fold distance on stretch (to simulation the weight of the implant) is 8 cm on her right and 8.5 cm on her left. She liked a volume of 385 cc in her Bra. The Sientra 385 HSC implant has a base width of 12.3 cm and a projection of 4.9 cm. So the base width is just under the diameter on her left and just over on her right. In my experience it is possible to go just slightly wider than the base of the breast as shown here without giving an overly round “implant” look. The ideal IMF-Nipple distance for a 12 cm base implant is typically suggested as 8 cm so the base width of the implant is perhaps 2 mm wider than ideal given this distance on her right. To decrease the risk of the fold “’giving way” and “bottoming out” it was reinforced at the time of surgery.
At 8 weeks she already has a natural appearance which should appear even more natural over the next few months as the breasts gently stretch to accommodate the new implants. In the side views we will notice that early on she has mild fullness of the right breast upper pole which is expected now that we know the IMF to fold distance on stretch before surgery of 8 cm, and no upper pole fullness on the left which had the IMF to fold distance on stretch of 8.5 cm.
A mother of 4 in her early 50’s who is bothered by a deflated appearance of her breasts after pregnancy. She is 5’ ½” and 112 lbs and is shown before and again, 6 weeks after subglandular placement of Sientra Opus smooth round high profile 280 cc cohesive silicone gel implants placed through an inframammary incision.
Discussion: She has early breast ptosis but because of her petite size the implants were enough to fill up the breasts and correct the drooping appearance. She is on the borderline of requiring a breast lift and the implants were placed in a subglandular space so that they will drop with the breasts and avoid a “waterfall” appearance that would be likely to happen in her case with a subpectoral placement which would have the breasts “falling off” of the breast implant. 6 weeks is still early and we can expect the breasts to drop and settle more over the next few months.
A woman in her early 30’s who is petite at 5’5 and 112 lbs. She has a very narrow breast width at 10.6 cm and a nipple to inframammary fold distance on stretch of 7.2 cm. She wanted to be fuller but still natural in appearance. She also has a mild pectus excavatum (depression of the chest bone) and an accessory nipple on her right. She is shown before and again, just 6 weeks after bilateral partial subpectoral placement of smooth round high profile Sientra Opus implant through inframammary incisions. The base width of this implant is 10.5 cm. A slightly larger implant was tried at the time of surgery and appeared unnatural. The breasts will typically continue to settle and appear even more natural over the next 3-4 months.
A mother of 2 in her mid 30’s who is bothered by a deflated appearance of her breasts after pregnancy. She described herself as a 34 A cup and wanted to be a B or C cup if possible, but still natural in appearance. She is 5’ 3 ½ inches in height and 119 lbs. She is shown before and again, 6 weeks after bilateral partial subpectoral placement of 270 cc Ideal Structured Saline implant filled to 270 cc and placed through an inframammary incision.
Discussion: She liked the idea of not having to worry about a silent rupture and chose the ideal structured saline implants. Her chest diameter at the IM fold is 29 inches which would place her in a 32 inch bra. (3 inches is added to this distance to get the bra band size). Her nipple to inframammary fold distance on stretch is 7.2 cm on her right and 8 cm on her lift. Her breast diameter is 11.3 cm. The dimensions of the Ideal 270-305 implant at 270 is 10.7 cm with a projection of 4.3 cm. Because the implant is shaped to fit on a curved surface such as the chest wall I would typically add 3 mm to the width to be equivalent with a “standard” implant. So 11 cm base equivalent is smaller than her existing base width so her breast does not have an overly round “implant” look and the nipple to fold distance of 11.2 accommodates an implant base of 11-11.1 without giving too much superior pole convexity or unnatural fullness of the upper breast. Tattoos have been blurred for her privacy.
A mother of 2 in her early 40’s who is bothered by a deflated appearance of her breasts after pregnancy. She described herself as a 34 A cup before surgery and wished to be a full B-C cup but still natural in appearance. She has breast ptosis, with her nipples being lower than her breast fold. She is shown before and again, 18 months after an augmentation mastopexy. She had Mentor high profile 325 cc silicone gel micro-textured implants placed in a dual plane position through an inframammary incision and combined with a periareolar round block mastopexy using a Gortex suture to prevent spreading of the areola.
Discussion: when the breasts are “loose” after pregnancy, a smooth implant is more likely to shift to the side. Although aggressive textures such as the Allergan texture have a higher association with Breast Implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) it is much less common in the less aggressively textured implants such as the Mentor and Sientra devices, and many surgeons feel that texture still has a place in decreasing the risk of implant shifting in carefully selected cases such as this. At 18 months, her implants have remained soft and stable and have not shifted laterally or inferiorly. She has maintained volume in her upper breasts.
There are many different options when it comes to breast augmentation techniques, as well as implant choices. The different techniques available often have to do with differences in incision placement, and include:
The inframammary incision, which is located underneath the breast
The periareolar incision, which is located along the border of the areola
The axillary incision, which is located in the armpit
Other techniques also include the transabdominal breast augmentation (TABA), in which breast implants are inserted through an incision in the abdomen, and the transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA), in which implants are placed through an incision in the naval. Furthermore, patients have the option of having their implants placed on top of or underneath the pectoral muscle.
There are also many breast implant options available for each patient’s unique needs. The two most common types of breast implants used today are saline and silicone implants. Saline implants are filled with a saline solution, while silicone implants are filled with a silicone-gel. If a saline implant were to rupture, the breast would simply deflate and the solution would be absorbed into the body. If a silicone implant were to rupture the silicone is typically still contained within the layer of scar tissue that forms around the implant, as the body cannot absorb the silicone gel. Below is more information about breast implants:
At our office we also offer the IDEAL implant. The IDEAL implant structured breast implant is a new type of implant designed by a plastic surgeon. It combines the safety of a saline implant with the realistic look and natural feel of silicone gel implants. The IDEAL implant offers next-generation technology that offers you the benefits of each type of implant, so you can feel both beautiful and secure.
Learn more about the IDEAL implant in Dr. Hall’s video blog below:
How is breast augmentation performed?
During breast augmentation surgery using implants, Dr. Hall creates an incision, forms a pocket in the breast area, and then places the implant inside. The incisions are then closed in a manner that will reduce scarring and remain subtle. The number and placement of incisions will depend on which breast augmentation technique that you and Dr. Hall decide is best suited for your goals and unique anatomy. The type of implant used and whether the implant is placed underneath or on top of the muscle is also a decision that you will make with Dr. Hall during your consultation.
What should I expect during recovery?
After breast augmentation surgery, patients typically don’t need narcotics after 24 hours. They can typically return to office work after 5-7 days but should “rest the breasts” and avoid excessive activity for 6 weeks to allow adequate healing. Pain medication can be prescribed to help with a comfortable recovery. Patients are given a surgical bra to wear after surgery for support, and they should wear a comfortable bra throughout their recovery to ensure optimal results. Any sutures that are placed are typically self-absorbing and do not need to be removed. Dr. Hall will provide you with specific recovery instructions, which are imperative to follow for a quick and safe recovery. Learn more about proven methods to improve your recovery following a breast augmentation in Dr. Hall’s video blog, the Thoughtful Patient’s Guide!
How Long Will My Breast Augmentation Last?
With the proper preparation and aftercare, breast augmentation results are typically long-lasting. In the event that the breast implants become damaged, they usually need to be removed and replaced. For best results, scheduling a routine follow-up appointment with Dr. Hall is recommended to make sure the implants are healing properly. There are a few physical changes that can affect the integrity of breast augmentation results, which include:
Pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing
The natural aging process, and gradual breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin
Drastic changes in weight, like gaining or losing
Gravity and the weight of an implant/breast on the skin
Year after year, the breast augmentation is the number one plastic surgery procedure performed throughout the nation. Many women seek to add volume and create a new breast profile, while some women seek to balance out uneven breasts. Augmentation techniques can also be combined with other breast procedures. Whatever your reason for choosing a breast augmentation, expect excellent results from board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Hall.
If you are located in the Boston, MA area and are interested in learning more about breast augmentation, contact our office today. We would be happy to schedule a consultation for you, as well as answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
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