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What is a breast enhancement or breast augmentation?

Breast Augmentation involves the placement of a silicone or saline filled implant on the chest wall to improve the size and appearance of the breasts.  This cosmetic breast surgery often benefits those with naturally small breasts, and those who have lost breast volume after having children. It is a surgery that helps women fit better in their clothes and helps them feel more confident in their skin.  Click here to see some of Dr. Graham’s breast augmentation before and after pictures.

What happens in the operating room during breast augmentation surgery?

Please view the 3D animation of breast augmentation surgery under the breast section on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.

What does breast augmentation planning involve?  How do I choose a breast implant?

Breast augmentation involves multiple choices.  Most of these factors are dependent on individual anatomy and preferences.  The three main factors to consider are size, implant type, and plane/incision choice.

Size - Breast augmentation is not a one size fits all scenario, nor is it a situation in which the implant your friend or colleague had would be right size for you.  The first thing taken into consideration is your chest wall width.  We cannot put an implant in that is more narrow or wide than your current breast width.  This would result in deformity that would not only appear abnormal, but could often be uncorrectable.  Once the breast width is determined, we can then determine your desired breast size.   It is important not to choose an implant that is too large as this can irreversibly damage your breast tissue over time and result in problems such as rippling, double bubble deformity, and bottoming out.   Therefore, we are conservative with our approach.  We determine the size together based on your individual anatomy, your desires, and how you look with an implant sizer.

Implant Type - Implant type is based on your age, anatomy, and surgeon and patient preference.  Firstly, silicone implants are only FDA approved for those over 22 years of age.  Therefore, those under the age of 22 are candidates for saline implants.  This is the only time we recommend saline.  For everyone else we recommend silicone implants.  They look and feel more natural, have less chance of rippling, and have a lower rupture rate.  From this point, we have to decide whether to use textured vs smooth and round vs shaped (gummy bear).  There are specific indications for each which we can discuss during your consultation.  Lastly, we predominantly use Mentor brand breast implants.  These implants are proudly made in the USA.

Plane/Incision Choice - Plane is whether the implant is placed above or below the muscle.  Usually, we place implants below the muscle as they have a lower complication rate and there is less chance of seeing rippling in this plane.  However, above the muscle is preferred in select instances. Incision choice, in our practice, is either periareolar  (around the nipple) or inframammary  (at the breast fold underneath).  Both choices can be very aesthetic.  We prefer inframammary as you have more surgical control over placement of the implant, less future interference with breast feeding, and an overall lower complication rate.   However, this is a choice we make together so patient desire is the ultimate consideration.

Why should I choose Dr. Graham to perform my breast augmentation?

Dr. Graham is a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in all aspects of breast surgery.  When performing breast augmentation he utilizes a special breast implant evaluation system.  This proven system uses scientific evidence to tailor each implant to the patient’s own anatomy and tissue characteristics.  As a result, a patient obtains bigger breasts without risks of tissue stretching and breast deformity.

What are the main risks of breast augmentation surgery?

Please refer to the following form published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Augmentation_Mammaplasty_(Silicone)-ASPS

Will I have to stay in the hospital after surgery?

No.  Breast Augmentation is an outpatient procedure.

What is the breast augmentation recovery time? When can I drive? What are the other restrictions?

Dr. Graham performs a rapid recovery breast augmentation.  Dr. Graham advocates a rapid recovery protocol in which you are back to normal activities within 48 hours.  In fact, you are encouraged to shower and be out to dinner the night of surgery.  For most patients, you can have surgery on Friday and be back to work on Monday.  Jobs that require heavy lifting may take a little longer.  You may drive when you are off narcotics and feel confident to control the car.   Most patients are able to drive within the first few days to a week.  The only real restrictions are avoidance of sexual and strenuous activity for the first week and avoiding heavy lifting for 2 months.

How much does breast augmentation cost?

The national average cost of breast augmentation with silicone implants is $6,000-7,000.  This pricing includes implants, anesthesia, surgeon, and hospital fees.  You can see Dr. Graham’s pricing here.

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