What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery that is designed to enhance a woman’s breast size and shape. The procedure involves creating a pocket beneath the breast that allows for a saline or silicone implant to be placed. Having been performed for over 60 years, breast augmentation techniques and implants have improved over time to create incredibly natural-looking results.
At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, our top plastic surgeons strive to help you achieve beautiful body contours that make you feel confident. Dr. Zemmel or Dr. Reddy will walk you through the breast augmentation journey, from the consultation appointment to the recovery process, while always taking into consideration your needs and goals.
- Breast Implant Options
- Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Breast Augmentation Cost
What Are My Breast Implant Options?
There are a number of breast implant options out there, and each has its own set of advantages. Two of the most common implant types are saline and silicone. Your preferences and enhancement goals may determine your choice of implant. Below, we’ll familiarize you with the options available at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are FDA-approved for use in those 18 years and older and are a popular choice for plastic surgeons and patients. Once inserted and positioned, the implants are filled with a saline (saltwater) solution to achieve the desired shape and volume. This process allows for a smaller incision and, in many cases, minimal scarring. Oftentimes, saline implants provide a rounder appearance and more volume choices to match the patient’s goals.
Silicone Breast Implants
Due to the more natural appearance and feel, many surgeons and patients prefer silicone breast implants. The inner shell of the implant is filled with a gel-like silicone material, while the outer shell consists of a more durable silicone. FDA-approved for those 22 years and older, silicone implants mimic soft breast tissue and come prefilled in a variety of sizes. This allows you to predetermine the shape and volume you’re looking for prior to surgery.
Highly Cohesive Breast Implants
Highly cohesive implants, also known as gummy bear implants, are filled with a firmer silicone gel and feature a teardrop shape that’s denser at the bottom. The thicker material of these implants allows them to retain their shape better. Similar to silicone implants, highly cohesive breast implants are known for providing a natural look and are FDA-approved for those 22 years and older.
What Does the Breast Augmentation Procedure Involve?
Upon arrival for your procedure, our team at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery will help you feel comfortable and prepare you for surgery. Your surgeon will provide a final exam and place the marks on your breasts that serve as a “blueprint” for the procedure. The anesthesia provider will provide you with a light sedative to help you relax before you are brought to the operating room. Once there, you will be given general anesthesia to ensure you are fully asleep throughout the surgery.
Depending on your surgical plan and anatomy, your surgeon will likely begin with a small incision made in the periareolar or inframammary position. The periareolar approach includes an incision where the nipple/areola meets regular breast tissue, while the inframammary approach is more traditional and utilizes an incision location tucked under the breast crease. A third incision approach, transaxillary, happens in the armpit. A pocket is created behind the pectoralis muscle, and a temporary implant sizer is inserted to shape the tissue and ensure the ideal size, shape, and symmetry.
The sizers are then removed, the pocket is cleaned with antibiotic solution, and your final breast implants are placed using the Keller Funnel technique. This device helps to minimize the spread of bacteria and prevent biofilm from growing. The incision is then closed and covered by a thin coat of tissue glue that helps to protect the area. Once your surgery is complete, you will be placed in a post-operative bra. Throughout the entire procedure, you will be carefully monitored by our highly trained team.
After surgery, you’ll be transferred to the recovery area for about one to two hours. Our nurses will keep an eye on you to ensure you are safe and comfortable as the anesthesia fully wears off. You are then moved to pre-operative holding and finally discharged. The first post-operative checkup occurs a day or two after. If a breast augmentation is done in conjunction with other procedures, such as a mommy makeover, an overnight stay may be recommended.
In general, the breast augmentation procedure takes 40 to 60 minutes.
What Can I Expect After Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation recovery typically lasts five to seven days. You will most likely be prescribed muscle relaxers and analgesics to keep you comfortable as your muscles adjust to accommodate the new implants. You may experience mild muscle soreness at first, with your breasts feeling slightly tight and swollen.
It is recommended that you spend the first couple of days with your arms down and resting comfortably. You’re still able to go about your daily life, while being mindful of not adding stress to your body. Roughly two days after your surgery, you’re able to shower and after three to four days, you’re allowed to raise your arms above your head. Another round of checkups happen in the following weeks so our team can continue to guide you through the recovery process and show you how to perform a post-operative breast massage.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
In Richmond, Virginia, the average cost of a breast augmentation procedure ranges from $7,000 to $9,000. This includes fees associated with the surgeon, operating room, anesthesia, the implants, and recovery garments. After your consultation, you’ll be provided with a personalized quote, and we are happy to discuss plastic surgery financing options that are available to you.
To learn more about breast augmentation and schedule a consultation, contact our office.