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What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, sometimes called a “boob job” in non-medical settings, is a surgical procedure that endeavors to enhance the breasts’ size, shape, and fullness. The procedure involves the placement of implants to create larger breasts with a pleasing shape. This highly customized procedure allows women to feel more self-confident and to achieve a more proportionate figure. Women who have had breast implants find that clothing fits them better, and they feel more attractive.
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What Are the Two Types of Breast Augmentation Surgery?
There are primarily two types of breast augmentation surgery:
- Implant-Based Augmentation: This method involves placing silicone or saline-filled implants either behind the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. It’s an effective way to achieve noticeable size increase and shape enhancement.
- Fat Transfer Augmentation: Also known as fat grafting, this technique uses the patient’s fat, harvested from other parts of the body, to increase breast size. It provides a more natural look and feel but may result in a more subtle enhancement compared to implants.
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What is the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants?
While the terms breast augmentation and breast implants are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same.
- Breast Augmentation: This is a broader term that refers to the general enhancement of the breasts, which can be achieved through various methods such as implants or fat transfer.
- Breast Implants: These are specific devices made of saline or silicone that are surgically inserted into the breasts to increase their size and shape. Implants are a popular method within the broader category of breast augmentation.
Both methods have unique benefits and considerations, and the choice between them should be made in consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like the experts at Renaissance Plastic Surgery. They can provide personalized recommendations based on individual anatomy, goals, and lifestyle.
Types of Implants
There are different types of implants. When you decide to get breast implants, you have a lot of specific choices, not only in terms of the size and type of material but also in terms of shape. One manufacturer alone makes 143 different shapes and sizes of breast implants.
We will thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each with you so that you can make the optimal choice for your needs.
Saline Implants are filled after they have been placed in the breast, which means that a smaller incision is required. The ability to fill the implant after insertion also allows the doctor to adjust the size during surgery. These implants are FDA-approved for women of age 18 and older.
Silicone Implants are generally believed to have a softer, more natural feel than saline. They are especially recommended for women with thin tissue and/or little breast tissue. Silicone implants require a larger incision, however, because they are filled prior to insertion. These implants are FDA-approved for women of age 22 and older, although younger women often qualify for their use.
While breast implant ruptures are not a frequent occurrence, both saline and silicone implants can rupture. The FDA recommends that women with silicone implants have an MRI every two years to determine if a rupture has occurred. This is because silicone implant ruptures may not be readily detected. Saline, on the other hand, simply deflates if a rupture occurs, so it is easily detected.
Cohesive Gel Implants, also known as form stable or “gummy bear” implants, can be divided in half, and the contents will not spill out. The gel of these implants is similar in consistency to gummy bear candies, they are less prone to leakage, and they will not lose their shape if the outer shell is disrupted. These implants also have a natural, teardrop shape.
Common Breast Augmentation FAQs
How Painful is Breast Augmentation?
While pain is subjective and varies from person to person, breast augmentation surgery usually involves some discomfort. Surgeons often administer anesthesia during the procedure to minimize pain, and post-surgery pain can typically be managed with prescribed medications. Many patients describe the sensation as soreness or pressure rather than acute pain. Pain tends to diminish significantly after the first few days following surgery.
What is Breast Augmentation Surgery Cost?
The cost of breast augmentation can vary widely based on factors such as geographic location, surgeon's experience, type of implants used, and specific needs of the patient. On average, the cost may range from $5,000 to $10,000. It's essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon like the ones at Renaissance Plastic Surgery to get an accurate quote tailored to your specific situation.
What is the Best Age to Get a Breast Augmentation?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the ideal age for breast augmentation. Many surgeons recommend waiting until the breasts have fully developed, usually by the late teens or early twenties. Other considerations might include life stage, overall health, and personal goals. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help determine the best timing for an individual's unique needs and expectations.
How Often Should I have the Implants Exchanged?
The FDA recommends exchanging implants every 10 years.
How Can I Check Whether the Implant is Ruptured?
Both MRI and Ultrasound are good modalities for inspecting for silicone implant rupture. Saline implant ruptures are often immediately noticed by the patient as one breast will be significantly smaller than the other.
Do You Sleep in a Bra After Breast Augmentation?
Many surgeons recommend wearing a surgical or supportive bra 24/7 in the weeks following breast augmentation surgery. This support can help reduce swelling, support healing tissues, and keep implants in their proper position. However, guidelines may vary depending on the surgeon's preferences and the specifics of the surgery, so it's best to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon.
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Breast Implant Placement
Besides incision placement, the implants can be inserted in one of two areas – under the chest muscle or over the chest muscle.
Placing the implant between the chest muscle and breast tissue allows for a shorter surgery and faster recovery time with less post-surgical pain. This is called “sub-glandular” placement. However, the implants may be easier to see and feel through the skin, and this technique may be avoided in those with very little overlying breast tissue.
Sub-muscular placement under the chest muscle makes the implants less easily seen and felt, but recovery takes slightly longer. There is also a possibility of “animation deformity” (movement of the implant when flexing the chest muscles).
Our surgeons will help you make the best implant placement decision for you.
Breast Implant Incisions
Incisions for breast augmentation can usually be placed in areas that are largely hidden, such as under the crease of the breast (inframammary incision), around the areola surrounding the nipple (periareolar incision), or under the arm (transaxillary incision).
You may have heard about an incision through the navel, but this method is not recommended as it has not yet been sufficiently studied. This technique can also only be performed with saline implants.
Our surgeons most commonly place incisions along the fold on the underside of the breast. This approach has been shown to reduce the risk of capsular contracture (progressive deposition of tight scar tissue around the implant, believed to be associated with trace amounts of bacteria that can create a film on the surface of the implant.
Wrapping Up: Breast Augmentation
In conclusion, breast augmentation is a deeply personal and complex procedure, and it’s natural to have questions and concerns. The surgeons at Renaissance Plastic Surgery have the expertise to guide you through the process, ensuring your specific needs and questions are addressed. By understanding what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, you can approach your breast augmentation with confidence and peace of mind.
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