Breast augmentation, or breast enlargement, is a surgical procedure to enhance the shape and size of a woman’s breasts. This procedure is usually performed to enlarge smaller breasts or breasts that have decreased in size due to pregnancy, weight loss, or age.
Breast augmentation can also be performed in cases where one breast is hypoplastic or underdeveloped, or to correct a breast deformity. Breast Augmentation usually costs between $5900-$6000.
Vectra 3D Imaging Enhance Breast Augmentation
One thing that holds many women back from having breast augmentation is that they find it difficult to picture themselves after the procedure. Will my breasts suit my shape? Will they look natural? Will they end up looking too big or too small?
With the region’s only Vectra 3D imaging, you and your board-certified plastic surgeon have the ability to compare different shapes and sizes of breast implants on computerized images of your body, allowing you to visualize your results before your procedure! It’s a unique chance to personalize your breast augmentation with absolute confidence.
Scroll down to read our most commonly asked questions:
How is breast augmentation done?
Breast augmentations are usually done through one of three popular areola complex areas: in the breast crease below the breast, around the lower side of the nipple where the skin color changes, or in the armpit. Your plastic surgeon will help you determine which will best suit you before your surgery.
Both saline implants and silicone gel implants can be placed below the breast tissue and over the muscle. Your plastic surgeon will create a pocket for each type of implant, place the implants, stitch the incision closed, and place dressings or bandages over the area along with a surgical bra.
Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure and you will be able to return home the same day. Your plastic surgery team will provide you with recovery instructions and follow-up appointments to ensure your recovery is quick and without complication.
Women who are looking for improvement in their physical form and appearance are good candidates for the breast augmentation procedure. Before deciding, carefully consider your expectations and discuss them with your plastic surgeon.
Our practice offers you the choice of either saline or silicone gel breast implants. Silicone breast implants look and feel more natural than saline breast implants and are less likely to have visible ripples. Silicone breast implants come pre-filled in three profiles: low, moderate, and high. They can be teardrop-shaped or round and can have a textured or smooth surface.
What should I expect when having breast augmentation?
You will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks wearing the bra 24/7 for two weeks. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with detailed recovery instructions including when to resume normal activity, how to care for your breasts following your augmentation, and when to follow up.
Where will the incision be placed during a breast augmentation?
Whether you choose saline implants or silicone gel implants, the incision can be in any of three locations: in the breast crease below the breast, around the lower side of the nipple areola complex where the skin changes color, and in the armpit.
Incisions are about an inch long for saline implants, and a little longer for silicone implants, as these always come pre-filled, at the size you want. In all three locations, the resulting scar will be barely visible.
Does breast augmentation surgery involve a hospitalization?
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure; patients return home the same day with a postoperative bra. You will likely feel tired and sore for a few days following the surgery. Post-operative medication will be prescribed to help control the discomfort, which will decrease as the days proceed.
Your physician will see you the day after surgery to ensure everything is healing well. You will return within 7-10 days to have your progress checked. You may resume normal activities generally within one week and strenuous activity within 4-6 weeks as allowed.
What is the difference between saline and silicone implants? Do I have a choice?
Saline breast implants are filled with a salt water solution that matches the saline fluids in the body. This means that if an implant were ever to rupture, which is extremely rare, that saline solution would be easily absorbed by the body.
The FDA has approved silicone implants for all women aged 22 and over, as of November 17, 2006. These new silicone implants contain a gel which closely resembles breast tissue in its consistency. They look and feel very natural.
If a silicone implant were ever to rupture, which again will be very rare, the gel would continue to hold its shape, and would not leak out as the older silicone gel sometimes did, back in the 1970s and 1980s. You can choose which type of implant you’d prefer to have, as these silicone gel implants are now available for cosmetic enhancement, instead of being restricted only to breast reconstruction.
Do the cosmetic surgeons place the implant above or under the muscle?
Each situation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Implants are generally placed under the muscle when the breast tissue is inadequate to provide good coverage over the implant. However, under the muscle is not ideal when there is sufficient breast tissue and/or more sagging of the breast. When implants are placed under the muscle, the recovery time is longer, since the muscle must be stretched during the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will review the options regarding implant placement and involve you in the decision.
Will my breast implants have to be replaced at some point in the future?
There is no set life expectancy for either saline or silicone implants. Some women do have their breast implants replaced because as we age, the body changes and some implant adjustment might be necessary.
The silicone gel implants which have now been approved for cosmetic use by the FDA have slightly thicker shells than the older ones used before 1992.
They also contain an improved gel which does not disintegrate or leak should the implant ever rupture. If you have any problems with your implants, you should certainly let your plastic surgeon know immediately, so the problem can be diagnosed and addressed right away.
Can I breastfeed if I have breast implants?
Implants usually have no effect on the ability to breastfeed. If a woman had the ability before implant surgery, then she will likely retain that ability following surgery. Likewise, if a woman was not able to breastfeed prior to surgery for breast augmentation with implants surgery will not improve her chances.
Will I lose any sensation in my nipples after breast augmentation?
Some changes in sensation is not unusual. Some patients have increased sensitivity, others decreased, and still others no change at all. For those who do experience a change, normal sensation may return after several months. Occasionally, partial or permanent loss of nipple sensation does occur.
What results can I expect from the breast augmentation surgery?
The best candidates for breast enlargement surgery are women who are looking for improvement in the size and shape of their breasts. Before you decide on breast enlargement surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your plastic surgeon. An additional procedure that would enhance the result is a mastopexy (breast lift), if the breasts are saggy in addition to being small.
Will I be at greater risk for breast cancer if I get breast implants?
No, there is no evidence that either saline or silicone implants increase the risk of breast cancer. While the silicone gel implants were restricted by the FDA, between 1992 and November, 2006, a great many safety studies were conducted to determine whether silicone implants cause any diseases or medical conditions. No study established any causative connection at all between silicone implants and any disease, although there is some evidence to show that women with silicone implants have a slightly higher chance of contracting a rare type of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) than women without implants.
Are breast self-exams different for women who have implants?
Women who have breast implants should still perform breast self-exams monthly on the implanted breast. To do this effectively, ask your plastic surgeon to help you distinguish the implant from your breast tissue.
The following is a list of self-exam steps, as recommended by the American Cancer Society, along with a tip for women who have implants.
- Lie down with a pillow under your right shoulder and place your right arm behind your head.
- Use the finger pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast.
- Press firmly enough to know how your breast feels. A firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast is normal. If you’re not sure how hard to press, talk with your doctor or nurse.
- Move the breast in a circular, up and down in line, or wedge pattern. Be sure to do it the same way every time, check the entire breast area and remember how your breast feels from month to month.
- Repeat the exam on your left breast, using the finger pads of the right hand. (Move the pillow to under your left shoulder.)
- If you find any changes, see your doctor right away.
- Repeat the examination of both breasts while standing, with your one arm behind your head. The upright position makes it easier to check the upper and outer part of the breasts (toward your armpit). This is where about half of cancerous lumps are found. You may want to do the standing part of the exam while you are in the shower. Some breast changes can be felt more easily when your skin is wet and soapy.
How are mammograms done for women with implants?
Women with implants generally have additional images taken during a mammogram. Also, implants may obscure underlying breast tissue and/or compress overlying tissue, thus making the interpretation of the image more complicated. It is important to have your mammogram done at an accredited mammography center. An imaging center that specializes in mammograms will likely have more experience screening women with implants. To find one near you, call the National Cancer Institute at (800) 422.6237.
If you have implants, you should always advise your mammography technician of their presence. Prior to your implant surgery, if over the age of 40, you will have to have mammograms done to establish a baseline. You cannot have another mammogram for at least six months after surgery.
You may also be comforted to know that the chance of an implant rupturing during a mammogram is small. The cause is most likely a faulty implant, not the mammogram itself, say experts.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram done every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. Mammograms for older women (over 65) should be based upon the woman’s health history and whether she has other serious illnesses. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a regular health exam by a health professional, preferably every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
We also recommend the use of the VitaMedica Surgery Program, a comprehensive pre- and post-surgery nutritional supplement system designed specifically for patients undergoing surgical procedures.
To learn more about the best breast augmentation option for you, call or email our team to schedule your cosmetic consultation.
Possible Risks, Side Effects, and Complications of Breast Augmentation
Since breast augmentation is an invasive procedure, there are some risks, including potential infections, breast pain, and breast and nipple sensation changes. Patients should also be aware of more severe complications that could occur after a breast augmentation operation.
Scar tissue typically forms in body areas which have undergone surgery, such as breast augmentation. Scar tissue that develops in the chest and breasts could lead to a distortion of the breasts, making follow-up surgeries to remove or replace implants necessary and more difficult.
Another risk to assess is the possibility of a silicone breast implant leaking or rupturing into nearby muscles, which requires additional surgical repairs. For some women, breast implants may shift in position on the chest over time, distorting the breast implants and requiring more surgery. Though patients should thoroughly discuss the risks of breast augmentation with our plastic surgeons, many women feel the physical and emotional enhancements are worth it.
Do Breast Implants Prevent Breasts from Sagging?
Though breast augmentation with implants does restore volume, it does not totally reduce breast sagging unless combined with a breast lift operation. If a woman is deeply concerned by her degree of breast sagging or “ptosis,” a combined procedure may be the best option.
One factor to consider when getting breast implants is the additional strain on the body. If the patient decides to remove her implants later, the breasts may sag more after removal. Sagging is worse due to the skin and tissues stretching to accommodate the breast implants.
Combining Breast Augmentation with Other Surgeries
For women with severe cases of breast sagging, a breast augmentation may not be the best procedure. This is because the surgery intends to increase breast size, add volume, and enhance contours but does not totally reduce excessive breast sagging due to the stretched excess skin.
Sagging is best approached by combining breast augmentation with a breast lift operation to create a fuller breast, more youthful, and lifted look. If a patient chooses to combine procedures, our board-certified plastic surgeons could perform both during one operation to minimize surgical risks and recovery times.
Reasons to Consider Breast Augmentation
Many women seek out breast augmentation surgery for various reasons that range from cosmetic to reconstructive. One common motivator for choosing this procedure is to enhance the breasts’ appearance when a woman feels her natural breasts are too small, asymmetrical, or due to a cancer diagnosis, the need for reconstruct. The surgery can help improve a patient’s self-esteem and body image.
For some women, breast augmentation is the best choice to restore volume and contours after significant breast size changes. Reasons for changes in breast size and tissue volume loss include pregnancy and dramatic weight loss. Women who previously had a mastectomy to treat breast cancer may also turn to breast augmentation to restore what was lost.
Contact Our Comprehensive Plastic Surgery Practice in Mishawaka to Discuss Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation could improve body proportions when smaller breasts or a mastectomy make a woman’s figure appear unbalanced. Implants could create a balanced, curvier figure for women and help improve overall body confidence.
If you are considering breast augmentation in Mishawaka, contact The Centre, P.C. Our Indiana state-licensed and AAAHC certified ambulatory surgery center is unmatched in the quality of care we provide to our patients in Mishawaka, Elkhart, South Bend, and throughout Indiana and the surrounding states.