Breast augmentation can give any woman an entirely new look. Women who have always wanted a larger bust, or women who want to get their old breasts back after childbearing can benefit greatly from this type of surgery. Dr. Patterson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, is highly experienced in breast augmentations. Thanks to his extensive experience and unique talent for helping patients of any type, Dr. Patterson has become the top breast augmentation surgeon in the entire Gulf Coast area.
Breast Augmentation Process
The breast augmentation process is designed to add significant volume to the breasts. This surgery does not change the position of the breasts in most cases, but rather enhances them in their current position. A breast augmentation can greatly improve the symmetry of the breasts, however, ultra precise symmetry is not a realistic expectation. After the breast augmentation process is complete, the patient will have enhanced volume and a much improved overall look in the breasts.
Breast Augmentation Techniques
There are several different techniques for the placement of breast implants. The techniques each have their own unique type of incision and method of placement for the implant. The technique used for the augmentation will depend on several things, including the patient's wishes and Dr. Patterson's recommendations.
Benefits of a Breast Augmentation
Most patients choose breast augmentation for aesthetic reasons. Breast implants can greatly improve a woman's figure and even her overall appearance. Breast implants can add volume for the woman who has never been happy with her breast size. Women who are looking for a more balanced figure can also benefit from breast implants. Anyone who wants the extra-curvy look that is becoming so popular today can use breast implants to easily achieve that look. In some cases, women may lose volume after breast feeding their children, and a breast augmentation can help restore that volume fully. Any woman who has low self-esteem due to her breast size may greatly benefit from new breast implants.
Planning For Breast Augmentation Surgery
Planning a breast augmentation surgery starts with a consultation with Dr. Patterson. Because breast augmentation surgery does require a week or so of recovery, planning the surgery for the best time is very important. Talk about your job and your overall lifestyle with Dr. Patterson so the best time for the surgery can be determined.
Types of Breast implants: Silicone vs Saline
Patterson Plastic Surgery offers both silicone and saline breast implants, both made by industry leader Mentor. In the hands of a highly skilled surgeon like Dr. Patterson, either type of implant can have a beautiful and natural looking result. The decision between the two types of implants is a personal one. MemoryGel implants are FDA approved. These implants are created using a unique patented cohesive gel. This gel holds its shape once in the breast, and it has a natural feel very much like natural breast tissue. The MemoryGel implants each have a set fill volume, but Dr. Patterson can help each patient choose the right size for them. Like saline implants, the MemoryGel implants come with a warranty: Either standard enhanced limited warranty, or a lifetime replacement warranty. Saline implants are FDA approved. This type of implant is created from a saline (saltwater) implant that closely mimics the saline found naturally in the body. The saline implants used at Patterson Plastic Surgery feel firmer than gel implants. The saline implants are adjustable, allowing the doctor to fill them to the desired volume during surgery. Saline implants have a warranty, as well: Standard, enhanced limited warranty, or lifetime replacement warranties are available.
Access incisions for Breast Enlargement
There are several different types of access incisions for breast implants. The incision type depends on both patient wishes and doctor recommendations. These include:
- Periareolar Incision: An incision that circles the areola of the breast
- Inframammary Incision: An incision under the breast
- Transaxillary Incision: An incision in the armpit area
Position of Breast implants
The position of the breast implants is an individual decision. Implant position - either over or under the muscle - can vary depending on patient health, type of implant, the size of the implant, and patient body type. Patients who choose the under the muscle position (the most popular choice today) benefit from having more breast tissue covering the implant. Under the muscle implants also tend to show less rippling and may have a more natural look. Over the muscle implants are easier to place, and the procedure is generally less invasive. However, over the muscle implants are not generally as natural looking and are more likely to develop a rippling around the implant that can mar the appearance of the breasts.
Breast implant Style, Texture, Profile and Sizing
The breast implant can be either a round or a shaped (teardrop) style. Most women prefer the round implants (the traditional choice) but the newer teardrop style implants may be perfect for people who want to emphasize a specific area in the breast. Breast implant texture is also dependent on the specific patient and situation. Both smooth and textured Siltex implants are available. Smooth implants have less wrinkling but may have also have less traction within the chest than textured implants do, which may make them slightly more likely to change position. Both types of texture are safe, and Dr. Patterson can help each patient determine which will work best in their own body. Breast implant profiles vary from moderate to high to ultra high. The volume of the implants varies from 125cc to 800cc, and Dr. Patterson will help patients to choose the ideal volume for their body type.
Preparing for Breast Augmentation Surgery
Dr. Patterson will give patients recommendations for proper preparation during a breast augmentation consultation appointment. Patients who are overweight may need to get down to a healthy weight prior to surgery. Lab tests, primarily blood tests, are required to verify that the patient is healthy enough to have the surgery. Patients should always disclose all medications - even over the counter and herbal supplements - that they are currently taking. Some of these medicines will need to be stopped before surgery. For example, drugs like ibuprofen and certain NSAIDS can cause thinning of the blood, which can be dangerous during surgery. Smokers are encouraged to discontinue smoking prior to the surgery.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia. During a breast augmentation, Dr. Patterson will make incisions to create a pocket to place the implant in. The implant will then be placed and carefully manipulated so that the placement is correct and so that the breasts are symmetrical. The incisions will then be sutured. On average, a breast augmentation surgery takes between one and two hours.
Recovery After Breast Augmentation
Recovering from a breast augmentation procedure in the best way means adhering to the recovery guidelines provided by Dr. Patterson. Most people can resume light activity after only a few days, for example walking around the house. Most patients need to take at least one week off work to rest and recover, but people who have physical or strenuous jobs will need to wait longer. You can find more recovery information on our blog, Breast Augmentation Recovery: What to Expect After Surgery.
Exercise After Breast Augmentation
Following a breast augmentation, strenuous exercise should be avoided for a period of six weeks. Even moderately strenuous exercise can cause swelling and can delay recovery, so it should be avoided for two weeks. Light exercise can be fine, but patients should stick to exercise like walking for a full six weeks to achieve the best recovery.
Additional Procedures to Consider With a Breast Augmentation Surgery
If patients are looking for more than just volume, a breast lift may be combined with the breast augmentation. This allows Dr. Patterson to lift and reposition the breasts at the same time they are augmented. Some patients are looking for a new waistline to go with their improved bust line. In this case, it may be possible to get a tummy tuck at the same time as the breast augmentation. By combining the procedures, patients can avoid going under anesthesia twice and can do all of their healing at one time.
After a breast augmentation, Dr. Patterson provides patients with a list of detailed aftercare instructions. Those include:
- Remove gauze dressings after 24 to 48 hours. If any bleeding is noted, place fresh dressings on the area.
- Avoid showering for 24 hours post-surgery. Avoid full water submersions like baths or hot tubs for three to four weeks.
- Wear heavy compression garments to support the breasts for a minimum of two weeks post surgery. After that, transition to medium compression garments for another month. High-quality sports bras will typically work well. The compression garments should be worn as much as possible, but can be removed for brief periods for laundering.
- Some discomfort and pain following the surgery is normal but is usually largely resolved after the first few days. Pain can be managed with pain relievers. Use caution with narcotic pain relievers, as they can have significant side effects. If the breast area feels itchy, use an over the counter antihistamine such as Benadryl.
- It is common to have surgical tape for anywhere from two to three weeks post-op. Leave the tape in place to allow for the best healing. Avoid using cream or ointment on or around the tape as it can dislodge the tape.
Dr. Patterson may also have other specific aftercare instructions following a breast augmentation. Follow all of these instructions closely for the best breast augmentation result. It is important to understand that full healing does take time and that the final breast shape will not be achieved until around six weeks after the operation. As long as you know what to expect and you are willing to follow Dr. Patterson's guidelines, you will be able to achieve the results you want.
5 Myths About Breast Implants
Frequently Asked Questions:
Thinking about breast augmentation but have questions? Most patients have the following common questions, so here are the answers you've been looking for.
How long will the recovery be?
Recovery time can vary slightly based on implant placement. Whether you have over the muscle implants (subglandular placement) or under the muscle implants (submuscular placement,) your recovery time will usually be no more than 7-10 days. Most women are able to resume light activity after just a few days. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise must be delayed for longer, usually around six weeks post-surgery.
In most cases, recovery from breast augmentation is now faster and easier than it's ever been thanks to Dr. Patterson's expertise and skill. You can learn even more about recovery on our blog here.
How do I know if I need shaped or round implants?
Shaped vs round implants is largely a personal preference that depends upon the look you're going for. Round implants are the most popular option. They provide fullness throughout the breast. The teardrop shaped implants are designed to emphasize fullness at the bottom of the breast, much like the natural breast shape.
If you want the most natural look (but a less dramatic change) the teardrop shape may be best. However, most patients today still opt for the round implant. Dr. Patterson can help you decide which works best for your needs and for your body type.
Is silicone or saline best?
The choice between silicone and saline is completely up to you. Both the silicone and saline implants used at Patterson Plastic Surgery are produced by Mentor, Sientra or Allergan. The shaped gel "gummy bear" implants (silicone) are the most natural feeling option. They have a set size that's predetermined by your own preferences and Dr. Patterson's recommendations.
Saline implants are filled with saltwater that's much like the body's own natural saline. Saline implants are firmer, and are thus considered to feel less like natural breast tissue by some patients. Saline implants have adjustable volume, allowing Dr. Patterson to fill them to the optimal level during your breast augmentation procedure. At Patterson Plastic Surgery, both types of implants have a warranty. The decision is entirely up to you, and you can base it on your personal goals.
How long after surgery can I exercise again?
We suggest waiting at least two weeks for any type of light activity. Delay moderate to heavy exercise until you get clearance from Dr. Patterson. He will typically advise you to avoid moderate to strenuous exercise for about six weeks post surgery. The more closely you follow the exercise guidelines, the smoother your healing and recovery can be.
How much time off of work do I need?
Most breast augmentation patients need to take only a week off of work. By that time, your pain is usually gone or is well controlled with Tylenol. However, this will be determined by how labor intensive your job. Dr. Patterson will let you know the suggested time off based on your personal needs. Dr. Patterson uses the most advanced techniques to ensure that your breast augmentation is as comfortable as possible -- and that includes a quick recovery and relatively rapid return to work.
Dr. Nathan Patterson is widely considered the go-to breast augmentation expert of the Gulf Coast area. Contact Patterson Plastic Surgery anytime to arrange a breast augmentation consultation. We look forward to seeing you here soon!