Breast augmentation surgery applies the arts of plastic surgery to create youthful, graceful breasts that enhance a woman’s femininity while giving a woman a more voluptuous figure. Breast augmentation surgery allows women to be more comfortable and self-confident in their bodies and in the appearance of their breasts.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of breast augmentations has increased from over 32,000 instances in 1992 to over 290,000 breast augmentation surgeries in 2019.
If you are considering breast augmentation surgery in Pittsburgh, Dr. Pautler specializes in the perfection of this procedure. Dr. Pautler has extensive experience with breast augmentation and is considered throughout the Pittsburgh area to be highly skilled in all cosmetic and breast surgeries.
Saline vs. Silicone-Gel
SALINE BREAST IMPLANTS
Saline breast implants are filled with a natural, salt-water solution. If you have breasts with different volumes, saline breast implants can be filled to different amounts, one side more or less than the other, making your breasts appear more even and balanced. A rupture, if it occurs, is fairly easy to diagnose just by physical exam. According to the FDA, women should be 18 years of age or older to receive saline implants. These implants can be rolled up and placed under the breast through a small incision, and are filled AFTER insertion. Some women think saline breast implants feel firmer than silicone-gel implants.
SILICONE-GEL BREAST IMPLANTS
In thin-skinned patients, silicone-gel breast implants tend to feel more natural. They are pre-filled with a safe, FDA-approved, man-made polymer substance. Numerous scientific studies over the years have shown that silicone gel-filled implants are safe and effective for breast augmentation and reconstruction. Because these breast implants are pre-filled, their volume cannot be altered to adjust symmetry. In this situation, implants of different sizes are needed to balance out breasts that are different sizes. They also require a slightly larger incision. A rupture is much harder to detect and special diagnostic imaging may be required to detect any leakage. Silicone gel implants are FDA approved for women 22 and older.
Please visit the Aesthetic Society and Breast Implant Safety website for the latest information on breast implant options.
What To Expect
With breast augmentation surgery,
the following happens:
Prior to breast augmentation surgery
Dr. Pautler will consult with you regarding breast augmentation surgery. Breast implant insertion and positioning depend on a patient’s anatomy so Dr. Pautler will examine you, review your medical history, educate you about all your options, answer all your questions, and review your expectations to make sure they are obtainable. She will show you before and after pictures of other women to whom she has provided breast augmentation surgery and then make specialized recommendations for your particular breast enlargement desires.
During breast augmentation surgery
Breast augmentation surgery takes 1-2 hours and is done as outpatient surgery with general anesthesia. Generally, the implant is inserted beneath the muscle through a small incision in the crease underneath the breast known as the “inframammary fold”. If the cosmetic surgery requires a slight adjustment to make the breasts even, then saline breast implants can be used, and the implant in the smaller breast can be filled more. If silicone implants are chosen, the smaller breast is implanted with a larger volume implant. If the breasts are the same size, then the same size implants whether saline or silicone is placed into each breast.
After the surgery
After undergoing breast surgery, there are key steps to ensure effective healing and well-being. For a minimum of two weeks, avoid medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as blood thinners and certain supplements. While there are no dietary restrictions, be mindful of any post-anesthesia stomach discomfort. Smoking should be completely halted for at least six weeks post-surgery to support overall health and recovery. To aid scar healing, regularly massage scars with substances like vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, or Mederma, focusing on applying pressure. Following surgery, limit physical activity, including lifting, for a couple of weeks and refrain from baths or swimming until your wounds are fully healed and approved by your surgeon. Wear support bras consistently, switching to a seamless, front-fastening, compressive sports bra after two weeks. These practices, combined with personalized advice from Dr. Pautler, can contribute to successful breast surgery recovery.
Breast Augmentation Methods
It is the goal of plastic surgery to minimize scarring or make scarring as discrete as possible. In the case of breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Pautler will use one of the following breast augmentation methods to reduce scarring:
Inframammary fold approach
This plastic surgery incision is made in the crease underneath the breast. It is used to place the breast implant in the preferred position under the muscle.
This plastic surgery incision is made between the white and the pink skin of the areola. The implant can be placed under the muscle using this approach as well.
This incision is made in the “armpit”. To be a candidate for this approach, the breasts need to be very symmetric in size and shape with minimal droopiness. This approach is used only for saline implants. The implant can be placed under the muscle using this approach as well.
The best way to learn how a breast augmentation can help fulfill your personal goals is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pautler.
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Breast Augmentation Faqs
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Technically, you are never too old for breast augmentation surgery if you are in good health. Many women in their senior years have breast reconstruction surgery with implants after a mastectomy or removal of breast due to breast cancer. Older ladies, in general, are just as good candidates for breast augmentation as younger ones.
According to the FDA, you must be over 22 to receive silicone-gel breast implants. Your body does not reach its full maturity until this age. With saline breast implants, you can be 18 to undergo breast augmentation surgery. You can be younger than 18 to receive saline breast implants but only with parental consent.
In most cases, you will be able to breast feed after breast augmentation surgery particularly when breast implants that are inserted beneath the pectoral muscle. With this breast augmentation approach there is no alteration to the internal architecture of the breast and the breast ducts remain attached to the nipple.
Not for the long term, however, a light compressive bra should be worn during any exercise or physical activity. During recovery, strenuous physical activity should be limited, do not lift heavy items and do not put your arms over your head as this can affect the healing process. If your implants are sub-muscular, avoid tricep dips, unassisted pull ups, heavy bench presses, or push ups for 8-10 weeks to avoid implant displacement.
There is no set time-limit or expiration dates on any breast implant. They could last up to 20 years or possibly more. However, you may need corrective breast augmentation surgery due to effects on the breast such as gravity, pregnancies or breastfeeding. It is very rare for an implant to spontaneously rupture. They can rupture however due to external factors such as being punctured in an accident or blunt force to the chest wall. There is more of a risk of rupture when the implant is in front of the muscle. You can tell fairly early if a saline breast implant is ruptured by the appearance. Whereas with a silicone breast implant, a leak is virtually undetectable to the eye and requires ultrasounds or MRI’s to detect.
It is preferred to place an implant behind the muscle. In this case, the surrounding breast tissue and scar tissue have a better chance to heal properly and hold the breast implant in place. It also has less impact on mammograms and breast feeding. In some instances, a breast implant can be placed in front of the muscle if the patient has enough breast tissue to support it. Dr. Pautler will discuss the pros and cons of placing a breast implant in front or behind the muscle in your particular situation at your initial breast augmentation consultation. For more information or to make an appointment for your initial breast augmentation consultation, contact Dr. Pautler’s plastic surgery practice near Pittsburgh.
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