breast augmentation patient
breast augmentation patient

Procedures

Breast Augmentation

Read Ann's Patient Journey

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Anesthesia: General
  • Length of surgery: 1 hour
  • Outpatient/inpatient: Outpatient
  • Adjunct procedures: Liposuction, Tummy Tuck, Mommy Makeover
  • Recovery: 1 week, lifting restrictions 3-4 weeks

Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures in the United States. It is not hard to understand its enduring popularity — the placement of breast implants can increase self-esteem and confidence, restore the body after pregnancy or weight loss, reverse the effects of aging, improve the fit of clothing and impact gender identity. The satisfaction rate from breast augmentation surgery is extremely high.

Breast augmentation surgery (also known as augmentation mammaplasty) uses implants to improve or restore size and shape to a woman’s chest, creating balance throughout the body. Although we are witnessing a growing appreciation for all body types, the fact remains that women may be unhappy with their breasts if they do not look proportionate or symmetrical. Breast augmentation can change the size, shape, projection and feel of your breasts, giving you results that make you feel confident and feminine again.

If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation surgery in Edina, Minnesota, contact Edina Plastic Surgery at 612-688-3177 or fill out our online contact form. Drs. Leigh, Philbin, Stewart and Wilke look forward to providing you with the highest quality surgical care and beautiful results.

PERSONALIZING YOUR BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE

As one of the world’s most popular cosmetic surgeries, augmentation mammaplasty is also one of the most perfected, particularly when you are working with a skilled plastic surgeon. The board-certified surgeons here at Edina Plastic Surgery have special expertise in breast augmentation. As a result, the FDA selected our clinic to participate in clinical trials for silicone breast implants. We use only FDA-approved saline and silicone gel implants in our practice.

In addition to your choice of saline or silicone, breast implants come in varied shapes and sizes that can be customized to meet your needs. Your Edina plastic surgeon will work with you to determine which type of breast implant best suits your needs.

Saline Implants

There are pros and cons to both implant variations. The primary advantages of saline implants are that they are cheaper than their silicone counterparts and do not require imaging to detect when leakage occurs. The filling of a saline implant is a sterile saltwater solution, so in the case of an implant rupture, it is often very obvious, as the body just reabsorbs this fluid and the implant flattens. If the implant rupture is noted soon after rupture, the implant can often be exchanged under local anesthesia. The downside, however, is that these implants are more prone to rippling and feel less natural. Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for anyone over the age of 18.

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants are filled with thick, medical-grade silicone. The silicone in 5th generation silicone implants act more like a solid than a liquid, and are what are termed “form stable” implants. Form stable means that the implant is less prone to rippling, which is important for women who are thin or who have small breasts, to achieve a natural result. Fifth generation silicone implants are also what people refer to as “gummy bear” implants. Though they generally come at a higher price, they are frequently preferred for their natural look and feel that saline implants cannot match. The downside to silicone implants is the need for monitoring for what is called “silent rupture.” When silicone implants rupture, this is not easily detected on physical exam, even by a plastic surgeon. If silicone implants rupture and the rupture remains undetected for a long period of time, capsular contracture can result. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for patients over the age of 22.

VIDEO: 3 Types of Breast Implants

Deciding If Augmentation Mammaplasty Is Right for You

 

Everyone has their own reasons for undergoing a breast augmentation. Typically, patients desire breast augmentation to address:

  • Small breast size in proportion to the rest of the body
  • Breast or rib cage asymmetry
  • Deflated breasts after pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss
  • Breasts that lack significant upper pole fullness
  • Mild sag or ptosis
  • Breast volume loss from surgery or trauma

Your surgeon will discuss your personal cosmetic goals during a consultation to determine whether you are a good candidate for a breast augmentation. It is generally required that you be in good mental and physical health before moving forward with the procedure. You should have realistic expectations for your results and have carefully weighed the risks of plastic surgery against the rewards.

Many patients choose to pair their breast augmentation with other breast or body enhancement procedures, like a breast lift or liposuction. This is often done to provide a more dramatic final result and to maintain a holistic, natural look throughout your entire body. If your appearance goals extend beyond breast enlargement, you should discuss these concerns with your surgeon during your consultation.

If you have preexisting conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity, or if you are a regular tobacco smoker, you may not be a candidate for this procedure.

You should disclose to your doctor if you or someone in your family has a connective tissue disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, or scleroderma. These factors increase the risk of complications during the surgery and recovery. Though serious complications are rare, implant rupture and capsular contracture (a condition in which scar tissue can cause hardening of the breast, making it unnatural looking and in the worst cases, painful) can develop even with the best care. Our doctors will discuss your particular medical history and all potential breast augmentation risks in detail.

ADDRESSING BREAST IMPLANTS AND HEALTH CONCERNS

At Edina Plastic Surgery, we are just as concerned about our patients’ long-term health as you are. We understand that you may have questions about the safety of breast implants, and we want to keep you informed so you can make the best decisions about what’s right for yourself and your body.

If you choose silicone implants, the FDA currently recommends a high definition ultrasound 5-6 years after implantation then again at 2-3 year intervals after that to monitor for rupture. FDA studies have shown no statistical increase in breast cancer or connective tissue disorders associated with silicone implant placement or subsequent rupture. However, if left undetected, silicone implant rupture can result in scar tissue formation called capsular contracture.

Breast implants may interfere with mammogram examinations, unless certain views are obtained. Be candid with your OB/GYN about your breast implants so they can adjust the exam accordingly. It is still possible to screen for breast cancer effectively after implants have been placed.

In recent years, concerns have grown about breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Although it is rare and its exact causes are not well understood, it appears to be linked to textured breast implants. Out of an abundance of caution, we avoid using textured breast implants at Edina Plastic Surgery, except in complex revisional surgery where it may be the only reasonable option. In this case, your surgeon will talk more with you about the risks of BIA-ALCL associated with each particular implant manufacturer, as well as signs and symptoms of BIA-ALCL.

Technically speaking, breast implants do not have an “expiration date” after which they must be replaced. However, from a practical standpoint, it is best to consider your implants long-term but temporary products. Many augmentation patients have a revision procedure at some point after their initial surgery for implant replacement or removal, depending on the patient’s goals at that particular time point. Additionally, breast augmentation does not prevent the overlying breast tissue from aging, and some patients will desire a lift decades after their original breast augmentation to address sagging skin. At this juncture, a lot of patients will have their implants replaced because the statistical risk of rupture is high decades after implantation, so financially, it makes sense to go ahead and replace the implant to avoid another surgery.

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Before & After

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PREPARING FOR YOUR BREAST AUGMENTATION

Before you book your breast augmentation surgery with our office, you will go through a thorough consultation process. During this time, you can discuss your areas of concern and your goals for augmentation mammoplasty. You will receive a complete physical examination and the opportunity to see virtual 3D images of your body showing different sizes and shapes of implants on your own frame. Edina Plastic Surgery is the only plastic surgery practice in the state using the Vectra XT 3D camera, which allows you to see your “after photos” with sizing implants before surgery. Any questions or concerns you have will be addressed by one of our board-certified surgeons at this time. This process allows you to make sure that you and your surgeon are on the same page as far as the look and the size you are going for, a picture is worth 10,000 words!

Every breast augmentation procedure is as unique as the patient. With the varying materials, sizes and shapes that make up different implants, and additional options in placement and incisional techniques, breast augmentation is one of the most customizable procedures in plastic surgery.

Your surgeon will recommend optimal techniques and design a personalized treatment plan that can provide a beautiful and natural result that aligns with your aesthetic goals. Whatever your surgical plan ends up being, it is important to follow all pre-surgical instructions given to you, which may include stopping the use of certain medications, vitamins and tobacco/nicotine. These safeguards are designed to reduce the risk of experiencing complications during the operation and recovery.


THE BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE

Your Edina breast augmentation will be performed at our state-of-the-art, fully accredited surgery center. It is AAAASF certified, state-licensed, and staffed with our specialty-trained surgery team. It is connected to Fairview Southdale Hospital by an underground tunnel in the rare instance that more extensive medical care is required.

The first step in a breast augmentation procedure is the administration of anesthesia. After that, an incision is made so the implant can be inserted into the breast pocket. There are three incision options available: periareolar, inframammary and transaxillary.

A periareolar incision is made around the border of the areola. This creates subtle scarring that is hidden by the texture and color change between the areola and skin. An inframammary incision is made along the lower breast crease. This is also a very discreet incision location since the natural fold of the breast conceals the scarring. A transaxillary incision is made in the underarm area. An endoscope is used to assist in creating the pocket for the implant, leaving no scarring anywhere on the breast. An inframammary incision is associated with a lower risk of capsular contracture, compared to transaxillary and areolar incisions, so this is the incision used most commonly by our surgeons.

You and your surgeon will also need to decide where the implant will be placed inside your breast structure. There are two pocket options for the implant: under the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular) and under the breast gland itself (subglandular). Submuscular placement typically hides the outline of the implant well, while subglandular placement creates a more pronounced appearance. Our plastic surgeons have performed hundreds of successful breast augmentations and will help you make the right choices for you.

breast implants patient

BREAST AUGMENTATION RECOVERY

It is normal for breast augmentation patients to experience some swelling, pain and discomfort immediately following their surgery and through their recovery. Helping you prepare for and manage any postoperative pain is a top priority. We employ a variety of treatments and techniques to help make your experience as pleasant and pain-free as possible.

In some cases, our surgeons may inject a local analgesic into the surgical site. This local analgesic provides pain relief by numbing the tissue around the surgical site and can control pain for up to 72 hours. Other pain control options include the use of rapid recovery surgical techniques, muscle relaxers, appropriate pain medications and a postoperative recovery plan that gets you back to normal as soon as safely possible.

Uncomfortable symptoms are most common in the first three to five days after this procedure, and then patients find their comfort levels rise considerably. Most of our Minneapolis breast augmentation patients return to work and light activities within five to seven days. Aggressive exercise and high-impact activities should be avoided for six to eight weeks. 

Some factors that may influence your recovery timeline include:

  • The size of the implant relative to your natural breast tissue
  • The placement of your incisions
  • The placement of the implant pocket (over or under the pectoral muscle)
  • Your body’s natural healing processes

You will be instructed to wear a compression bra to help keep swelling down while you heal, as well as to prevent lateral displacement of the implant. 

Your aftercare instructions will be detailed, and it is critical that you follow them closely. These instructions are designed to keep you comfortable and safe as you heal. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments so your surgeon can monitor your progress and you can ask any questions that may arise about your healing process.

BREAST AUGMENTATION RESULTS

Most patients can get an idea of what their final results will look like between six and eight weeks of recovery, when most swelling and bruising has subsided. It is not uncommon for implants to appear high on the chest at first and then settle over the next couple of months. They may also feel tighter than anticipated or feel solid through the skin at the edges. As your body recovers and adjusts, the implants will soften and drop into the pocket in your breast tissue, assuming a more natural look and feel. 

It can take six months for swelling to resolve completely. During this time, it is important to follow all postsurgical instructions given to you by your surgeon to ensure the smoothest recovery and best possible results. Scarring can take one to two years to fully stabilize. To minimize visible scarring, use topical treatments as recommended by your surgeon and keep your breasts protected from direct sunlight. Our medspa team at Skin Artisans can discuss additional options for reducing scarring with nonsurgical treatments.

Larger breasts change your body aesthetically and physically, and these changes can be both exciting and unnerving. You will look and feel different than before, and it’s okay to take time to get used to your new figure. As you adapt to life post-breast augmentation, you may need to:

  • Try on different types of clothing
  • Get fitted for new bras
  • Wear more supportive garments during exercise
  • Find a new comfort level with your body

Once you’ve found your new normal, you can enjoy your more feminine silhouette with complete confidence!

Request a Consultation Today

If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation or would like to get started with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, give Edina Plastic Surgery a call at 612-688-3177 or use our online contact form today to get started! We proudly serve Edina and the neighboring communities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnetonka and all areas surrounding the Twin Cities, including nearby states.

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