Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery in America, and for good reason: This versatile procedure can be used to increase breast volume and size and improve the shape and evenness of the breasts.* Because breast augmentation has been performed successfully for several decades on a large number of patients, this surgery is very well-understood, and complications are rare.* Breast augmentation is a safe, convenient, and long-lasting way to dramatically improve the dimensions of your physique.* It’s therefore little wonder that breast augmentation is one of the most asked-for procedures at our Bellevue plastic surgery practice.
Before and After Photos
Before & After Gallery
Be sure to view our Before & After Photo Gallery of Breast Procedures to see real patient results at Flugstad Plastic Surgery.Click Here
Breast Implant Options Explained
When you come in for a breast augmentation consultation, there are a number of options we will review with you, including silicone gel or saline, under the muscle or over the muscle, and incision location. While there are many options in breast augmentation, we will narrow those down to give you the long-lasting results you want and the look you are going for.*
Types of Breast Implant
Silicone gel implants are the most popular type of implant used today. Because silicone gel is thicker than water, the way it moves closely emulates natural breast tissue. Its viscous properties also make it less prone to creating visible “wrinkles” in the patient’s skin.* Gel implants create a smooth, full look that’s virtually impossible to tell apart from the shape and softness of natural breasts.*
Silicone is an inert bio-compatible substance, meaning that it does not cause adverse reactions when placed within the human body. Even in the unlikely event that a silicone gel implant ruptures, the silicone will not cause any immediate negative symptoms. The idea that ruptured gel implants can cause autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other conditions has been completely disproved by thorough research. While it’s important to have breast implant removal surgery promptly if you have a damaged implant (owing to the risk of additional scarring and secondary infection), you can rest assured that silicone implants are as safe as any other silicone medical device.
Saline implants are widely regarded to be the safest possible form of breast implant because the saline they are filled with can be reabsorbed into the body in the event of a rupture. Saline implants have a few other unique advantages that make them a viable alternative to gel implants.
The main downside of saline implants is the fact that they don’t emulate natural breast tissue quite as well as gel implants do. In addition to not feeling as much like natural breast tissue, saline implants can sometimes fold and “dimple.” Patients with very thin skin may experience temporary skin wrinkling in places as their implants shift beneath their skin.* Larger saline implants may also feel heavier.
Breast Implant Placement Techniques
Placing breast implants underneath the pectoral muscle has become common practice owing to the way this placement technique effectively disguises the outline of the implant. (The upper portion of the implant is hidden by muscle tissue.) This creates a sleek, natural curve that many patients find aesthetically pleasing.* Implants placed under the muscle are also less likely to interfere with mammogram results and they are less prone to capsular contraction and wrinkling. Likewise, implants placed under the muscle allow for better blood flow to the nipple, which is especially important if the patient being operated on is also having a breast lift. This can safeguard nipple sensation.
At the same time, however, placing implants under the muscle is not always the best choice. If the patient has adequate natural breast tissue and desires a faster recovery for example, the “over the muscle” method may work better.* Additionally, because placing implants over the muscle is less invasive than placing them under the muscle, patients who are concerned about surgical risks (or who cannot spare a lot of time for recovery) may prefer this method of insertion. Finally, if you have unusually wide-set breasts, over the muscle insertion can correct this issue by allowing the surgeon to place your new implants closer to the center of your chest.
Breast Implant Incision Locations
Depending on your anatomy and the results you desire, you and your surgeon will agree on one of the following incision types:
- Inframammary. Inframammary incisions are made in the inframammary fold just beneath the breast. This incision is preferred because it provides your surgeon with better control over implant location and position and has been shown to minimize long-term complications. This type of incision is very thin and thus does not result in significant scarring. It’s also easily hidden in the crease below the breast. At the same time, however, the incision is long enough to allow the surgeon to insert large implants. Inframammary incision is also essential for many breast augmentation revisions.
- Peri-areolar. Peri-areolar incisions are made around the edge of the nipple. This has the advantage of hiding the resultant scar by essentially incorporating it into the natural ring of pigmentation that surrounds the nipple. Peri-areolar incisions are a good choice for those looking to have combined breast lift and augmentation surgery as they make it easy for the surgeon to alter the placement of the nipples while also inserting implants.
- Trans-axillary. This type of incision is not made anywhere on the breast; instead, it’s made within the armpit. While this type of incision method necessitates a more complicated implant insertion process, it’s ideal for patients who would prefer a scar in the axillary area.
- Transumbilical. Another remote incision type, transumbilical incisions are made just above the belly button. The implants are then slid up into the breasts. Only saline implants can be used with this approach, and it allows less surgeon control of implant placement precision.
What to Expect During a Breast Augmentation Consultation
When you visit our Bellevue, Washington plastic surgery practice for a breast augmentation consultation, you’ll first be asked what you want. It’s our mission to provide completely personalized care that helps you achieve your cosmetic objectives. To that end, we will discuss what size and type of implant is needed to create the breast size, shape, and contour you want. We will then take your measurements and examine your breast tissue and chest cavity. Once we have aligned your wishes with your unique anatomy, we’ll develop a custom surgical plan to suit your preferences. This includes implant size, shape, texturing, pocket placement, and implant fill type.
Understand that it is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, to bring photographic references or other sizing aids with you to your consultation. This will help us get an even better picture of the exact size and shape you want your breasts to be after surgery.
If you have already had breast augmentation surgery, but you were not satisfied with the results, or one of your implants has failed, feel free to ask us about revision surgery. We can correct any problems you are having with your existing implants, either by removing them and then lifting your breasts, or by replacing them with a new set of implants. The choice is up to you.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
The ideal breast augmentation candidate is over 18 years of age, has no major health conditions, is a nonsmoker, and is within 30 pounds of her ideal weight. While being overweight will not prevent you from having breast augmentation surgery, if you are planning to lose weight in the future, the resultant loss of natural breast tissue could change your overall breast shape. It’s therefore recommended to be close to your goal weight before you have your augmentation. This way you will be able to have breast lift and augmentation surgery at the same time, thereby saving yourself both time and money and getting your best result.
If you are over the age of 40, we strongly recommend that you have a mammogram prior to having breast augmentation surgery. (If you have not had a mammogram in the last five years.) While breast implants do not increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, they can make it more difficult for doctors to detect unfavorable changes in breast tissue during a mammogram (because they create a visual obstruction). It’s therefore a good idea to get one before your implants are placed. Mammograms can detect potentially cancerous changes in breast tissue long before they form a tumor, so having one now will give you peace of mind for years to come.
Finally, note that you should not have this surgery if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant in the near future. However, breast implants should not impact your ability to breastfeed in the future. If you want to breastfeed a baby at some point, talk to us about this when you come in for a consultation. We can help you choose the right incision site to maximize your chances of breastfeeding successfully.
What to Expect During Recovery from Breast Augmentation Surgery
Most people who undergo breast augmentation do not experience a great deal of pain during recovery; this is especially true if the patient has implants placed over the muscle.* You will, however, experience some level of discomfort during the first week after your surgery.* (Pain medication will be made available to you so that you are not unduly troubled by pain.) Bruising and swelling are also common.* (If your breasts look larger than you expected right after surgery, you can rest assured that this is just a result of swelling.) You can expect to take at least one to two weeks off work to rest.*
For the first few weeks after your surgery, you will be outfitted with a special surgical bra that will give your breasts the support they need while healing. You will also be asked to avoid any strenuous physical activity for at least four to six weeks.* We will give you special instructions on how to care for your incisions, bathe safely, etc. Make sure you follow them; proper aftercare is the best way to mitigate the risk of scarring and infection.
We will schedule regular follow-up appointments with you to monitor how your recovery is progressing. When we think your breast tissue has healed enough for you to resume your usual activities, we will let you know. We can often get you back to physical activity in as little as two weeks.* After about three months, you can expect to see your scars become smooth and faded.* You will also notice that your implants “settle” slightly during this period, taking on a completely natural shape and position.
Having breast augmentation is an excellent way to improve your shape and self-confidence, whether you’re having reconstruction or revision surgery, or just looking for an increase in breast volume.* No matter what your objectives are, we can help you achieve them in a safe, caring, state of the art surgical setting. Contact us today for a breast augmentation consultation in Bellevue, Washington.
Breast Augmentation Advice: Questions to Ask during Your Consultation
Getting the results you want from any plastic surgery procedure requires effective communication. When preparing for breast augmentation, Bellevue patients should make sure to ask their surgeon all of the following questions:
- Can I see a selection of “before and after” photographs depicting breast augmentation procedures you’ve performed?
- What should I do to prepare for breast augmentation surgery? Is there anything I should talk to my doctor about before I have this procedure?
- Can you tell me more about your certification, training, and the specific experience you have in performing breast surgery? (It is important to find a surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.)
- Are you willing to perform combined breast augmentation and breast lift surgery?
- Will having breast augmentation surgery affect my ability to breastfeed in the future? Can you do anything to help me maximize my chances of breastfeeding successfully?
- How will the results of this procedure be affected if I have children, breastfeed, or gain or lose weight in the future?
- What are my options if I decide I don’t like the results of this surgery? Can I have my implants entirely removed without it harming the appearance of my breasts?
- How long can I expect my breast implants to last, and how do you suggest I monitor them for signs of rupture?
- What shape, size, and texture of implants do you think I should have inserted?
- What are my options for choosing an incision site and placement site?
We will, of course, be happy to answer all these inquiries—as well as any other questions you may have—when you visit us for a breast augmentation consultation. At Flugstad Plastic Surgery, we pride ourselves on providing the best breast augmentation patient experience.
Contact us today for a Breast Augmentation consultation in Bellevue, Washington.
* Individual results and patient experience may vary.