What is a Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation surgery, or augmentation mammoplasty, is a procedure performed using breast implants or fat from another part of your body to increase breast volume and enhance the appearance of your breasts. Breast size and symmetry can play a valuable role in one’s self image.
Dr. Jessica Belz provides breast augmentation surgery and breast implants to patients in San Antonio TX and surrounding areas. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Belz or to learn more about this procedure.
Candidacy for Breast Augmentation
Women with small or asymmetric breasts or those whose breasts have changed in appearance following weight loss, pregnancy, and/or breastfeeding, may benefit from restoring their breast volume and improving the balance of their figure with breast implants. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with a breast lift in patients with sagging breasts.
Can I Have Breast Augmentation If I Still Want To Have Children?
Breast augmentation doesn’t affect pregnancy or childbirth at all. There is a chance that your breast milk production can be impacted by augmentation, but Dr. Belz uses her extensive expertise to minimize this risk.
What to expect from a Breast Augmentation Consultation
When you meet with Dr. Belz in consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations with her. She recognizes that breast size and appearance are very personal preferences. You will have the opportunity to try on sizers to help determine the right size implant for you. She will review the different types of implants available, incision options, and where the implant will be placed, either above or below the muscle. She will discuss the risks of surgery and your post-operative recovery time. Dr. Belz enjoys answering your questions and wants to make sure you feel comfortable, educated, and confident about your decision to have surgery.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
The cost of breast augmentation with Dr. Belz varies depending on a few factors, including the type of implants and the incision location chosen. Once Dr. Belz discusses your goals during your consultation, she can give you a clear idea of what your augmentation will cost.
The type of Breast Implants you can get
Breast implants may be silicone or saline and may be placed above or below the pectoralis muscle. Recommended incision placement may vary depending on the individual, but most incisions are placed along the inframammary fold or along the lower edge of the areola. Dr. Belz will thoroughly discuss the different types of breast implants, as well as implant and incision location, during your personalized breast augmentation consultation. The risks and benefits of surgery, as well as your anticipated post-operative recovery course, will also be reviewed.
How long will my breast implants last?
Breast implants, like any manufactured product, have a lifespan. At some point, the implant shell will probably begin to degrade and allow for leakage or rupture. At what point this happens can vary dramatically between different women. All breast implant manufacturers currently warrantee their implants for 10 years, and they will pay for all replacement costs if their implants fail prior to that timeframe. Also, implant durability is increasing, as is the cohesiveness of the silicone gel, if you opt for silicone implants. This means that any leakage usually stays within the shell or just outside it and is easy to remove when the ruptured implant is replaced. Still, it’s a good plan to think you’ll have at least two implant replacement surgeries during your life, depending on how old you are during your initial augmentation, of course. Replacement surgery is easier than the original augmentation, as Dr. Belz is able to use the original incision locations again.
What Are The Different Incision Options For Breast Augmentation?
There are several different incisions that are used in breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Belz prefers using an inframammary incision (underneath your breast) or an incision just along the lower border of your areola. There are different advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, which Dr. Belz will discuss with you during your personalized consultation.
Will I have scars after breast augmentation?
As with any surgical procedure, there will always be a scar. Fortunately, the scars associated with breast augmentation are usually well disguised. To insert your implants, Dr. Belz typically makes incisions around the areola or along the inframammary fold, which is along the breast crease at the bottom of the breast. The incision made around the areola is usually well hidden, but with silicone implants, this incision location limits the size of implant that can be placed. Inframammary crease incisions allow for a larger implant with a slightly more sizeable scar. This can be effectively hidden beneath a bra or bikini top, but will still be present.
What to expect from a Breast Augmentation surgery
A breast enlargement is performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. The immediate recovery time is approximately 3 to 5 days, although some patients opt to take a full week off before returning to work. Bruising and swelling may be present for 10 to 14 days. Once cleared by Dr. Belz, most patients are able to resume exercise or strenuous activity approximately 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
What are the risks associated with breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is surgery, so its risks include those associated with surgery: excessive bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, poor incision healing, and the like. Beyond those general surgical risks, there are some risks specific to breast augmentation. These include:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Implant shifting
- Changes in nipple sensation
- Impaired ability to breastfeed
- Breast asymmetry
- Visible rippling of the implant
Dr. Belz will discuss all of the possible risks involved with breast augmentation during your consultation.
Is breast augmentation surgery painful?
You may be pleasantly surprised by your recovery from this surgery. You’ll return home a couple hours after your surgery and Dr. Belz will have your breasts bandaged. You’ll need pain medication for 2-4 days, but the pain isn’t overwhelming. You’ll return to our office one or two days after surgery, and Dr. Belz will remove your dressing. You’ll then be placed in a surgical bra for support. At this point, she will demonstrate breast massage techniques that will relax the muscle and help the implants settle into their breast pockets. This massage is important, as it may reduce the risk of capsular contracture (where scar tissue contracts and hardens around the implant) and decrease initial discomfort.
Most patients can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Your sutures will be removed at your subsequent visit. You’ll need to be diligent about wearing your bra at all times, except while showering. This keeps any stress off of your incisions, which is important for their healing and to make them less noticeable down the road. Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise will need to wait for 4-6 weeks.
What is the difference between a breast lift and breast augmentation?
A breast lift is intended to return sagging, flattened breasts to a higher position on the chest. Breast lifts remove excess skin and reposition underlying tissue to do this. In many cases the nipple/areola complex is also moved up. Breast lifts do not return volume to the breasts; they simply take the volume that has gathered more in the lower breast area and bring it back up. Breast lifts can merit a one-size decrease in bra size, but research has shown that this is due to the breast mass being moved, rather than a loss of volume. Still, because of this, many women opt to have Dr. Belz perform a breast lift with augmentation.
Breast augmentation, on the other hand, does not remove excess, sagging skin. Augmentation has the specific goal of adding volume by adding implants, particularly to the upper breast area.