Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure that can boost a patient’s self-confidence. There are many different types of breast implants and each surgery can be personalized based on individual needs and concerns. Here is a guide to help determine which is best for you.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation (also known as a “boob job” or augmentation mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure that uses implants or a fat transfer to change the size of the breasts. When fat is transferred to improve the appearance of breasts, the procedure is known as a fat transfer breast augmentation.
What Breast Augmentation Can Do
Patients seeking breast augmentation procedures should be aware of what the procedure can offer. The surgical procedure can increase fullness and restore volume. Breast augmentation can also enhance the shape, balance, and symmetry of breasts.
The procedure can restore breast volume that has been lost as a result of weight reduction or pregnancy. It may also help treat patients who require breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or injury. This procedure can prove beneficial in increasing the patient’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
What Breast Augmentation Cannot Do
Breast augmentation procedures do not help with sagging breasts. Patients who are looking for a solution to droopy breasts should consider a breast lift procedure, either separately from or in addition to a breast augmentation procedure. The plastic surgeon will help the patient determine what is best during a consultation.
What Are the Different Types of Breast Implants?
There are many different types of breast implants available depending on the patient’s needs and concerns. The surgeon will assist the patient in choosing the right implant and procedure for them.
Here is a list of the three different types of breast implants:
- Saline – These implants are typically filled with sterile salt water. These FDA-approved implants provide a uniform shape and are firm to the touch. If the implants pop or leak, the implant collapses and the saline solution is naturally expelled by the body.
- Structured Saline Implants – Slightly different from saline implants, they contain an inner structure that allows the implants to feel more natural.
- Silicone – These FDA-approved implants are filled with silicone gel, allowing the implants to feel more natural. If this implant leaks, it will not collapse. However, the gel may either remain in the implant or may escape into the breast implant pocket. Patients who choose this option may need to visit their plastic surgeon regularly to ensure that their implants are functioning properly.
- Gummy bear breast implant – These are more stable than traditional silicone implants and maintain their shape if the implant shell breaks. The silicone gel consistency is thicker and firmer, and these implants are more tapered towards the top than traditional silicone implants. If these implants rotate, it will result in an odd shape that will require a procedure to correct.
- Round breast implants – These implants tend to make breasts look more round and appear fuller. They are the same shape all over so there is no concern that they will rotate and create an odd shape.
- Smooth breast implants – These are the softest breast implants. They have more natural movement because they can move with the breast implant pocket. However, these implants may cause visible rippling underneath the skin.
- Textured breast implants – These implants allow tissue ingrowth and stay where they are placed, like velcro. As a result, they are less likely to move around and rotate, and they don’t drop as much over time, which could be a good or bad thing.
- Fat – This procedure uses liposuction to take fat from other areas of the body and inject it into the breasts. This treatment is best for patients who are looking for natural results and only want a small increase in their breast size.
The variety of breast implant choices offers patients ample opportunity to find the best choice for them that targets their needs and concerns. Patients should do research prior to the consultation to ensure that they know the pros and cons of each type of breast implant.
What Are the Different Types of Incisions?
Plastic surgeons aim to reduce visible scars to achieve natural-looking results. Small incisions are typically placed beneath the breast in the natural skin fold or along the edge of the areola.
The four most common types of incisions are:
- Inframammary augmentation – incision underneath the breast
- Periareolar augmentation – incision on the lower half of the areola
- Axillary augmentation – incision through the armpit
- Umbilical augmentation – incision through the belly button (very rarely performed, if at all anymore)
The doctor will discuss the different types of the incision as well as the incision area to help the patient determine the best location for them. Both the type of implant and the type of incision will be addressed to find the option that best fits the patient’s concerns.
Ideal Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
The ideal candidate for breast augmentation is someone who is looking to complete the procedure for themselves, rather than for anyone else. The candidate is someone with realistic expectations and fully-developed breasts. They should be physically healthy, and not pregnant or breastfeeding.
The patient may have asymmetrical breasts, be bothered by the appearance of small breasts, be unhappy with an elongated shape or the top half of the breast seeming “empty,” or be dissatisfied with the volume and shape of breasts that results from pregnancy, weight loss, or aging.
There are many contributing factors that may cause a patient to decide to undergo breast augmentation surgery. The patient should discuss these in detail with the plastic surgeon to ensure that they will be happy with the results.
Pros and Cons of Breast Augmentation
- Increase in self-esteem/self-confidence
- Long-lasting, but not permanent
- A customized surgical treatment plan
- Fuller, bigger breasts
- Symmetrical breasts
- Requires some downtime
- Risk of complications
- Risk of choosing the wrong type of implant
- Complicated mammograms
Is the Procedure Safe?
Breast augmentation surgery is considered safe. Research from the Institute of Medicine has found no link between breast implants and disease. Patients who wish to undergo breast augmentation procedures should get regular examinations to ensure that their breast implants remain in good condition.
Risks and side effects
Risks and side effects of breast augmentation surgery:
- Implant leak or rupture
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue forming and hardening around the implant)
- Faulty positioning of the implant
All surgical procedures have risks and side effects. It is important to discuss concerns with the surgeon to ensure that the best procedure plan is in place for you.
What to Expect Before the Procedure
Prior to the procedure, the patient sets up a consultation with the surgeon to discuss options and create a personalized treatment plan. The patient should be ready to discuss their reasons for wanting the procedure and their medical conditions and history. The patient should inform the doctor if there is a family history of breast cancer.
The plastic surgeon will examine the patient’s health and take photographs so they are able to come up with the best treatment plan for the patient. It is important for patients to be honest with the surgeon and make them aware of any questions or concerns.
What to Expect During the Procedure
A breast augmentation procedure typically lasts two to three hours. The doctor follows the individual patient treatment plan that is approved prior to the procedure. The patient is administered anesthesia for this surgical procedure.
After the anesthetic takes effect, the doctor makes the incision. Incisions vary based on the type of breast implant, desired size, and individual anatomy. The doctor discusses this with the patient prior to the procedure.
Once the incision is made, the doctor inserts and places the breast implant into a pocket. This pocket is either underneath the pectoral muscle or over the pectoral muscle. Lastly, the doctor closes the incision and prepares the patient for post-operation recovery.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The results of breast augmentation surgery are immediate. During recovery, the breasts are wrapped in an elastic bandage and gauze to minimize swelling. Patients are generally observed and released one hour after the procedure.
The doctor provides their patient with a postoperative recovery plan and schedules a follow-up appointment. Medications that the doctor prescribes to aid recovery may include pain pills and antibiotics. Patients should follow the surgeon’s recovery plan to reduce the chances of side effects. Recovery generally takes around one week but may take longer.
Breast Augmentation: Before and After
See our gallery of before and after Breast Augmentation pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Surgery Cost?
Augmentation mammoplasty procedures vary in cost. The cost is dependent on location, doctor, and type of implant that is used. The average cost ranges from $3,800 to $15,000.
Is Breast Augmentation Covered by Insurance?
Cosmetic procedures (e.g. breast augmentation) are not typically covered by insurance. Since the procedure can be quite costly, many doctors offer payment plans to keep it more affordable for patients. Consult with your doctor to ensure that you can afford the procedure.
Why Get a Breast Augmentation in Beverly Hills?
Breast augmentation procedures are offered worldwide. However, Beverly Hills is home to some of the best treatment centers and surgeons in the world. Some patients may want to consider looking into Beverly Hills surgeons.
Who Is the Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon?
There are many surgeons who are known for breast augmentation surgeries. When looking for a surgeon, it is important to make sure they have been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Nazarian of Nazarian Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills has years of extensive training and experience. Her goal is to provide women with the results they want while achieving a natural, attractive look at the same time. Nazarian’s experience ensures that she creates optimized treatment plans, as the surgery requires skill and a deep understanding of anatomy.
Does Breast Augmentation Help Lift the Breast?
Breast augmentation procedures increase breast size, volume, and symmetry. Breast augmentation lifts the breast because of the implant used. Patients looking to only lift their breasts, however, should inquire about breast lifts. A breast lift procedure lifts the breast tissue and areola to correct sagging breasts.
How Big Can You Go with Breast Augmentation?
The size of breast implants differs from person to person. If you want large breasts, you may need more than one procedure. How easy it is to place large implants is dependent on how much skin is around the breast area; it is difficult to place extremely large implants on patients with tight skin or little or no breast tissue. Patients who are young may have difficulty with large implants, as well. It is important to not stretch the muscle and skin too tightly. Multiple procedures ensure that patients do not overstretch the skin in the breast area.
Are Scars Noticeable?
All surgeons attempt to create small incisions and hide scars from view. However, it is possible for scarring to be visible, depending on the type of procedure and length of the incision. All scars fade with time.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Breast implants are long-lasting but not permanent. Although they have the potential to last a lifetime, it is recommended for patients to switch them out to ensure that they do not leak or rupture.
Can You Breastfeed with Breast Implants?
Breastfeeding is not affected by breast implants. There is no danger of material from the breast implants being passed into breast milk. It is safe to breastfeed your child if you have breast implants.
Breast augmentation surgery is an invasive cosmetic procedure. It is important that patients are sure of their decision before undergoing surgery. Patients should be sure to contact their surgeon and go over all of their concerns and needs during a consultation. Together, the doctor and the patient create the best-individualized plan to address the patient’s needs. View this post on Instagram