Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and many women are very happy with their breast size. For others, however, genetics don’t provide the kind of volume or shape they desire. Because of this, many women consider breast augmentation as a way to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. While many prospective patients have very small beginning cup sizes and wish to dramatically increase breast volume, others simply want a subtle boost, or to correct breast asymmetry.
Breast augmentation is an extremely popular procedure that has been available for many years. The surgery involves the placement of synthetic implants into the chest to boost volume in the bust while maintaining a natural appearance. While once there were few options available for implant types, women today have a range of options to suit their preferred look and feel. Currently, the implant types available are:
- Saline: Filled with a sterile salt water solution, these are a popular choice, especially for younger women. They offer great lift and volume, but tend to look and feel a little less natural than other implant types. Saline is harmless to the body and will be absorbed should the implant rupture or leak. Saline implants are available for patients age 18 and older.
- Silicone Gel: Soft silicone implants have a natural look and feel, and US-made implants are very safe. Many women like the softer appearance of silicone implants compared to saline. Rupture, although rare does require action from a surgeon, however the silicone has been proven to be safe. Silicone implants are available for patients age 22 and older.
- “Gummy Bear” Silicone: A firmer silicone implant, the “gummy bear” implant is pre-shaped, and provides a more natural appearance. It is critical to place the implant properly as they can look peculiar should they shift, and the surgery will require a longer incision to place the implants.
In addition to the basic breast implants, there are variations in implant shape and texture (such as smooth or textured), which can affect the final appearance and feel of the breasts and affect how well the implant stays in place. Choosing the right implant takes a lot of thought and consideration but is worth the effort. Patients who undergo breast augmentation typically experience large boosts in confidence and self-esteem from the changes to the size and shape of the breasts.
Breast augmentation is a highly customizable surgery, and patients will need to discuss many of the details at length with Dr. Alvarez before the surgical appointment is made. The initial consultation is extremely important, as it will allow you to discuss your goals and get advice from an expert.
First you’ll talk with Dr. Alvarez about your dissatisfaction with your current bust size and shape, as well as what you hope to achieve with surgery. Dr. Alvarez will go over different implant options and make recommendations based on your goals, age, and other factors.
During your consultation, you will also have your candidacy assessed. Not everyone is a good candidate for the surgery, and Dr. Alvarez will help you determine if you are physically and emotionally prepared for breast augmentation. Finally, you’ll get a chance to ask any questions you may have and get to know Dr. Alvarez before you make any decisions about breast augmentation in Miami.
Good candidates for breast augmentation are women over the age of 18 (or 22 for those considering silicone implants) who have fully developed breasts and are dissatisfied by their bust shape, size, or symmetry. Women with aging breasts may also undergo augmentation, often in conjunction with a breast lift. Patients should be non-smokers, in good health, and understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Patients should not only be physically healthy, but also have healthy expectations for the outcome of the surgery. Dr. Alvarez will help you understand what is reasonable if you are unsure.
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia, which will be discussed prior to surgery.
There are several techniques for breast augmentation, due to the differences in implant types and other factors. First, incisions will be made, either around the areola (skin surrounding the nipple), underneath the breast (in the crease), or through the armpit. Each incision site is designed to minimize visible scarring.
Once the incision is made, the implant will be placed. This will be either over or under the chest muscles, and this is another aspect of the surgery that you will discuss with your surgeon prior to the operation. Once the implants are in place, the incisions will be closed with sutures and/or tape. The procedure usually takes about 1-3 hours to complete.
After the surgery, patients will need to take a few days off from work, more if the occupation involves strenuous activity. Following the procedure, patients may be fitted with compression or support garments to help with healing and reduce swelling.
During the first few weeks, patients will need to refrain from lifting heavy objects or children, and should strictly follow surgeon guidelines for caring for the incisions and resuming everyday activities. This will help aid in a speedy and successful recovery. Patients will need to avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks as the tissues heal, and swelling and soreness is to be expected for at least a month or two.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
In addition to performing your surgery, Dr. Alvarez will be your advisor and your resource for any questions or concerns you may have before and after surgery. It is important to choose a highly qualified doctor you can trust to listen, take you seriously, and help you have the experience you want. Be sure to do extensive research before you speak with potential surgeons, and keep in mind that it’s a good idea to consult with several candidates before you make a decision about who will perform your surgery.
What are the risks of breast augmentation?
Though cosmetic surgery is generally very safe, there are always risks to major surgery like breast augmentation. Some potential risks may include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Unfavorable scarring
- Poor healing
- Changes in sensation
- Scar tissue around the implant
- Skin wrinkling over implant
- Rupture or leakage
Choosing the right surgeon and following all pre and post-operative instructions will greatly reduce the risk for complications.
Will the implants last a lifetime?
Unfortunately, most breast implants do not last a lifetime, and often will need to be replaced at some point. However, there is no timetable for this, and as long as the implants are causing no issues, there is no need to replace them. Patients with silicone implants may occasionally need to be monitored with routine tests to check for leaks or rupture, as patients often do not notice these issues occurring. Saline implants deflate when leaks occur, but silicone implants often look the same following rupture. Some implants have warranties, which Dr. Alvarez will explain once the implant is chosen. Implants are manufactured to last many years.
Is breastfeeding possible following breast augmentation?
Many women are able to successfully breastfeed following augmentation with implants. The problem is that it is difficult to predict the impact the surgery will have on breastfeeding for individual women. Some women have no problems following the procedure; others experience difficulty. For women who are adamant about wanting to breastfeed, it is probably better to wait until after child-rearing to consider breast augmentation.
How do I choose my cup size?
The best cup size for you depends on a variety of factors, including body frame and desired appearance. You and Dr Alvarez will discuss your goals, and you’ll get a chance to “preview” different cup sizes before you make a decision. Many women are surprised by the cup size they end up deciding on, due to the many factors that go into the decision.
Should I consider a breast lift along with augmentation?
For women with drooping breasts (whether due to age, breastfeeding/pregnancy or a combination), breast augmentation with a breast lift will produce the best results. For younger women, an augmentation alone is generally sufficient.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.