By C. Andrew Salzberg, MD

If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, you’re probably one of the 70% of women who are dissatisfied with their breasts for one reason or another. Size, shape, symmetry, and volume all play a part in the overall look of a woman’s breasts, and if one or more of those are less than desirable, it can cause a woman to feel self-conscious about her shape.

Reasons to Choose Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation has not only continued its rise to popularity, but it has also become a more accepted, mainstream procedure. In fact, there has been a 207% increase in breast enhancement procedures performed over the past 20 years. Women who choose to undergo breast augmentation surgery do so for several reasons, including:

  • To create a more feminine body contour or look more proportional
  • To restore volume that might have been lost due to pregnancy and breastfeeding or weight fluctuations
  • To create symmetry in uneven breasts
  • As a part of breast reconstruction after cancer treatment

Women no longer feel that they have to simply “live with” the breasts they have, and can choose an augmentation procedure that will give them the shape they desire without looking as if they’ve had implant surgery. And because every woman’s body is unique, breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all process. Your doctor will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that will result in the beautiful, natural looking breasts you desire.

Implant Selection

Before your surgery, you will meet with one of our experienced surgeons for a consultation. You will discuss your aesthetic goals and go over your medical history, and the doctor will take measurements of your body. Those measurements are then inputted into our Vectra XT imaging software, which provides a 3D rendering of your exact shape. This allows you to see simulations of your breasts with a variety of options, so that you can more confidently choose the right implant for you. There are quite a few things to consider, including:

  • Size – Implants are chosen based on volume, not cup size, so it is important that you work with your surgeon to choose an implant that is proportional and complements your natural body shape.
  • Shape – Traditionally, round implants have been the only choice for augmentation, but there are now anatomically shaped implants that may better fit your form.
  • Profile – Most implants now offer the option of high, medium or low profile, so you can choose the level at which the implant projects from your chest wall.
  • Material – Breast implants are made of either saline or silicone, so you will select which type you prefer based on your surgeon’s recommendations and your desired results.
  • Placement – Implants are placed either under the skin (sub-glandular) or under the pectoral muscle (sub-muscular). The placement of your implants is decided according to how much existing breast tissue you have, as well as your aesthetic preference.
  • Incisions – There are several choices when it comes to incision placement, and your surgeon will let you know which one is most beneficial for your specific procedure. Incisions are strategically placed to reduce visible scarring, as well as to lessen the chances of loss of nipple sensation or breastfeeding complications.

Once you’ve decided on the right implant for you, you’re ready to schedule your surgery.

Breast Augmentation Procedure and Recovery

Breast augmentation surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, and is performed using general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make the incisions according to the size of the implant and placement you chose, and insert the implants in a capsule created expressly for the implant. Once the implants are placed properly, the incisions are closed with small sutures, and your surgery is complete.

Postsurgery, most patients can return to work and light activities within about a week or two, but this depends on your job and the level of activity it requires. Your surgeon will give you a timeline for recovery, as well as instructions to care for your healing breasts. Recovery time varies for each person, so it is vital that you schedule follow-up appointments and follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully, to ensure the best possible results.

Results of Your Breast Augmentation

Your breast augmentation results are considered permanent, but they can be affected by several factors, including weight fluctuations, gravity, and the aging process. If you notice changes that are negatively affecting the look of your breasts, you can choose to undergo revision surgery to address any issues.

C. Andrew Salzberg, MD practices at New York Group for Plastic Surgery.