When women feel their breasts are either disproportionally small for their figure, are unhappy with the shape, have lost volume due to weight loss or breastfeeding, or simply would like to have larger breasts, breast augmentation can feel a boost in self-confidence and a serious change in body image.
What is breast augmentation?
Dr. Lin performs breast augmentation with either saline or silicone implants. There is a great deal of giving and take between surgeon and patient as there are many decisions to make: implant type, implant size (measured in CCs of filled volume), implant shape (round or teardrop), incision location (around the areola, in the breast crease, or in the armpit), and implant placement (atop or beneath the pectoral muscle).
Breast Augmentation FAQs
Who is a good candidate to have breast augmentation?
As with all cosmetic surgery, this is a completely personal decision. If you’re a woman who’s always felt her breasts were not proportional with the rest of your figure, augmentation may change that. If your breasts are asymmetrical (most women’s are, to some degree), augmentation can help correct that. If you’ve lost volume or your breasts have flattened with age, augmentation can return volume. Or, if you simply would like to have larger breasts and a curvier figure, augmentation’s the way to go.
One thing is important, however. The decision to augment your breasts needs to be made for you. It can’t be for a partner or a spouse who’s pushing you. This needs to be something you want to do.
This can be a very satisfying procedure and it features the highest satisfaction level among plastic surgery procedures, so once you make the decision to proceed odds are you’ll like the end result.
What is the cost of breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation has some variables: the implant type, the size, the incision location, and whether or not you seek to have a breast lift with augmentation to remove excess sagging skin. Dr. Lin will discuss these options with you during your consultation, and he can give you an exact idea of how much your augmentation will cost.
Can augmentation be combined with a breast lift?
Some of Dr. Lin’s patients opt to add augmentation to their breast lift procedure for two reasons. First, a breast lift doesn’t decrease breast size, but it does return the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Many women feel they would like to add a little volume back to their breasts, and breast lifts don’t add volume. Second, adding implants during a breast lift is a relatively easy extension of the procedure. This is because the incisions needed for the breast lift can be used for augmentation, as well. Plus, there is just a single recovery period.
What are the different types of implants?
Saline implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water. Saline implants have the advantage of being placed empty and then filled, requiring a smaller incision. If a saline implant ruptures, the body simply absorbs the saltwater. But the deflated implant would still require surgery to remove the collapsed shell and replace it.
Silicone implants are named for the medical-grade silicone that fills the silicone shell. The silicone used to fill implants is thicker today than earlier iterations in the 80s and 90s. The general consensus is that silicone feels more like natural breast tissue than saline. It is also less prone to rippling. The disadvantage is that if the implant leaks, silicone enters the breast pocket created for the implant. This rupture may not be obvious to the patient but will show up on mammograms, which are required with silicone implants. A newer option is the gummy bear implant. Although made of silicone, the cohesiveness (this is the degree the silicone stays together and within the shell if there is a leak) is much higher than typical silicone implants.
How do I choose the size of my implants?
Implants are sized by the amount of silicone or saline used to fill the implant, measured in cubic centimeters, cc’s. The degree of enlargement is totally personal, but is something Dr. Lin will help you decide. We also have computer simulations that will help you visualize different sizes and how they will look with your body type. Beyond the size, you will decide the shape and projection of your implants. “Standard implants” create a more rounded appearance, while “high profile” implants project more outwards. Teardrop-shaped implants mimic the shape of the natural breast.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Words seem inadequate to express my gratitude (and amazement!) for what you have done for me. It’s been a long journey, and it takes even longer for esteem and body image to catch up with the physical changes. Thank you for being such a compassionate surgeon. Your extraordinary skills and caring are a rare combination. I hope you can instill both in surgeons you are teaching.”
“Thank you for the wonderful compassionate care I received under your care. You and your staff are amazing. It is clear to me that you consider the impact of your work on a very nervous patient like me.”
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How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants generally last from 10-15 years. Implant durability is increasing, but you shouldn’t expect to have just a single set of implants during your life. When an implant reaches its lifespan it will usually begin to leak. At this point, you’ll need replacement surgery to remove the old implants and place new implants. This surgery is easier than the original augmentation procedure and usually is done through the previous incisions.
What is recovery like after breast augmentation?
Recovery after breast augmentation is important to discuss. Usually, you’ll return home just a couple of hours after your surgery. Dr. Lin will have bandages on your breasts, and you’ll be wearing a surgical bra for support. You’ll need pain medication for 2-4 days, but the pain isn’t overwhelming. When we remove your bandages, we’ll demonstrate breast massage techniques that will help relax the muscle and allow your implants to settle into their breast pockets. This postoperative massage has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of capsular contracture, plus it decreases the initial tightness that can be a little uncomfortable.
What should I expect after my augmentation surgery?
Recovery from breast augmentation surgery is not difficult. Your breasts will be bandaged when you return home, and there will be some pain and discomfort for the first two or three days. This is not extreme, however, and is usually quite manageable. Most patients can return to work in four or five days. You can return to non-impact activities in just a week or so, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. Upper body exercise such as weight training can be resumed in six weeks.
When can I return to normal activities after my breast augmentation?
Most patients can return to work in approximately a week or less after surgery. Sutures are generally dissolving over a period of weeks. You’ll wear a support bra/garment and can transition to a strong athletic bra at some point. But it is very important that you follow these instructions and wear the bra/garment 24 hours a day. This alleviates any stress on your incisions. 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.
Can I breastfeed with implants?
In most cases, breastfeeding is not impacted at all. The incision location that presents the most risk to the milk ducts is the areola incision, but Dr. Lin is usually able to avoid any damage to these ducts, preserving breastfeeding potential.