What's a Breast Augmentation?
A breast augmentation, also known as a mammoplasty or a “boob job”, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to enhance breast size and symmetry with the use of saline or silicone implants or fat grafting. Breast augmentation procedures improve and restore breast volume loss and droopiness due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain, weight loss and/or aging.
Breast augmentations can be a method of reconstructive surgery in addition to a cosmetic procedure as well as can be combined with various other procedures like tummy tucks, liposuction, abdominal etching, mommy makeover, breast lifts, and more!
Breast augmentations enhance the appearance of the breasts in addition to a significant boost in self-esteem. Those who undergo breast augmentations often gain a massive confidence boost that flows into all aspects of their lives. At Adore Plastic Surgery our doctors will guide you through your entire breast augmentation journey with professional care and outstanding quality so that you can live your most beautiful life!
Those who are looking to enlarge their breasts or address asymmetry and are physically healthy are good candidates for a breast augmentation procedure. It is advised that those who are looking to undergo a breast augmentation procedure to be done having children, breastfeeding and are able to maintain a stable weight (are not looking to lose or gain any weight). Patients must be in good health, within the surgeon-required BMI range, and have satisfactory results from the surgeon’s prescribed pre-procedural assessments (blood tests, EKG, drug tests, etc) to be cleared for a breast augmentation procedure.
Patients who have undergone a mastectomy and are looking to reconstruct and fill out their breasts are also great candidates for breast augmentation procedures. By Florida law, once a patient is 18 years old, they may undergo a breast augmentation procedure. However, they cannot have silicone implants until they are 22 years old, having to opt-out for saline implants.
Most patients who seek out a breast augmentation in Miami are looking to address the lack of volume and symmetry in their own breasts. Breast augmentations are able to correct these imperfections easily so that patients are able to live a fuller life with a boost in their confidence and self-esteem.
Consulting with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to verify if you’re a good candidate for a breast augmentation procedure!
Breast augmentation is a one-day outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Typically, there are only four places where an incision can be made. An individual with little breast tissue may develop rippling on the skin caused by the implant’s weight and movement. In order to prevent this from occurring, doctors will place the implant between the breast tissue and the muscle. This placement is useful in helping the implant remain in place.
- Step 1 - Clearence: Once the patient has entered Adore’s state-of-the-art facility, they’ll be taken to pre-op so that our highly trained nurses can clear them for surgery.
- Step 2 - Anesthesia: For a breast augmentation procedure, patients are put under general anesthesia. The surgeon will advise which type of anesthesia is best for them and administer the anesthesia for maximum patient comfort.
- Step 3 - Incision: After the patient has been completely sedated, the surgeon will make an incision to implant the breast implant. There are four incision methods for breast augmentations. The surgeon will discuss which method will best suit each patient to achieve their desired results with the breast implant type selected (saline or silicone) leaving minimal scarring.
- Step 4 - Implantation: The surgeon will insert and adjust the implants into the breast so that they sit aesthetically and comfortably on the patient’s chest.
- Step 5 - Closing Incisions: After ensuring that the implant is secure, the surgeon will close the incisions. Incisions are closed through layers (tissue then skin) with the use of stitches and surgical tape.
- Step 6 - Recovery: The patient is taken into recovery and monitored while they awaken from the anesthesia. In this stage, the surgeon and nurses will keep a close eye on the patient to ensure the patient is stable and comfortable before they are discharged.
Another placement is in the sub-pectoral plane. Due to the movement of the pectoral muscle, some patients cannot handle this placement. The final placement is beneath the pectoral muscle. Surgeons prefer to follow through with any other technique because it requires lifting the muscle tissues from the rib cavity. This sometimes causes the breast to move in very unnatural ways.
Types of Breast Implants
Understanding what implants are, what they’re made of, and how sizing is determined is essential to understanding a breast augmentation procedure. Breast implants are an artificial filler material used to achieve volume and perkiness during a breast augmentation procedure.
There are two types of materials that breast implants are made of, silicone and saline. Both saline and silicone breast implants are measured by CCs (cubic centimeters). Typically, 200 CCs will give a patient one full boost in traditional cup size. Depending on what a patient values most in a breast augmentation procedure a surgeon will recommend one type of implant over the others to give patients beautiful results.
In silicone breast implants, both the outer shell and the inner filler material are made completely out of silicone. Silicone implants can be smooth (having a smooth surface on the outer shell) or textured (having a textured surface on the outer shell). Silicone implants are advisable for those who are over 22 years old. In the unlikely event that a silicone implant was to rupture the inner silicone gel usually stays within the outer casing but can leak out. Those with silicone breast implants should have regular checkups to ensure there are no micro-tears within the implant.
In saline breast implants, the outer shell is made of a thinner silicone casing while the inner filler material is a sterile saline solution. This sterile saline solution is absorbed and naturally expelled from the body in the unlikely event that the implant was to rupture, leaving the outer casing to be removed by the surgeon afterward. Saline breast implants are always smooth (have a smooth outer shell surface), and can be implanted through the armpit for minimal scarring. Saline implants are often advised for most patients and are the safer option for those who are younger than 22 years old.
In rounded breast implants, “rounded” refers to the shape of the implant. Rounded implants are the most common shape of breast implants because they give patients the maximum amount of volume. Rounded implants are able to give patients a lot of “give” as they keep a beautiful appearance even if the implant were to shift because of their circular form.
Gummy Bear or form-stable implants get their name from their resemblance to gummy bears in that they retain their shape even if they were to rupture. Gummy bear implants are tear-dropped shaped, that mimicking the breast’s natural shape. These implants are similar to silicone implants but they are firmer with a thicker silicone substance that adds form. The shape and size of gummy bear implants require a larger incision so that the surgeon is able to place them well, assuring it stays in its place and doesn’t shift.
Smooth breast implants refer to the smooth surface of the implant’s outer shell with both saline and silicone implants having the ability to also be smooth breast implants. Smooth implants are less likely to show any rippling under the skin because of the thinner outer shell. Smooth implants are more popular with those who want a more natural look and feel from their breast implants since they are better able to mold with the body naturally as a person moves.
Textured breast implants refer to the rougher texture of the breast implant’s outer shell. This type of implant allows for the scar tissue around the breast to form a stronger grasp directly on the implant, making them less likely to shift once the patient has healed completely. Textured implants are available for those who are over 22 years old because they have been linked to anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL); a type of immune system cancer.
Types of Incisions
There are four types of incisions that can be made during a breast augmentation procedure depending on a patient’s starting point, desired results, and type of implant (saline or silicone). These incision options are inframammary, areolar, transaxillary, and trans-umbilical breast augmentation (TUBA). Our surgeons will advise patients which incision technique is best for their breast augmentation procedure.
Periareolar or areolar incisions are made around the areola where the incisional scar is hidden by where the darker border of the areola and the skin meet. The benefit of a periareolar incision is that it allows for greater visibility during implant placement for more symmetric results and minimal scarring. This incision technique requires the surgeon to remove and reattach the areola back onto the breast, there is a minute possibility that a patient temporarily or permanently loses sensation on and around the areola.
Inframammary incisions are made in the crease under the breast in the inframammary fold. During the healing process, the incision typically leaves a small faded scar but, because of the incision placement, the scarring is out of sight being easily hidden by a bra strap or bathing suit. Once the incision is made, the surgeon is able to slide the implant into place behind the areola. Inframammary incisions are typically done with the gummy bear/ tear-shaped/ form-stable breast implants because their larger size requires a larger incision.
Transumbilical incisions, also known as trans-umbilical breast augmentations (TUBA), are less common because they are reserved strictly for saline implants because of their ability to collapse and be funneled through. Trans-umbilical incisions are made on the belly button. The surgeon creates a pathway from the belly button to the breasts and guides the saline implant casing through the groove. Once in place, the surgeon fills the implant with the sterile saline solution according to the patient's desired size. Transumbilical incisions are popular with those who are concerned about scarring.
Transaxillary incisions are made on the armpit. Similar to trans-umbilical incisions (TUBA), the surgeon creates a pathway from the armpit to the breasts and guides the saline implant casing through the groove. Once in place, the surgeon fills the implant with the sterile saline solution according to the patient's desired size. Transaxillary incisions are popular with those who are seeking a virtually scarless breast augmentation procedure but are also limited to saline implants because of the implant’s outer shell’s ability to be folded up to a fraction of its size for proper placement.
Preparing for a breast augmentation procedure can be a bit stressful but, our staff at Adore Plastic Surgery will guide you through every step of the way. Patient safety is our number one priority which is why we give our patients specific steps to follow in preparation for their breast augmentation procedure. Before any surgical procedure, including breast augmentations, patients are given a physical exam along with pre-operative assessments to ensure they’re physically prepared for the procedure.
In addition to these assessments, our surgeons advise patients to stop taking any form of blood thinners such as pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, acetaminophen) and anti-inflammatory medication two weeks before their procedure. One week before the procedure patients must stop drinking alcohol. A month before the procedure, patients must stop smoking and taking products containing nicotine. Smoking increases the risk of complications and reduces the level of oxygen to the blood and can cause delayed healing and poor scarring.
Patients are also advised to prepare their homes before their procedure so that their recovery can be spent comfortably. Ensuring your home is clean, at least three days of meals are prepared and you have everything you need at arm’s length will be particularly helpful in the first days post-procedure. After the procedure, the patient will be focused on recovery and will need to arrange for someone to pick them up from the clinic and be assisted for the first 24 hours with any needs like getting food, medication, housework, or childcare after the procedure.
Recovery from a breast augmentation procedure varies from patient to patient. Patients will be put into a compression garment after surgery to minimize swelling, bruising while simultaneously promoting healing and circulation. Patients will be placed o bed rest for the first 48 hours after their procedure but will be encouraged to walk for 10-15 minutes every hour to encourage blood circulation; at first with assistance. Surgeons recommend that patients sleep on their sides, on their backs, or with body pillows until their breasts and incisions are fully healed.
During the first week of recovery patients often feel a bit of pain and discomfort as their bodies adjust to the implants and recover from the incisions. In the first weeks of the recovery process, patients will have some physical limitations such as not picking up, pushing, or pulling anything that is 15 lbs or more as well as refraining from any exercise that places excess stress on the body.
Any stitches or sutures will be removed after three weeks after the procedure. If a patient doesn’t have a strenuous job and feels up to it, they can return to work as early as three to four days after the procedure. Depending on the patient and type of procedure, recovery may be faster or slower. Generally, the transumbilical technique, or TUBA, has the quickest recovery time and least risk of complications. Patients must keep in mind that breasts may continue to grow as years pass or may get smaller with weight loss.
After a breast augmentation procedure, the patient’s breasts are fuller and have often been lifted for a more youthful and aesthetic appearance. Immediate results can be noted right after the procedure. Patients will have s compression garment and will need to keep it on during the entire recovery process to encourage circulation. Patients won’t be able to view clear results through the garment. After the patient’s body gets accustomed to their new breast implants and the swelling has gone down, patients will be able to see the full results of their breast implant procedure.
For most patients, breast implants have a life of over twenty years while others may need a follow-up breast augmentation procedure after about 10-15 years for health reasons or to keep their breast augmentation results looking their best. Some patients may develop more sensitive scar tissue or ruptures that would require surgical removal or replacement for patient comfort.
Benefits & Risks
Just like any other surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that come alongside breast surgery. Pain and discomfort are normal to a certain extent during the recovery period. If the patient is feeling severe pain weeks after surgery, there may be a more serious problem such as infection or rejection of the body.
- Adds volume and fullness to breasts
- Adds perkiness to breasts
- Can restore breast shape after pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Restores symmetry to breasts
- Serves as reconstructive surgery for those who have had a mastectomy
- Rippling under the skin
- Implant rupture
- Changes in nipple and surrounding treatment area sensation
- Hematoma and Seroma
- Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
In the event that a saline implant was to rupture, the body would naturally absorb the saline water. Silicone implants, on the other hand, would require the patient to have an MRI scan in order to detect and confirm that the implant has torn or ruptured. This would require a second surgery to remove the implant and insert a new one if the patient desires. For a full list of potential risks asserted with a breast augmentation procedure, refer to the FDA’s “Risk and Complications of Breast Implants”.
At Adore Plastic Surgery, patient safety is our number one concern. Our surgeons inquire about patients’ personal and familial medical history as well as have patients take extensive assessments to ensure that the probability of these risks are as low as they can be and patients receive quality breast augmentation procedures.
The average cost of a breast augmentation procedure in the United States is $4,500 but can range upwards of $10,000. At Adore Plastic Surgery a breast augmentation procedure starts at $4,000 which can be found under “specials”. Insurances often do not cover the costs of a breast augmentation procedure unless it is performed as a corrective/ reconstructive procedure.
In the case that this procedure is being done for corrective/ reconstructive purposes, in which case it is advised that patients provide the surgeon with a letter written by their insurance provider stating that they will guarantee complete coverage of such expenses.
If a patient chooses to combine their breast augmentation with other procedures such as breast lifts, tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, and liposuction procedures then the price of their total cosmetic procedure will naturally increase. Additionally, the size of the implant, material of breast implant, type of incision, as well as the patient’s specific circumstance and surgeon skill impact the final procedural price.
At Adore Plastic Surgery, we’re proud to offer patients quality procedures and services at an affordable cost. Schedule a free consultation with one of Broward’s board-certified plastic surgeons to receive a price for your breast augmentation procedure.
Your surgeon will always take your opinion into consideration when discussing your aesthetic goals for a breast augmentation procedure before recommending a particular size for a patient. Things like overall patient stature, bodily figure, age, and lifestyle are key in determining a size that is both appropriate for a patient physically and will make them happy.
It’s best if patients already have an idea of how much they’d like to gain during the procedure. One way to do this is to see how different breast sizing on others with similar body types to your own look. If you like a certain look you can share this with your surgeon so that you have a physical reference photo.
Your surgeon might also show you pictures of previous patients with similar figures as yours and recommend a certain size. Some surgeons also recommend taking matters into your own hands and perform a “rice test” on yourself in order to have an idea of the amount of CC’s that will be most suitable and appropriate for you.
Pregnancy should not harm the implants by any means, however, as the breast grows and shrinks throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, the results of your breast augmentation procedure might be compromised. The most common effect being sagging might occur as the skin stretches and shrinks. To correct this, your surgeon might recommend a breast lift or bigger implants once your body has stabilized.
This being said, there are many women who, despite the alterations pregnancy and breastfeeding have left on their breasts, still love their breast augmentation results and don’t want a follow-up procedure. As long as you’re comfortable and happy in your body, you’re good!
No, and most of these creams aren’t FDA approved either. All of these creams have hormones, which might appear to be working, but they can also make you gain weight, irritate your skin and cause acne, along with various other side effects. The results from these creams are not permanent; typically fading once you’ve stopped using the cream.
Breast augmentation procedures are the only method that is safe, reliable, and will guarantee permanent results.
While there are many similarities between the two types of implants, there are also some key differences.
- The outer shell is made out of silicone casing while the filler material is a sterile saline solution
- Saline implants have a smooth finish
- Typically leave less incisional scarring
- If the implant were to rupture, the body would naturally absorb and dispel the sterile saline solution
- Might be more easily noticed under the skin or through rippling
- Recommended for those who are 22 years old and younger
- The entire implant is made out of silicone
- Can have a smooth or textured finish
- Often sturdier and are less likely to move about
- If the implant were to rupture, it would need to be taken out immediately. Some silicone gel might leak out into the body. Regular check-ups are advised
- Must be at least 22 years old to qualify for silicone implants
- Typically larger incisions are needed to implant