The breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. Still, you will want to make sure you have all the accurate information you need before deciding on the procedure. As a form of elective surgery, it is important that all women have a thorough understanding of this procedure before making any permanent decisions. Unfortunately, many women don’t even consider this operation because of the misinformation that is spread in the media and among the populace. This article will cover the basics of breast augmentation in order to give all women a clear understanding of this operation. Welcome to Breast Augmentation 101.

What is breast augmentation exactly?

Breast augmentation, also known as breast enlargement or breast enhancement, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that enlarges a woman’s breasts with either breast implants or fat. These implants are placed inside each breast through a surgical procedure. Two incisions are made, one under each breast, in order to place the implants. For a breast augmentation with fat transfer, the patient’s own fat will be used to enhance the breasts.

What are the benefits of receiving an augmentation procedure?

While every woman has their own reasons for undergoing breast augmentation, there are some obvious benefits to the procedure. The primary reason that women receive this procedure is to enhance the shape and size of their natural breasts. Some women feel that their boobs are underdeveloped or too small. There are many women who need their original breast size restored after suffering a reduction from breastfeeding. Others require this procedure to make their breasts more symmetrical. Breast augmentation can also help a woman’s breasts appear more proportional to the rest of her figure. Overall, this procedure can help improve a woman’s confidence and self-esteem.

What materials comprise the implants?

There are two materials commonly used as implants: silicone and saline gel. Both of these materials have been approved by the FDA for this exact procedure. Saline implants are filled with salt water or sterile saline. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are comprised of silicone gel. Both of these implants have a protective shell made of silicone to provide shape and support.

Silicone implants are by far the most popular among patients and doctors alike. The cohesive nature of these implants makes them much more similar to the look and feel of natural breasts. These implants are also less likely to wrinkle over time. Unlike silicone, saline implants have the advantage of being adjusted during the procedure. Because they don’t come prefilled, these implants also don’t require a large incision.

What is a fat transfer breast augmentation?

A fat transfer breast augmentation, or natural breast augmentation, uses the patient’s own fat cells instead of implants for their enhancement. Fat cells are obtained using liposuction techniques, creating tiny incisions and using a cannula to break up and remove the fat cells. This is typically done on the abdomen, flanks, or upper thighs. Those fat cells will then be processed and placed in the breast area for a subtle enhancement to their size, shape, and contour. This allows a more natural look and feel without the use of synthetic implants.

What incision options are available?

There are several incision options when it comes to breast augmentation. A breast augmentation with fat transfer only requires tiny incisions near the breasts for fat to be placed. However, if implants are being used, a larger incision is required. Joseph T Cruise, MD may use a peri-areolar incision around the nipple, a trans-axillary incision within the armpit, or an inframammary incision within the crease of the breast. Some may require one of more incision types. No matter which incision is required, Joseph T Cruise, MD will do everything he can to create minimal scarring that is well-concealed.

What implant placement options are available?

There are two main choices for how the implants are placed. During subglandular placement, the breast implant is placed below the breast tissue and over the chest muscle. This placement can reduce your recovery time, but may only be used for those with enough breast tissue to protect the implant. The implant can also be placed underneath the chest muscle during submuscular placement. This can involve partial or complete placement under the muscle. While this may require more invasion during surgery, it often leads to improved protection of the implant, with fewer risks of complications. This decision will be made between the patient and Joseph T Cruise, MD based on body type, concerns, and goals.

How invasive is the procedure?

Breast augmentation isn’t as invasive as a majority of other surgeries. In fact, most women are back to work within a few days of their procedure. This surgery only requires that one incision is made on each breast. The exact location of the incision depends on the size and shape of the augmentation, but the most common spot is under the breast. This makes the incision harder to spot. The procedure only takes a few hours, and women aren’t required to stay at the hospital afterward. Some swelling and sensitivity are to be expected for a week or two after the surgery.

Is breast augmentation permanent?

The answer to this question isn’t a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Breast implants typically last 10 years without any problems. It is recommended to replace them every 8 to 10 years. However, women can have these implants removed anytime that they grow tired of their weight or size. Although the removal of these implants requires another surgery, it is possible. There are also times when women will require a corrective procedure if one of the implants becomes ruptured.

Learn More

If you are considering getting a breast augmentation and would like even more information, talk with Joseph T Cruise, MD at Orange County Cosmetic Surgery to learn more about breast augmentation and your options.