Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgical procedures in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This procedure uses saline or silicone breast implants to make small breasts larger or to restore breast volume which has been lost either due to weight loss or pregnancy. At Forma Plastic Surgery, we offer the most advanced techniques for breast augmentation surgery in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas. Contact us to schedule your consultation.
Breast Augmentation Consultation
Individuals interested in breast augmentation should meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon for an initial consultation. During this visit, the plastic surgeon will evaluate the patient by asking questions about the patient’s medical and surgical history, the medications or supplements she might be taking, and the motivation for seeking surgical intervention. The plastic surgeon will also perform a breast examination, taking detailed measurements of their sizing, shape, skin quality and placement of the nipples. It is helpful for the patient to bring a tank top or tight fitting shirt to your consultation because you will be trying on different sizes of implants. Once a patient is determined to be appropriate, the plastic surgeon will discuss the various surgical options and provide his or her recommendations. The surgeon will also explain the risks, benefits and complications that can occur with the procedure.
Preparing for your Breast Augmentation Procedure
Patients should begin preparing for surgery two to four weeks before the procedure is scheduled. The plastic surgeon will require that patients avoid all nicotine sources and avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinning medication. The plastic surgeon will also send the patient for pre-operative labs and testing to make sure that she is appropriate for surgery. Medications are prescribed to take both before and after the procedure.
Our plastic surgeons will generally recommend placing implants through an inframammary incision (underneath the breast in the fold), but there are other methods such as through the armpit (transaxillary approach), the nipple (the areolar approach), or the belly button (T.U.B.A. or trans-umbilical breast augmentation approach). Additionally, our plastic surgeons at Forma Plastic Surgery prefer to place the implants in a sub-pectoral fashion (behind the chest muscle). Your plastic surgeon will discuss the reasons for your individual case.
In addition, the patient will need to decide on saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water, and the amount in which the implant is filled will affect the shape, firmness, and feel of the breast. Silicone implants for breast augmentation were approved by the FDA in 2006. They are filled with a saline gel that feels and moves more like natural breast tissue.
Click here to read more information on silicone implants from the FDA.
The day before surgery, it is important that patients thoroughly bathe and get plenty of rest. The day of the procedure, patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Patients should also arrange to be accompanied by a friend or family member who can drive them home after surgery. It is also important for patients to carefully follow any pre-operative instructions given to them by the plastic surgeon to ensure for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
During this procedure, the patient will undergo general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon will make the incision in the area that has previously been planned with the patient. Next, the plastic surgeon will typically insert the implant into a pocket under the pectoral muscle, and the incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and skin. This is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately one hour to one and a half hours.
Breast Augmentation Recovery and Results
The results of a breast augmentation procedure are immediately visible, but the recovery time period for the surgery usually lasts 24 to 72 hours. Swelling and soreness usually lasts for a few weeks, but the plastic surgeon will prescribe the patient medications to minimize the discomfort. Most patients return to work in a few days after the procedure, but individuals with a job that requires more lifting or intense activity may be advised to take a few weeks off. Patients will be required to wear a special breast binder for the first couple of weeks after the surgery. Patients will be advised on a case-by-case basis when they are able to resume their normal daily activities.
There are complications that can occur with a breast augmentation procedure, and although they are rare, the plastic surgeon will discuss these in detail with the patient at their initial consultation and again at their pre-operative appointment. Breast implants are not lifetime permanent devices, and they may need to be replaced at some point in the future. Overall, satisfaction of breast implants is excellent and results are long lasting.