Who is a good candidate for breast implants?
A good candidate is a healthy female, 18 years of age and older, who desires an enhancement in the volume and shape of her breasts. A classic example is a female with an A or B cup size breast who wants to be a full C or a small D. There should be no active infection in the breast. If you previously had breast surgery or radiation treatment to the breast or chest, you should inform your plastic surgeon as this may increase the risk and complications of the procedure.
How to choose a Breast Implant Size?
Picking the right implant size, dimensions and shape is the most important decision and is made during consultation. Each implant has several dimensions, like the height, width and projection, and a corresponding volume. It all starts with what size you’re looking to be. After this is determined, breast measurements are taken and you will be given time to try on different silicone implant sizers that are designed to be fitted inside a bra to see how your new size will look in clothes. A 3D camera is available to simulate the different implant and size options available to you. Once you’ve chosen a desired implant size, the final step is to make sure that the implant size you’ve chosen is suitable for your body and breast dimensions. Based on the size you choose and your breast dimensions, all of the numbers are put together to pick the implant that will give you the best results and accomplish your goals.
During your consultation in our Chicago, IL office, Dr. Alghoul will evaluate every factor necessary to ensure that the proper implant size is chosen which will give you beautiful, long lasting results.
Incisions Used in Breast Augmentation
There are two incision options available to breast augmentation patients – the inframammary incision or the axillary incision. The inframammary incision is placed on the crease under the breast, also called the inframammary fold. This is the most commonly used approach and the scar is well hidden. The axillary incision is made in the armpit and therefore is smaller and uses endoscopic instruments to create a pocket.
During consultation, a thorough breast evaluation is performed to determine the shape, volume, skin tightness and measurements of your breasts. Dr. Alghoul will discuss with you the details of your breast analysis and listen attentively to your goals and thoughts. You are not expected to know the size and specific type of implant you want. Samples of all different styles of implants are available in our office for you to feel and examine. Special sizing implants are also available that you can try under a bra to see how a certain size looks with clothing. Three-dimensional photos will be taken of your breasts, and a simulation is done using specialized computer software where different size implants can be inserted, generating images that are close to reality. Using this 3-D technology helps give patients an idea of what their breasts will look like with certain implants.
What to Expect
Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Patients usually are able to recover quickly after surgery and return to normal activities within two to three days. Recovery may take longer if implants are combined with fat grafting. Usually there is some degree of swelling immediately after surgery, which resolves over one to two weeks. As the swelling resolves the breast size will shrink by 10 to 15 percent of the size immediately after surgery. You can wear a bra to support the breast during healing. An underwire bra is not advisable, especially if your incisions are placed in the fold under the breast. In that case, you can wear an underwire bra in four weeks.
Recovery from Breast Augmentation
After your breast augmentation, your pain will mostly consist of soreness in and around your “pec” muscles if the implants are placed under the muscles. It is normal for the pain to last a few days; however, you will be prescribed painkillers after surgery to help with this. After a few days, you will be able to transition to non-narcotic painkillers and slowly start to resume normal activity.
Q & A
What does breast augmentation do?
Breast augmentation enlarges the breast volume as a whole and increases the fullness in the upper breast. The implant is placed in the center of the breast footprint and enhances the already-present features and dimensions of the breast. For example, if the breasts are small in volume but their footprints are close to each other, adding implants will enhance cleavage. However, if the breast footprints are further apart from each other, then adding an implant will not enhance cleavage. In addition to changing the size of the breast, a round breast implant gives the breast a rounded appearance.
In certain instances, the breast features have to be altered to accommodate an implant. A very important breast dimension is the distance from the nipple to the fold under the breast, also called the inframammary fold. The skin spanning this distance forms the lower pole or curve of the breast. If this distance is short or the skin in the lower pole is tight, then it has to be lengthened to accommodate an implant; otherwise the implant will move up high on the chest and look unattractive.
What are the types of implants?
Implants come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and textures. The two main types are silicone gel and saline. Both have a silicone shell; one is filled with cohesive silicone gel while the other is filled with salt water. Silicone gel implants have a more natural feel compared to saline implants.
Silicone implants can be round or shaped. Shaped implants (known as gummy bear implants) have a highly cohesive gel and are tapered at the top, resembling the natural silhouette of the breast.
Is the implant placed over the muscle or under the muscle?
The implant can be placed under the breast tissue (above the muscle) or under the muscle. Placing the implant under the muscle is more suitable in smaller breasts when there is not enough breast tissue to hide the edges of the implant, especially in the upper breast. Visible implant edges give an unnatural augmented appearance.
What does breast augmentation cost?
There are three fees associated with any procedure: surgeon’s fee, anesthesia and facility fee. In addition, there is the cost of the implants. The cost of the implant depends on the type and shape. Silicone implants cost more than saline implants. Shaped implants are more expensive than round implants. The procedure usually takes one to one and half hours on average, which makes the cost of the procedure reasonable.
Contact Dr. Alghoul
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alghoul in our Chicago, IL office to discuss breast augmentation, please call (312) 695-3654.