What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is performed to add volume and fullness to the breasts through placement of implants. This can rejuvenate the shape and contours of the breasts while providing a curvier silhouette. Whether you are unhappy with the size of your breasts, you have experienced a loss of volume after pregnancy, or you would simply like to attain a better fit in clothing, breast augmentation is known for its exceptional results. As one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures available, breast augmentation has helped countless women enhance their breasts and their confidence.
In your consultation, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Miller will listen to your aesthetic goals and address any questions or concerns you may have about breast augmentation. His goal is to help you understand the pros and cons of the procedure, as well as how breast surgery will affect your body. Dr. Miller will explain your options regarding how the surgery is performed, including details about incision location, breast implant types, and the implant location. When necessary, a breast lift can be performed in tandem with breast augmentation. In any case, breast augmentation is fully customized to your individual needs to help you achieve naturally beautiful results.
How is Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed?
A breast augmentation typically takes about one to two hours. The surgery begins with an incision made in one of the following areas:
In the inframammary fold
Around the areolas
In the armpits
The best approach for each patient depends on their unique needs and goals. This will be discussed during the consultation process. Once the incision has been made in the planned area, a pocket is then created either directly under the tissue or underneath the muscle. Breast implant sizers are placed and filled with air. This allows the patient’s size and shape to be evaluated and compared to presurgical goals before choosing the final implant. Then, the chosen implants are placed inside the pocket and the incisions are closed in layers, providing support to the outer incision and allowing for minimal scarring. Throughout the entire procedure, Dr. Miller pays close attention to aesthetic details, including symmetry, shape, and the natural contours of the body, in order to achieve naturally beautiful results.
What are the Different Types of Breast Implants?
Dr. Miller offers both saline and silicone breast implants in a variety of shapes, sizes, and cohesions. Each implant type carries its own distinct advantages, and during your consultation, he will help you understand which one will be the best option for your needs. Dr. Miller will answer all of your questions regarding the procedure and show you some of the implants that are available. Together, you and Dr. Miller will work together to select the most appropriate options for your breast enhancement so that the results will look naturally beautiful.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a saline (salt-water) solution. Since they are filled after insertion into the breast, saline breast implants require a smaller incision for placement. These types of implants have been used for decades and provide beautiful results for patients with sufficient breast tissue.
Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Silicone implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a cohesive silicone gel. Many silicone implants are “form-stable,” meaning they retain their shape and contour regardless of movement. They are widely favored due to their resemblance in look and feel to natural breast tissue. As a result, silicone implants can provide excellent results in breast augmentation, particularly for patients who have thin skin or very little breast tissue. Silicone implants are FDA-approved for cosmetic use in patients 22 and older, and for reconstructive use for patients of any age.
What is Recovery from Breast Augmentation Like?
After breast augmentation, you will receive medicine to help manage swelling and reduce discomfort. Soreness and general weakness is normal for the first two to three days of recovery, but you should feel stronger as the healing process progresses. Other common reactions after surgery include swelling, tenderness, and bruising, but these feelings should gradually subside over the course of your recovery. Most patients are up and about one to two days after their procedure and light ambulation (standing, light walks, moving around the house, etc.) is encouraged. Exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided until six weeks after breast augmentation.
Patients often return to work four to five days after their breast augmentation, provided their jobs are not physically strenuous. Some degree of firmness and/or changes in nipple sensation are normal right after surgery, but the breasts will soften and regain sensitivity over time. Sutures are removed about one week after the procedure. Dr. Miller and his team will give you detailed post-operative instructions and closely monitor your recovery in follow-up appointments.
Additional Breast Augmentation FAQs
How do I sleep after breast augmentation?
Dr. Miller will instruct you to sleep on your back after breast augmentation to avoid disrupting your implants and incisions. This is necessary during the initial recovery process. Propping up pillows can help prevent you from unintentionally rolling on your sides or stomach during the night.
What is capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture refers to hardened scar tissue around your breast implants. The formation of scar tissue around implants is normal and not necessarily a cause for concern alone, but patients can experience tightness, swelling, and general discomfort when the scar capsule hardens and squeezes the breasts. This may also cause the breasts to change shape or appear higher on the chest wall. Capsular contracture can be addressed through breast revision surgery if you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms or notice changes in the way your breasts look/feel.
What’s the best post-op breast augmentation bra?
A surgical bra with wide, comfortable straps and a front-facing closure is the best option to protect your incisions, reduce swelling, and support your new breast contours. You will be instructed to avoid wearing underwire bras for at least six weeks after your procedure. During your first follow-up appointment, your surgical dressing will be removed and you will be placed in your post-surgery bra. This should be worn, day and night, for six weeks after your surgery. Dr. Miller will further explain the best type of bra to facilitate your recovery in person.
How long after breast augmentation can I swim?
We instruct patients to wait at least six weeks after their breast augmentation before submerging their breasts in any kind of water. Showering is fine; however, swimming pools, jacuzzis, bathtubs, and ocean water should all be avoided above the waist. Making sure your incisions (and body) are fully healed before attempting any cardio activities is key to preventing complications and infections, as well as maximizing your results. You will receive detailed instructions on activity restrictions after your surgery.
Can I breastfeed with breast implants?
By placing the incision along the bottom edge of the areola, Dr. Miller is able to avoid the milk ducts and the main nerve to the nipple, offering the greatest chance of maintaining breastfeeding ability with ease. The vast majority of patients who receive breast augmentation maintain breastfeeding function. However, there is always the possibility of difficulty with breastfeeding for a woman, even if she has not had breast augmentation. Also to note, with age and pregnancy, breastfeeding after the procedure will likely affect the volume and shape of the breasts, potentially changing the final outcome of your breast augmentation and creating the need for a secondary treatment in the future.