Breast augmentation, also known as a “boob job,” involves using breast implants or fat transfer to enhance your breasts. Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons*. More than 300,000 breast augmentation surgeries are performed each year and that number keeps increasing.*
There are several different techniques and implants that can be used to augment the breasts and the best option may depend on your specific goals and breast anatomy. From the type, size and placement of the implant to the type of surgical incision, there are plenty of options to ensure you get your breasts enhanced just the way you want them.
There are many different reasons women may desire to augment their breasts which are all perfectly acceptable. Some women just want larger breasts, while others may want to restore their breasts’ fullness after weight loss, pregnancy or the gravity effects of aging. Even still, some women may want to correct asymmetric breasts or correct other concerns. Regardless of your reason for seeking breast enhancement surgery, you should find out everything you need to know about breast implants before you make your decision.
If you’re considering breast augmentation, you probably have a vision in your mind of how you would like to look with breast implants. To ensure you get the results you want, it’s critical that you do your research to familiarize yourself with the entire process from your consultation through post-surgery. Knowing what to expect will ensure your surgery is successful and you get the breasts of your dreams.
Your most important resource will be your plastic surgeon who can help guide you to reach your aesthetic goals. The decision to get breast implants is a personal one; finding a plastic surgeon you feel comfortable with is critical. Ask important questions of your plastic surgeon regarding their expertise like if they are board certified, how long have they been doing breast augmentation surgeries and how many they perform each year.
You want to make sure you have an open and detailed discussion with your plastic surgeon about your motivations for breast augmentation and your expectations. Your plastic surgeon can work with you to get the best results for your body type to achieve your goals.
One of the most intimidating aspects of plastic surgery is not quite knowing what your results will look like once your procedure is done and you are fully healed. For this reason, ask if your plastic surgeon offers patients Vectra 3D Imaging. Vectra is a revolutionary 3D Imaging system that can be used to render a realistic three-dimensional image of what your breasts may look like after implants. With a quick and thorough scan of your body, Vectra uses the taken images to generate a visualization of specific results personalized to your preferences and goal outcome. With Vectra, you can take the guessing out of your procedure and head into surgery feeling a lot more confident and excited for your final results.
Breast Implant Choices
With the advent of new technology and medical research, more types of breast implants have been developed to give you a number of different options. This means you also have more choices in the overall feel of the implant – meaning the softer implant versus a more firm or more cohesive implant. There are also smooth implants and textured implants and round and shaped. Dr. Alan Larsen prefers a smooth round, cohesive silicone gel “gummy” implant as it is a durable implant with a natural feel that has very low risks, complications, and side effects.
Before your plastic surgeon recommends an implant shape and size, he or she will take measurements and assess your skin and breast tissue characteristics to help determine the size, shape, and style of implants that are suitable for you.
Silicone “Gummy” implants are filled with a cohesive controlled and predictable medical grade, high-strength silicone gel which provides a soft and natural feel and is the preferred implant amongst women. This “gummy” implant filler material is a cohesive gel that holds together uniformly and has been available for nearly two decades, meeting the needs of over 1.5 million women worldwide. Both doctors and patients alike appreciate these implants’ long-term performance while being pleased with their overall aesthetic.
Though technology has certainly come a long way and with the popularity of both cohesive gel “gummy” silicone implants and small incisions, a device called a Keller funnel was created allowing for a much smaller incision with the insertion of these implants.
Surgeons that utilize a Keller funnel when inserting silicone implants have the advantage of being able to provide smaller incisions for their patients and this advanced technique has been adopted by most plastic surgeons. Dr. Alan Larsen has been utilizing this device and offering his patients this technique since the conception of the device in 2009.
Saline implants are made of a silicone shell that is then filled with sterile saltwater, “saline” solution, which can be harmlessly absorbed by the body if it ever ruptures or collapses. Saline implants tend to be more firm as it is common to “overfill” to reduce rippling, a common side effect of saline implants and less common in cohesive silicone gel. Saline implants do allow for a fuller, more projected look which is often a preferred look. Though due to the popularity of this projection, cohesive silicone gel implants are now available in a high and ultra-high profile allowing for a very similar, high projection result.
Both saline and silicone breast implants are offered in a wide array of sizes and profiles appealing to women of all body types and sizes. With your individual body proportions and the look you want to achieve in mind, your surgeon will help you select the optimal size and profile of your breast implants.
Round implants, as the name suggests, are round and create a full, projected appearance in women with less breast tissue and can look more natural in women with more breast tissue. The implant placement can also assist in achieving a more round versus more natural look as well.
Your plastic surgeon will review your options and their best recommendations to help you achieve your breast enhancement goals. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Larsen and tell him what you want out of a breast augmentation, and he can suggest the best options for you. Regardless, the number one priority is to be satisfied with the look and feel of your new breasts.
Understanding the Procedure
Once you’ve decided on a type of implant, you’re going to have to think about the best way to get the implants inserted. It’s important to talk to your plastic surgeon about the kind of incision your surgery requires because you want to keep scarring as minimal as possible. Dr. Larsen is known around the United States for his artistry in breast augmentation, and you can trust his recommendation for the type of incision for you.
Silicone implants require a slightly larger incision than saline implants yet still smaller when a Keller Funnel is used. Again, this is a device that allows for a smaller incision, best possible placement, as well as reduces infection as the implant is placed in its precise and intended location without coming in contact with surrounding glands, etc.
The three most common incisions for breast augmentation include inframammary (under the fold of the breast), trans-axillary (in the armpit), or periareolar (around the nipple). Each incisional technique has its advantages and disadvantages.
The Inframammary incision is the most common type of incision and is made along the inframammary fold, which is the natural crease under your breast. The incision leaves a thin scar that is strategically hidden by the inframammary fold, and is typically approximately 1 to 2 inches long.
Dr. Larsen almost exclusively use the inframammary incision technique as it provides optimal access to the breast tissue, has the least chance of complications and completely hides procedural scarring.
Breast Implant Placement Options
There are two options for implant placement: Under part or all of the chest muscle (submuscular) and above the chest muscle and below the breast glands (subglandular).
Your surgeon will help you select the best placement based on the characteristics of your breast tissue and whether there is appropriate tissue to cover the desired implant volume.
Recovery and Life After Breast Implants
Because breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia, you can expect to go home the same day. Within a couple of hours, you’ll be able to walk around, and most patients feel up to leaving the house within a couple of days.
Expect to feel sore for the first week, especially in the first 3 to 5 days. Your upper body mobility will be limited, and you should refrain from over-exerting your arm and chest muscles. It is recommended to have minimal exertion to allow your body to recover and for the first 2-3 weeks, you won’t be able to take part in any type of strenuous exercise during this time. Your plastic surgeon may recommend you engage in brisk walking or other forms of light exercise. Your surgeon will be able to tell you when you can return to exercise and give you an idea of how long your recovery should take.
Dr. Alan Larsen is known throughout the greater Atlanta area for the results he achieves from breast enhancement surgery performed to resize, reshape, or reconstruct a woman’s breasts. Dr. Larsen also specializes in breast augmentation revision and uses advanced surgical techniques to create consistently beautiful results for each of his patients.
If you’re considering cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery, request a consultation at Buckhead Plastic Surgery using the online form, or call our office at 404.367.9005 to schedule an appointment to meet personally with Dr. Larsen.
* AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS. ASPS procedural statistics represent procedures performed by ASPS Member Surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® as well as other physicians certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties-recognized boards. ©ASPS, 2018