At Breast and Body Center of Austin, we know the most important decision you will make in deciding to have a breast augmentation is choosing the right plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. We would like to help you understand the process, learn more about the different types of implants, techniques, incisions, and more that would be a part of your treatment plan. Our board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder IV is very experienced in breast augmentation surgery. Your aesthetic goals, needs, and objectives will be defined in a personal one-on-one consultation.
Breast augmentation, or breast enlargement, is a plastic and reconstructive procedure designed to give women larger, more symmetrical breasts. At Breast and Body Center of Austin, we offer women the option of having saline implants, silicone implants, or enhancement with their own body fat. We would love to meet with you in person to explain what can be done to make your bustline attractive and proportionate to your body frame. If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, please call us in Austin, TX to find out if a breast augmentation may be right for you.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants have always remained a positive choice for patients when deciding what type of implant to use for breast augmentation. Because these implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution, any potential leakage does not pose a threat as the solution is safely absorbed by the body. Saline implants also cost less than the silicone type. One of the disadvantages of saline implants is that in some cases, rippling can appear. This is especially something to consider for women who are thin and have low breast tissue. Those who opt for this type of implant must be at least 18 years old.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are very popular today and are highly recommended by cosmetic surgeons for patients who are thin and desire a natural look. Since the FDA validated their safety and efficacy, concerns surrounding these implants today are almost no different than that of saline. The silicone shell is prefilled with silicone gel and comes in different sizes, shapes, and textures. Unlike saline implants in which leakage is absorbed by the body and the implant volume appears visibly flat, it is difficult to tell when a silicone implant ruptures. An MRI is required to detect any rupture. Patients considering silicone implants must be at least 22 years old.
For patients who desire fuller breasts but do not want an artificial implant to achieve this look, there is also an option known as a fat transfer. In this procedure, Dr. Snyder will harvest fat from donor sites of the patient, such as the flanks, abdomen, and thighs via liposuction. The fat collected will undergo a process of refinement and purification, and is then gradually reinjected into the breasts with smaller syringes so the shape is evenly distributed.
Breast implants come in a variety of different profiles. The selection is based on how enhanced the breasts’ projection will be, as well as how wide the implant will be on the chest wall in relation to the base width. Since the silicone implants are already pre-filled, the standard profiles come in low, moderate, high and extra high. Saline implants, however, come in variants that are either prefilled, or the silicone shell is inserted then filled with saline solution up to the patient’s preferred profile. Choosing the right profile can sometimes be a difficult decision and it is up to a skilled surgeon to help guide the patient accordingly. High profile breast implants will have greater projection, but less width on each side, whereas a moderate profile, for example, will not have as much projection, but will be broader.
The standard shape of a breast implant can either be rounded or tear-shaped. Each shape serves a different aesthetic function as it pertains to the patient’s goals. Rounded implants produce a shapelier curve on the top portion of the breast. The teardrop implants are shaped to copy the natural appearance of the breast, so they will not appear as high.
Implants are made with either a smooth or a textured surface. In general, smooth implants cost less and are more common. The textured implants were initially conceived out of the idea that it reduces the chances of capsular contracture (the constricting of scar tissue around the implant) although there is no valid claim to this. The textured type is more common with the teardrop shape as the rough texture adheres to tissues helping the implant stay in place.
The two most common placements are on top of the chest muscle or under it. When the implant is placed under the muscle, a pocket is created within the pectoralis major muscle. A pocket is also created if it is placed in front of the muscle, but many surgeons do prefer the submuscular approach (behind the muscle). This helps to keep the implant in place for a longer period of time and takes into consideration factors such as implant size, weight, gravity, and time. Placing the implant behind the muscle also provides a natural look and provides the implant with the long-term support it needs to stay in position.
There are several standard incision approaches for breast implants. The most common is known as an inframammary incision, which is an incision near the breast fold. Second, is an incision made under the areola, which is known as a periareolar incision. A third option is to place the incision within the armpit, known as a transaxillary approach. There is also an incision approach that takes place around the belly button, but this is the least recommended way. It is up to the patient’s desires and surgeon recommendation as to what approach is best to take. Scarring is also discussed at this time with each method.
Breast augmentation is a common cosmetic procedure that involves the surgical placement of silicone or saline implants into a woman’s breast for enlargement or breast volume restoration. This is done as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. Although surgical time varies for each patient, this surgery is typically 1 – 2 hours long.
After your breast augmentation surgery, you should expect to have swelling and discomfort at the incision sites and in breast tissue overall for the first few days. Along your incision, there will be a layer of glue that reinforces the closure. Over that, there will be a thin layer of dressings which will stay in place for several days. Pain associated with this procedure is usually controlled with oral pain medication and a light muscle relaxant. A compression support bra should also be worn to help in healing.
All activities must be limited within 48 hours after surgery. Light activity is usually tolerated after 5 – 7 days of rest following the surgery. Most patients are able to return to work or school full-time after 1 week. It is normal to feel tightness around the chest area as the skin adjusts to the breast’s new shape. Most patients can resume normal activities within 7 days; however, exercise should be avoided for 4 – 6 weeks. Light, low-impact exercise is usually tolerated 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is important to discuss this issue with Dr. Snyder at your post-operative appointment. It takes approximately 6 months for the breasts to look, feel, and function normally in regards to softness, sensation, and final placement.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $6,500 - $7,500
- Recovery Time
- 2 – 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 – 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 7 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Breast Augmentation FAQs
How Do I Decide?
There are two types of breast implants, saline-filled and silicone. There are advantages and disadvantages with both types of implants. The type and size of implant that would work best for you will be discussed during your consultation visit. The most important decision, however, is choosing the right plastic surgeon to perform the procedure and who can help create the best procedure plan for you.
Natural or Artificial?
This depends on the patient’s breast makeup. Those who opt for implants may choose between saline or silicone as each has its own advantages. Generally, patients who have low breast tissue will benefit from silicone implants; otherwise, saline implants are recommended. For fat transfer, the advantage is that it poses less risk since there is no introduction of foreign material into the body. However, the results do not last long compared to artificial implants as fat can be reabsorbed by the body.
Negative notions about silicone started back in the early 90s when there were cases of leakage and complications. With today’s advancements in engineering, the silicone-based shells are made durable and safe and have been proven so by the FDA. Today, in fact, silicone is more preferred than saline since they last longer and feel more natural. The rates of reported complications have significantly decreased in the last decade.
Implant or Lift?
Breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure designed to enlarge breasts while a breast lift is designed to tighten the loose skin of a droopy breast. Both resolve different breast issues. There are cases where the procedures are done simultaneously when it is agreed that a breast lift with augmentation is necessary.
Today’s silicone implants are strong, durable and safe. Technical advancements have come so far, that even if a silicone implant does rupture, the shell of the implant will keep the silicone gel encased and protected from entering the body. In a rare case that a silicone implant does rupture, an MRI will be needed to detect the rupture. This is the main reason why MRI checks are recommended 3 years after surgery and every 2 years succeeding the first MRI.
Implants may last up to 15 years. As long as the implant shows no signs of damage or visible defects, such as breast rippling or a deformity, replacing them is not necessary. What’s necessary, however, is a periodic check of the implants to make sure that they are still intact.
WHEN CAN I WEAR A BRA?
A well-fitted sports bra or supportive ace wrap should be worn continuously for the first 2 weeks after surgery. This should be worn during the day for the following 2 weeks. After 4 weeks, you will have no restrictions on the type of bra to wear. At that point, underwire bras are acceptable. You may discuss bra options with Dr. Snyder at your follow-up office visit.
When may I return to work?
Light activity is usually tolerated after 5-7 days of rest after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work or school full-time after 1 week.
How long is this surgery?
Although surgical time varies for each patient, this surgery is typically 1-2 hours long.