Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure designed to add volume and enhance the shape of the breasts. Also referred to as breast enlargement or augmentation mammoplasty, this procedure has helped millions of women across the globe renew their appearance with beautiful results.
Studies show that over one-third of women are dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts. Breast augmentation using implants is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgeries in America, and throughout the world. Over 300,000 patients undergo breast implant surgery every year in the U.S. Prior to surgery, most patients are self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts. Remarkably, over 90 percent of patients report an improvement in self-esteem following breast surgery. No other cosmetic surgery can match breast augmentation for patient satisfaction (98.1%). On a scale of 1-10, the average patient rated their results as 9.3, with over half giving themselves a 10 rating.
Breast augmentation is one of the most satisfying procedures for the patient due to the instant transformation in a woman’s shape. It is an operation where patient gratification is almost immediate and it reliably meets or exceeds expectations. Other types of cosmetic surgery of the face and body may have inherent limitations.
Even mature women can enjoy more youthful-looking breasts with the right combination of implants and breast lifting.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. James M. Shaw to talk more about breast augmentation, please contact us today.
- Why Do Women Seek Breast Augmentation?
- Breast Implant Options
- Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Breast Augmentation Scars
- Breast Augmentation Cost
Why Do Women Seek Breast Augmentation?
A patient may choose breast augmentation for different reasons. Maybe she feels she has naturally small breasts and finds that they are not consistent with her body proportions. She may have asymmetry involving the size or shape of her breasts. Adding volume with an implant can help to disguise these differences. Additionally, many women lose volume in their breasts following pregnancy or substantial weight loss, and breast augmentation can restore that volume.
Most patients are seeking more fullness in the upper portion of their breasts. Replacing lost volume with implants can help to regain this more youthful fullness. It is not surprising that most bras, padding, or inserts are meant to enhance the upper pole of the breasts. Breast augmentation from our board-certified plastic surgeon can enhance the size of the breasts and improve shape and symmetry with results that look both natural and beautiful.
What Are My Breast Implant Options?
The size of the breast implant is generally determined during the office consultation with our surgeon, James M. Shaw, MD. Individual measurements will be taken to determine the patient’s overall proportions. There is a wide range of available implant volumes and dimensions for breast augmentation. In addition, there are several types of breast implants to choose from, including those filled with silicone or saline, implants that are round or shaped, and breast implants with a textured or smooth surface. The projection profile is also an important consideration.
It is very helpful to “try on” several different sizes of breast implants during the examination to get an idea of how the end result will appear. The ideal implant will vary greatly from person to person depending on factors such as height, weight, shoulder and chest width, symmetry, the amount of existing breast tissue, and personal preference. The majority of patients simply want to have their breast size increased to better match their proportions. This change allows them to wear the clothing they prefer without making extra accommodations with specialty bras or inserts.
What Is Involved In the Breast Augmentation Procedure?
The surgery will be performed by our board-certified plastic surgeon, and will be done under general anesthesia in an ambulatory surgery setting. The anesthesia provider is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. The surgery center is also fully accredited by the appropriate regulatory agencies. Patients go home the same day and a responsible adult driver is required for dismissal. Patients who live more than one hour from Wichita, Kansas are encouraged to spend the first night in a local hotel or with family or friends.
A variety of advanced techniques are available for breast augmentation procedures. The specific technique that is most ideal for your unique needs and goals will be determined during the initial consultation with Dr. Shaw.
Breast implants are placed in one of two primary locations: either above the chest muscle (right behind the breast tissue) or beneath the chest muscle. In many cases, below the chest muscle is the better option because the results often appear as natural as possible. In others, an over-the-muscle approach may be preferable. Dr. Shaw will talk with you about the advantages and disadvantages of each location and decide which will be best for your needs.
The location of the incisions for placement of the breast implants will also be discussed during your initial consultation. There are essentially three different methods that are most commonly utilized: inframammary, periareolar, and transaxillary. An inframammary incision involves breast implant placement through an incision made in the area on the underside of the breast where it meets the chest. In the periareolar approach, Dr. Shaw will create an incision in the areola, which is the dark-pigmented region that surrounds the nipple. For transaxillary breast augmentation, the implant is inserted via a small incision made in the armpit (this technique can only be utilized with saline breast implants since the implant cannot be filled until it is already placed).
The best incision location is dependent on each individual patient’s anatomical needs and ultimate goals. Rest assured that, regardless of the location, Dr. Shaw is extensively skilled with this procedure and places a strong focus on producing results that will yield as minimal visible scarring as possible.
What Can I Expect During Breast Augmentation Recovery?
The gauze dressing can be removed or replaced the day after surgery and it is okay to shower at that time. The incisions can get wet while showering, but soaking in a tub or pool should be avoided. A thin tape (Steri-Strip™) remains in place over the incision. The tape will gradually loosen on its own over several days. If it comes off, it does not need to be replaced. You will have prescriptions for pain medication, but continuous use of cold packs will be even more useful. Ibuprofen can also be used following surgery, but aspirin is to be avoided.
Most patients will go home in a bra provided by the surgery center. It is okay to wear a sports bra instead of the garment provided if you prefer. The purpose of the bra is to reduce breast movement and the associated discomfort. The bra will not “shape” or “mold” the breast. If you prefer not to sleep in the bra, that is fine.
Patients are encouraged to stay at home after breast surgery and limit arm activity for the first four or five days. After this, most daily movements and activities will be fine. However, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first few weeks. The best advice is, “if it hurts, don’t do it.”
Swelling and bruising will vary greatly from one patient to another. The swelling usually increases steadily until the third day after breast surgery, then slowly resolves. Typically, one side will have more bruising/swelling than the other. Most patients have some degree of pressure sensation and skin tightness. This will resolve over the first several weeks as the skin relaxes and the swelling goes away.
Due to the pressure and skin tightness, there may initially be changes in breast sensation. This can range from numbness to hypersensitivity, and is usually a combination of both. Sensations experienced in the right and left sides usually are not the same. These changes in sensation commonly resolve over the first six or eight weeks. It is rare to have a long-lasting change in sensation.
How Noticeable Are Breast Augmentation Scars?
The visibility of residual scarring from breast augmentation will ultimately depend on which surgical technique is utilized during the procedure. With that in mind, Dr. Shaw is extensively experienced with breast surgery, and works diligently to ensure that scars resulting from breast augmentation are as minimal as possible. Inframammary incisions (which are created in the crease of the breast) are in an area where the scars can be easily hidden; transaxillary incisions (in the armpit) also typically produce scars that are relatively small and virtually unnoticeable to others; and periareolar incisions usually yield scars that blend in with the pigmented area around the nipple. In most cases, the scars from breast augmentation will also fade to some degree over time.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
The cost of breast augmentation utilizing saline breast implants typically starts at about $4,800 here at Shaw Plastic Surgery. Breast augmentation using silicone implants usually starts at $5760. However, it is important to keep in mind that breast augmentation procedures are completely customized for each patient; therefore, the cost will not be the same for everyone. A variety of factors go into the overall price of breast augmentation, including the technique utilized, the type of breast implants that are placed, fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, and use of the surgical facility, and other costs. Once you have been evaluated during the initial consultation and your customized treatment plan has been developed, a member of our team will produce a price estimate that calculates all expenses associated with your breast augmentation procedure and answer any questions you may have. Our practice accepts a comprehensive array of payment options, and we work with CareCredit®, an agency which offers affordable plastic surgery financing plans for qualified applicants who would like to pay for their treatment on a convenient monthly basis. We will be happy to assist you with finding the way to pay for your procedure that works best within your budget.
Would you like to learn more about our advanced breast augmentation procedures? Please contact us today with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaw. We look forward to hearing from you!