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 Revision/Ideal Implants – Patient 292
A woman in her mid 20’s with a tuberous breast deformity. She is bothered by the shape and also the size of her breasts. She wanted to be fuller but still natural in appearance. With a Tuberous breast, the base of the breast is relatively constricted and narrow and needs to be expanded. The breast is overly “pointy” and needs to have the shape flattened a little. A periareolar round block gortex suture flattens a tuberous breast and improves the shape. She is 5’5’ and 132 lbs but the base width of her breast is just 10.7 cm on her right and 10.5 cm on her left. The inferior areola to the breast fold distance is just 5 cm. So an implant needs to be carefully chosen that will widen the base of the breast but not be too large for the new nipple to breast fold distance which with reduction of the areolar with a gortex suture would be 7 to 7.2 cm. This would suggest based on the geometry that an implant with a base width of 11-11.2 cm is the widest that can be used without needing to lower her breast fold. Lowering the fold increases the risk of “bottoming out” and also of a “double bubble”.
She elected for the Ideal structured saline implant and so the 300 cc implant was selected. This has a base width of 11.1 cm so it is just a little wider than the base of her existing breast which helps to widen the base of the breast, but is not too large for her new nipple to fold distance after her periareolar round block suture is placed. The implant was placed in a subglandular plane.
The 300 cc implant has an empty implant volume of 37 cc due to the internal baffles, and the back/inner lumen is designed to be filled to 188 cc. The front lumen can be filled to 75 cc to give a moderate profile and total volume of 300 or to 115 cc to give a high profile and a total volume of 340 cc.. In her case a moderate profile has a better effect and the implant was filled to 300 cc total volume. She is shown before and again, just 3 months after surgery.
The scars around the areola will typically continue to fade and improve over the first 2 years after surgery. She is already thrilled with her new shape and size. It would have been difficult to use a larger implant in her case and still maintain a natural appearance because of the tissue dimensions of her breast.
A mother of 2 in her late 40’s who is bothered by a deflated appearance of her breasts after pregnancy. She describes herself as a 34 B cup and would like to be a C to CC cup. She is 5’2” and 132 lbs and is shown before and again 2 ½ years after bilateral partial sub-pectoral placement of 350 cc smooth round moderate profile plus cohesive silicone gel implant, placed in a dual plane position through an inframammary incision.
Discussion. She has a drooping appearance of the breasts but her nipple is still located above the breast fold. When part of the breast falls below the fold in this way it is called “pseudo-ptosis”. Pseudo means “false” and ptosis is a word for drooping so “false drooping” because the breasts look droopy but the nipple is still located above the breast fold. A dual plane approach releases the lower edge of the pectoralis muscle to allow it to ride up, so that the implant sits under the breast in the lower breast but under the muscle in the upper breast. This gives some of the benefits of being below the muscle (easier to do a mammogram, less capsular contracture, more padding over the implant) but also allows the implant to settle more with the breast which is an advantage of the sub-glandular approach (above the muscle). There is then less of a “waterfall” effect with the breast dropping off of the implant.
A woman in her later 30’s who wishes to have fuller breasts. She has not had children or significant weight loss but does work out 2 hours a day at the gym and finds that her breasts have deflated in appearance. She is 5’6” and 133 lbs and describes herself as a 34 A to small B cup. Based on her tissue dimensions she was sized in the office and felt that a 400 cc implant was too large but liked the 350-375 cc size in clothing, using the Mentor sizing system.
After discussions she elected for a Mentor 375 cc high profile micro-textured implant placed through an inframammary incision in a partial sub-pectoral position. She is shown before and again, 5 months after surgery. She is thrilled with the fuller but still natural appearance of her breasts after surgery.
Discussion: A high profile was chosen to try and add some fullness to the deflated upper breast. Breast implants tend to shift to the side and to drop with time. This is more of a problem in “looser” breasts after weight loss or pregnancy. Texture can decrease the risk of this shifting. But texture can also increase the risk of Breast-implant associated ALCL, a kind of lymphoma that can start in a late fluid collection (seroma) around an implant and is felt to be related to Biofilm around an implant. Although rare, it has only been reported after the use of textured implants. It is more common in aggressively textured implants. When we chose to use texture I prefer the micro-textured implants such as the Mentor, which gives us the benefits without as many risks. In our patient’s case, after discussing the tradeoffs, she felt that the greater stability of the implant was worth the small increased risk of BIA-ALCL that is seen with texture.
A woman in her mid 40’s who has lost 70 lb with diet and exercise and would like her breast to be fuller. She described herself as a 34B cup and wanted to be a C to full C cup. She was fearful of silicone and silent rupture and wanted saline implants. She is 5’6” and 134 lbs. Sizing was performed in the office based on her tissue dimensions and using the Mentor sizing shell system. She liked an implant size around 400 in clothing and felt that 450 was too big.
She is shown before and again, 9 months after bilateral partial subpectoral (below the muscle) placement of Ideal Structured Saline 370-415 cc implant filled to 415 ( the equivalent of a high profile implant) placed through an inframammary incision ( at the breast fold). She is thrilled by the fuller but still natural appearance of her breasts.
Tattoos have been blurred for her privacy. The photos are otherwise untouched.
A woman in her early 20’s who wants fuller breasts but still natural in appearance. She is concerned about silent rupture and has elected for the Ideal structured saline implants.
She is petite at 5’3” and 109 lbs and wore a 32 A to B cup before surgery. She is shown before and again, 4 ½ months after bilateral partial sub-pectoral breast augmentation with the placement of the 300cc Ideal structure Saline implant filled to the 300cc total volume. The empty implant is 37 cc, and the back/inner lumen is filled to 188 cc and the front/outer lumen is filled to 75 cc to give the total volume of 300 cc.
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.
“I saw 3 surgeons before meeting with Dr. Hall and by far
he and his staff was the most compassionate, thorough,
professional and helpful. Can’t say how pleased and
comfortable he and his staff made me feel.”