Breast augmentation (also called breast enlargement or breast implants) is a surgical procedure that adds volume and restores fullness of the breast. The procedure typically involves placing silicone or saline implants into the breasts through small incisions.
Breast augmentation can also be done through fat transfer - when fat from another part of the patient's body is used to create the improved breast volume, the procedure is referred to as fat transfer breast augmentation.
This procedure is safe and FDA-approved. In the US, over 300,000 women undergo the procedure every year. It is the most common elective cosmetic surgery performed today in the US. To learn more about the safety of breast implants, watch these video featuring female board certified plastic surgeons from across the country as they share their personal and professional opinions.
Getting breast implants is a highly personal decision, and can be motivated by a variety of factors. Some women feel as though a larger chest would make them feel more feminine, sexier, or simply more proportionate.
Some women choose to undergo breast augmentation after breastfeeding, which can reduce the volume of breasts.
Exercise can also reduce the size of small breasts - some athletes choose to get breast implants to make up for this loss.
Regardless of your reason, it's important that you know what your goals are. The more informed you are going into your consultation, the better you'll be able to communicate with Dr. Majewski about your needs!
Breast augmentation surgery is a deeply personal and life-changing procedure - so it's important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and his or her experience.
Dr. Majewski is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 17 years of experience, and has performed hundreds of successful breast augmentation procedures throughout his career. His goal for all his patients is to help them feel comfortable, confident, and calm throughout their surgery and recovery experience.
Breast augmentation is a deeply personal procedure, and it's important that you're doing it for yourself and not for someone else, even if that person has offered to pay for it. Dr. Majewski's patient satisfaction is high, specifically when patients want the procedure themselves.
You may be a candidate for breast augmentation if:
You are physically healthy and you aren't pregnant or breastfeeding
You have realistic expectations
Your breasts are fully developed
You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss or with aging
You are unhappy with the upper part of your breast appearing "empty"
Your breasts are asymmetrical
One or both breasts failed to develop normally, or have an elongated shape
WHAT BREAST AUGMENTATION WON'T DO
The implants will increase the size of the breast - they will not correct sagginess (ptosis) of the breasts. If you're looking to add volume and lift to your breasts, Dr. Majewski will likely recommend a breast lift (mastopexy), with or without implants depending on the size of your existing breast tissue. You can learn more about the differences between these two procedures in this article by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
If you're considering surgery, spend some time reviewing breast augmentation photos and learning about what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery.
Schedule a consultation once you feel you've done sufficient research on the procedure, researched possible surgeons, and you feel confident speaking about your goals and expectations for the surgery.
WHAT TO EXPECT
During your breast augmentation consultation be prepared to discuss:
Why you want breast augmentation surgery, your expectations, and the desired outcome
Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments
Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies
Dr. Majewski will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, examine and measure your breasts, including detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality and placement of your nipples and areolas, take photographs, discuss the use of anesthesia during your procedure, discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment, and discuss likely outcomes of breast augmentation and any risks or potential complications.
There are several decisions to make about the type and size of implant used, as well as where the implant is placed - over or underneath the muscle. During your consultation, Dr. Majewski will provide his recommendations for how to achieve your desired look.
One of the most important - and most personal - decisions to make is what size breast implants you'd like! To determine this, you'll first need to do a little reflection and research.
Take some time to think through your daily life - what kinds of activities do you do day to day? If you're active, you might opt for moderately-sized implants so your breasts don't interfere with your running, jumping, or lifting. If you're looking for large, full breasts with lots of cleavage (think: Sofia Vergara or Kate Upton), go for it! But note that your anatomy might limit how large you're able to go.
Do you plan on having children? You can breastfeed with implants, but many women choose to wait until they're done breastfeeding before getting the surgery.
It's important to note that implant size is measured in cubic centimeters, or cc's - not cup sizes. Since cup sizes differ quite drastically between bra manufacturers, it's not an accurate way to measure breast implant size. As a frame of reference, each 130-150cc will roughly increase the size of the breast by one cup size. A patient with an 34A bra size who gets 300cc might end up with a 34C or 34D bra size. 350-400cc might increase her size to 34DD. Your final size will also depend on how much existing breast tissue you have.
Although large implants (450cc or more) have been popular in the past, today many women are opting for more subtle breast implants - from 250-400cc. Everyone's body is different - 300cc might look dramatic on someone with a smaller frame, while not making a noticeable difference on someone taller or with a broader chest.
Dr. Majewski always recommends that patients find women with comparable body types on RealSelf.com. On the Breast Augmentation page, you can search by existing size/size increase - A to C cup, A to D cup, etc. - to visualize what your body might look like with a variety of breast implant sizes.
SILICONE OR SALINE?
There are two types of breast implants available: silicone-filled and saline-filled implants. The shells of all implants are made of silicone rubber; the difference is in a material filling them. Implants come in variety of sizes, shapes (round vs. shaped), surfaces (smooth vs. textured) and profiles (from moderate to ultra high).
Dr. Majewski will provide his recommendations for the most appropriate implants during your consultation. Note that your anatomy (chest width, rib cage shape, soft tissue thickness and quality) will determine what options may or may not be well-suited for you.
OVER OR UNDER THE MUSCLE?
Another decision to make is whether you'd like to have the implants placed over or under your chest muscle. The chest muscle provides additional soft tissue coverage, and it can help shape the upper portion of the breasts.
In women with very little of their own breast tissue, you generally want to place as much tissue as possible over the implant so that it will look as natural as possible. Placing implants under the muscle is usually the best option for women with little existing breast tissue, or who are receiving a breast lift and augmentation at the same time.
Under the muscle is also a good choice for many women because it helps create a natural slope on the top part of the breast. Since saline implants are stiffer than silicone, and require more pressure on them to achieve that slope, many surgeons decide to go under the muscle with saline implants.
However, for women who already have some breast tissue (B cup or larger), over the muscle could be the better option. Dr. Majewski will explain the various options to you to help you make a decision that meets your goals!
You can learn more about the various decisions involved in breast augmentation surgery on our blog: Preparing for Breast Augmentation Surgery.
Your consultation is also an important time for you to ask any questions you may have about the procedure and recovery.
It's important to understand all aspects of your breast augmentation surgery. It's natural to be nervous about it, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr. Majewski.
Breast augmentation surgery is an investment in your confidence and happiness. The cost of your procedure may include:
Hospital or surgical facility costs
Prescriptions for medication
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
It's important to remember that most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic breast augmentation costs, related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts. At Majewski Plastic Surgery, we offer CareCredit for all cosmetic procedures. Be sure to ask Suzanne, our Office Manager, about CareCredit during your financial consultation.
Breast augmentation surgery is performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia for your safety and comfort.
During the procedure, incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. Dr. Majewski will discuss with you which incision options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include: along the areolar edge (peri-areolar incision), the fold under the breast (inframammary fold) and in the armpit (axillary incision). A belly-button approach is associated with a higher complication rate.
Incisions vary based on the type of breast implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy and patient-surgeon preference.
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle. Dr. Majewski will then close the incisions with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive, or surgical tape to close the skin.
Over time, the incision lines will fade. The quality of scar depends on many things, including your genetics, exposure of your body to nicotine, and infection. Dr. Majewski will provide you with a scar gel to minimize the appearance of your scars.
During your breast augmentation recovery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.
Immediately after your surgery, you'll be taken into a recovery area for close monitoring. You may be permitted to go home when you are stable for discharge, typically after an hour or so. You will need someone to drive you home on your surgery day.
Before leaving, Dr. Majewski and his team will provide you with specific instructions for breast augmentation recovery that may include:
How to care for your breasts following breast augmentation surgery
Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
When you can shower
Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
Wear your support garment (a bra or elastic band, called a bandeau) around the clock as instructed by Dr. Majewski.
Be sure to ask Dr. Majewski specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period before you go in for surgery. Do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions about your recovery.
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure, typically performed using general anesthesia. You can expect to walk around on your own a few hours after surgery, and most patients feel up to leaving the house within the next day or two.
Because it is possible to bleed into the pockets around the breast implants for the first several days, take it easy until you have permission to increase your activity level. Acute pain typically subsides after one to five days, but you may experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Resume exercise and normal activity according to Dr. Majewski's instructions. It's important to listen to your body during this time - take it easy, and allow your body to heal fully before engaging in any kind of strenuous activity.
Breast augmentation is surprisingly less painful than you might think. Of course, it will take your body time to adjust to the implants - but most patients find that they are able to stop taking pain medicine within 3-7 days after surgery. Taking time to rest, hydrate, eat well, and do some gentle movement will help reduce any pain.
Avoid raising your arms above your head, or lifting or carrying anything more than a few pounds for several days after surgery. If something feels uncomfortable, don't do it. This is not the time to be a superhero! You'll regain strength over time, but you might find everyday actions - such as closing the trunk of an SUV or opening a jar - will be difficult in the weeks after surgery. Learn to ask for help in these types of situations, and plan ahead so that you're never alone in the days following your procedure. You should be fairly self-sufficient within 4-6 days.
Learn all about how to prepare for a successful breast augmentation recovery and what to expect on our blog: Preparing for Breast Augmentation Surgery.
While a breast augmentation yields larger breasts right away, the final results may take a few weeks as the swelling subsides and the skin stretches. Some patients may need to wear a bandeau to help shape their breasts, especially if they have underlying asymmetry or very small breasts to start with. Incision lines may take several months, even a couple of years, to fade.
If your breast implants are placed partially beneath the pectoral muscle—the preferred method in most cases—your breasts may seem to sit high on the chest at first. This is normal, and your implants will settle into their optimal position over the next several weeks, with final results after a couple of months.
Patients often report a boost in confidence and self-image following breast augmentation. For many women, getting breast implants opens up a new world of possibilities when it comes to bras, tops, dresses, and swimsuits, which can be incredibly exciting! Just remember to wait for a few months for your breasts to fully settle before making any large purchases (so you can feel confident that you're buying the right size).
Breast augmentation with Silicone Implants
Breast Augmentation WITH Saline implants
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