What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a very popular and common procedure that can increase your breast size by one or more sizes. By surgically inserting breast implants beneath the breast tissue or the chest muscle during breast augmentation, women can achieve larger, and equally important, better shaped breasts.
This type of breast enhancement is sometimes performed in conjunction with a breast lift. For some women, breast augmentation is a way to enhance self-image and self-confidence. Majority of women do not have perfectly shaped breasts nor are they symmetric. Often times they are uneven, so much so that they are a cup size or more different from side to side. Furthermore, the breast shape can be quite different from a slight chest wall irregularity from birth or a spine that is slight irregular. But do not feel like you are alone or damaged, these type of breast variations are extremely common.
It was apparent early on in Dr. Albert's training in plastic surgery that if a young woman was going to electively alter their breasts to make them feel better about themselves, then there should be little signs of having had surgery; or preferably, there should be none. So in one of his electives in training, he visited the godfather of the scarless breast augmentation. Dr. Gerald Johnson in Houston, Texas developed the TUBA, otherwise known as the Transumbilical breast augmentation. That is right. Dr. Albert spent time with the pioneer of the scarless breast augmentation. With just a small incision in the belly button, the breast implant is inserted to augment the breast. Since it is a distance from the belly button to the breast mound, an endoscopic camera is used to facilitate the procedure. The results are amazing and magical since the belly button incision often heals so well you can not even see it.
Dr. Albert's endoscopic skills are also used to put the implants through the axilla, or armpit as well. This also leads to no visible scarring and incredible control with placing the implants.
Who is a Good Candidate For Breast Augmentation?
Whether this procedure is right for you is a completely personal decision. For most women, their breasts are an integral part of their body image, and even their overall self-confidence with their figure. If you have always felt that your breasts were not proportional with the rest of your figure, this procedure can change that. If your breasts are somewhat asymmetrical, augmentation can change that while also adding volume. Maybe you’re unhappy with the way your breasts have sagged after childbirth and breastfeeding, or just from the effects of gravity, and you’d like a breast lift with additional volume through adding implants to the procedure. Maybe you’d simply like a shapelier figure.
There are many reasons women opt to have breast augmentation, and the procedure has high satisfaction ratings afterwards.
Benefits of Breast Implants
If you’re a woman who has never felt her breasts were proportional with the rest of your figure, this can change how you see your body. Most women who’ve had breast augmentation say it has increased their self-confidence. Here are some benefits of this procedure:
Extremely high satisfaction rates
Women who have had breast augmentation are routinely surveyed in the months and years afterwards. They report incredibly high rates of satisfaction. A recent survey from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that 98 percent of women felt their augmentation either met or exceeded their expectations. Over 90 percent of the women also said they felt the procedure increased their self-esteem.
Breast augmentation surgery does not involve a difficult recovery. Most women are able to return to work after just a few days of recovery. The pain is not acute and is often related to being similar to the feeling after a rigorous upper body workout.
Implants are proven to be safe
Before any breast implants were initially approved the FDA studied them extensively. Later, in the 80s, when there was some concern about silicone and safety, the FDA conducted another, even more rigorous study and found no link between health issues and silicone breast implants. Plus, modern silicone gel is now very cohesive, meaning it usually adheres to itself and doesn’t leak out into the breast pocket if the implant ruptures, hence "gummy bear implants."
Implant durability is continuing to improve. Although most implants will need to be replaced at least once in a patient’s life, there is no specific timeline. Manufacturers guarantee their implants for at least 10 years, and many patients have implants that can last double that time. Replacing implants does require knowledge and expertise. Dr. Albert can enter through the same original incisions to remove the old implants and place the new ones.
Variety of options
There are a variety of implants available from different manufacturers. These vary by the size, the shape, and the projection. This allows patients to choose an option that fits their goals, rather than adapting to a one-size-fits-all approach.
WHAT IS THE ENDOSCOPIC TECHNIQUE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?
Some of Dr. Albert’s patients don’t want to use the inframammary incision location on the breast crease at the bottom or underneath the breast. They seek to avoid any scarring on the breast, so they opt to have implants placed through the transaxillary method. This means they are placed through a tiny incision made vertically in the armpit.
For this method of augmentation, Dr. Albert also uses an endoscope. This is inserted through a small incision in the top of the armpit, and it is used to guide the formation of the breast pocket and then the placement of the implants.
Types of Breast Implants
Beyond the decision to have augmentation surgery, you’ll also need to make a variety of other decisions, such as the type of implants you want. Here are the options:
Saline implants — A outer silicone shell is filled with sterile saline solution. Saline implants are placed empty and filled once in the breast pocket, requiring a smaller incision or virtually scarless with the transumbilical method. Saline implants are more prone to rippling than silicone.
Silicone implants — These implants are filled with medical-grade silicone. Today’s silicone is far more cohesive, meaning it tends to stay together, rather than liquid. Most silicone won’t leave the implant in the case of a rupture. People generally feel silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue.
Gummy bear implants — These silicone implants are made from highly cohesive silicone gel. If they are cut in half, the gel doesn’t leave the shell.
How will I know the right size of implants?
During your consultation, Dr. Albert stresses the goal of keeping the size of your implants in line with the proportions of your figure. Some patients assume implant size is the same as bra size, but that’s not the case. Implants are sized by the amount of material — either sterile saline or medical-grade silicone — used to fill the implant shell. This is measure in cubic centimeters, ccs.
Dr. Albert does take into consideration your occupation, your age, how you want to wear your clothing, and then you tell him what your ideal result would be after looking through many breast augmentation results. Your examination will also determine which size and type of implant that will give you the optimal result.
Multiple measurements will be taken and pictures will be used to analyze your breast size and shape. We may also put breast sizers in your bra so you can see closely how your new chest will appear and feel in clothing. After the consultation process, only through honest collaboration will your breast transformation plan be solidified. But it does not stop there. We also have multiple different implants available at surgery if small adjustments are needed. We also review which incision to place the implant. We will discuss if your implants should be above or below the pectoralis muscle and how that may effect your result and longevity of your implants.
It’s not simply the size that matters with your implants. There’s also the consideration of projection. Implants have different projections based on how much an implant projects forward from the chest wall when the person is standing. Implants with a smaller base width provide greater projection as compared with implants with a wider base. Implants are low profile, moderate profile, and high profile. Low profile implants would be good for women with wider chests; moderate implants for women with smaller or narrower chest; and high profile implants best for petite women who have a narrow chest wall.
At Optimization Centre, we have tools that help you visualize how different implant sizes and projections will look on your figure.
Breast Augmentation Considerations
Breast augmentation can dramatically improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts. During your breast augmentation consultation, you’ll learn more about your options for creating your ideal breast appearance, including:
- Implant size, style, and shape
- Implant material (silicone, gel or saline)
- Implant position (above or below the pectoralis muscle)
- Implant incision site
The goal is to create a natural and alluring look. Which implant size that will work best for you must be individually determined with your input. The size, shape, style, and type of implant will be decided after a comprehensive examination. Placing implants that are too large for the intended body size have greater chances of capsular contracture, discomfort and longer recovery times and dissatisfied patients.
How does Dr. Albert Perform Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient surgery with multiple anesthesia options: general anesthesia, IV sedation, and local anesthesia. The surgery takes from 45 minutes to one hour. Incision length is generally about one inch for placement of saline breast implants, and 1.5-2 inches for silicone implants. This difference is because saline implants are filled after placement, while silicone implants are placed already filled.
After the incisions are made, a pocket is created within each breast that will hold the implant. Then the implants are inserted, and Dr. Albert checks for symmetry and position and then closes the incisions with tiny sutures to minimize scarring.
Recovery After Breast Implant Surgery
Our Optimization Centre patients are usually pleasantly surprised at how easy their recovery is after breast augmentation. We’ve had patients equate the feeling afterwards to being similar to the aching after an intense upper body workout at the gym a day or two prior. After your surgery, you’ll most likely be wearing a surgical support bra. He’ll prescribe pain medication, but many women don’t feel the need for anything more than over-the-counter options. Your discomfort is more tightness and aching in your chest, rather than acute pain. At this point, we will show you how to massage your breasts to relax the muscles and help the implants settle into their breast pockets. This type of postoperative massage has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of capsular contracture (where scar tissue contracts and hardens around the implant) and decrease discomfort.
Most patients can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Usually, no sutures will need to be removed as they dissolve on their own. Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. Upper body exercise, such as lifting weights, will need to wait for six weeks.
After surgery, Dr. Albert is very proud of our close follow up process to assure your optimal results. Optimization in breast augmentation can only happen if there are open lines of communication. It is critical to be closely monitored in at least the first month. For patients from out of town, we will have virtual visits, which work out very well in this technologically driven world. During these appointments we will tell you about how you are progressing. We will discuss if you still need to wear a bra, what kind of bra, what type of exercise, and when to start doing breast implant exercises.
What are the risks of breast augmentation?
Beyond the general risks associated with any surgery, there are some risks specific to breast augmentation. These include:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Implant shifting
- Changes in nipple sensation
- Impaired ability to breastfeed
- Breast asymmetry
- Visible rippling of the implant
You may have heard the recent news of the FDA asking the manufacturer Allergan to voluntarily recall its Biocell textured breast implants. This is in response to a possible link between these Biocell implants and women developing a very rare condition known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma. This warning is only for this single type of implant.
What choose Dr. Gregory Albert?
- Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
- Listens to patients and provides the most optimal aesthetic treatment plan
- Committed to providing realistic and natural looking results
- Educated and caring staff
- State of the art facility with a relaxed atmosphere