Breast Augmentation in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and East Bay
You deserve to love your body, and we can help you achieve that goal. If your breast size has never been what you would like, or the size and shape of your breasts has changed with age or after pregnancy and nursing, breast augmentation may be an excellent path back to confidence. We have mastered the art form of body transformations through breast enhancement, and we are happy to share details of this procedure with you.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic breast procedure that is performed to increase the size and shape of the breasts using FDA-approved implants, silicone sacs filled with either saline or silicone.
Saline breast implants are approved for use in women over the age of 18. The silicone shell is un-filled when placed beneath tissue, then filled with a sterile solution. One of the reasons that women may choose saline implants is the perception of safety. The liquid, if it does leak, is naturally expelled by the body. However, the consistency of the saline fluid may affect the natural feel of the breasts.
Pre-filled silicone gel implants are approved for patients age 22 and older. The viscosity of the gel within the silicone shell is denser than a saline implant, and thus tends to feel more natural to the touch. The most cohesive of the various types of silicone gel implants is referred to as the “gummy bear” implant.
Candidates for Breast Augmentation
There are several reasons that women may choose to have breast augmentation surgery. One is that their natural breasts are small. Breast augmentation is also beneficial for women whose breasts have lost fullness and shape after pregnancy and nursing. Implants placed either beneath superficial tissue or beneath the muscle can correct the appearance of asymmetry from one breast to the other and, finally, breast augmentation may be a vital aspect of reconstruction after breast cancer treatment.
During your consultation with Dr. Fisher, all of your options will be discussed. If you’re uncertain about the exact look you desire, observing images in our before and after gallery can aid in your decision. We will do this with you here in the office so that we may guide you in looking at images that resemble your natural anatomical shape.
The goal of breast augmentation surgery is to enlarge the size of your breasts, and to create a shape that suits your body structure. Working together, we can help you realize your best body.
Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos
How is Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed?
Breast augmentation surgery involves the placement of the selected implant beneath either breast tissue or beneath the muscle. The breast augmentation procedure at our Palo Alto office lasts about 1 to 2 hours and is typically performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Fisher will place the Incisions in the armpit, in the crease on the underside of the breast, or around the areola to minimize the appearance of scars after surgery.
To situate the implant, a pocket is made in the appropriate area. Once the implant is placed or filled, the small incisions are closed and covered. During your consultation, we discuss your preferences in the type of incisions used for your procedure and the best position for your implant based on your body.
Breast Implant Placement
Breast implants may be positioned either above the pectoral muscles, or beneath them. Sub-muscular placement holds the advantage of disguising minute imperfections in implants and a decreased risk of capsular contracture (implant hardening). However, sub-muscular implants will move when the pec muscles move; so raising your arm, for instance, could cause slight movement in the breast. Any type or shape of implant can be placed in either position. During your consultation, Dr. Fisher will discuss your lifestyle habits and personal preferences in order to assist you in determining the best position for your implants.
Important Considerations in Breast Implant Surgery:
- Your body frame. A certain type of breast implant or cup size will look entirely different from woman to woman based on her height, weight, and frame.
- Natural breast shape. The shape of your breasts is determined by factors such as the diameter of your chest wall and the amount of existing breast tissue, as well as any amount of asymmetry. These factors do not change when implants are in place, though the shape of your breasts may improve.
- When you look closely at one breast compared to the other, you may notice asymmetry, or imbalance. One breast may be slightly larger or it may have a different shape. We do our best to counteract asymmetries when we can. However, it is important to know that some degree of differential from breast to breast may remain, or may even become more pronounced.
- Natural breast size. Your existing structure will dictate the range of implant sizes that would be appropriate for your frame. This is more about the ability of your skin and connective tissue to accommodate the implants than about proportion. Also, cup size is not an accurate measurement of what is possible with breast augmentation, so we do not use this as a guide.
- Breast position. Breast augmentation enhances the shape and size of the breasts, but it does not affect positioning. If breasts have become saggy, mastopexy, or breast lift surgery, may be performed either as an alternative to or in combination with breast augmentation.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Breast implants can last from 10 years on up to a lifetime. There is no strict guideline for replacement. The primary reason that replacement would be necessary at any point in time would be implant failure, such as leakage or rupture. In some cases, a woman chooses to have implants replaced for personal reasons such as changes to the shape of breasts due to aging or pregnancy. Also, there are cases in which a revision surgery is requested in order to decrease breast size, replacing large implants with a smaller size.
What Is the Difference Between Saline and Silicone Implants?
Saline implants are empty silicone shells that are filled during augmentation surgery. This type of implant deflates over time, at a rate of about 1% each year. Also, because saline is a watery consistency, this type of implant may feel more obviously unnatural to the touch.
Silicone implants are pre-filled to specific sizes. The viscosity of the silicone that is held within the implant shell may feel more like natural breast tissue. Also, because silicone is more cohesive, this type of implant is better at retaining its shape. There are different consistencies available today, with the most cohesive referred to as the gummy bear implant.
Is There A Difference In Feel And Appearance of Two Different Breast Implants Under The Muscle?
The choice of breast implants for a given patient has to do with a number of factors as determined by the plastic surgeon. You certainly have choices regarding size, projection, and cohesiveness, based on your specific measurements and discussions of your goals with your plastic surgeon. Some patients have more choices than others based on their specific measurements and circumstances.
Specifically regarding brands, each of the 3 brands of silicone gel implants currently sold in the United States (Allergan, Mentor, Sientra) is in general equally good, with multiple subtypes and options and it’s based on the surgeon’s discretion which one is used. One would not be able to feel the difference between brands after the surgery. The biggest differences are within the same brand, to do with how cohesive or how projected the implants are and that is something you discuss with your plastic surgeon before surgery when the specific plan for your surgery is made for you.
Saline implant technology has evolved tremendously. We now have the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant, available for you at Elite Transformations. While this is a saline implant, it has a novel and unique internal structure to make it behave like an implant filled with silicone gel.
The IDEAL IMPLANT contains a series of internal shells that provide support to the edges and control fluid movement. The result is an implant that combines the advantages of both saline and silicone gel implants. Some women like the idea of saline implants for peace of mind in case of a rupture/deflation and other women won’t compromise on the softness and denseness of silicone gel implants.
With the IDEAL IMPLANT you can have saline implants if its important to you, without the water balloon effect of standard saline implants. Similar to silicone gel implants, it has a natural feel. Please call us today to come in for a consultation and you can do your own side-by-side comparison of implants.
Smooth vs Textured Breast Implants
Implants may be textured or smooth. A large majority of breast augmentation procedures involve sub-muscular placement, which has a lower rate of capsular contracture. For this reason, smooth implants are sufficient for the desired result. Several years ago, textured implants, which feel like soft sandpaper on the outer shell, were developed to mitigate the risk for implant hardening. The texture on the shell causes the implant to attach to surrounding tissue, whereas smooth texture does not. The cases in which textured implants are most often used is when a patient chooses a shaped implant, such as a teardrop, versus the standard round implant.
Recovery After Breast Implant Surgery
Immediately after breast augmentation surgery, a compression garment will be applied. This garment will need to be worn for several weeks in order to support healing tissues and manage post-operative swelling and bruising.
Antibiotics may be prescribed, as well as pain medication. It is important to follow the dosing instructions on medications and not wait to see how pain feels. Typically, a large degree of discomfort subsides in the first 48 hours after breast augmentation.
While it is important to resume physical activities as your doctor clears you, walking should be a normal practice starting immediately after surgery. Walking short distances throughout the day minimizes the risk of blood clots forming in the legs due to inactivity.
Advice For Exercise After Breast Augmentation?
After a breast augmentation, a procedure often done on extremely fit women, there should be no lifting over 10 lb, no pushing, pulling, or arms overhead. MILD exercise such as walking uphill, or cycling at a relaxed pace is generally alright after 2 weeks. This should be so low impact that it does not cause any sweating or increase in your heart rate. No jumping, running, high intensity cardio, or anything that makes breasts bounce for 6 weeks.
Breast Augmentation Results
The results of breast augmentation surgery become more apparent as swelling subsides and the implants settle in their pocket beneath the muscle or breast tissue. At first, breasts may have a higher profile and firmer shape. This will diminish to a natural resting place and softer feel as tissues around the implant heal.
Combining Breast Enhancement with a Breast Lift
Dr. Orna Fisher offers both breast augmentation and breast lift surgery to her patients in the San Francisco, CA, Silicon Valley, and the East Bay. Oftentimes patients will desire to have both procedures performed at once, resulting in one recovery. With a breast lift, the volume of the breasts stays the same, so breast implants can restore this lost volume.
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There are numerous aspects of breast augmentation surgery to discuss, from the placement of incisions to the general risks of surgery to what you can expect during recovery.
If you’re ready to maximize your shape, we should talk! Call to schedule your appointment at our office in San Mateo, CA with easy access from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and East Bay Area cities at 650.460.7260.