Breast Augmentation Surgery

Definition

By far our most popular cosmetic procedure, breast augmentation involves the insertion of either saline or silicone implants to increase breast size, enhance and/or balance shape, and add fullness to breasts lacking volume or symmetry. We offer patients a number of options when it comes to this surgery: a variety of shapes and types of implants (saline or silicone), as well as procedures performed under local or general anesthesia. Additionally, you can select from among a range of insertion methods: under the breast or through the bellybutton, nipple, or armpit.

Consultation

During your complementary consultation, your Beautologie surgeon will assess your candidacy for breast augmentation. He will discuss the best options for your individual case, explain potential results, and discuss the benefits and rare risks, as well as what you can expect during recovery. This is also your opportunity to ask any and all questions about the surgery. If you are 50 or over—or have health issues—your surgeon will require a physical examination and approval from your primary care physician.

In general, our consultation process involves a thorough discussion of the procedure, how it is performed, and the pros and cons of various options. We know that different women desire different results, so we will spend as much time as needed discussing what you want. We will then do a quick examination and take measurements. After that, you will "try on" implants to determine which size will produce the look you prefer. All in all, the consultation process is comfortable, private, and exciting! And you will leave with a true understanding of the surgery and expected outcome.

During this meeting, it is of the utmost importance that you are honest with your surgeon. Your safety and the outcome of your procedure rely on your being thorough and truthful when answering questions pertaining to your medical history; known allergies; use of medications and supplements; drug, alcohol, or tobacco use; previous procedures; biopsy/mammogram results and family history of breast cancer; motivations for surgery; and expectations regarding result.

We also recommend bringing the following to your appointment: a list of any questions or concerns, a tight-fitting t-shirt for trying on the implants, and magazine or Internet pictures of breasts you like. You should also bring your significant other or a friend who may be advising you in the decision-making process.

Saline vs. Silicone

Patients of Beautologie have a choice from among the safest, most advanced types of implants. Together, you and your surgeon will decide between saline and silicone. We offer both, and our surgeons will recommend the type that will work best for you. That being said, our state-of-the-art saline implants are filled with sterile saline water; therefore, should one break, the liquid will be safely expelled or assimilated back into your body. And there's another benefit of saline: You control the firmness, feel, and contour by selecting the degree to which they are filled. Finally, saline implants are inserted through a smaller incision and are excellent at correcting asymmetries. They are also less expensive than silicone.

Regarding silicone implants, they were reapproved by the FDA in 2008. They are made with a significantly thicker shell than previous incarnations, and the gel "sticks together," more solid-like than liquid. Silicone implants look and feel softer than saline implants. However, in most patients who have some breast tissue to start with and are placing the implants under the muscle, the difference is generally minimal. Additionally, silicone implants cannot be adjusted in volume, before nor after implantation, because they come prefilled.

Breast Sizing

There are many factors to take into account when selecting the size of your implant. And you are a big part of this process, since we are trying to achieve the look you desire. For example, some women want implants that are completely natural and simply fill out the skin they have. Other women want to go two to three sizes larger. We understand these different desires and will do everything possible to give you the result you are looking for.

One important thing to remember is that the larger the implant you choose, the more "round" your breasts will look. Some people prefer this shape; but others like a more natural, teardrop appearance.

In addition to your tastes, however, there are other factors that will affect the size of your implant: your height, the width of your chest, the amount of tissue and skin you are starting with, and the amount of sagging naturally present. During your consultation, we will take measurements and recommend sizes for you to try on. This allows you to "see" the outcome before surgery. You can even take home a photo of your new look!

Implant Profiles

Doctors and patients can now select not only the size of the implant, but the profile—or degree of projection from the body. Our surgeons will help you make a decision that fits your body frame. In general, we like high-profile implants, which have more projection per volume, giving the breasts a shapelier look, with less width. The lower-profile implants, on the other hand, tend to spread out more towards your armpit, giving them a flatter appearance.

Over vs. Under the Muscle

During your consultation, our surgeons will help you decide on the best placement for your implant. In general, we prefer to place all implants under the muscle, and, unlike many centers, we do it at no additional cost. This provides extra protection for the implant and creates a more natural look and feel. Substantial research studies have shown that implants placed under the muscle have less chance of rupture, scar tissue formation, and infection. In addition, you will feel less rippling from the implant.

Incisions

Because breasts are our specialty, our expertise is in concealing incisions within the natural folds of the skin. Furthermore, breast enhancement incisions are tiny, in most cases only an inch or so; and self-dissolving sutures are placed below the skin for the greatest amount of hidden support. Regarding the method of implantation, you can again select for yourself: under the arm, via the nipple or bellybutton, or below the breast, in all cases camouflaged to be barely noticeable.

That being said, we recommend under-the-breast incisions in most cases. They are the least visible, facilitate the fastest recovery, and are the least disruptive to surrounding tissue. An incision around the areola, for instance, has a higher chance of infection and loss of sensation, since you are cutting through breast tissue. Through the bellybutton conceals the scar, but theoretically, may involve increased risks as well.

Surgery

Breast augmentation begins with an inconspicuously placed incision, through which a small pocket is made beneath the pectoral muscle. The implant is then delicately placed into this opening, and the incision is rejoined via sutures situated below the skin for the absolute minimum amount of scarring. Additionally, our technique is the least traumatic possible, producing almost no bleeding. This technique generates the most superior results, while minimizing recovery and the risk of post-op complications.

Breast augmentation is an approximately one-to-two-hour procedure performed under general or local anesthesia in our AAAHC-accredited surgery suite. It is performed on an outpatient basis, so following your surgery, you will relax in our recovery suite for a couple of hours before being released into the care of a friend or family member. Don't forget: You'll need someone to drive you home and keep you company for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.

Results

Breast augmentation can enlarge breasts (projection and fullness) as well as help balance your figure and restore volume lost as a result of aging or pregnancy. Most importantly, it can improve confidence and self-image and allow you to feel comfortable in your choice of clothing or swimwear. While you will enjoy the results immediately, for approximately one month following surgery, your breasts will sit higher and look larger as a result of swelling. This is normal. Your breasts will naturally settle into their final shape and position. Patients who undergo augmentation are often amazed at the boost in their self-esteem, especially those who have struggled since adolescence with self-consciousness about their breasts or bodies.

At Beautologie, breast augmentation is our most popular procedure, and we perform almost 500 per year. Not only are our surgeons experienced, extensively trained, and considered some of the best in breast enhancement, we are meticulous about the safety and comfort of our clientele. Additionally, our post-operative treatment consists of complimentary follow-ups, during which we work diligently for as long as needed to fade scars (genetics depending) to barely visible white lines. Our surgeons' skills result in flawlessly shaped breasts that feel soft and natural to the touch and don't shift over time. Their compassion for questions and concerns puts patients at ease and is the reason our business is based largely on referrals.

Recovery

Details of your recovery will be discussed during your initial consultation, including compression articles, sleeping position, caring for incisions, and properly taking post-op medications to reduce the risk of infection and ease pain. With regard to resuming activity, most people return to work in less that a week, with full (unrestricted) activity being resumed in one month. At Beautologie, we specialize in breast surgeries, so when it comes to recovery—and keeping you safe and comfortable—we have thought of everything!

The staff and surgeons at Beautologie are known throughout Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Malibu for our unparalleled post-operative care. All procedures performed include complimentary follow-up visits for as long as necessary, during which we fade incisions with specially developed lotions and tapes. In other words, we will work with you for as long as it takes to help you get the best, most beautiful results. Our goal is the same as yours: for you to look and feel incredible!

Cost & Insurance

The costs of cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance and will range in accordance with the intricacy of the surgery and the surgeon's level of expertise. When considering a procedure, it is important to budget for additional expenses such as post-op medications, pre-op tests, and anesthesia. Additionally, be aware of cut-rate surgeries: They almost always indicate a novice surgeon (who may not be a fully trained plastic surgeon) or center that is shaving costs on equipment, supplies, or staff. At Beautologie, we offer affordable financing options; although our doctors are leaders in breast enhancement surgery, we have made it a point to provide our services at a fee similar to other local plastic surgeons.

Complications

We boast a spotless record when it comes to serious complications, and nearly all patients undergo surgery with very minor to no side effects whatsoever. That being said, complications can occur. While we go beyond the standard precautions to minimize risks, you are in control of many post-op complications. In addition to asking questions about how you can help avoid difficulties—then heeding your surgeon's advice—setting aside enough time to fully recover is paramount.

Potential complications associated with breast enhancement include the following:
Infection (extremely rare and reduced by antibiotics and meticulous care of the patient); bleeding (hematoma) (generally related to resuming activity too soon); short- or long-term changes in nipple or breast sensation (risk decreased by locating incision away from nipple); poor healing of incisions or scarring (generally caused by genetic scar syndromes or not following aftercare instructions); capsular contracture (formation of firm scar tissue) (extremely rare when implants are placed under the muscle and post-op massage is administered); skin wrinkling above the implant (very rare with a suitable-sized implant positioned under the muscle); implant rupture or leakage (rare, however covered by manufacturer warranty); necessity of revisional surgery (extremely rare—Beautologie has one of the lowest rates in the business); standard risks of anesthesia.