What is Breast Augmentation?
Dr. Charlotte Ann Rhee is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Huntington, Long Island NY that specializes in Breast Augmentation (Implants) surgery. Breast augmentation is a very popular procedure for women and among the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures. A saline or silicone-filled implant is inserted under the crease in the breast, around the nipple, or through the armpit. The implant can be placed under the breast tissue or beneath the chest wall muscle. After surgery, breasts will appear “fuller” and more shapely in contour. Incision scars will fade or disappear over time.
Ideal Candidates for Breast Augmentation
Ideal candidates for breast augmentation include women who want larger breasts, and those who want to restore the breast volume. Volume is often lost as a result of pregnancy or significant weight loss. Breast augmentation is not a substitute for mastopexy, which is a procedure that lifts sagging breasts.
Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel. Both implant types are very safe, and each offers its own advantages. Dr. Rhee will help you decide which kind is right for you. During surgery, the implants will be placed behind each breast, underneath either the breast tissue or the chest wall muscle.
An advantage of saline breast implants is that, if ruptured, the saline (salt solution) is dissolved by the body. A disadvantage is that saline breast implants may appear less natural in small-breasted or reconstructive patients. This is especially important for very thin women who have little breast tissue to cover the implant, or for women who have a breast injury or need breast reconstruction.
Silicone gel-filled implants may provide a more natural feel and is the implant choice of most of our patients. After many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved silicone breast implants for breast augmentation surgery. We are proud to offer patients the option of silicone gel-filled breast implants, since they are much softer and feel more natural than saline-filled breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Procedure
The breast augmentation procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. Incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility. These incision options are:
- Transaxillary: in the armpit
- Inframammary: in the crease on underside of breast
- Periareolar: around the nipple
Breast Augmentation Incision Options
- In the armpit (transaxillary). To perform breast augmentation with a transaxillary incision, the incision is made in the natural folds of the armpit tissue. A channel is then created up to the breast. This procedure is sometimes performed with an endoscope, or a small tube with a surgical light and camera embedded in the end, to provide visibility through the channel. The biggest advantage of breast augmentation with a transaxillary incision is that the scar is not on the breast.
- In the crease on the underside of the breast (inframammary). Breast augmentation with an inframammary incision is performed with an incision made under the breast and close to the inframammary fold. The incision is made here to secure proper placement of the implant, but also to reduce scar visibility. An advantage of breast augmentation with an inframammary incision is that the surgeon works close to the breast, allowing for optimal visibility while working.
- Around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple (periareolar). The goal of breast augmentation with a periareolar incision is to place the incision in the transition area between the dark areola and surrounding breast skin where it can be hidden. As with the inframammary incision, this incision allows the implant to be placed in precise pocket formation and provides for absolute controlled bleeding.After the incision, a pocket is created for the breast implant. The implant is slid through the incision and then centered behind the nipple.Saline implants may also be placed endoscopically through an incision in the navel. This minimally invasive breast enhancement technique is known as a transumbilical breast augmentation or TUBA approach.
Breast Implant Placement
Implant placement beneath the muscle of the chest offers a few advantages over placement beneath the breast tissue only. These include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant) and less interference with mammogram examinations. Possible disadvantages include need for drainage tubes and elevated pain in the first few days following surgery. Dr. Rhee will help you decide which option may be best for you.
In the TUBA procedure, implants cannot be placed beneath the chest wall.
After the implants have been inserted and positioned beneath the nipples, the incisions are stitched closed, then taped and bandaged. In a few days, these bandages may be replaced with a surgical bra.
Breast Implant Shapes
When choosing breast implants, shape is an important consideration. The two basic breast implant shapes are round and teardrop. Breasts differ greatly from woman to woman, so the ideal breast implant shape for each patient must be determined with care.
- Round Breast Implants. Of the two breast implant shapes, the round breast implant is the most common type used for breast augmentation. Many women choose round implants because they tend to provide the greatest amount of lift, fullness, and cleavage. Some women, however, feel that the results produced with round implants appear artificial, so they seek out more natural-looking alternatives. A round breast implant can have a smooth or textured surface. Due to a round implant’s symmetrical shape, it does not pose the risk of implant rotation.Round implants come in three different variations of shape: low, medium, and high profile. A higher profile can enhance the forward projection of the breasts, which would otherwise require larger breast implants with wider bases.
- Teardrop Breast Implants. As the name indicates, a teardrop breast implant, also known as a contoured breast implant, is shaped like a teardrop. Breasts attain a more gently sloping contour with teardrop breast implants. Although the upper portion of breasts that have teardrop implants are not as full as breasts that have round implants, teardrop-shaped implants often provide greater projection by volume. For women who want more naturally shaped teardrop breasts, these implants may be the ideal choice. A teardrop implant requires a textured surface to prevent rotation because breasts can become distorted if the implant rotates. This is not a concern with round breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
After breast augmentation surgery, drainage tubes may be inserted. Incisions will be stitched, taped and bandaged. Patients typically wear a surgical bra is over the bandages to minimize swelling and give the breasts support. For a few days, most patients will feel tired and sore, but many return to work in a week. Dr. Rhee will remove stitches in a week to 10 days. During the first few weeks postoperative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish. Scars begin to fade in a few months.
During recovery, patients should be wearing compression garments in order to reduce swelling and bleeding. For those that want more than the average surgical bra can look to BodyFly. BodyFly is a line of body shaping activewear for patients that are recovering from breast or body surgical procedures. Dr. Rhee founded this company in 2016 to offer patients wardrobe options that incorporate compression benefits with fashion.
Additionally, BodyFly can benefit patients that have not had surgery or are recovered during their regular workouts. Our technology offers moisture wicking fabric, excellent breathability, enhanced circulation and a reduction in soreness which leads to longer stamina while exercising. Let BodyFly enhance your workout while supporting your body. For more information visit https://bodyflyusa.com/.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about our Breast Augmentation Procedure, call 631-424-6707 today to schedule an appointment.