Breast Augmentation with ImplantsPerformed by Dr. Wooten of Beleza Plastic Surgery
Even with the rise of several other plastic surgery procedures, those related to breast enlargement remain the most popular. Yet, each breast enhancement is unique and subject to to its own set of challenges based on your anatomy and preferences.
At Beleza Plastic Surgery, Dr. Anna Wooten provides comprehensive pre-surgery planning for your breast augmentation, including insightful recommendations on breast implants based on your body shape, lifestyle and desired breast size. She has helped women from Pittsburgh to Cranberry Township and beyond look and feel their best with cosmetic surgery. Contact us online today or call 724-759-7777 to schedule your breast augmentation consultation.
Breast Augmentation Considerations
During your breast augmentation consultation, you’ll encounter a number of options. With Dr. Wooten’s help, you’ll select the type, size and placement of your breast implant. And finally, you’ll decide on an incision method.
Types of Breast Implants
All breast implants consist of silicone shells filled with either a saltwater solution known as saline or a silicone gel. Beleza Plastic Surgery only uses Allergan, Mentor, or Sientra. (These are the only three breast implant manufacturers approved by the FDA.)
Saline implants are a popular option for women undergoing breast augmentation. So, what is saline? Saline refers to a sterile salt water solution which goes inside of silicone shells (elastomers). Essentially, the size of your breasts will depend on the amount of saline inside the implant. Because saline is a liquid filler, Dr. Wooten can insert your implant shells first. She can then fill them, while already in position. Ultimately, this method will result in a smaller scar. We should also note that your body is able to absorb saline solution harmlessly in the event of a leak or rupture.
After prohibiting sales of unsafe silicone implants in 1992, the FDA approved a new version of the silicone gel implant in 2006. Today, silicone is widely used and deemed completely safe. In fact, breast augmentation patients with a smaller bust often prefer silicone implants. This is because silicone can seem softer and more natural to touch. Unlike saline implants, silicone gel implants come pre-filled by the manufacturer.
Breast augmentation candidates who have small breasts may be interested in anatomical breast implants. Anatomical breast implants are actually shaped in accordance with the anatomy. Instead of having a circular outline, these silicone-filled implants have more of a “teardrop” shape. Hence, the shape of the anatomical breast implant allows women without much existing breast tissue to achieve a natural and tapered breast slope.
Dr. Wooten inserts silicone implants with an instrument known as the Keller® Funnel. The Keller® Funnel provides a completely sterile method for breast implant insertion. Keeping the implant sterile is crucial to a safe and successful breast augmentation. In surgery, Dr. Wooten transports the implant from its sterile packaging, through the sterile Keller® Funnel, and into the patient, eliminating any chance of contamination en route.
In consultation we will decide on implant placement. Both silicone and saline implants can be placed in a pocket either above or below the pectoral muscle. Placing them above the muscle, in a subglandular position, typically results in less discomfort following the procedure. This is because only a small amount of surface tissue is displaced.
Many patients and surgeons feel that placement below the muscle achieves a more aesthetically pleasing result. This is also known as submuscular placement. Submuscular placement hides tiny imperfections like ripples or exposed edges. However, this method does cause more discomfort during breast augmentation recovery.
The split-muscle technique combines the advantages of both subglandular and submuscular placements. When the split-muscle technique is used, the upper pole of the breast implant is placed beneath the pectoral muscle, while the bottom part of the implant is placed above the muscle, but under the mammary gland. The split-muscle placement technique is especially appropriate for patients who are very athletic because it helps to conceal any animation deformity, as well as prevent undesirable results, such as a “double bubble.”
Breast implants placed through an inframammary incision are inserted through the fold below the breast. This allows direct access for future replacement or modification of the implant. Scarring caused by inframammary incisions is hidden under the breast fold.
Dr. Wooten makes the peri-areolar incision along the border of the areola. In time, this incision becomes practically invisible since it’s placed at the junction of two different skin tones (where the darker nipple meets the lighter skin). It’s also the optimal option when correcting nipple asymmetry or performing a simultaneous breast lift.
A transaxillary incision enters underneath the armpit. It is one way to achieve a “scarless” breast augmentation. However, revision surgeries most likely will require additional incisions.
Dr. Wooten performs a transumbilical breast augmentation by placing an opening in the navel and tunneling towards the breast. This involves the use of a micro camera to ensure correct placement of the implant. It is important to note that this technique is only used for the placement of saline implants.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Following breast augmentation, it can take up to 6-7 months before your breasts look their best. Your implants may initially ride high on your chest. Also, they may feel very firm. This is completely normal. Generally speaking, a feeling of tightness will occur after surgery.
Be patient. Allow the swelling to recede and the implants to settle. Over time, they will drop into a more natural position. Your breasts will also soften. While it could take half of the year before you look and feel your best, you should be able to wear a bikini comfortably anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks after your breast augmentation.
Ideally, most bruising, pain, swelling and discomfort will abate after 2-3 weeks. However, it may take longer before you can comfortably sleep in any position but flat on your back. Allow several weeks before undertaking serious physical activity. Straining to do too much will only intensify pain.
Scheduling your Breast Augmentation
It is essential that you permit yourself enough time to recover properly. Your recovery time will depend largely on specifics dealing with your breast augmentation and also your body. Dr. Wooten along with our patient coordinator can help you schedule an ideal surgery date during your consultation.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when planning for your surgery:
- How much time can you afford to take off of work? Dr. Wooten advises patients on “rapid recovery.” And so, following her instructions will help most patients return to work after a few days.
- Is there a time of year less hectic than usual? Contrarily, are there dates that you definitely can’t afford to spend in recovery? An accountant, for instance, probably can’t take a vacation in the middle of tax season.
- Will you have anyone to help at home while you recover? Ideally, someone will be able to help, at least for that first week. Having another person around is mandatory for the first 24 hours following surgery. Will your partner or another loved one be able to be with you for that time?
- Are there any big life events coming up? When would you like to look your best? Many women plan to totally heal from their breast augmentation surgery prior to weddings, reunions or other important milestones.
Breast Augmentation FAQs
How much does breast augmentation cost?
Every patient is different. Costs can vary from patient to patient. Your total breast augmentation cost will depend on the specifics of your procedure. The type of implants you select in consultation with Dr. Wooten and where your breast surgery is performed both affect cost. Because of these factors, our patient coordinator will be unable to give you an exact quote until the time of your appointment. We do collect a 75$ consultation fee in advance for your appointment. If you decide to proceed with your procedure, we apply the cost of your consultation to your surgery.
How long does it take to recover?
Depending on activity and fitness levels, patients usually only need the weekend to recover from breast augmentation surgery. We maintain close contact with our patients and usually plan an office visit one week following surgery.
Dr. Wooten’s post-operative plan emphasizes quick recovery. She recommends specific stretches and movements very soon after surgery. Exercises like arm raises will help to decrease swelling and stiffness. A lot can be achieved by stretching the muscles under which the implant was placed. Following your surgeon’s post-surgery advice will allow for a swift recovery time.
Exercise and strenuous physical activity are to be avoided for about six weeks. After breast augmentation surgery, it is normal for the breast implants to sit high on the chest wall. This is due to tightness and normal post-operative swelling. They will settle down over the course of the following weeks. The patient can expect to enjoy their final result 1-3 months after surgery.
What about the non-surgical alternatives to breast augmentation?
There are limited options for women who want an enhanced look. Surgery is clearly the most effective one. Patients should be cautious. Non-surgical options, such as pills and creams which are supposed to “naturally” augment breasts, are largely ineffective. These products make claims that are often based on little or no clinical evidence. These products by no means offer a guaranteed result.
Breast enlargement pills are typically sold as herbal supplements. This means they are regulated by the FDA as foods, as opposed to pharmaceuticals. As “foods,” herbal supplements are not required to meet the same strict standards as drugs & over-the counter medications for effectiveness, safety, or proper manufacturing practices.
Just because an herbal supplement claims to be “natural” doesn’t mean it has no harmful effects. Some products’ active ingredients can be dangerous if combined with other medications and may cause liver damage. Interference with prescribed drugs like birth control pills or diabetes treatments is also a risk.
Supplements that produce estrogen-like effects on the body can raise further health concerns, especially for those who have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer. Be sure to consult your doctor before engaging in any supplement regimen.
How can I enlarge my breasts, without implants?
For women who don’t want implants, Dr. Wooten performs breast augmentations with fat grafting – a procedure that results in a more natural look and feel.
I've heard that silicone can be dangerous; is this true?
Simply put – no. The FDA has approved silicone as a safe way to enhance breast size. It was in the 1990s that two main pillars of misinformation led to the idea that silicone was unsafe. One was that silicone implants could be rejected by the body in an allergic reaction. Patients should be aware that Silicone is an “inert material” and will not cause an allergic reaction. Another false claim was that silicone causes cancer. Again, this has been proven false. Silicone implants have been back on the market for well over a decade and have been continually rising in popularity.
The presence of a silicone implant versus a saline implant should not in any way negatively impact your health, and the risk of rupture is minimal, as long as you keep up with Dr. Wooten’s instructed maintenance. In the unlikely event that an implant does rupture, it must be removed, whether it is saline or silicone.
Do breast implants need to be replaced?
Breast implants are not lifetime devices. They will eventually require replacement. The length of time before a replacement is necessary varies from patient to patient. In general, Dr. Wooten recommends replacing them every 10-12 years.