Breast Augmentation

||Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation 2019-10-31T15:51:59+00:00

About Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation is commonly thought of as a breast enlargement procedure. However, this surgery can also entail breast reshaping
and revising asymmetrical breasts.

Implants are available in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and materials to help a patient look and feel their absolute best.

The most popular choice among implants is silicone. Patients prefer silicone implants because of the natural look and feel it provides.

Saline implants are another popular option because they can be less expensive than their silicone counterparts, placed
through smaller incisions, and ruptures can be easily detected without the need for imaging.

Procedure

The surgery typically takes between one and two hours from start to finish. In most cases, general anesthetic is used; however, it can be performed under local anesthetic with sedation, if needed.

The size and type of implant will dictate which type of incision Dr. Buchanan will use to to insert the implant. Every incision has its own advantages and disadvantages.

An important factor to consider when deciding on what type of incision is scarring. However, with meticulous surgical technique and tension-free closure, we can reduce the size and visibility of your scars.

What Does Recovery Look Like?

The recovery process is relatively fast. Most patients find that they can return to normal activity 24-hours post-operation.
We recommend giving yourself time to heal and allowing at least three to seven days before returning to work.

Vigorous exercise is discouraged for a minimum of two weeks post-surgery to avoid early complications. After that you can return to normal exercise with the exception of any chest activity (pushing, pulling, and heavy lifting) which will be limited for 6 weeks after surgery. We do, however, recommend moderate, light movement as soon as possible after surgery in order to encourage blood circulation.

Approximately three to six months post-surgery, after the swelling abates and the implants “drop” into their fixed position, the patient will be able to see the final results.

Risks

Displacement, or having an implant shift out of place, is one risk associated with this surgery. This complication can cause asymmetrical breasts and increase the likelihood that the implant will rupture. Displacement may also require repeat surgery.

It is estimated that approximately one implant out of every ten (10%) will rupture within ten years of breast augmentation surgery. If this happens, in most cases, a plastic surgeon will be needed in order to replace the ruptured implant.

Scar tissue that forms around an implant can become hard or tight around the implant. This is referred to as capsular contracture and occurs at a rate of 10-20% at ten years. This complication almost always requires an additional surgery to correct.

Alternatives to Implants

Rather than undergoing breast augmentation surgery, some patients opt for a procedure called “fat grafting,” or a “fat transfer.” Fat grafting uses a patient’s own fat to augment the breast.

If you are looking for a relatively small increase in breast size and would prefer a more natural look, this may be an option to discuss with Dr. Buchanan.

Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

During your search for a potential plastic surgeon, you should only consider a surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board-certified surgeons spend a minimum of 6-8 years in training after medical school to ensure that they are well-trained in both aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Do not assume that another “cosmetic” or “aesthetic” surgeon is the same as a board-certified plastic surgeon.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Research has shown that silicone implants do not cause breast cancer. The implants may make it more difficult to find tumors by traditional methods, such as a mammogram, which could potentially delay a cancer diagnosis.

Also, there is a minimal, but increased risk of developing a rare type of cancer of the immune system called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This cancer can form in the breast tissue, but is not the same as breast cancer. This cancer has only been associated with textured breast implants, which are not commonly used for most augmentations.

For most women, breast implants do not prohibit them from breastfeeding. However, roughly 1% to 5% of women who do not have breast implants cannot breastfeed for other medical reasons, and there is no way of knowing prior to surgery if you fall within this statistic.

By FDA standards, a women needs to be at least 18 years of age in order to receive saline breast implants, and at least 22 years old to receive silicone implants.

The cost of breast augmentation surgery will vary depending on where you have the procedure done, and what type of implants you choose. Additionally, if a breast lift is needed this will also affect the cost of the surgery. The only way to get an exact price quote is to come in for a consultation.

You can expect to have some mild discomfort and pain after breast augmentation surgery. Pain depends on the placement of the implant. In general, submuscular placement is more painful than subglandular placement. Pain is manageable with the right pain treatment. About 3-7 days post-op, most patients are off of the strong pain medications and can use an over-the-counter pain reducer, like Tylenol.

Generally speaking, implants have no expiration date. However, they are not meant to be lifetime devices. There is a good chance that over the lift of the implant, you may have to have a revisions procedure to replace the implant and/or alter the breast size or shape around the implant.  

A discussion with your board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to find the implant size that is right for you. The ultimate decision will depend on your anatomy, your measurements, and your overall goals. We also utilize Crisalix, a virtual reality 3D imaging software, that can help to visualize different implants on a patient’s 3D rendering to assist in making implant selections.  

Swelling should be mostly gone by six weeks. It may take up to 3-6 months for the final results to be revealed. For more information, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Buchanan.

As mentioned above, vigorous exercise is discouraged for a minimum of two weeks post-surgery to avoid early complications. After that you can return to normal exercise with the exception of any chest activity (pushing, pulling, and heavy lifting) which will be limited for 6 weeks after surgery. After six weeks, you can gradually ease back into your normal routine.

Breasts will fall into their final position typically three to six months post-op.

We recommend elastic, stretchy bras, or a surgical, compression bra after surgery. Avoid bras that have an underwire or lots of internal padding and structure until 6 weeks after surgery. You want a bra that offers snug compression and good support without being overly tight and distorting the breasts.

We typically recommend anywhere from three to seven days, depending on your individual circumstance and work requirements. Discuss your specific work duties with Dr. Buchanan if there are any questions.

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