For many of the women who choose breast augmentation surgery, it’s a way to improve self-image, feel more confident, or enhance natural proportions while for others is a way to rebuild a breast following a mastectomy.
Because there are many different reasons for choosing to undergo breast implant surgery, the surgical requirements will vary from person to person. This makes breast augmentation a highly tailored surgical intervention that can be customized to meet each person’s needs.
Breast augmentation continues to be the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the US because, for many women, it is not only about having larger breasts. It’s also an effective way to correct breast asymmetry, restore lost fullness after a pregnancy or breastfeeding, enhance self-image and confidence, or add better proportions.
What is breast augmentation?
It’s a surgical procedure, often referred to as a “boob job” that uses breast implants or fat transfer to increase the size of your breasts, resulting in a rounder breast shape and, if necessary, improved breast size symmetry. It is also helpful for restoring lost volume after a pregnancy or dramatic weight loss.
Breast augmentation (or augmentation mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure to increase breast size and enhance the breasts’ shape. Breast implants (typically silicone or saline implants) are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles to achieve the results. Where fat from another part of the body is used to improve breast volume, it is called fat transfer breast augmentation. Breast fat transfer augmentation is where excess fat is removed from one area, such as the belly or thighs, and injected into the breasts. It is also possible to combine fat transfer with implants for a natural, full breast shape.
Breast augmentation surgery can:
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Augmentation Surgery
These are the most frequently asked questions about breast augmentation in Tukwila, WA
What are the different types of augmentation surgery?
If you undergo breast augmentation by an experienced, qualified cosmetic surgeon, you will benefit from well-hidden, inconspicuous scars from the incisions. The different techniques include:
This is a short incision made in the crease below the breast (the inframammary fold). The scar from this technique is usually one to two inches and is well-concealed. The benefit of this type of incision is that the surgeon is able to place larger implants.
This technique involves an incision that is made around the edge of the areola, and the scar is disguised within the transition pigmentation. This type of incision is most often used if the surgeon will be performing a breast lift at the same time.
Trans-axillary breast augmentation is where a small incision is made within the armpit enabling the surgeon to place the breast implant. This technical technique makes use of a specialized camera and instruments to allow for the optimal positioning of the implant and results in a small scar within the armpit, not no scar on the breast.
Here an incision is made just above the belly button to allow for the insertion of breast implants, which are brought up to the breast resulting in a single scar and no scarring on the breast.
How do you prepare for breast augmentation surgery?
There are many different types of implants and different surgical techniques available, so before the procedure, you will need to discuss the different options taking into account your preferred size, feel, and appearance.
It’s important to be aware of the risks as well as the implications of breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation won’t help with sagging breasts, and will last around ten years. There are also implications for mammograms and breastfeeding. Furthermore, there are financial implications as insurance won’t cover breast implants, and you will need to factor in routine screening into your yearly check-ups.
Before the surgery, your surgeon might need you to go for a baseline mammogram, adjust the medication that you’re taking, and to stop smoking. You will also need to have somebody to fetch you after the procedure and help you at home for at least the first twenty-four hours.
What can you expect from breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation procedures usually take place in a surgical center or at a hospital’s outpatient facilities, and you should be able to go home the same day. In almost all cases, the surgery is done under general anesthetic.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision (usually either inframammary, axillary, or peri-areolar) and separate the breast tissue from the connective tissue and muscles to create a pocket. This pocket is created either in front or behind the pectoral muscle, where the implant will be inserted and centered behind the nipple.
If saline implants are used, they will be inserted empty then filled with sterile salt water once in place. If silicone implants are used, they are pre-filled with silicone gel. Once the implant is in place, the incision will be sutured closed and bandaged.
Which type of implant is better?
No one option is better than another, but depending on which you choose, there will be some implications that you need to consider, and your surgeon will recommend the best type of implant for you.
If you opt for silicone implants, the FDA recommends MRI check-ups biannually to check for ruptures. There is no added risk of rupturing with a mammogram, so you should continue to have regular checks. Silicone implants may be smooth or texturized, with texturized implants having been recently linked to a higher risk of BIA-ALCL.
What are your implant options?
There are many different types of breast augmentation that will allow you to customize your look from a dramatic boost, to a modest increase. Your cosmetic surgeon will talk through the options with you, which include:
Filling type – such as saline, silicone gel and gummy bear (highly cohesive silicone) implants
Shape – round implants help to fill out the top portion of the breast, while shaped implants have more of a gentle slope. Both can look natural but will depend on whether saline, silicone gel, or gummy bear implants are used.
Size – there are many options here, and the surgeon will match the size of the implant to your proportions and your desired aesthetic.
How much does breast augmentation cost?
It can be tempting to try and cut costs, but the most important decision is choosing who will perform the procedure. The cosmetic surgeon you select should specialize in breast augmentation procedures and be able to provide before and after photos of past clients to give you an idea of their style. The surgeon should be board certified at an absolute minimum and have specific training and experience in cosmetic surgery. You will also need to get the details of where the procedure will be performed; it should be accredited for your safety and peace of mind.
Most plastic surgeons will offer financing options to make the procedure more accessible as it is not covered by insurance. Importantly, insurance providers in the US have a legal obligation to cover breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy.
In Tukwila, WA, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $7,000 for breast augmentation. The prices will vary based on the type of procedure, the implants used, where the surgery takes place, who administers the anesthesia, and the level of experience of your cosmetic surgeon.
How long does recovery take?
Because breast augmentation is done on an outpatient basis, usually under general anesthetic, you can expect to be discharged a few hours after the procedure. Most people are able to walk around later the same day and, after a few days at home, are able to leave your home and walk around comfortably. If the sutures used don’t absorb on their own, or if you have drainage tubes, you will need to have a follow-up appointment to remove them.
You can expect soreness, swelling, and possible bruising for a few weeks after the surgery. The scarring that you see will fade, but will not disappear completely. Higher levels of pain are normal in the first week after the procedure, and all exercise should be put on hold for two weeks to a month. If your job is not physically demanding, you can usually return after two weeks, sometimes less.
Remember that your breasts will be sensitive to any jarring or physical contact while you are healing. Your cosmetic surgeon will assess your rate of recovery and make recommendations about what you can resume strenuous exercise, and they recommend the use of a surgical bra or sports bra for support. These instructions should be followed closely to allow your body to heal optimally.
If you notice any warmth or redness in your breast, or if you develop a fever, contact your surgeon in case you have an infection.
When will you see the results?
Augmentation with implants will settle after about six weeks. Where implants are placed beneath the pectoral muscle (as is done in most cases), the breasts may appear to sit quite high on the chest. From three months you will have a good idea of how you can expect them to look.
After a fat transfer, the volume will be noticeable immediately, but some of the fat will be absorbed by the body within the first three months. After six months, the swelling should have gone down completely, at which stage the full results will be apparent. After a year, the injected fat tissue will behave as natural breasts would, expanding and shrinking as your weight fluctuates.
Are there risks associated with breast augmentation surgery?
Risks include implant leaking or rupture, capsular contracture (hard, painful scar tissue formation around the implant), and visible wrinkling of skin over the implant. There is some evidence of textured implants being linked to BIA-ALCL (lymphoma) as well as BII (breast implant illness), but the FDA has said there is no evidence that breast implants cause these symptoms.
Will I be able to breastfeed after the surgery?
Most women can safely and successfully breastfeed after implants, however breast surgery can damage milk ducts, which may impact milk production.
What post-operative precautions should I take?
Once you have had breast augmentation surgery, recommended precautions include:
Keep in mind that your breasts will still be subject to the normal aging process, which impacts breast tissue and sagging. This may lead to additional surgeries ten or more years down the line.
Are there other augmentation options?
There are no effective non-surgical alternatives to breast augmentation. However, a breast lift is another popular cosmetic procedure done to elevate saggy breasts and reposition the nipple. This procedure is often combined with break augmentation in a single surgery.