There are many reasons why a woman may choose breast enhancement surgery. Some women may want to regain the size and shape of their breasts prior to pregnancies, weight loss and aging. Many women feel self conscious due to the asymmetry (unevenness) in their breasts, and breast augmentation surgery can help remedy this common complaint. Others may wish to gain better body proportions so they can finally feel feminine and confident in their clothes.
- What Is Breast Augmentation?
- Breast Augmentation Benefits
- Breast Augmentation Candidates
- Breast Implant Options
- Choosing the Right Breast Implants
- Breast Implant Placement
- Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Breast Augmentation Results
- Breast Augmentation Scars
- Breast Implants Lifespan
- Breast Augmentation Cost
- Breast Implant Side Effects
- Additional FAQs
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is typically performed to enlarge small or underdeveloped breasts, or to restore the natural breast volume that may have decreased as a result of pregnancy, weight loss or aging. Other women may desire improved breast balance when each breast is a different size. A woman must have completed breast development and have the emotional maturity to decide if breast augmentation is right for her. A realistic expectation is also a critical factor to ultimate satisfaction with the procedure. The initial consultation provides the opportunity to ask questions specific to your needs and gain a thorough understanding of breast enhancement, breast implants and long-term results. Incisions are commonly placed under the breast in the breast crease, around the areola, or in the armpit. Our board-certified plastic surgeon—Dr. Parva—will assist you in choosing the best approach for you.
What Can Breast Augmentation Do?
Breast augmentation is the placement of an implant behind the breast in order to enhance or enlarge the breast. It is generally performed for women who have relatively low breast volume or women who have lost breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss. In some situations, there can be asymmetries when a woman has not had adequate development of one breast over the other, and therefore, breast augmentation may be employed to address the lack of appropriate breast development.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
- Someone with low breast volume, loss of breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss
- Women with breast asymmetries (unevenness) looking to gain breast balance
- Women with underdeveloped breasts, due to genetics, seeking to improve body proportions
- Completed breast development and exhibits emotional maturity
- Healthy individual
- Realistic goals and expectations
What Are My Breast Implant Options?
When considering breast augmentation or implant reconstruction surgery, one of the most important decisions women will make is choosing the type of breast implants that can most effectively achieve their desired outcomes with natural-looking results. Breast implants are manufactured in a variety of types, shapes and sizes—each having unique qualities. At our practice Dr. Parva offers an array of implant varieties, including both traditional silicone and saline styles. In addition, he offers anatomically shaped cohesive gel breast implants, which for some women may provide an exceptionally natural look and feel.
When you meet with Dr. Parva for your initial consultation, he will assist you in the implant selection process by first performing a bio-dimensional analysis of your breast dimensions, which will then direct the best implant options for you. Another tool employed is the VECTRA® 3D imaging, a state-of-the-art system that enables patients to “try on” various implants and view a three-dimensional photograph of potential results. This advanced technology can help make choosing the right breast implants an easier, more comfortable decision.
The three main types of breast implants available at Parva Plastic Surgery include:
Approved by the FDA, saline breast implants are composed of a saline (saltwater) solution encased by a silicone outer shell. If a saline implant ruptures, the body absorbs the fluid and excretes it. These implants have proved to be extremely effective for numerous patients over the years, helping many women enhance the appearance of their breasts with beautiful, natural-looking results.
Silicone Gel Implants
Silicone breast implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation patients, as well as for breast reconstruction patients. Composed of a silicone outer shell filled with thick silicone gel, this type of implant comes in several shapes and sizes and is known for its extremely natural appearance and feel. They are now available in three different consistencies with a softer to a more firm feel. Silicone implants are generally less prone to rippling, and they can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have a thin body frame. Health concerns regarding the gel implants have been satisfied through extensive studies, and the FDA released the gel implants to the general public in November of 2006.
Anatomically Shaped Cohesive Gel Implants
Having been available in Europe for many years, anatomically shaped cohesive gel breast implants are now FDA approved for use by board certified plastic surgeons in the United States and are available when indicated for our patients. Presently, the FDA has approved Allergan (Natrelle® 410), Sientra® and Mentor® silicone gel implants. Also referred to as “form-stable” or “gummy bear” implants, this advanced implant option is composed of a thicker, durable silicone gel and designed in a teardrop shape that closely resembles the contour of a natural breast, helping to create a remarkably natural look for ideal candidates.
Anatomically shaped cohesive gel implants are generally composed of the most firm-feeling gel material available due to additional crosslinking properties and thicker consistency of the silicone gel, both of which aid in their ability to better retain shape. The textured surface promotes adhesion to surrounding tissue to stabilize the position of the implant since shaped implants have the potential of rotation.
There is however a developing association of textured implants to a form of lymphoma now referred to as Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This uncommon occurrence is being closely monitored worldwide by plastic surgery associations and regulatory agencies. As we fully inform our patients of this apparent risk with textured implants, we find that our patients are primarily electing to use the smooth surface implants instead.
What Is the Best Breast Implant Type for Me?
As noted above, women today have the options of silicone gel or saline implants. There are also options in choosing a round versus an anatomically shaped implant. There are certainly differences in these various implant options, but they also must be considered in association with a woman’s skin and tissue qualities as well as their goals and expectations. It is critical to have a full and complete discussion and physical examination with a board certified plastic surgeon so that together you can pick the best option for your individual situation. The best option for your individual needs and goals will be discussed in full detail at the time of your consultation with Dr. Parva. He will present all available implants, thoroughly discussing the pros and cons of each type, size, and shape to help ensure you make the most informed decision for your unique needs and goals.
Breast Implant Placement: Over vs. Under the Muscle
Breast implants are placed behind the breast mound in order to add volume and projection to the existing breast. Placement of the implant may be behind the pectoralis major muscle or in front of that muscle. Among other factors, tissue thickness plays an important part in that decision so it is important that you have a physical exam and discuss this fully with your plastic surgeon.
What Does the Breast Augmentation Procedure Entail?
Before surgery, Dr. Parva will make appropriate markings on the skin in the pre-operative holding area. A small incision is placed in the breast crease, at the margin of the areola or through the arm pit. A pocket is created under the breast gland or, more often, under the pectoralis major muscle under the breast and the implant is placed in that pocket. A bra is worn immediately to help support the breast and provide comfort.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Breast Augmentation?
Although the recovery after breast augmentation will be slightly different for every patient, the initial healing process takes about five to 10 days. Generally, recovery time is less than one week, and many women who work outside the home can return to work within several days. Dr. Parva recommends patients avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for at least two weeks. More personalized after-care instructions will be provided before your surgery.
What Can I Expect in My Breast Augmentation Results?
Noticeable results are seen immediately, but it will take several months for swelling to settle and for the long-term results to be evident.
You will be encouraged to perform implant displacement exercises to help keep the breast pocket of adequate size and the breast soft.
“Dear Dr. Parva,
It has now been 3 weeks since my breast augmentation and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all that you and your fabulous staff have done for me!”
“Thank you all for taking great care of me through surgery & this process. Very grateful for the hard work and compassionate health care providers! Hope the treats help to get through the day!”
Will I Have Scars After Breast Augmentation?
As with any surgery, breast augmentation will result in some degree of scarring, but incision lines should fade as your body heals. To help minimize the appearance of your post-operative scars, Dr. Parva places incisions in inconspicuous areas, such as in the breast crease, around the areola, or in the armpit, where the lines are naturally disguised or hidden. In addition, scars can generally be concealed underneath most bathing suits or undergarments.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Breast implants have a limited lifespan and will likely need to be replaced during a woman’s lifetime. On average, implants can last approximately 10 years, at which point there is a higher risk of rupture or deflation. Rupture and deflation rates slowly increase over time but most implants last more than 20 years. Revisions however, may be indicated sooner because of scar tissue or breast changes. Each breast implant manufacturer offers a warranty to help cover your implants, should they become defective within the expected lifespan.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
Breast augmentation costs can vary depending on the location of the surgical procedure and the type of breast implants chosen. Typically, the costs range from $6500-$8500. A personalized quote will be provided during your consultation based on your unique needs and aesthetic goals.
Are There Any Side Effects to Breast Implants?
Breast augmentation, like all other surgical procedures, is associated with possible risks and side effects. During the recovery period, this may include bleeding, swelling, tenderness, and infection. To minimize your risk of developing a significant complication, you should carefully follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and contact them with any concerns you may have.
After your initial recovery, a potential adverse effect to breast implants is capsular contracture. This is a thickening of the scar tissue around the implant that causes firmness to the breast. If you develop capsular contracture, this may require further surgery. Dr. Parva recommends patients perform implant displacement exercises (also known as breast implant massage) to help minimize the risk of this complication.
Another potential outcome with breast implants is rippling. The quality of your skin, as well as the type of implant used, are factors that determine how easily the implants are felt through the skin and if there is a potential of seeing rippling of the skin. If you notice loss of breast volume, or rippling or increasing firmness of the breast, you should contact your surgeon to schedule a consultation and possible breast implant revision surgery.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Augmentation
Do I Need a Breast Lift with My Augmentation?
Breast augmentation involves placement of an implant behind the breast in order to enlarge the size of the breast. A breast lift, on the other hand, is designed to elevate the position of the breast if it has dropped too low. Specifically, the purpose of the breast lift is to elevate the nipple position above the breast crease in order to have a more rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Breast augmentation alone will not lift the breast, so if a breast lift is indicated, it is not advised to simply place an implant. In some situations, both a breast lift and breast implants may be indicated to elevate the breast position while also adding volume.
Can I Breastfeed After Getting Breast Implants?
As with any procedure on the breast, there is a potential that placement of breast implants can impact future breast feeding. However, extensive procedures (i.e., Breast Lift) may have a higher risk and potential impact on the ability to breast feed. Placement of breast implants alone, through an inframammary incision, basically involves approaching directly at the base of the breast and creating a space behind the breast with placement of the implant in that location. Practically speaking, this does not disrupt the breast ducts and breast gland, so it is less likely to affect breast feeding. However, women who have never breastfed may not even be aware that they may have trouble breast feeding because of their anatomy. Ultimately, it is important for women to understand that surgical procedures on the breast have the potential of affecting future breast feeding.
Do Breast Implants Interfere with Mammograms?
Radiologists are very experienced in obtaining and interpreting mammograms, even with the presence of breast implants. At the time of a mammogram, the mammography technician will confirm the presence of breast implants and, therefore, adjust their techniques. Some believe there are benefits to placement of an implant behind the muscle since the entire breast gland will then be directly in front of the implant. Often radiologists will also employ other diagnostic studies such as ultrasound or MRI if they deem it necessary to get a more comprehensive evaluation of the breast.
What is Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an uncommon type of lymphoma that can develop in the scar capsule around saline or silicone breast implants. This form of lymphoma appears to be associated with textured breast implants and is currently being investigated as to its relationship with breast implants.
This category of ALCL is a rare cancer of the immune system, which can occur anywhere in the body. As of August 2019, the FDA has been made aware of 573 confirmed BIA-ALCL cases worldwide related to breast implants. To date, there are no reported cases of BIA-ALCL in patients exposed to only smooth devices. A recent study reports a lifetime risk of 1:3,345 to 1:86,029 based on variable risk with different manufacturer types of textured implants.
Women with breast implants should monitor any changes such as swelling related to fluid collection or a mass in the breast. Some women have reported fever, night sweats, or swollen lymph nodes. If patients are experiencing any symptoms, it is important to consult with a plastic surgeon who can perform an evaluation and, if needed, order the appropriate tests.
Additional information about BIA-ALCL can be obtained on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website: PlasticSurgery.org/ALCL.
Schedule Your Breast Enlargement Consultation
Please contact Parva Plastic Surgery for your complimentary breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Parva today.