Your Ultimate Guide to Breast Augmentation
August 20, 2021
Have you ever thought of getting a breast augmentation? Like most women, you have probably thought of changing the shape, increasing the size, or even moving the position of your breast ever so slightly. If you desire new breasts to feel more confident and comfortable in your own body, then breast augmentation may just be the solution that you are looking for.
Should You Get a Boob Job?
Breast augmentation is a big decision, so it is natural to feel nervous. Still, it is important to note that in 2020, there were 193,073 women who decided to take the leap and get cosmetic breast augmentation procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
To help you make this decision, make sure that you read this complete guide to breast augmentation. Here, you will learn about the most important details, from choosing a qualified surgeon to surgery and recovery.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
In an article published by the Mayo Clinic, breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty is surgery involving the placement of breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles to increase breast size.
Also known as a boob job, this procedure helps women who have undergone pregnancy or weight loss to restore breast volume, achieve a more rounded breast shape, and improve natural breast size asymmetry.
To improve volume, surgeons can also augment by taking fat from one part of the body and transferring it to your breast area. This specific procedure is known as fat transfer breast augmentation. Ultimately, though, breast augmentation aims to improve your natural symmetry and construct a more proportioned, better breast appearance, which means the procedure will be tailored to meet your specific needs.
Who Is An Ideal Breast Augmentation Candidate?
Candidates for breast augmentation are not just those looking to increase breast size. This procedure is also ideal for those who have lost volume due to several different reasons, such as:
- Weight loss (whether natural or surgical)
If you have noticeable breast asymmetry, breast augmentation may restore the balance you would like. The surgeon may also suggest implants to correct a number of breast imperfections.
Most people who receive boob jobs do so for the following reasons:
- Restoring the loss of breast fullness after pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss
- Constructing a new breast for women who have undergone mastectomy
- Adding balance to the figure to complement curvy hips for the hourglass shape
- Improving your self-image and self-confidence
Benefits of Breast Augmentation
In addition to more volume and curves, breast augmentation comes with numerous benefits that will help you love your body more and ultimately feel good about yourself.
It Boosts Your Self-esteem and Confidence
Most patients who come in for breast augmentation surgery are typically self-conscious due to the current size and shape of their breasts. One of the greatest benefits of breast augmentation is its capacity to help you embrace life with newfound confidence.
It Gives You a Wider Range of Fashion Options
One of the downsides of having small breasts is you are often restricted in the kind of clothing you can buy and wear. Summer dresses, for example, may make you look like you are wearing an oversized shirt. If you feel like you have always had limited clothing options, breast augmentation may just open up a whole new world of wardrobe options.
It Improves Breast Symmetry
Breast asymmetry is normal, but if asymmetrical boobs are embarrassingly noticeable, shopping for bras and bathing suits that fit well becomes much more problematic. Breast augmentation allows you to choose different implant sizes, shapes, and profiles. Your surgeon will also make sure your nipples are evenly matched while correcting any aesthetic imperfections in the process.
What Breast Augmentation Surgery Cannot Do
Now that you know what this procedure can do for you, it is important to understand what it cannot. While breast augmentation generally works wonders when enhancing your breast profile, it does not correct severely drooping breasts.
This type of condition typically requires a breast lift to eliminate sag for a fuller, lifted look. Your surgeon may suggest a lift as part of your augmentation procedure.
What to Expect During Surgery
Breast augmentation is performed in either a surgical center or hospital outpatient facility. It rarely requires a hospital stay, so you can go home the same day—barring any complications. Here is what you can expect during breast augmentation surgery.
Most of the time, the surgeon uses general anesthesia for your breast augmentation procedure, and you will be put to sleep for the duration. However, there are cases where the patient stays awake, and the surgeon only numbs the breast area using local anesthesia. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will present you with different anesthesia options, and together, you will determine what is right for you.
Breast Implant Procedure
If you are undergoing a breast implant procedure, your plastic surgeon will make a single cut (incision) to insert the breast implant. This incision can be placed in one of three places:
- The crease under your breast
- Under your arm
- Around your nipple
The surgeon will then insert the implant into a pocket and position it behind your nipple. This pocket can be behind or in front of the pectoral muscle or the outermost muscle of your chest wall. It is created by separating your breast tissue from the muscles and connective tissue of your chest.
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel and directly inserted into the pocket. In contrast, saline implants are inserted empty and then filled with sterile salt water once they are properly situated.
When the implant is in place, your plastic surgeon will close the incision with stitches or sutures. They will bandage it with skin adhesive and surgical tape for final closing.
Breast Fat Transfer Procedure
If the idea of inserting breast implants into your body does not sit well with you, a breast fat transfer may be a great alternative. You will be using your own tissue to add a volume of probably one cup size.
This procedure starts with liposuction, where the surgeon removes excess fat from one area of your body, typically around the belly or thighs. Your surgeon will purify this fat before injecting it into your breasts to ensure proper contouring and volume restoration.
One important thing to note is that only about 50–70% of the fat cells survive the transfer. This is why the results are often unpredictable. For example, you could have more fat cells survive on one side than the other, leading to asymmetrical breasts.
Different Types Of Implant
As mentioned above, a boob job is typically done using breast implants. While there are only two types of implants that are FDA-approved for augmentation, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has defined seven breast implant options available in a wide range of diameters, volumes, and projections.
During the consultation, your plastic surgeon will suggest the size and type of implant most appropriate for your body and goals. Let us take a closer look at your different breast implant options:
Saline Breast Implants
Perhaps the most significant advantage of saline breast implants is that it only contains sterile salt water. This means that if the implant leaks into your body tissues, the saline will be easily absorbed and naturally discharged by your body.
Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in candidates who are 18 years old or above. Generally, they provide a uniform shape, firmness, and feel to your breast profile.
Structured Saline Breast Implants
Using an inner structure to give them a more natural look and feel, structured implants are also filled with the same sterile salt water. The only difference is they are more viscous and mimic the feel of actual breasts when held. Like traditional saline implants, the saline is simply absorbed by the body if they leak. When this happens, though, you will need another procedure to remove the shell.
Silicone Breast Implants
If you are after an enhancement that will feel more like natural breast tissue, silicone breast implants are a great choice. This implant is filled with silicone gel, which means it will not collapse should there be a leak. However, if punctured, the gel could go into the implant pocket.
To ensure your silicone breast implants stay in ideal condition, it is advisable to visit your plastic surgeon regularly for a check-up. An MRI screening or an ultrasound may be performed to monitor the condition of your breast implants. Silicone implants are approved by the FDA for candidates who are 22 years or older.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Gummy bear breast implants, also known as form-stable implants, keep their shape even when the implant shell breaks. The difference between this kind of implant and the traditional silicone breast implant is that the former has a thicker silicone consistency, which means that it is also firmer. A slightly longer incision is also needed to insert a gummy bear implant.
One downside to this option is that it has more projection at the bottom and is tapered towards the top. This means that should the shaped implant rotate, your breasts may look unusual, and you may have to undergo a procedure to correct the problem.
Round Breast Implants
If you want your new breasts to appear fuller than what you would get from form-stable implants, then round breast implants could be what you are looking for. Going for this type of implant means you do not have to worry about it moving out of place since they are circular.
Smooth Breast Implants
If you want to go further on the natural feel, a smooth breast implant will give you the softest sensation. These implants can rotate within the breast implant pocket, allowing it to move more naturally. A possible downside is that there may be some ruffling visible under the skin.
Textured Breast Implants
Textured breast implants are put in place by creating scar tissue so the implant sticks. This decreases the chance for the implants to move around the breast pocket and be displaced. Texturing also offers some advantages in minimizing a patient’s concern when it comes to tight scar capsules.
Breast Augmentation Incision Types
Another frequently asked question patients have for their plastic surgeon is: “Will there be visible scars?”
The good news is there are experienced plastic surgeons who can use different techniques to minimize scarring. This is done through careful and skilled incisions that allow you to conceal the scars if there are any.
Considering how your body reacts and the results you are looking for, your surgeon will choose from different incisions to perform the augmentation. Here are your options:
This technique is done using a short incision underneath your breast or the inframammary fold. It may leave a thin scar of up to 2 inches, which you can effortlessly hide, thanks to the crease.
What patients love about this incision is it allows a broader access point, enabling your surgeon to insert silicone implants that are larger than usual, as well as gummy bear implants with accuracy.
With the periareolar technique, your surgeon will make a single cut within your areola’s outer edge. This means that your scar will be in an area with a natural adaptation in pigmentation.
Plastic surgeons typically use this incision type if they are also conducting a breast lift along with augmentation.
Transaxillary is an incision type that will leave your entire breast area scar-free. Surgeons do this through a small incision within your armpit, which is why the scar is located there. They will then insert the breast implant with specialized instruments and a camera. This helps ensure that the implants are in optimal placement.
How Much Does a Breast Augmentation Procedure Cost?
Total costs vary depending on several factors, such as:
- Hospital or surgical facility
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescriptions for medication
- Surgeon’s fee
Keep in mind that health insurance does not cover elective cosmetic procedures. Some insurance carriers may not cover conditions or complications that could arise following cosmetic surgery.
It might also help you to consider the time costs involved in the procedure and recovery. The initial recovery should only last from five to seven days, but it could take a few weeks before the pain and swelling disappear entirely.
As such, you may need to arrange vacation time away from work for the day of the procedure and while you fully recover.
Just like with any surgical procedure, breast augmentation may come with a few risks.
These risks may include:
- Scar tissue that contorts the shape of the breast implant
- Breast pain
- Changes in nipple and breast sensation
- Implant position changes
- Implant leakage or rupture
How to Prepare for Breast Augmentation
Preparing for a boob job requires you to follow preoperative instructions from your cosmetic surgeon. You may be advised to pause eating or drinking starting at midnight the night before your operation.
In the weeks before your procedure, smokers will be advised to stop as it increases the risk of complications and messes with the blood flow. Ultimately, continuing to smoke can prolong your recovery.
Keep in mind that you will need to communicate with your surgeon to help you achieve your goals. Given this, make sure to discuss previous surgeries and let them know how your body responded so they can adjust their treatment plan if needed.
Do not hesitate to tell your surgeon your expectations. This will help them make operative decisions that will fulfill your desired appearance, including decisions about the details of the procedure.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After your breast augmentation, you will probably be advised to wear a bandage that compresses your breasts or a sports bra to support your new boobs. You can expect to be prescribed pain medication as well.
Some patients go back to work in a few days, but you might need up to a week off for recovery. Your surgeon will make recommendations on when to return to regular work and when it is safe to resume recreational activities.
When it comes to exercise and physical activity, you may need to lie low for two weeks at the minimum. This is to ensure you avoid raising your blood pressure or pulse. Too much movement may cause discomfort from tender breasts.
Remember that swelling and tenderness may make it difficult at first to assess final results until you have started healing.
Choosing a Qualified Surgeon
Undergoing cosmetic surgery can be both scary and exciting as it will be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Once you have decided to do so, your next important decision is to choose who will perform your procedure.
Make sure that you pick a surgeon with a good track record of performing this surgery. And while the price is an important factor, do not choose a plastic surgeon based solely on cost. Remember that you cannot put a price on your safety and results, so it is best to take into account your surgeon’s qualifications and experience.
You may also want to make the most of your initial consultation with each surgeon. Ask about their treatment plan for you and take a look at what they have done for other patients. You must be able to trust your doctor, so do not be afraid to meet several before choosing one.
At Omni Cosmetic, you can expect a safe breast augmentation surgery that will give you the results you desire. We strive to help our patients enhance not only their appearance but also their self-confidence.
If you live around Minneapolis or St. Paul, contact our team today to find out whether breast augmentation is right for you.