Breast augmentation or breast enlargement is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the breasts by increasing size, improving shape and, correcting breast deformities. For this surgery, saline or silicone gel breast implants are used, which come in a wide array of sizes and shapes to accommodate each patient’s size and body proportions, as well as their individual aesthetic goals. Dr. Weston works with each of her patients one-on-one to select the best options for producing natural, beautiful results.
Breast augmentation could be an appropriate choice for you if you want to enlarge your breast size or restore breast fullness that has been lost through pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss or the aging process. However, on its own, it is not the best procedure for women who exhibit significant sagging of the breasts. These patients will often require a breast lift with or without breast augmentation. Breast augmentations are one of Dr. Weston’s most frequently requested procedures, and you will be in good hands. While breast augmentations rank as one of the most complex in terms of pre-op planning, Dr. Weston and her experienced team will be with you at every step along the way, providing you with all the information you need to make an education choice for each of the many decisions you will have to make before you undergo your breast augmentation.
Many women seek this surgery because they desire bigger breasts and a fuller bustline. However, the benefits of the procedure are often more far-reaching than our patients realize. Breast augmentation can also create more balanced body proportions, enhance cleavage and correct breast asymmetries and deformities. The outcome of breast augmentation is also long-lasting, so it is vital that patients understand they are making a decision that will require a degree of upkeep throughout their lives.
During your consultation, Dr. Weston will evaluate your health and medical history and talk with you about your expectations for breast augmentation. The better you can describe and illustrate your vision for your aesthetic goals, the better Dr. Weston can address your concerns and help you meet those goals. Dr. Weston’s preference is always to create breasts that look both full and natural. If your desires appearance involves going bigger and bolder, it is essential to communicate this at your initial consultation so Dr. Weston can tailor the procedure to you. Based on your stated goals, Dr. Weston will guide you through a series of decisions that will ultimately lead to your customized surgical plan.
Five fundamental decisions will need to be made before you can undergo breast augmentation surgery. You and Dr. Weston will work through the decision-making process together, which will include making choices on the following:
Dr. Weston and her staff will help you choose the breast implant size and type that most closely matches your stated goals. During a visit to the office, you will also have the opportunity to try on breast implants sizers, which will help you visualize how different implant sizes will look on your body. We will work meticulously with you to make the correct choices necessary to provide you with a beautiful outcome that you will be happy with for many years to come.
Dr. Weston and her staff will help you choose the breast implant size and type that matches your stated goal. During a visit to the office, you will have the opportunity to try on breast implant sizers to help you visualize how different implant sizes will look on your body.
With the extensive amount of time you spend with our team before your procedure, you will come in on your surgery day with an accurate idea of what to expect. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia so that you will be comfortably asleep throughout the surgery. This also means you will be able to go home or to a local hotel in the care of a responsible adult who will be available to attend to your needs during the first 24 hours after your procedure.
The incisions will be placed as planned pre-operatively, and Dr. Weston will take care to ensure they will be as inconspicuous as possible. Through the incisions, she will create pockets over or under your pectoral muscles, where the implants will be placed. If you have chosen saline implants, they will be filled with the sterile solution after the shells are in place. Silicone implants come prefilled, so they will be put into the pocket using techniques to lower your risk for infection after surgery.
Once the implants are in their appropriate place in the pocket, Dr. Weston will use layered sutures to close the incisions. This approach typically ensures better healing, fewer complications and less visible scarring. You will be dressed in a surgical bra to accommodate the new size of your breasts, and a circumferential wrap will be fashioned around your chest to minimize swelling and provide additional comfort during the first several days after your surgery.
Whether you are seeking breast augmentation for size alone or to correct asymmetry, seeing photos of previous patients before and after surgery is one of the most effective ways to get an accurate idea of what your own results might look like. To help you as you plan your breast surgery, we invite you to see real patient photos of the following:
Remember that each patient’s anatomy and goals for breast augmentation will vary so that results will differ as well. However, seeing other patient outcomes can help guide you as you create a plan for your own enhancement.
Pain following breast augmentation varies from patient to patient, but some women find the discomfort is significant in the early recovery period. When implants are placed beneath the muscle, the pain tends to be more intense, and there can be some muscle spasms as well. Dr. Weston prescribes pain medication and muscle relaxants after surgery to improve post-op comfort so that patients can rest a bit easier during the first several days after the procedure.
When the breast implants are placed above the muscle, pain is usually less severe. If this is your placement choice, you will still receive pain medication to take for the first few days to ensure a comfortable start to your recovery process. Patients who have not had children before breast surgery also may find that the tighter tissue of their pre-pregnancy breasts may lead to a higher level of discomfort, but this also varies. Please note that while you are taking prescribed pain medication, you will not be allowed to drive.
No matter how intense your discomfort might be after breast surgery, rest assured it will likely subside within about four days. Patients who have subglandular implant placement may experience relief even sooner. We advise our patients to enlist help with household tasks and childcare during the first few days after your breast augmentation to provide ample time for rest and recuperation.
Your ability to return to work varies with your choice of implant placement and with the type of work you perform. If implants are placed above the muscle, it is reasonable to expect to return to work within three to seven days if your job is not overly strenuous. Patients who have implants placed underneath the muscle typically return to work within five to 10 days. If your occupation requires heavy lifting or actively use of the arms (such as hairdressers, chefs, and personal trainers), you will need to plan for additional time off.
All patients should be able to return to normal daily activities and light exercise, like walking within two weeks. Vigorous activity needs to wait for about four to six weeks. Dr. Weston will advise you at your post-op appointments as to when your body is ready to resume this type of activity level. Bruising and swelling, which are common side effects of breast surgery, typically resolve without approximately six weeks.
It takes three to six months to complete the breast augmentation recovery process and judge your final look. Scars from breast augmentation will continue to mature and fade for as long as a year. If your implants are smooth and round, you will be instructed during one of your early post-op visits on how to move the implants within the pockets. Mastering this skill will help maintain a natural appearance to your breasts and will keep your implants soft for many years to come.
Breast augmentation promises long-lasting results for most patients who undergo the procedure. While manufacturers may put a 10-year life expectancy on their implants, it is not necessary to remove them unless you experience problems. Some women are entirely satisfied with their implants for a much longer period, while others decide sooner to remove or replace the implants for a variety of personal reasons. There will not be a substantial amount of maintenance required in the years following breast surgery. The FDA does recommend that women with silicone implants schedule an MRI every two years to screen for possible silent ruptures, but this step is not necessary with saline implants. If a saline implant ruptures, the results will quickly become evident in the appearance of the breast.
Breast augmentation is a procedure that boasts a high patient satisfaction rate due to the dramatic, long-lasting results it provides. To learn more about your choices in breast augmentation, please call our office at (650) 457-6291.