Breast augmentation plastic surgery is one of the most common procedures performed annually by members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Women may choose to under go breast enlargement surgery for various reasons. These personal reasons may center around breasts that are perceived to be under developed, or because of differences in the sizes of the breasts or from changes after pregnancy or breast feeding. Some women may be happy with their breasts but just want them made fuller. Often after weight loss, aging or childbirth a woman’s breast volume and shape may change. This too can lead to a woman to seek a breast augmentation. Breast implant surgery performed by cosmetic plastic surgeons is the most popular way to improve breast shape and size. Breast enhancement using breast implants can give a woman more proportional shape and may improve self esteem.
Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:
- you are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- clothes that fit well around your hips are often too large at the bustline
- you feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top
- your breasts have become smaller and lost their firmness after having children
- weight loss has changed the size and shape of your breasts
- one of your breasts is noticeably smaller than the other
During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast size and anything else related to the appearance of your breasts that you feel is important. This will help Dr. Barrera to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved. Additionally to minimize stress regarding the size, we will have you try various implant sizes under a special bra, so you can select the size you like. Breast augmentation is designed to increase the size of small or underdeveloped breasts. Breast surgery can also restore and enhance your breast volume if it has decreased as a result of pregnancy and breast feeding. In addition, breast implants can serve one or more of a number of purposes; breast cancer victims can use breast implants for reconstructive purposes after mastectomy, or women with asymmetrical breasts may use a single breast implant to balance the difference in size.
What Type of Breast Implants Can Be Used for Breast Augmentation?
The implant is placed in a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue, or over the muscle (right) or underneath the pectoral muscle (under the muscle) which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall. Dr. Barrera prefers to make the incision at the crease underneath the breast ( 4cm) where it generally hides completely and usually places the implant over the pectoralis muscle. Why over the muscle? Because normally the breast tissue is over the muscle, not underneath. Only if the patient is extremely skinny then Dr. Barrera does it under the muscle, a personal preference based on his professional experience. Additionally there is a lot less pain after surgery when done over the muscle plus as the patient contracts the muscle the shape of the breast is not altered. Conversely, when it is under the muscle each time one contracts the muscle the shape changes in an un-natural way in Dr. Barrera’s opinion. When surgery is completed, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings or a surgical bra. Our patients are able to go home almost as soon as we finish the surgery with minimal discomfort. The size and type of breast implant recommended for you will be determined by your goals for breast enhancement, your existing body frame, and mass, your existing breast tissue, and the preferences you and your plastic surgeon discuss. All breast implants include a solid silicone rubber outer shell, called a lumen. Breast implant options include:
- Saline breast implants: Filled with sterile salt water. Saline implants may be pre-filled to a predetermined size. Saline may also be filled at the time of surgery to allow for minor modifications in implant size.
- Silicone filled breast implants: Filled with soft, elastic gel. All silicone breast implants are pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement.
What Will the Day of Breast Implant Surgery Be Like?
Dr. Barrera performs all aesthetic surgery procedures including breast augmentation at his Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility (AAAASF) under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, without the need for general anesthesia (painless during the procedure and minimal pain afterwards). This provides added safety and faster recovery. Because normally the breast tissue is over the muscle, not underneath Dr. Barrera prefers on most patients to place the breast implants over the muscle. Only if the patient is extremely skinny then Dr. Barrera does it under the muscle, a personal preference based on his professional experience. Additionally there is a lot less pain after surgery when done over the muscle plus as the patient contracts the muscle the shape of the breast is not altered. Conversely, when it is under the muscle each time one contracts the muscle the shape changes in an un-natural way in Dr. Barrera’s opinion. When surgery is completed, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings or a surgical bra. Our patients are able to go home almost as soon as we finish the surgery with minimal discomfort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implants
- Will there be scarring from breast implant surgery? Anytime the layers of the skin are cut through, a scar forms. Thus there will be a scar along the incision that will not be able to be erased. Your surgeon will make it as thin and least noticeable as he/she can; however, the ultimate healing will be determined by your body’s healing potential.
- What are some typical short-term side-effects from breast implant surgery? Some soreness, pain, and swelling are to be expected. A collection of blood (hematoma) or bleeding may occur that may need another operation. Implant asymmetry, rippling, rupture, may also occur. Poor healing, poor scarring, alterations in sensation may also occur. Breast implant infection that may need antibiotics or even removal may occur, very rare.
- How long will my implants last? Implants will not last forever and will likely need to be replaced with a subsequent operation. The length of time varies in each patient. However, if your breast implants do not give you problems specially if they are saline filled , you may leave them permanently. Silicone implants I feel it is wise to exchange for a new pair after 10-15 years, as the wall of the implant weakens with time. For further information or questions do not hesitate to contact Dr. Barrera and his staff.