Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures producing a very high degree of patient satisfaction.
Most often the goal is larger and fuller breasts, but augmentation is also done to balance breasts that aren’t quite the same size or shape or in patients who have congenital breast deformity.
Implants are typically inserted through incisions made in the fold below the breast. The incisions are usually between 3 to 4 cm long—just enough to create a pocket for inserting the breast implant. The implant is placed either just behind the breast tissue or under the pectoral (chest) muscle. Only the highest quality smooth breast implants are used. Go to Types of Breast Implants to learn about the different kinds of implants that are available. Implant surgery is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Fat transfer is an increasingly popular option for those seeking a modest increase in breast size. Fat cells obtained by liposuction from the patient’s own body (usually from the belly or thighs) are “micro-grafted” into the breasts using special cannulas. Scarring is minimal since the fat is harvested and transferred through tiny incisions. Fat transfer typically increases breasts by one-half to one cup size per session. Multiple sessions of fat grafting may be performed to obtain the desired enhancement. Since the enlargement is formed from your own fat cells, changes in your body habitus can affect the size of your breasts. Your mammogram can change following this procedure, so this should be disclosed to your radiologist at the time of your mammogram. Fat grafting could be the right choice for someone seeking a modest increase in breast volume who would also benefit from a little liposuction.
Breast Augmentation Recovery and Results
The results of breast augmentation surgery are visible right away, and most patients can return to work or their regular routines after taking it easy for a few days or a week. Pain medication may be prescribed for the initial discomfort during breast augmentation recovery. Some soreness and swelling can be expected to continue for a few weeks. The implants will typically ride high for several months until the soft tissues and muscle stretch and the implants drop into their natural pocket. You should avoid any heavy lifting or aerobic-type exercise for several weeks.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Bras
After surgery, you will be placed in a soft bra that buttons in the front for ease of use. During the recovery period you may use any soft bra that fits comfortably. Do not use an underwire bra for 4-6 weeks or until your incisions are completely healed. Sizing for a new bra should be delayed until the swelling has resolved and the implants have dropped into their natural position.
Types of Breast Implants
One important decision is which kind of implant to use for breast augmentation. There are two main types: silicone and saline. Both start with a silicone shell, but one is filled with silicone and the other is filled with salt water. They come in many different sizes and shapes to accommodate different anatomies. Another option may be fat transfer—not a single implant but multiple injections. Dr. Jensen will help you determine what is likely to work best for your body and your personal goals. Keep in mind that breast implants are not lifetime devices, and surgery may be needed to replace them at some point.