What Is Involved in a Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation can enlarge the breasts, balance a difference in breast size, and improve body proportions. Incisions are designed to hide scars in the breast crease, around the nipple, or in the armpit. The tissue is lifted, creating a pocket for each implant. Breast implants are inserted over or under the pectoral muscle. Placement partially under the muscle is also an option. Your breasts will appear larger and fuller, yet natural in tone and contour.
Reasons for a Breast Augmentation
While this is not a comprehensive list, we have laid out some of the most common reasons we have women coming to us seeking a breast augmentation procedure.
- Increasing the size of your breasts
- Balancing asymmetry between your breasts
- Filling out your breasts after losing weight
- Improving your breasts’ overall shape
- Reconstructive breast surgery after breast cancer
- As a part of a Mommy Makeover to help improve your breasts after a pregnancy
Risks Associated with Breast Augmentation
Like all surgical procedures, breast implants carry a risk of complications. Possible adverse events include but are not limited to hematoma, seroma, changes in nipple sensation, capsular contracture, delayed healing, scarring, implant rupture, or unsatisfactory cosmetic outcome. During your consultation, Dr. Aboolian can explain these events and their likelihood of occurring in greater detail.
What You Can Expect From Your Consultation
The most important aspect of this procedure is that you partner with a qualified surgeon that has experience with thousands of breast augmentations so that you know what to expect during and after your breast augmentation procedure. Dr. Aboolian is a distinguished plastic surgeon, experienced in a variety of cosmetic procedures including breast lifts & breast augmentation.
During the evaluation of patients, Dr. Aboolian will discuss the following with you:
- The type of breast implants that are best for your needs
- The breast implant placement
- The optimal implant size
- The best location for the incision
There are advantages and disadvantages to each choice, which will all be discussed at length so that you feel comfortable. He can also answer your questions about everyday lifestyle choices after your surgery, including how to sleep after breast augmentation, when you are able to go swimming, and even when you can wear a bra again.
Breast Augmentation Incision Location Options
The location of the incision may be placed at four different sites:
- Around the nipple/areola complex
- The breast crease – the fold created by the bottom portion of the breast where it meets the chest wall
- The underarm area
- In the belly button
What Type of Incision Does Dr. Aboolian Typically Use?
Dr. Aboolian has used all four of the incision sites. He prefers an incision of approximately 3 cm, placed at the edge of the lower half of the areola. The incision becomes almost invisible in approximately 4 – 8 months.
There is almost always no loss of sensation to the nipple unless the nerves supplying the nipples are cut during surgery, or extremely large implants are utilized which create tremendous pressure on the nerve supply. Future breastfeeding is also not compromised by this incision.
Breast Implant Placement
Implants can be placed on top or under the chest wall muscle. Dr. Aboolian almost always prefers to place the implants partially under the muscle (90% under, 10% over the muscle).
There are two main reasons for placing the implants under the muscle:
- The first is to lower the incidence of the most common complication associated with breast augmentation, which is capsular contracture (a condition where scar tissue forms around the implant and causes hardness).
- The second reason is that the implant is more effectively camouflaged, thus decreasing the chance of implant visibility. Furthermore, the under the muscle technique tends to produce the most natural appearance.
How Long is the Recovery Time After Breast Augmentation?
The procedure takes a little less than two hours to complete and is performed in an outpatient setting where the patient is sent home within several hours following surgery and recovery. Within five to seven days most people resume the majority of their daily activities.* Return to vigorous exercise requires more healing time.
Implant Types: Saline vs. Silicone
There are currently two options for breast augmentation — silicone breast implants and saline (salt water) breast implants. When considering either option, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each breast implant choice.
Silicone gel-filled breast implants are generally smoother and softer than saline-filled implants. Silicone implants have semisolid gel consistency, while saline implants are frequently likened to water balloons. We often find that women prefer the softer, more natural feel of silicone breast implants to saline implants, especially those with smaller breast tissue such as women choosing breast reconstruction following breast cancer. Because of the more solid consistency, it is important to note that silicone-gel implants are less likely to ripple than saline breast implants.*
Potential Cons of Silicone Breast Implants
The main advantage of saline implants is that if ruptured, the saline salt solution will be absorbed by the body. Silicone gel from silicone breast implants may either stay inside the implant or lead outside of the shell if ruptured. When a saline breast implant does rupture it is easy to notice because the implant will deflate. With silicone implants, this is not necessarily the case. At times there are no obvious symptoms when a silicone implant ruptures. This occurrence is often referred to as a “silent rupture.” This was one of the concerns expressed by the FDA in their research.
To prevent complications, the FDA recommends that women who have silicone-gel implants receive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) three years following their breast augmentation surgery. Following the first MRI, women should get checked every two years. If a rupture is detected, the implants must be removed.
Silicone Breast Implants and the FDA
In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed silicone breast implants from the market. This decision was made following lawsuits that alleged silicone implants increase of autoimmune and connective tissue diseases in women. During this time, only saline-filled breast implants were available in the United States.
Select clinical studies were performed from 1992 to 2005 by investigators to evaluate the use of silicone implants for revision breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. After years of thorough investigation by the FDA, no link could be found between silicone breast implants and autoimmune disease and connective tissue.
In 2006, silicone-gel filled breast implants were re-approved for use in the United States. Silicone breast implants are approved for breast augmentation for women age 22 and older. Additionally, silicone breast implants are approved for breast reconstruction for women of all ages.
Are You Interested in Beverly Hills Breast Augmentation?
If you’re interested in breast augmentation or our Beverly Hills breast lift surgeon, Dr. Aboolian encourages you to make the trip to his Beverly Hills plastic surgery practice. He will be happy to discuss all aspects of the surgery such as the cost, risks, benefits and other questions you may have.
Have questions? Contact the Beverly Hills plastic surgery team by calling (310) 888-8862.