Breast augmentation is a process that increases the size and improves the shape of the breasts. Most commonly, this involves placing implants underneath the breasts in a come-and-go surgery. Breast augmentation can sometimes be combined with a breast lift to obtain the desired appearance.
Below is some basic information about the procedure and the implants. Rest assured that during your consultation with Dr. Lee, she will help you sort through the possibilities to choose the best procedure and implant to help you achieve your goals.
- 1 What is Breast Augmentation?
- 2 What are the Types of Breast Implants?
- 3 Saline or Silicone Implants?
- 4 Techniques
- 5 Alternatives to Breast Augmentation with Implants
- 6 Your Consultation
- 7 Before & After Photos
- 8 Procedure
- 9 Results
- 10 Follow-up Appointments and Care
- 11 Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation provides patients with larger, fuller breasts and involves surgery to place breast implants. There are many different variables to consider that will impact the final results of a breast augmentation procedure including: incision location, type of implant, implant placement and implant shape. Dr. Lee will guide each patient through the process to determine the optimal choice to achieve beautiful, satisfying results.
What are the Types of Breast Implants?
Breast implants come in different forms. They can be filled with saline (salt water solution) or with silicone gel. Implants also come in smooth or textured-surface variations. The shape of implants can be round or teardrop-shaped. Each implant type offers different benefits for the final results of your breast augmentation.
Saline or Silicone Implants?
Women report high satisfaction with both saline and silicone implants. The type of implant you select is largely a matter of personal preference.
When trying to decide between saline and silicone, some patients prefer saline implants for their firm feel, and high-sitting, structured appearance. Saline also offers the benefit of requiring only a small incision , due to the fact that the implant is inflated with the sterile salt water solution after it is placed in the breast. Saline implants also have a slightly more likely chance of being detected on the edge of the breast, but the odds of this are still low. On the other hand, silicone implants better replicate the feel and appearance of natural breasts, but have a small chance of having what is known as a “silent rupture.” Patients who receive silicone implants will want to return annually to their doctor to check on the health of their implants. While any leaked silica can create discomfort within the breast, it will not be a threat to the patient’s health. Leaked silica will be removed from the breast once detected.
During your consultation, you and Dr. Lee will review various types, sizes, and shapes of breast implant. Together, you will select the implant that gives you the most flattering appearance and feel depending on your body type and lifestyle.
The implants can be placed through incisions in the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast), around the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple, or less commonly through the underarm or belly button.
They will be placed directly behind the breast or under the muscle, separating the implant from the overlying breast tissue. There are benefits to each of these options.
Dr. Lee will discuss your incision method options and preferred implant depth with you. Each individual’s implant placement will depend on their desired look, body type, and lifestyle.
Alternatives to Breast Augmentation with Implants
No discussion of breast augmentation is complete without touching on the topics of the Brava system and the use of fat grafting. Brava is a method of breast enhancement involving the use of a suction device placed on each breast and worn throughout the day. The device does increase breast size, but the effects are temporary, and the apparatus is often awkward to wear.
Fat grafting can also increase breast size. However, implants provide easier and more predictable results.
As one of the East Bay’s most consistently top-rated plastic surgeons, Dr. Lee strives to make her patients look and feel fantastic. Your private consultation with Dr. Lee is your chance to learn about the best way to meet your aesthetic goals. She will explain the pros and cons of the various implants, incisions and approaches. You will learn how to choose the best implant size for your body and your desired look. This is your chance to learn about your options and to move forward with the best procedure for you.
If you have any further questions at any time, feel free to contact us and request a consultation with Lafayette and the Bay Area’s breast augmentation expert, Dr. Elizabeth Lee.
Before & After Photos
Once you have worked with Dr. Lee to design the best way to enhance your breasts, her office will help you schedule your surgery at a fully accredited surgical facility.
The surgery is generally done as an outpatient so you will be able to arrive in the morning for your procedure and go home afterwards to sleep in your own bed.
The method with which Dr. Lee will insert your implant will depend on your unique body, your chosen implant type, and your discussed goals for appearance. For example, because saline implants are filled after they are introduced into the breast, patients will have more minimally-invasive surgical options.
Patients usually come back to the office for their first postoperative visit the day after surgery to make sure that all of their new questions are answered.
Breast augmentation makes immediate, visible changes to the size and shape of the breasts. However, it will require some time for healing and recovery to see your final, long-term results. The best way to see what you can expect from your breast implant surgery is to see the photos of what Dr. Lee’s other patients have achieved.
Check out our beautiful results in the photo gallery.
Follow-up Appointments and Care
Recovery begins immediately after surgery and starts with rest. In addition to getting a ride home from the surgery center, plan for a little extra support the first evening, if not for the first few days.
Your first follow-up appointment will be the day after your surgery. Someone will need to drive you to your appointment and back. Your second appointment will be scheduled two or three days later. Your third appointment is scheduled for two weeks after that, and a fourth two weeks later. Most patients see us again for a six-month follow-up. We pride ourselves on being available throughout the entire process.
Slight discomfort and swelling immediately following surgery are to be expected. You might also feel some pressure or tension in the incision area or at the site where implants have been placed. This should lessen quickly. Managing any discomfort is an important part of healing. Pain medication will be discussed at your initial consultation with Dr. Lee.
Recovery rates will depend on your body and the details of your procedure. You will receive instructions regarding your ideal recovery from your breast augmentation.
Most patients take a week off if they work a desk job. The timeline for returning to heavy lifting, exercising and other physical activities will depend on how you are feeling, on the surgical approach, and on the implant location. You will see Dr. Lee frequently after your surgery to make sure that your healing is going as expected.
While individual cases vary, we tell our patients they can expect to be back to their full range of normal activity within 2 months; some may return to normal activity earlier.
Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions
When can you expect to see results?
The healing process can be different from person to person, but our patients are generally immediately pleased with their results. In addition, breast shape and scar visibility continue to improve over time. Your final results will be observable within 2 to 3 months.
Is breast enhancement surgery right for you?
During your consultation, Dr. Lee will assess which options best suit your goals and body. Breast enhancement surgery or breast augmentation surgery aims to improve the size, shape, and aesthetic beauty of your breasts.
Dr. Lee has been performing breast enhancement surgeries for more than 20 years. Her passion is creating beautiful results that feel and look natural, in addition to providing the highest quality healthcare for a stress-free experience. In your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will discuss the best options available to you based on your aesthetic desires and lifestyle.
Why have breast enhancement surgery?
Women who are self-conscious about smaller breasts find great satisfaction from breast enhancement surgery. Women who have had changes in breast volume or shape following breastfeeding, weight change, or natural aging are also good candidates for breast enhancement surgery. These women generally want to have their breast shape and size returned to what they once were. We help women who seek a more symmetrical look in addition to women who want breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Regardless of your reason, if you want to increase the size, shape, and beauty of your breasts, we offer our patients confidence-boosting results with breast enhancement surgery.
When is the best time for me to have breast enhancement surgery?
Like any surgery, you want to be in your best physical, mental, and emotional health. During your initial consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations with Dr. Lee. We suggest having surgery when your weight is stable as subsequent substantial weight gain or loss can affect the results of your surgery. We also recommend waiting a minimum of 6 months after breastfeeding for any elective surgery, including breast enhancement.
Equally important in considering the best time for surgery is when you can plan to take time after surgery to rest, heal, and completely recover. It is optimum to plan your surgery during a time when you can make your own care and recovery the top priority for at least a week. For that reason, patients with the swiftest recovery times plan their surgery in advance during times when life pressures and commitments are less taxing.