Breast Augmentation Surgery: What You Need To Know

At Thaxton Plastic Surgery, we can provide you with breast aug surgery, and because we realize this is a big decision for our patients, we wanted to share some information about the surgery, as well as other breast surgery options.

Breast Augmentation

breast aug, sometimes called a “boob job,” is technically known as augmentation mammoplasty. This procedure is a good option for patients that wish to increase the fullness of their breasts, as well as the projection of the breasts. A breast aug also can improve the balance of your breasts, such as when one breast is noticeably smaller than the other.

With breast augmentation, we typically utilize breast implants to increase the fullness and shape of the breasts. In some cases, we will use fat from another part of your body to increase the size and shape of the breasts.

The Procedure

Breast aug surgery requires the use of either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. With general anesthesia, you will be unconscious for the entire procedure and require breathing assistance and with IV sedation; you may fall lightly asleep or just remain in a highly relaxed state. We will discuss both options with you prior to surgery and decide which will be the best option for you.

After sedation, your surgeon will make the incision needed to insert the breast implant. There are several different incision options. With the periareolar incision, we make an incision under the nipples. With a transaxillary incision, we make incisions in the armpit area. With inframammary incisions, we make incisions under the breast itself.

With any type of incision, as plastic surgeons, we seek to minimize any scarring. We choose the incision type based upon several factors, including your anatomy and the type of implants being used. There are saline implants and silicone implants, and within these two implant types, there are several options. We will talk about these options at length during the consultation process.

Once the incision is made, we will place the implant either behind your breast tissue or under the pectoral muscle. Again, the placement is dependent on a number of factors, including the size and type of implant and your own anatomy.

After the implant has been put into place, we will close up the incisions. Typically we use a combination of sutures and surgical tape. While we always do all we can do minimize scarring, it’s important for patients to understand that breast aug scars will be visible at first, and it takes time for these incision marks to fade.

The scars will fade, although, they do not disappear entirely, so this is something to keep in mind. They shouldn’t, however, be noticeable while wearing a bra or bathing suit. When it comes to scarring, everyone’s body and genetics are unique, and some people heal more quickly with little visible scarring, while others will heal more slowly and may have more visible scars. Additionally, smokers or those using nicotine, tend to have a harder time healing than those who do not use nicotine products.

Breast Lift Surgery

breast lift and breast aug aren’t the same things, although we often perform both of these procedures during the same surgery. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure designed to improve the look and positioning of breasts that have sagged.

As we age, our skin loses some of its elasticity and this can cause breasts to sag. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also can cause sagging to occur. During a breast lift surgery, we remove excess skin and reshape the breast as well as repositioning the nipples and areolas. As breast implants can increase the size of your breasts, they cannot help with sagging, which is why some patients choose to have a breast aug and breast lift at the same time. We can discuss both of these options during your consultation.

Breast Reduction Surgery

While some patients want to increase the size of their breasts, others wish to do the opposite. Extremely large or heavy breasts can cause issues such as back, neck and shoulder pain and many patients also suffer from rashes underneath the breast, and, of course, a patient also might be dissatisfied with the look of their breasts, just as with patients that opt for a breast aug. During this procedure, we will remove some of the breast tissue and also provide you with a breast lift.

Breast Reconstruction

After a mastectomy or a lumpectomy, a woman may opt for breast reconstruction surgery. The patient can have immediate reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy or lumpectomy or wait and undergo what is defined as delayed reconstruction. Your physician will recommend which option is the best for you.

With breast reconstruction as with a breast aug, implants are used to restore the breasts’ appearance, however, with reconstruction, this requires a two-part surgical procedure. During the first procedure, your surgeon will place what is known as a tissue expander under your breast skin. After surgery, your surgeon will inject saline into the expander every week, gradually stretching the skin until your breasts reach the desired size. At this point, a second procedure is performed where the final implants are put in place.

Skin flap surgery is another type of breast reconstruction surgery to consider. With the procedure, your surgeon will remove tissue from another area of the body and use that tissue to reconstruct the breasts. This is a more complicated procedure than the aforementioned reconstruction surgery, but some women prefer this option as the results feel a bit more natural than implants.

Unlike a breast aug, which is an outpatient procedure, breast reconstruction surgery will require a hospital stay of one or two days. Skin flap surgery usually requires about a 4-day stay in a hospital. Recovery time for skin flap surgery tends to take several weeks longer as well than implant surgery.

Breast Surgery & Your Recovery

Breast augmentationbreast reductions and breast reconstruction surgery are considered major surgery. However, aside from reconstruction surgery, patients typically do not spend the night at the hospital, and this is considered an outpatient procedure.

Still, you will need to take it easy for several days after surgery. Most patients experience some level of discomfort, and you may be given a prescription for pain medications and possibly an antibiotic, as well. While soreness may be present for several weeks, the most acute pain should subside within just a few days.

It will take time for the swelling to go down, and we have some instructions that you will need to follow regarding incision care, etc. We will go over all of this during the consultation and we will send you home with detailed care instructions. Again, the recovery time and aftercare with reconstruction surgery differ from breast augmentation surgery and breast lift surgery.

With some breast surgeries, you may notice decreased feeling in the nipple area as well as in other areas where we made incisions. Some women do have difficulty with breastfeeding after surgery, so if you plan to have more children, this is something to consider.

Typically, we encourage women to wait and postpone breast surgery (especially with breast lifts) until after they decide to forgo having more children and have stopped breasting feeding for several months.

In general, a breast aug or a breast lift can be a great way to improve your self-image and restore the look of your body after childbirth. While it is major surgery, most women are very satisfied with the final results, despite any inconveniences or discomfort following surgery. If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation and your options, book a consultation with Dr. Thaxton today.