Breast Augmentation The Woodlands
What are Breast Implants?
Breast augmentation, (also known as breast implants or augmentation mammaplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure for enhancing or enlarging the breasts by increasing their size and projection using breast implants.
Who Benefits From Breast Implant Surgery
Some females have genetically small breasts and these clients are typically good candidates for this procedure. These clients are typically unhappy with the amount of cleavage that they have and with the way tight fitting tops or bathing suit tops fit and look. Other clients may have average sized breasts but may desire to make them even larger and fuller. Breast implants can also improve the upper pole fullness (amount of volume in the upper portion of the breast) in clients that have a flat upper breast. For clients that have a small amount of breast ptosis (drooping or sagging of the breast), putting breasts implants in can improve this somewhat. For mothers that have breastfed in the past, breast augmentation can help restore the pre-baby size and shape of the breasts. Clients with breast asymmetry can also benefit from this surgery.
Breast Implant Surgery
When undergoing breast implant surgery, it is important to not be an active smoker. In our practice, we prefer that you stop smoking at least two months prior to your surgery, as this will lower your risk of post-operative complications. Any medication or over-the-counter supplement that can cause bleeding should be stopped at least two weeks prior to the operation.
For breast augmentation, several decisions need to be made. The first decision to be made is where to place the incision. Incisions are typically placed in either the inframmary fold (the fold beneath the breast), around the areola (pigmented portion of breast around the nipple), or in the underarm (transaxillary). In all locations the scar is usually well hidden. During your visit, pros and cons of each incision location will be discussed.
The next decision to be made is whether to place the breast implant above (subglandular) or below (submuscular) the pectoralis major muscle. The large majority of implants are placed beneath the muscle. This leads to better coverage of the implant, especially in clients that have very little breast tissue to start with. It will make the implant much less visible and will decrease the appearance of rippling. Also, the risk of capsular contracture is decreased when placing the implant beneath the muscle. Breast implants can be placed above the muscle but clients will need to have a significant amount of breast tissue for this to be a good option.
During your consultation, we will also talk about whether to use silicone (including form stable or gummy bear silicone implants or highly cohesive gel implants) or saline implants. Silicone implants come in pre-filled sizes whereas saline implants are filled (with salt water) to a target size in the operating room. They both have their pros and cons and these will also be discussed with your during your consultation. In short, silicone implants have a more natural shape, look, and feel when compared with saline implants. The vast majority of breast implants that are used are silicone.
The next decision to make when choosing the type of breast implant is whether to use round or shaped implants. Again, they both have their pros and cons. The biggest con to using a shaped implant is that if the breast implant rotates or moves, it will deform the appearance of the breast and this would require a revision surgery.
Also, whether to use a smooth or textured implant is discussed. We mostly use smooth implants. However, if the implant is going above the muscle, a textured implant may be used in order to reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
Lastly, implants come in different sizes and projections (how much the implant sticks out or projects from the chest). In our office, we utilize several methods of helping the patient and Dr. Lind determine the right implant for the client. We ask all of our consultations to bring in a sports bra so that they can try on the different volume sizers in order to get an idea of what different volumes will look like post-operatively. We also utlilize the Vectra XT 3-D imaging system. You can read more about Vectra XT under the “patient resources” tab. In short, a photograph is taken using the system and then a 3-D image is made of the patient. We then sit down together and using a computer, simulate the use of different sizes, projections, and shapes of implants to give you a very realistic idea of how you will look post-operatively. Lastly, we ask our clients to find pictures of implanted breasts that they like and to bring those into the office.
The surgery is carried out under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center and clients go home the same day. Depending on all of the decisions made, the surgery is completed in about one to two hours. The sutures are typically buried and do not need to be removed. Some tape may be placed around the breasts to support them during the healing phase. A surgical bra will also be placed prior to leaving the operating room.
Breast Implant Post-Operative Care
Clients typically do very well after this operation. Several prescriptions will be given to you including narcotic pain medication, a muscle relaxant, and a course of antibiotics. Clients are usually seen the following day in the office to make sure everything looks okay. You will likely be able to start showering after your office visit and can usually return to work/light duty within a few days. You shouldn’t pick up anything over the weight of a milk jug for about six weeks. A full return to activity and strenuous activity can be expected in about six weeks. However, you may be cleared to do much lighter exercising prior to this time. Your breast implants will first appear to be “riding high” but over time they will drop down and settle. In most cases, your final result will not be evident for about six months. In some instances, breast massage may be started in order to help get the implants into the proper position and potentially to reduce the risk of capsular contracture. The surgical bra should be worn at all times unless showering. This helps support the new implants and helps decrease swelling.
Potential Complications After Breast Implant Surgery
Potential complications with breast augmentation surgery include general problems such as post-operative bleeding, infection and changes in nipple sensation. Capsular contracture or implant rupture is also possible and these problems, as well as others, will be explained to you in more detail during your consultation.
Jeffrey G. Lind II, MD and The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery offers safe, effective, and high-tech care for breast augmentation clients in The Woodlands, Houston, Conroe, and College Station Texas.