What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures at Lombardo Cosmetic Surgery. Also known as mammaplasty, breast enhancement or even a “boob job,” breast augmentation uses synthetic implants to increase the size and change the shape of the breasts. When performed in combination with a breast lift (mastopexy), the surgery can correct sagging breasts, giving the patient a fuller, more youthful look.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
In most cases, breast augmentation can be performed as an outpatient procedure. The breast surgery begins with general anesthesia. Once you have been sedated, incisions will be made. We will work on one breast and then the other. Incisions are located in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scars. The most common incision is the periareolar, located on the underside of the areola.
Once the incisions have been made, the breast implants will be placed either under or over the pectoral muscle. Again, placement will be determined by the specifics of your procedure.
After the implants have been placed, the breast tissue is sutured closed and the incision site is closed with sutures and surgical tape.
What are my implant options?
One of your first decisions will be your implant type, choosing between silicone or saline implants. Both have their pluses and minuses. Today’s silicone gel is much more cohesive than what was used in the 80s and 90s — the consistency is now more like Jell-O. The general consensus is that silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue than saline implants do.
- The newer form of silicone implant known as form cohesive, colloquially called “gummy bear” implants. The silicone gel in these implants is much more dense/cohesive and stays within the implant shell even if the implant is cut in half.
- Saline implants are made of a silicone outer shell that is filled with sterile saline solution. Saline are filled once in place. This allows more flexibility in size, as it can be tailored after Dr. Lombardo places them in the breast pocket. If a patient has two different breast sizes – this can allow us to fill each implant to a different volume and correct the asymmetry.
Implants can rupture, although today’s implants have better durability than even those of a decade ago. There is some misconception here. If a silicone implant ruptures, silicone may leak into the breast pocket, but it tends to stay either in or next to the implant. If a saline implant ruptures, the body simply absorbs the water. In either case, however, additional surgery will be necessary: to remove the implant shell and any silicone gel, or in the case of saline implants to simply remove the ruptured shell and to replace with new implants.
How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants are a manufactured product and, like any product, they have a lifespan. At some point the implants will rupture or begin leaking and will need to be replaced. How long will that be? Manufacturer’s warranty their implants for 10 years, and will generally reimburse patients for failure prior to that timeframe. But how long your implants will last can vary wildly.
Implant replacement surgery is a part of having breast augmentation. You should expect to need to replace your implants every 10 to 15 years. Implant durability is increasing, so this could lengthen. Regardless, if you’re in your 30s, you’ll need to replace your implants at least twice in your life, probably more than that. Replacement surgery is much easier than the originally augmentation surgery, as Dr. Lombardo can enter through the original incisions.
Candidates For Breast Enhancement Surgery
Ideal candidates for breast surgery should be in good general health with fully developed breasts. Breast augmentation may be right for you if you:
- Have lost a lot of weight and want to reduce sagging or excess breast skin.
- Have unbalanced breasts where one is visibly larger than the other.
- Want larger breasts.
- Want to restore firmness after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Want to restore shape and volume to aging breasts.
- Want to change the shape of your breasts.
Breast Augmentation Before & After
Cost of Breast Implant Surgery
Breast surgery is considered an elective under most insurance plans and is therefore not typically covered. The cost of breast augmentation surgery varies from person to person and based upon on the type of breast implants chosen and the amount of work to be done.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Recovering from breast augmentation surgery will take several weeks. Immediately after surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in a compression bra. You’ll need to wear a support bra for up to three weeks to provide support for your breasts and to minimize swelling. Oral and/or topical medications will be prescribed to ease pain and reduce the chances of infection. Your activities will be highly restricted for the first 24-48 hours. After that, you can slowly resume normal activities as you feel able to, but expect to be sore and swollen for several weeks after surgery.
Will there be a scar with augmentation surgery?
Dr. Lombardo’s preferred incision is at the base of the areola, known as the periareolar incision. This makes a very small incision that is effectively hidden by the areola. It can be used for both saline and silicone implants.
Often a device called a Keller Funnel is used to insert a silicone implant. This device allows for the incision to remain small – even with a very large implant size. The other advantage to using the Keller Funnel is that the implant never touches anything except the patient. It minimizes any possible contamination of the implant.
If I want to have children will I be able to breastfeed, and will augmentation affect pregnancy?
Breast implants do not affect pregnancy in any way. Your breasts will gain size with pregnancy and will return to their prior size whether you have implants or not.
As for breastfeeding, Dr. Lombardo makes every effort to protect the milk ducts when performing these procedures. In most cases, the patient retains the ability to breastfeed after augmentation. Still, augmentation can affect your ability to breastfeed. This is especially true with the periareolar incision location.
How soon after my surgery will I know if there is a problem?
One immediate type of problem would be infection. This is a risk with all surgeries. Symptoms of infection include redness, heat, drainage, or swelling around the area of the stitches. Other symptoms include fever, rash, nausea, fatigue, nipple discharge, and vomiting. These signs of infection will show up within the first week or two.
Infection is rare with augmentation. Dr. Lombardo is very careful to maintain a completely sterile environment. Contact with the implants is kept to a minimum prior to actual placement. This is especially true when using a Keller Funnel for silicone implant placement.
Abnormal bleeding into the breast pocket immediately after surgery is a potential problem but all patients are seen on the day after surgery to make sure this is not taking place.
The other significant concern with breast implants is capsular contracture, where scar tissue forms around the implant and tightens. This can takes months or even years to develop. It is also a relatively rare side effect. Women who smoke or who have frequent infections (like UTI’s or dental infections) do have a higher risk of capsular contracture.
What Our Patients Have To Say
“I am super happy with the work you did on my implants… I woke up one morning asking myself why I waited so long to do this and then I answered myself by saying I was waiting for the perfect doctor to come along and that’s you! THANK YOU for being so cool at my appointment, you gave me an easy feeling of trust that made it so easy to commit to such a big decision for me… I will continue to spread the word for you and please continue doing what you do best because you are AMAZING, AWESOME AND SUPER FANTASTIC!”
Dr. Lombardo offers a free in-office consultation and price quote after assessing your individual needs and goals. To schedule your free breast augmentation consultation, call: (760) 610-8990.
Contact Lombardo Cosmetic Surgery in Rancho Mirage today to learn more about breast augmentation where we serve greater Palm Springs & Palm Desert areas.