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What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation can help women who would like to add volume and enhance the contours of their breasts. Whether you are dissatisfied with your breast size or have experienced a loss of volume after pregnancy or weight loss, breast augmentation has long been an exceptional enhancement technique to attain the desired breast aesthetic. As one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed each year, breast augmentation has helped numerous women regain confidence in their appearance.

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.

Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

The main purpose of breast augmentation is to increase breast volume and size, but there are a number of additional concerns that can be addressed with the procedure, including:

  • Improve symmetry between the breasts
  • Reposition the nipple and areola
  • Restore lost volume after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss
  • Enhance the breast shape
  • Improve the fit of clothing or swimwear
  • Boost self-confidence

In addition to exhibiting one or more of these concerns, the best candidates are typically those who are in generally good health without significant medical issues.

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:
  1. inframammary fold Image

    In the inframammary fold

  2. Around the areolas Image

    Around the areolas

  3. In the armpits Image

    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 gel breast implants are composed of a cohesive silicone solution encased in a silicone shell. The implants are known for their natural feel. Silicone breast implants are approved by the FDA for use in breast augmentation patients over the age of 22, and breast reconstruction patients of any age. Advances in silicone breast implants over the last several years have led to implants that are more “form-stable,” meaning they can hold their shape for results that provide an excellent new contour. Silicone gel implants are ideal for patients with thin skin or very little breast tissue.

The implant option that is best for your goals will vary depending on your body type and your unique needs. Dr. Miller will give you a detailed overview of the procedure and listen to all of your concerns so that you can make the best possible decision.

  • Implant over muscle image

    Over the Muscle

  • Implant under muscle image

    Under the Muscle

Implant Placement: Above Vs. Under the Muscle

Your breast implants can be placed either over the chest muscle (subglandular) or under the muscle (submuscular), depending on your anatomy and personal preference. Saline and silicone implants both offer naturally beautiful results in either location for the right candidates.

For most patients, when implants are placed under the muscle, they provide a more natural look since there is more tissue concealing the implant. Placement beneath the muscle also allows for better mammography readings, as this location makes it easier to move the implant for a clearer view of the breast tissue. The submuscular method provides the added benefits of having a reduced risk of developing capsular contracture and a lower likelihood of interfering with breastfeeding.

For those who have sufficient breast tissue to cover the implant of choice, a subglandular, or over-the-muscle, approach is acceptable but does not offer the benefits of submuscular placement.

After you have expressed your aesthetic goals with Dr. Miller and he has had the chance to conduct a physical examination, he will provide a recommendation for which implant location is best for you.

What is Recovery from Breast Augmentation Like?

Following your breast augmentation surgery, medication is given to minimize pain and discomfort. You will experience the most soreness for the first two to three days, but this should subside to a moderate level for the remainder of the first week as it begins to fade. Minimal bruising and swelling are normal, but they should disappear gradually over time. A day or two post-surgery, patients are typically up and around but should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. Sutures are removed within a week and scars fade gradually. There may be some degree of firmness and loss in nipple sensitivity immediately after the operation, but the breasts will soften and sensitivity returns as recovery progresses.

Most women are able to return to work after four to five days, depending on their jobs. For the first four to six weeks following your surgery, there will be some exercise and lifting restrictions.

How Long Does Breast Augmentation Last?

On average, breast implants typically have a shelf-life of approximately 10 to 15 years, but many patients experience good results for 20 years and beyond. Implants generally don’t have to be replaced unless a complication arises over time, such as rippling, rupture, or capsular contracture (the hardening of scar tissue around the implant). In these cases, a breast revision procedure can allow patients to upgrade to a newer type, shape, or size of implant, or remove their breast implants altogether. If you wish to remove your implants without replacing them, a breast lift may be necessary to address stretched breast skin as well as restore the breasts’ former shape. Every breast augmentation patient experiences a different lifespan for their implants depending on the type of implant placed. However, there is usually no need to exchange implants unless it is an individual’s personal preference or clinical problems are experienced. Periodic MRIs are recommended to monitor the condition of silicone or silicone gel implants, as both implant types are designed to keep their shape in the rare event of rupture.

Will I Have Breast Augmentation Scars?

Every surgical procedure will likely result in some degree of scarring; however, it is typical for scars to fade and gradually become more and more indistinguishable over time. Scars from breast augmentation can be very discreet and are usually hidden within the natural contours of the skin and breasts. The shape, size, and location of your scars will depend on which incision is used to place your implants. A periareolar incision is the most common technique, and allows resulting scars to blend well into the areola region’s change in pigmentation once incisions are fully healed. The inframammary incision is also a common technique that allows the incision to be hidden within the breast fold. Lastly, the transaxillary approach utilizes incisions within a fold of the armpit. You can diminish the prominence of your scars with the medical-grade skincare products offered at our San Diego practice. Dr. Miller or one of our experienced aesthetic professionals can suggest the best formulation for your unique skin type to encourage the fading of surgical scars.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

Your breast augmentation expenses will be determined by the type of implants used, the technique used during surgery, and the overall complexity of your procedure. These factors will be determined once Dr. Miller has the chance to evaluate your needs in a consultation. Afterwards, our Patient Care Coordinator will provide you with a personalized quote based on the details of your treatment plan. To give patients a wider range of payment options, our practice accepts plans through CareCredit® — a leading plastic surgery financing company that can make the cost of breast augmentation more manageable. Offering qualified applicants a range of flexible payment plans with low monthly installments, CareCredit® can allow individuals to pay for their surgery over a period of time rather than in one lump sum. If you have any questions about the price of breast augmentation, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please reach out to our practice to speak to a member of our team.

Breast Augmentation and Lift

Many patients who see Dr. Miller about increasing their breast volume also express a desire to attain a more youthful breast positioning as well. A breast lift with implants is a unique combination procedure designed to minimize the appearance of breast drooping by lifting the breasts and adding volume with implants, improving the overall breast shape. This surgery can address the volume, projection, positioning, shape, and contour of the breasts all at once for the utmost rejuvenation. This is typically a popular treatment option for women who seek extensive breast enhancement, or those who wish to restore their pre-pregnancy breast appearance. For the right candidate, a breast lift with implants can provide the benefits of both a breast augmentation and a breast lift during one operation and recovery period.

Unmatched Patient Satisfaction

Dr. Miller is an amazing artist. His work is absolute perfection! His personality is so down to earth and he really listens to his patients. I would recommend Dr. Miller to everyone. He gives a nature result. Thank you Dr. Miller for making the surgery so easy.

Sandy Kelley

May 16, 2017