Beauty is all about proportions, and this is a characteristic that may not be granted to every person. Women who desire fuller, more shapely breasts often turn to breast augmentation to achieve the shape that suits their lifestyle and personality.
Q & A
Breast augmentation is a popular plastic surgery procedure in which medical implant devices are inserted into the breast pocket. Breast implants are composed of a soft silicone shell and either a silicone or saline center. Carefully selected for size, shape, and profile, breast implants fill out the chest to create natural-looking curves.
Some of the issues that can be corrected through breast augmentation include:
- Small size
- Breast changes following pregnancy or weight loss
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Reconstruction after breast cancer treatment
- Changes in breast tissue due to aging
None of these motivations is any more valid than another.
Women aged 18 and over who are in good general and emotional health are often very good candidates for breast augmentation. This procedure may be sought for several different reasons, all of which are equally valid. Candidates for breast augmentation may wish to address:
- Naturally small breasts
- Asymmetry, where one breast is noticeably larger than the other
- Changes to breast shape after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss
- Age-related deflation and sagging
- Physical defects caused by breast cancer treatment
Breast augmentation has been a leading cosmetic surgery procedure for many years. The physical improvements that breast implants can achieve enable women to feel more like themselves. Our sense of self and self-esteem relate to appearance. When a woman’s breasts do not harmonize with the rest of her body or with her personality, she may feel dissatisfied. Breast augmentation is a minimally-invasive procedure with a short recovery period and lasting cosmetic improvements.
Breast augmentation is a highly individualized process. There are many different material types, shapes, and placement options from which to choose.
Saline breast implants gain their shape and fullness from sterile salt water that your body can safely process if a leak occurs. These implants give a uniform feel, shape, and firmness.
Silicone breast implants are made using a soft, silicone gel filling. They give a natural feel, but there is a risk of health problems if the implant leaks. Women who choose silicone implants must schedule occasional imaging to ensure the implants are still stable.
Gummy Bear Implants
Gummy bear implants get their name from their ability to maintain a stable shape. They are filled with a thick silicone gel and have a teardrop shape. If they shift position, they will likely need to be adjusted in a separate procedure.
In addition to the material choice, breast implants can be round, smooth, or textured. Dr. Gear works with you to define your treatment goals and help you choose implants that are right for you.
Dr. Gear’s consultation for plastic surgery is focused on getting to know the patient and their motivation for physical enhancement. A brief medical history review is conducted but most of the time patients are with the doctor is spent talking about the desired outcome. Breast augmentation involves more than increasing the volume of the breasts to achieve a certain cup size. It involves enhancing the breasts in a specific way that will add to overall shape in a way that looks authentically natural.
Blood work is often needed for breast augmentation patients. This ensures that relevant levels are within normal range. Two weeks before surgery, patients are advised to stop smoking and consuming alcohol. Each habit inhibits optimal tissue healing. Medications that thin the blood, including aspirin, will need to be avoided. The few weeks before surgery should also include steps that will make recovery more comfortable. Patients will need to arrange time off work, pick up prescriptions for post-operative pain management, and can also benefit from gathering supplies that will be needed during recovery.
Breast augmentation surgery is performed in an accredited outpatient surgical center. Before entering the operating room, the surgical team reviews procedure details and answers any last-minute questions. In the operating room, the patient receives general anesthesia that will cause a deep sleep state. After anesthesia has taken effect, a breathing tube may be inserted into the throat to assist with breathing. This is removed before the patient wakes up after surgery.
The patient is comfortable and unaware of the procedural details as they are being performed. As discussed in the preoperative briefing, Dr. Gear makes incisions to accommodate the insertion of breast implants. The implants are placed in a pocket of tissue either above or beneath the muscle. After both implants are in place, shape is observed for symmetry and size. Incisions are closed and the patient is moved to the recovery area for observation.
Patients can expect to feel sore after breast augmentation. A compression garment is applied after surgery to assist with swelling and discomfort. This may be worn for up to six weeks and should not be removed unless instructed by the surgical team. Sensations such as tightness, heaviness, and difficulty taking deep breaths may be experienced for a day or two. Prescription medication may be taken to alleviate pain. Most patients can stop heavier medication within 4 to 5 days, after which over-the-counter medication is sufficient. Light activities may be resumed in a week to 10 days, with more strenuous activities and exercise resuming gradually after 2 to 3 weeks.
Surgical procedures carry inherent risks including infection and bleeding. Proper post-surgical care significantly decreases these risks, as well as the potential for blood for fluid accumulation and poor wound healing. It is important to obtain care from a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience using various breast implant devices. Dr. Gear values conservative cosmetics that complement a woman’s body frame. The outcome of breast augmentation should be the natural-looking enhancement of a central feature of femininity.
Before and After
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Providence Plastic Surgery
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery located in Charlotte, NC
Breast augmentation is among the most popular types of cosmetic surgery and is an area of specialty for Dr. Andrew Gear of Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center. Many women from in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, come to Dr. Gear based on the recommendation of friends and family who’ve worked with him for their own aesthetic needs. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities afforded by breast augmentation, schedule a consultation today. Online scheduling is available, or you can reach the office by phone to set up your visit.