One of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S., breast augmentation can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of saline or silicone implants in the breast.
Patients elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic reasons, including balancing breast size, compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery, and correcting a congenital breast defect. Under Dr. Schuster’s expert care, patients enjoy great-looking, natural-feeling breasts that are one or more cup sizes larger after the operation.
Fully Customized Breast Enhancement
Every woman is unique in both her desires and her body shape. With that in mind, Dr. Schuster takes the time during the pre-operative consultations to learn what each patient hopes to gain from breast augmentation surgery and to decide which implant type, size and placement is best. In this way, each patient enjoys completely customized treatment designed with her specific goals in mind.
During your consultation with Dr. Schuster, you will make decisions together about the type, size, incision and placement of your implants. Your anatomy plays a major role in these decisions. Dr. Schuster will talk with you about the options for breast augmentation surgery — depending on your current measurements, your body frame, and your expectations.
Breast augmentation can achieve dramatic and beautiful results on its own as well as in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery or non-invasive procedures. We sometimes recommend combining breast augmentation with other procedures such as a breast lift for more satisfying results. This is most commonly recommended to treat any sagging that has resulted from aging or pregnancy. During this combined procedure, some breast tissue is removed, the breast skin is tightened and lifted, and an implant is inserted.
Saline and Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel, each offers its own advantages. Dr. Schuster 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 absorbed 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 Dr. Schuster’s patients. After many years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved silicone breast implants for breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Schuster is 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 Surgery – Placement Options
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. Elevated pain in the first few days following surgery is a possible disadvantage. Dr. Schuster will help you decide which option may be best for you.
After the implants have been inserted and positioned beneath the nipples, the incisions are stitched closed, then taped and bandaged.
Breast Implant Shape and Profile
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.
Dr. Schuster performs all of his operations with great care and precision, ensuring that his patients can enjoy a quick and healthy recovery.
Because breast tissue is stretched and separated during breast augmentation surgery, and because implants are inserted through incisions, the breasts will be bruised, sore, and swollen after surgery. Most patients also feel tired after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes in a day or two. You can expect to wear a bra for several days.
Heavy lifting or straining should be avoided after breast augmentation surgery because this can cause the breasts to swell and increase pressure. You can typically return to work within two weeks and to full activity shortly after. Stitches are removed in a week to 10 days after breast augmentation. Any post-operative pain, swelling, and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks. Sensation in your nipples may be reduced temporarily, but should return to normal as your breasts heal.
After healing, some permanent scarring may remain, although scars from breast augmentation incisions will typically begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade for months or years. Scars are usually small and inconspicuous. Dr. Schuster’s goal will be to make them as unnoticeable as possible.
Complications following breast augmentation surgery are uncommon and usually minimal. Some complications that may occur include capsular contracture, swelling and pain, infection around the implant, change in nipple sensation, decreased milk production while nursing, and breakage or leakage of the implant (implant rupture) as a result of injury. Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continuing breast and implant health.