Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Surgical breast enhancement is accomplished through the implant of saline or silicone into the breast, or through the implant of fat harvested from another area of the patient’s body.
Women typically seek breast augmentation surgery to improve the size and volume of their breasts. Patients may have naturally petite breasts, or they may have lost breast volume due to breastfeeding or major weight loss. Other patients seek surgical breast enhancement to provide a subtle lift throughout the breasts or to correct breast asymmetry.
If you are considering breast augmentation, the only way to determine if you are eligible is through a consultation with Dr. Cooperman Plastics and Reconstruction. The plastic surgeon will ask you a series of questions about your appearance goals after the implants and what size you are considering. Patients must be in good physical and mental health, nonsmokers or prepared to quit smoking for several weeks, are not pregnant or breastfeeding for at least 6 months, understand the risks of this procedure, and want the surgery based on their own choice.
Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your anatomy and frame to determine which type of implant will work best to meet your needs. Saline breast implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that the body can safely absorb in case of an implant leak, or rupture. This type of breast implant is filled after it is inserted during surgery, so the surgeon can use a slightly smaller incision to place saline implants than they would with silicone implants. Unfortunately, saline implants are not a great option for women with thin skin or little body fat, as there may not be enough skin, fat and breast tissue to cover and support the implants properly. This can lead to visible rippling underneath the skin’s surface.
Silicone breast implants more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breasts than their saline counterparts. This type of implant is less prone to rippling or folding within the implant pocket. With silicone implants, the plastic surgeon must use slightly larger incisions, as silicone breast implants come prefilled from the manufacturer.
Breast implants come in a variety of sizes to meet the patient’s aesthetic and body needs. During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will consult you on which size will look most natural and attractive with your body frame. Patients can try on different implant sizes in their bra to determine if the size is what they are comfortable with.
There are three different incisions a patient can choose from for their augmentation procedure. The first is transaxillary, meaning the incision will be made in the armpit. The second choice is a periareolar pattern, which involves an incision made around the outer edge of the areola. Lastly, patients may choose an inframammary incision, an incision made under the natural fold of the breast. Generally, the patient can choose where she prefers the incision based on the surgeons recommendation.
Breast augmentation surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia. After the plastic surgeon has made the chosen incision pattern, he or she lifts the breast tissue to create a pocket in which the implant will be placed. Depending on the patient’s cosmetic desires and anatomy, the implant can be positioned either behind the breast tissue or underneath the chest muscle. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the placement and symmetry of the breast implants, he or she closes the incision with sutures and dresses the treatment area with soft bandages and an overlying surgical bra for added support and to minimize swelling while the tissues heal.
After surgery, patients are taken to a recovery room for a couple of hours while the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Once they are cleared by the medical staff, they are released into the care of an authorized adult, so they can recover in the comfort of their own home.
The recovery time for patients is usually around one week off from work and activities. Patients must avoid heavy lifting and raising of the arms, but should also walk around the house to encourage blood flow and minimize the risk for blood clots. The breasts will most likely feel tender and sore, and the treatment area may be swollen and bruised or red. After surgery, the breast implants tend to sit high up on the chest, but will look more natural after the healing process.
During the follow-up appointments, the surgeon will monitor the patient’s progress, including checking on the absorbable stitches used during surgery, which should dissolve on their own within two to four weeks. The doctor will also let the patient know when it is safe to resume exercise and vigorous activities, which will vary per patient based on how quickly one heals.
Contact Dr. Cooperman in Livingston, NJ to learn more about New Jersey breast augmentation.