Breast augmentation is designed to improve the size and shape of the breasts. The procedure usually involves the placement of implants into the breast tissue to give the breasts more volume and fullness. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed today. The procedure is considered safe and effective for many different types of breast enhancement. Dr. Geoffrey Leber, our board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon, customizes breast augmentation to achieve the unique body shape and desired results for each individual patient.
Women may seek out breast augmentation for a number of reasons. Some patients are unhappy with the size of their breasts and the way their clothing may fit, while others may have noticed changes in shape and volume after having children. Choosing to undergo breast augmentation is a very personal decision that should be made between a woman and her plastic surgeon.
- Breast Augmentation Candidates
- Types of Breast Implants
- Breast Implants Placement
- Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Breast Implant Results
- Breast Augmentation Scars
- Breast Augmentation Cost
Am I a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who have a positive body image and simply want to improve the appearance of their breasts. Patients should be in good physical health with realistic expectations of what the procedure can do for them. Breast augmentation may be used to address the following concerns:
- Create fuller breasts proportionate to the patient’s body shape
- Restore volume lost through pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Create symmetry in breasts that are different sizes
- Reconstruct breasts after breast surgery
Breast augmentation may be performed alone or in combination with another procedure like a breast lift to further enhance results. Many women who have had children desire breast implants to regain a more youthful, pre-pregnancy breast contour, which can be achieved with a Mommy Makeover as well. Implants can also be placed in cases of breast reconstruction to rebuild a natural-looking breast shape.
Type of Breast Implants
Saline implants consist of an outer silicone shell that is filled with saline solution once the implants are placed in the chest. One advantage of saline implants is that because they are filled after insertion, the incision for surgery can be much smaller when compared to silicone implants.
Silicone implants are a relatively newer option for breast augmentation and often preferred by most patients and doctors. Silicone implants require a larger incision to place, but they tend to look and feel more like natural breast tissue. In addition, there is no concern of an implant rupturing and changing the outer appearance of the breast.
Dr. Geoffrey Leber typically utilizes silicone implants, but there may be situations where saline implants prove to be a more ideal option. Both types of implants come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, so they can be customized to the unique body shape and preferences of each patient.
Placement for Breast Implants
When breast implants are inserted into the chest, they can either be positioned over or under the pectoral (chest) muscles. These two positions offer differences in how your breast augmentation results will appear, as well as the nature of your recovery period:
- Over the Muscle (Subglandular): With this placement option, breast implants are inserted directly behind the breast tissue. While the recovery period can be relatively shorter with this technique since it causes less trauma to the chest muscles, subglandular placement may not be suitable for patients who have thin breast skin/tissue or for those who desire larger-sized implants. Since the chest muscle doesn’t provide any extra coverage for the implant, this position can have a higher risk of scar tissue formation (capsular contracture) and visible implant edges.
- Under the Muscle (Submuscular): Placement under the chest muscle offers the advantage of increased coverage for your breast implants, which can reduce the likelihood of conspicuous implant edges for both large and small enhancements. Plus, positioning the implant under the muscle can facilitate more accurate mammogram readings, as well as achieve more realistic results.
Dr. Leber will further explain the pros and cons of over-the-muscle vs. under-the-muscle placement for your breast implants. In general, he usually opts to position implants under the chest muscle because there is often a reduced risk of potential complications with submuscular placement.
How is the Breast Augmentation Procedure Performed?
Breast augmentation is generally performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Most breast augmentation procedures take 1-3 hours to perform, but the specific length is dependent on the patient and the type of technique used for the surgery.
There are three basic locations where incisions can be placed during breast augmentation:
- Inframammary Incision: This incision is placed near the crease underneath the breast and is commonly used for the insertion of silicone implants. Scarring is typically concealed underneath the breast.
- Transaxillary Incision: This incision is located under the arm and may be used with saline implants. Although it is located away from the breast, the recovery from this procedure can be more difficult when compared to other techniques.
- Periareolar Incision: This is another common incision used for the placement of a saline implant. The incision is placed around the border of the areola, where it becomes nearly invisible after it heals. However, the periareolar incision may make it harder for some women to breastfeed after breast augmentation.
After the incision is made in a predetermined location, the breast implant is carefully placed and incisions are closed. The best technique for your breast augmentation will depend on the type of implants used and where they are placed. Dr. Leber prefers to place implants under the pectoral muscle for most patients because there is a reduced risk of skin rippling and scar tissue forming around the implant. This type of placement can also result in less interference during mammograms.
What is Recovery From Breast Augmentation Like?
After breast augmentation, patients remain in a recovery area for a period of time. Patients are usually allowed to return home on the same day as the procedure, as long as they have someone to drive them. Discomfort for the first few days after breast surgery is managed with oral medication. A compression garment (or surgical bra) may be recommended to promote healthy blood flow and minimize swelling. Most patients are able to return to work and regular activities within one week, although strenuous exercise may be restricted for three to four weeks after surgery. Results are visible right away and will continue to improve as the breasts heal.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Breast implants may need to be replaced if a complication occurs, but many patients do not ever have the need to replace their implants unless they come to desire a different shape, size, or fill material. In general, implants can have a lifespan of several years to multiple decades depending on the type of implants placed. If you would like to exchange your breast implants in the future, Dr. Leber can also perform a breast revision procedure to update implants and/or resolve any complications. Breast augmentation is considered a permanent breast enhancement procedure, although the aging process may alter the appearance of the breasts once again. If this occurs, additional procedures such as a breast lift can be pursued as necessary to maintain your results.
Will I Have Visible Breast Augmentation Scars?
One concern patients typically have before breast augmentation is how scarring will look after the procedure. The good news is today’s techniques actually leave very little scarring, due to the size and location of the required incisions. In addition, there are steps you can take after your augmentation surgery to reduce the appearance of scarring even further.
Steps to Lighten the Appearance of Breast Augmentation Scars
No matter where your incision is located, there are steps you can take after your breast augmentation to minimize the appearance of surgical scars. Dr. Leber will speak with you about specific options, which might include:
- Silicone Sheeting: This product has been used by doctors for years to help reduce the thickness of scarring, which also minimizes its appearance.
- Cortisone Cream: Daily application of cortisone cream stimulates collagen production to aid the body’s own healing process.
- Vitamin E: Applied topically, vitamin E can reduce scarring that might appear around the implant.
- Pressure Bandages: Used to treat scarring from burns for more than a century, these bandages also work to reduce the appearance of other types of scars.
It’s also important to follow post-operative instructions provided by Dr. Leber very carefully. These instructions are meant to speed the healing process, but may minimize scarring after the incision heals.
Sometimes despite our best efforts, the resulting scar from breast augmentation may be more visible than a patient hoped. In these situations, there are a number of non-surgical skin resurfacing procedures that can help minimize the scar, including laser treatments and dermabrasion/microdermabrasion.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
In Scottsdale, breast augmentation can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 or more depending on the type of implants placed, the surgical technique utilized, and your goals for surgery. This price range includes all of the fees typically associated with cosmetic surgery, such as expenses for anesthesia, the operating facility, the surgeon, etc. The figures listed above should be thought of as more of a general approximation rather than your personal cost estimate, as we cannot truly provide an accurate cost range until Dr. Leber evaluates your needs in a consultation. Rest assured that after your initial appointment, our office will be able to give you a personalized quote based on your unique treatment plan.
A plastic surgery financing plan is one payment option for patients who would rather pay for their breast surgery in smaller monthly installments rather than a lump sum. Dr. Leber accepts plans from CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending, which both offer qualified applicants low- to no-interest arrangements within a given promotional period. Please call our Scottsdale office if you have any questions about the cost of breast augmentation, or about the procedure in general.
Dr. Geoffrey Leber has been performing breast augmentation procedures for more than 16 years. He is known for providing natural results that create balance and proportion in a woman’s body profile. Dr. Leber has also been recognized by Phoenix Magazine as one of the top plastic surgeons for breast augmentation in the area. For more information about this procedure, contact Dr. Leber’s office today.
Dr. Leber and his staff are here to help you achieve your aesthetic goals in a safe and caring environment. If you’re interested in scheduling a procedure, reach us by phone at (480) 945-5522 or contact us online.