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The top seven facts to know about breast augmentations

Q:

What are the things that patient ask about most when it comes to have a breast augmentation?

A:

Some answers to the most commonly asked questions are below:

1. The choice of breast implant type is not as simple as saline versus silicone. When considering the appropriate breast implant for a patient, our surgeons take many factors into account including shape (round or teardrop-shaped), texture (smooth or textured shell) profile and overall size. The appropriate size should be based on body proportions, posture and skin elasticity. Our surgeons discuss these options with each patient. In addition, we use the Vectra XT 3D camera so patients can see the different virtual implants shown on photos of their own bodies.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS OF BREAST AUGMENTATIONS

2. There are three incision options available for placement of a breast implant:

  • Inframammary uses an incision in the breast crease.
  • Periareolar uses an incision in the nipple area.
  • Transaxillary uses an incision in the under arm area. An endoscope is used to assist in creating the pocket for the implant.

Some patients may be a good candidate for only one or two of these breast surgery approaches – or all three. Our surgeons have extensive experience in all of the breast augmentation incisions.

3. When it comes to implant placement, there are two pocket options for the implant itself; under the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular, partial submuscular or biplanar) and under the breast gland itself (subglandular). There are advantages and disadvantages to both positions, and all three of our surgeons have a great deal of experience in both pocket placement options.

4. Sagging breasts cannot be fixed simply through a breast augmentation. Some patients believe that an augmentation will fix sagging breasts, but actually when you increase volume in the breasts it can exacerbate the appearance of sagging. A breast lift or mastopexy is the appropriate procedure to correct sagging breasts. A breast lift involves tightening tissues and removing any excess, as well as potentially repositioning the areolas and nipples to more suitable positions. When a patient wants to both lift and augment their breasts, a lift combined with a breast augmentation can be performed.

5. It is true that all breast implants will need to be replaced at some point. While today’s breast implants are long-lasting, they are still devices that are not designed to last for a lifetime. Almost all implants will last more than a decade before they require replacement. Most breast augmentation patients will outlive their implants and/or may choose to receive a breast lift in the future when their implants are replaced.

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6. Your final results are not what you see immediately after surgery. Many patients become distressed with the level of swelling they see in the days immediately following the surgery. This swelling can take weeks to resolve, along with the adjustment of breast implants to an appropriate position. Eventually the swelling does subside and the implants settle in.

7. All patients who smoke cigarettes must stop smoking for a minimum of two weeks prior to their augmentation procedure. Nicotine can constrict blood vessels and therefore poses a problem with blood circulation. The carbon monoxide created by cigarettes can affect the oxygen supply to the healing tissue. So as a result, even one single cigarette before surgery can create a risk to healing.

“I had wanted to get a breast augmentation for a long time and when I left my first appointment at Edina Plastic Surgery I literally cried from happiness and excitement. The ability to see my own body on the computer was very important to me.  Not only was I able to see what the implants would look like when placed under the muscle, I was able to see what it would look like on me vs. what it looks like on others. For patients looking for unsurpassed expertise and the highest level of technology, Edina Plastic Surgery is the only place to go. I am extremely happy with my results and would recommend them highly.”

Mommy Makeovers After Pregnancy

Q:

Can a Mommy Makeover Restore My Pre-Baby Body?

A:

A plastic surgery procedure that has received a great deal of media attention is the mommy makeover. Mommy makeovers have become increasingly popular, partly due to the fact that so many women are having children later in life.  Women who have babies in their mid to late 30’s and beyond may be less resilient to “bouncing back to pre-pregnancy shape” than those of their younger counterparts.

“Many of the women that come to us for mommy makeovers are over 35,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery. “Healthy women who are done having children can be excellent candidates for abdominoplasty, liposuction and a breast lift, reduction or augmentation.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS OF MOMMY MAKEOVERS

Not all “mommies” need the same “makeover”

Some women are lucky and are not negatively affected by pregnancy or breast feeding, while other women experience loose abdominal skin, separated abdominal muscles, droopy breasts and fat deposits in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise.  In many cases these women need plastic surgery to achieve the kind of improvement that they are looking for.

A mommy makeover is a customized set of surgical procedures aimed at reversing the negative changes associated with childbearing. The board certified plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery will carefully listen to each patient and assess their individual needs. The ultimate goal with this procedure is a return to the “pre-baby body”.

The breasts and the abdomen are affected most during pregnancy

A typical mommy makeover often includes abdominoplasty combined with liposuction. Very frequently the patient also has a breast lift, reduction, or augmentation.

During mommy makeover procedures extra skin is removed, stretch marks are minimized and the breasts and body/abdomen are lifted to regain a comparable figure to pre-pregnancy form. The operations are all individually quite simple, but when combined together as a “whole solution”, the transformation from a mommy makeover can be incredible.

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

“The overall satisfaction rate for mommy makeovers is very high,” says Dr. Wilke. “Many women have told us that they are delighted with their transformation and the only regret they have is that they wish they had come in to see us sooner.”

A big benefit of the mommy makeover is that the patient has a single recovery vs. two or three separate ones. This shortens downtime from family and work as well as reducing the costs of anesthesia. Due in part to the popularity of television shows that focus on plastic surgery procedures, requests for multiple procedures done at one time are rising each year.

Many factors play a role in determining the ideal time to have a mommy makeover
  1. For the maximum benefit, women should be fairly certain that they are done having children.
  2. Women who have small children will need to have help in their homes to take care of the children during the recovery period, which can last between two and three weeks.
  3. We suggest that women take a minimum of two weeks off from work for recovery time, so the necessary vacation time should be factored into the equation.
  4. It is recommended that women who smoke quit a minimum of two weeks pre-surgery and need to refrain from smoking during the recovery period. The surgical flaps used for a tummy tuck or breast lift are particularly susceptible to compromise from the effects of smoking; so much so that skin loss is possible.
  5. A woman’s weight before surgery also plays a role in the recovery from a mommy makeover. Studies have shown that surgical risks for complications related to healing and infection are more frequent in patients with higher BMI (Body Mass Index). Ideally, patients should have a normal BMI which is a score below 25.
We specialize in mommy makeovers

The board certified plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery listen carefully to each patient and advise them on the most appropriate procedures for their mommy makeovers. During a span of more than 40 years of making patients more beautiful, we have helped women of all ages improve their bodies and boost their confidence.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR PATIENT TESTIMONIALS

Natural Looking Breast Augmentations

Q:

I’m concerned that after a breast augmentation my breasts will look “fake”. How can I be assured that they will look “natural”?

A:

Many women considering breast augmentations are very concerned about how their breasts will look after the surgery, and rightfully so. Most are concerned that their breasts will look “artificial”, and many worry that the size implant they choose may be too big or too small for their body and frame.

CLICK HERE to see before and after photos of our breast augmentations.

These steps are key to ensure a natural looking result:

CHOOSE A BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON.

Finding a board-certified plastic surgeon like the three surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery, will help ensure that you are happy with your breast augmentation. Our skilled and experienced surgeons will provide you with the insights and appropriate options for your body type so you achieve the most natural aesthetic possible with implants. Dr. Nathan Leigh, Dr. Robert Wilke or Dr. Michael Philbin will discuss a multitude of factors with you, including the implant shape, size, type and texture, as well as placement options tailored to your individual body.

UTILIZE THE LATEST VISUALIZATION TECHNOLOGY.

Edina Plastic Surgery is the only clinic in the Twin Cities with imaging equipment that shows virtual before and after options to breast augmentation patients. Our Vectra XT camera captures comprehensive 3D images of your breasts, and these 360 degree images create incredible visuals of how different sizes and shapes of breast implants will look on your own body. This technology allows you to virtually “test drive” the implants before your procedure so you know what to expect before you make your final implant decision. Patients have told our surgeons that this ability to visualize their own bodies post-procedure has been an incredible help to them in deciding to go ahead with their breast implant surgeries.

The factors that most affect how natural the breasts will look after augmentation are the underlying anatomy of the patient and the size of implant chosen.

The surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery will take the time to discuss the options with you, comparing your own body dimensions with the dimensions of the implant. The “profile” of the implant will be chosen based on those dimensions and you will have an opportunity to look at various size options. If you want the most natural result, it is important to stay within a reasonable size range. An implant that is very large relative to your frame will not look as natural.

The surgeons and staff at EPS are committed to achieving the best results possible for each patient. We encourage you to come in for a consultation and discuss your goals with us.

CLICK HERE to schedule a free consultation.

“During my consultation at Edina Plastic Surgery I felt very comfortable and was impressed that they could use the Vectra XT camera to generate a 3D picture of myself in my current state and one of what I would look like with different sized breasts. That sold me on having my surgery at EPS. They made the whole experience enjoyable and I am very, very happy with my results!”

“I had wanted to get a breast augmentation for a long time and when I left my first appointment at Edina Plastic Surgery I literally cried from happiness and excitement. The ability to see my own body on the computer was very important to me. Not only was I able to see what the implants would look like when placed under the muscle, I was able to see what it would look like on me vs. what it looks like on others. For patients looking for unsurpassed expertise and the highest level of technology, Edina Plastic Surgery is the only place to go. I am extremely happy with my results and would recommend them highly.”

Health benefits from plastic surgery

Q:

What health benefits can be gained with plastic surgery procedures?

A:

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery, procedures can have added benefits over and above enhancing your appearance. The following are some of the benefits that patients have received from these types of procedures:

BREAST REDUCTION

  • Pain in neck, back and shoulders has been alleviated.
  • Posture has been improved.
  • Breathing becomes easier and patients find it easier to exercise as well.
  • Skin irritation under the breasts caused by excess friction dissipates.

BREAST AUGMENTATION

  • Corrects tuberous breasts.
  • Improved posture can occur for patients with significant asymmetry.

RHINOPLASTY (NOSE SURGERY)

  • Fixes deviated septums and can greatly improve nasal function and increase oxygen flow.
  • Can correct other structural problems that restrict breathing and cause congestion.

BLEPHAROPLASTY (EYELID SURGERY)

  • In patients where the eyelid droop is substantial it improves impaired eyesight.

ABDOMINOPLASTY (TUMMY TUCK) AND LIFTS AFTER WEIGHT LOSS (UPPER ARM, LOWER BODY, THIGH, BREAST)

  • In some cases an abdominoplasty can reduce urinary stress incontinence.
  • The risk of diabetes can be lowered.
  • Back pain is often alleviated by correcting the positioning of the rectus muscle.
  • Excess skin stretched by pregnancy can be removed.

Top procedures performed before the holidays

Q:

What are the top procedures performed before the holidays and what are the recovery timeframes?

A:

Now that the summer is over, people start thinking ahead to the holidays; and who doesn’t want to look their best during the holiday season? A refreshed and rejuvenated appearance makes people feel more youthful and confident but it requires some planning, and now is a good time to begin that process. While some techniques can provide immediate results, most take weeks or months for the full benefits to become apparent.

Below is a list of some of the top procedures that patients choose to undergo:

Liposuction: Plan 2-3 months ahead

Liposuction is one of the most frequently performed procedures for fat removal. At Edina Plastic Surgery our board-certified surgeons can do this procedure as a stand-alone or we can perform it in conjunction with a tummy tuck or even a facelift. It has tremendous potential to shape the body, but there are some limitations based on the skin quality and planned volume retrieval. Typically the liposuction procedure can be done on the neck, arms, back, abdomen, thighs, knees or ankles. Sometimes patients request to have it performed on a combination of areas. Recovery from liposuction varies but a return to normal full activity will occur around four to six weeks.

CLICK HERE to request a free consultation to look your holiday best or call us at 952-925-1765.

Breast augmentation: Plan 2-3 months ahead

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures with patients at Edina Plastic Surgery. All three of our board-certified surgeons have special expertise in breast augmentation. Because of our expertise our clinic was selected to participate in the FDA’s clinical trials for silicone breast implants. Breast augmentation can increase self-esteem and confidence, improve the fit of clothing and make women look and feel more youthful. Edina Plastic Surgery is the only practice in the Twin cities using the Vectra XT 3D camera which allows patients to see “virtual before and after photos” on their own bodies. Although most women are back to their daily routine in about a week, it takes three to six months for the implants to completely settle into position and for the residual swelling to subside.

Blepharoplasty: Plan 1 month ahead

Your eyes convey so much information and emotion, which is why you don’t want your eyes to appear tired or aged. Eyelid surgery can help patients project a more youthful, rejuvenated and refreshed appearance. A blepharoplasty can help make your eyes your most beautiful accessory for the holiday season and beyond.  An eyelid lift can be conducted on the upper and/or lower eyelids to improve appearance by removing excess fat pads or skin. The swelling and bruising post-surgery generally resolves in one to three weeks.

Botox: Plan 3-4 weeks ahead

Botox is a well-known and popular anti-aging treatment that can provide quick and amazing results to patients who want to diminish wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead. It is so quick it can work within just one treatment so it is a very popular pre-holiday procedure. It targets dynamic facials lines; those caused by repetitive expressions including crows’ feet, forehead creases and frown lines. The treatment takes only a few minutes and requires no down time. The early benefits can be seen within two weeks but many times patients see improvement even after that time period. For best results plan about three weeks before your holiday celebration.

Dermal fillers: Plan 1-2 weeks ahead

There are many well-known fillers that patients request to give them a beauty perk-up before the holidays including Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and Voluma. Dermal fillers promote hydration of the skin, and they also restore volume to the skin and its underlying foundations. The expert skin injectors at Skin Artisans of Edina Plastic Surgery apply injectable gel under the skin to provide a smooth, natural look and feel. Areas that can benefit from filler treatments include: temples, around the eyes, mid-face, lip rejuvenation and jowl correction. Mild bruising and swelling can sometimes occur after treatments so give yourself a week or two before any holiday events.

CLICK HERE to request a free consultation to look your holiday best or call us at 952-925-1765.

Breast Implant Surgery Misconceptions

Q:

What are the most popular misconceptions about breast implant surgery?

A:

There are many common assumptions about breast implants that are not based on scientific fact but rather on public lore. On behalf of all women considering breast augmentation surgery, we have listed some myths about the operation that need to be dispelled, as well as the actual facts.

1.  All implants need to be replaced after 10 years

There is no absolute indication to remove or replace breast implants at the 10-year mark. Breast implant removal with or without replacement should be considered if and when complications occur.

Breast implants are prosthetic devices that are not expected to last forever, and there are known complications that are associated with breast implants. Routine follow-up is essential in detecting any issues with the implants and determining appropriate therapeutic intervention, if any.

The most common reasons implants may need to be replaced include:

A. Rupture or leakage. If saline implants leak, the saline is reabsorbed by the body, whereas if silicone gel implants leak, the extruded silicone gel will need to be surgically removed. The chance of an implant leaking or rupturing increases with the implant’s age. However, rupture or leakage may occur at any time subsequent to surgery.

B. Capsular contracture. Capsular contracture describes an abnormal scar formation around the implant that usually presents with pain and hardening in the breast. This condition is usually progressive, resulting in distortion of the breast and displacement of the implant. Women may develop capsular contracture in either one or both breasts at any point following implantation.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR BREAST AUGMENTATION BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

2. It’s impossible to get a good idea of what the implant will look like pre-surgery

There are hundreds of types and sizes of breast implants currently on the market, and therefore an enormous range of possible results from breast augmentation. Edina Plastic Surgery is the only clinic in the Twin Cities area with high tech imaging equipment called the Vectra XT 3D camera that shows breast augmentation patients “virtual before and after photos” of implant options on their own bodies.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR VECTRA 3D CAMERA

In addition to using the Vectra XT 3D camera, the surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery are experts in helping patients choose implants that match the patient’s own breast dimensions and characteristics in terms of breast width, diameter and position on the chest wall. For instance, placing a very large implant under a small, narrow breast will most likely result in an implant that may be palpable or whose edges may be visible at the top or sides of the breast. The surgeons also take the actual weight of the implants into consideration, and the progressive stretch of the tissues due to the effects of pressure from the implants and the downward pull of gravity.

3. A hospital stay is required for breast implant surgery

At Edina Plastic Surgery breast augmentation surgery is performed at our in-house AAAASF-approved surgical facility. This facility is state-licensed and staffed with the finest specialty-trained personnel. The surgical process itself takes about 1½ hours, and patients are in our recovery room for approximately 2 hours. An adult is required to give you a ride home and spend the first 24 hours with you, but no actual hospitalization is required.

4. Breast implants cause autoimmune diseases

The media has highlighted many anecdotal reports of patients who claim to have developed a number of health problems and diseases as a result of their breast implants. The association between implants and systemic or autoimmune diseases has been refuted in many scientific studies that included hundreds of thousands of women with implants. There is also no proven increased risk of breast cancer in patients with breast implants.

It is also important to note that the implants that are currently available in the US, including all silicone gel, saline and structured saline implants, are all FDA cleared. Implants of the previous generation used in procedures as early as the 1960’s did not undergo the extensive testing and data collection that implants are currently subjected to in order to ascertain their safety and effectiveness.

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Breast Implant Revision Surgery

Q:

When should you consider a breast revision? What are the benefits of having a breast implant revision surgery? How do you tell if you are you a good candidate for breast revision? How is a breast revision procedure performed?

A:

Breast implant revision surgery, (also known as breast implant replacement) commonly involves removal and/or replacement of saline or silicone breast implants. This surgery is performed to change the size or type of a patient’s implants and to correct any complications from a primary breast augmentation. Restoring a youthful breast contour and appearance is one of the benefits of this procedure.

The following are suggested guidelines:

  • If your saline breast implants have deflated or an X-ray or MRI suggests that your silicone implant has a shell leak.
  • If you want to change your implant/breast size
  • If you have tightening of the scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture) or your breast implants have shifted in position.
  • If your breast tissue has changed as a result of skin stretching or weight loss/gain.

These are some of the benefits that patients have experienced:

  • Your breasts will regain a youthful shape.
  • You have the ability to increase or decrease your breast size.
  • Your breast symmetry will be improved.

Even if your breast implant surgery was perfectly planned and beautifully executed, changes can occur over time. If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

The exact procedure your surgeon will use for breast implant removal and replacement varies depending on the reason for your breast revision.

Change in implant size: If you decide to change your implant size, your surgeon will frequently use your original incision for implant removal and replacement. If you want a larger implant, your doctor will surgically enlarge the “pocket,” or space in the breast, surrounding your implant to accommodate a larger implant. If you want smaller implants, your doctor may surgically reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to properly fit smaller sized implants. A breast lift may be done at the same time.

Capsular contracture (hardening of the capsule and implant): Your doctor will probably use the same incision used to insert the original implants to remove the hardened capsule and implant. He or she will then insert a new implant.

Implant rippling: When the edges of saline breast implants are visible and palpable (able to be felt), your surgeon may use the same incision to remove or reposition the implants as was used to originally insert them. Other options include using a different type of implant or placing the new implant into a different breast pocket that either has thicker muscle coverage or uses other tissues to cover the implant edge.

Implant malposition: Sometimes implant pockets are created too far apart or too close together, resulting in poorly positioned breasts. To correct this, using the prior incision, your surgeon will manipulate the scar tissue from the capsule surrounding the implant and reconstruct the pocket in the appropriate position using suturing techniques. Your surgeon may need to utilize other tissues to reinforce this new implant pocket and may recommend using a cellular dermal matrix product to add additional support.

Implant removal: If your implants are large and your skin has stretched, your surgeon may recommend a breast lift in addition to implant removal, but implant removal alone may suffice. The original incision created to insert the implant will almost always be the same one used to remove it. The lining around the implant, or “capsule,” is often surgically removed at the same time to facilitate rapid healing.

Elevation of nipple and areola position: If it is necessary to elevate the position of your nipples and areolas (pigmented skin surrounding the nipples), you will need additional incisions. Incisions around the upper portion of the areola will be adequate in cases where not much elevation is needed. When more lifting and tightening is necessary, an incision all the way around the areola, including a vertical scar extending down from the areola to the crease under the breast, may be necessary. For cases where significant excess skin needs to be removed (such as in women who have had massive weight loss), a third incision may be necessary that will extend horizontally beneath the breast, following the natural curve of the breast crease. If your nipples need lifting, the nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.

The goal of the board-certified plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery and our entire staff is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as making your surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

Breast Implant Considerations

Q:

I am considering getting breast implants. What are the steps involved in deciding what size implant will look most appropriate?

A:

Breast implant preferences vary substantially from woman to woman and the size choice can be influenced by factors such as lifestyle, goal appearance, and modern trends.

Past trends/future trends.

In the past, the larger, more obvious breast implants were a popular look. While a full, high, and round silhouette will always have some popularity, many women today are leaning towards a more modest, natural-looking breast enhancement.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better.

Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon from Edina Plastic Surgery shares his thoughts on this topic. “When patients come in for a breast augmentation, we listen carefully to their goals. What is the type of look that they are hoping to achieve?” Dr. Wilke emphasizes the importance of the consultation. “We devote a lot of time during the consultation to implant sizing. We have the patient try implant sizes in a bra to see how this looks, then proceed to using computer imaging on our Vectra XT 3D Camera to determine the optimal size for each patient.”

Trends in breast augmentations: “The Brazilian B”.

While the United States consistently performs a high number of cosmetic surgeries compared to most other countries, Brazil is a solid competitor for the most annual cosmetic surgeries. Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in both countries, but it’s the Brazilians who have popularized the modern trend toward smaller implants, dubbed the Brazilian B. The trend has since gained traction in the United States as iconic Brazilian models such as Gisele Bündchen showcase how sexy a perkier breast size can be.

One Size Does Not Fit All In Breast Implants.

When deciding which implant will provide a patient with her desired appearance, the surgeon must account for many factors besides size. For example, different implant profiles involve varying levels of height from the chest with corresponding base widths. The implant profile you choose can influence your breast shape as well as how natural your chosen size appears on your body frame. Additionally, chest proportions, breast shape, and the amount of pre-existing breast tissue can all impact the end results of the augmentation; which means that the same implant volume can deliver a variety of different looks on different patients.

The Vectra XT 3D camera at Edina Plastic Surgery is a high tech tool to help determine the appropriate implant size for each patient.

Patients love it that they can see the virtual results of breast augmentations on their very own bodies. Here is just one of many testimonials we’ve received about this incredible technology.

“I am 57 years old and giddy with joy at the results of my breast augmentation. I credit the Vectra 3D camera with giving me the courage to “go for” the size implants that I chose. I have always been a small-breasted woman and am quite petite so it was difficult for me to imagine myself with larger breasts. When I tried on the implants with a “demo bra” I thought I looked ridiculous but when I saw myself on the Vectra 3D camera it made all the difference. I looked great! Thank you Edina Plastic Surgery for my new beautiful breast and for having this technology.”

Breast lift surgery

Q:

After having two children I am very unhappy with how my breasts look. Is a breast lift a good option for someone like me?

A:

Statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that breast lift procedures are growing at twice the rate of breast implant surgeries. Since 2000, breast lifts have grown by 75 percent. Breast implants are still by far the most-performed cosmetic surgery in women, but lifts are steadily gaining. In 2014, more than 90,000 breast lift procedures were performed by ASPS member surgeons.

Dr. Robert Wilke, a board certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery says, “Many women develop droop in their breasts over time, often due to the effects of pregnancies and breastfeeding. Some really like the idea of achieving a more optimal breast shape by using the tissue they already have, while some choose to restore breast volume with an implant in addition to a lift. Breast lifts can help them look and feel younger, which is why this procedure has such a high satisfaction rate.”

According to the statistics, women between the ages of 30-54 made up nearly 70 percent of the breast lift procedures performed. More women who have had children and whose breast volume has decreased are consulting plastic surgeons.

Over the years, pregnancy, nursing and the force of gravity take their toll on a woman’s breasts. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. Patients want a solution for the excess skin and want to see their breasts “back up where they are supposed to be”.

Women often ask if they are good candidates for a breast lift. The ideal candidates for a breast lift are healthy women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish. The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts.

A simple home test can help determine whether a breast lift may be appropriate. To perform the pencil test, a woman simply places a pencil under her breast. If the breast tissue holds the pencil in place against the chest, this can imply that there’s a hanging nature to the breast that can be fixed with a lift.

Patients who had had breast lifts often say that they feel more confident after having the procedure. Many say that they are delighted to be able to wear clothing that would either have not fit correctly, or not looked appropriate before their surgery.

Breast augmentation remains the most popular plastic surgery procedure for women. In 2014, there were 286,254 breast augmentation surgeries performed by ASPS member surgeons. That represents a growth of 35% since 2000, less than half the rate of the statistical growth of breast lifts (75%).

Breast Augmentation Satisfaction Rate

Q:

I’ve heard that the satisfaction rate for breast augmentation surgery is very high, but how high is it?

A:

According to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ninety-eight percent of women undergoing breast augmentation surgery say the results met or exceeded their expectations.

The women surveyed in the study also reported improvements in self-esteem and quality of life after breast augmentation.

“So many patients tell me that their breast augmentations have changed their lives for the better,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery. “For many women it improves their confidence and makes them feel much more comfortable to wear all types of clothing. Breast augmentation is the most common procedure that we perform. We do see an increased demand in the springtime, however, as people are thinking about shedding the winter clothes and getting ready for swimsuit season.”

225 consecutive women who returned for interviews at least one month after breast augmentation over a five-year period were interviewed for this study. Interviews included questions about the recovery, results, complications and psychological effects.

The average patient age was 34 years old, and the majority of women received saline-filled breast implants placed under the muscle. The average implant volume was 390cc.

Eighty-five percent of women rated their new breast size “just right.” Thirteen percent would have preferred a larger size and less than two percent a smaller size. Only one percent expressed dissatisfaction with their scars, which were usually located in the crease under the breast. Seventy-five percent of women rated their breast firmness “just right.” When asked to rate the result, over half of the patients gave it a perfect 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Almost all patients (98 percent) reported that the results met or exceeded their expectations.

Increased Self-Esteem and Other Psychological Benefits.

When asked about psychological effects, 92 percent of women reported improved self-esteem after breast augmentation and 64 percent reported an improved quality of life. Before surgery, the majority of women (86 percent) were self-conscious about their breasts. After surgery, only 13 percent were self-conscious about them.

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States-approximately 286,000 operations were performed in 2014, according to ASPS statistics. The study results provide new information for women considering breast augmentation, particularly in terms of their expectations of the recovery and results.