Breast Augmentation

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Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic enhancement procedures in the nation, and has helped thousands of women re-contour their breasts with more volume and fullness. Breast enlargement with implants can improve the entire look of your body, giving you a more sensual appearance and enhancing your self-esteem. Plastic surgeons at The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are some of the most experienced in the area and have been specialty-trained in breast surgery. We can help you achieve beautiful, natural-looking results with state-of-the-art breast augmentation procedures.

Breast Augmentation Benefits

Breast augmentation offers many women a chance to attain breasts that are more proportionate to their body frame. Breast implants can improve the size, shape, and contour of the breasts, adding fullness and volume to the bust. One of the most popular surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures in the U.S., breast augmentation can help women achieve their goals with natural-looking results and give them a more youthful, sensual appearance.

Breast Implants

Breast implants are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and types. At your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will take anatomical measurements, evaluate tissue quality/elasticity, and comprehensively discuss each option available to help you determine which breast implants can safely and effectively help you achieve your augmentation goals. The two main types of breast implants are:

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are composed of a silicone outer shell and filled with a saltwater solution. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients over the age of 18, saline breast implants are filled after they have been placed inside the breast, which makes it possible for the incisions to be smaller and result in less visible scarring.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants are made of a silicone outer shell and filled with silicone gel. Approved by the FDA in 2006 for use in breast augmentation patients over 22 years old and breast reconstruction patients of any age, silicone breast implants are sometimes preferred over saline because many women find that they have a more natural look and feel. Silicone breast implants are often beneficial for patients who are extremely thin and for those who are having a breast reconstruction.

Your OSU plastic surgeon will help you determine which type of implant may be best for your needs at your initial consultation.

Breast Augmentation Procedure

The breast augmentation procedure begins with an incision to place the implant. The incision can be made in a number of ways: in the armpit; in the crease where the breast meets the chest; or around the areola (the dark-pigmented area surrounding the nipple). Your doctor will discuss these options with you before surgery and decide which incision technique will be best for your specific anatomy. After the incision is made, the implant will be placed. Depending on your needs and goals, the implants can be placed either directly behind the breast tissue or behind the chest muscle. After placement, the incisions are closed with great care to ensure as minimal visual scarring as possible. The entire breast augmentation procedure usually takes less than two hours to complete under general anesthesia. Breast augmentation can be performed as an outpatient.

Breast Augmentation Recovery

You can expect some swelling, bruising, and numbness in the breasts and nipples for several weeks after breast augmentation surgery; however, any pain and discomfort can be alleviated with medication. A surgical bra will likely need to be worn for a few weeks in order to help the healing process. Many patients are able to resume normal daily activities within a week after surgery. You will be advised not to engage in strenuous activities for a few weeks following the procedure.

You should continue to have mammograms after breast augmentation. You may also need to have a specialized mammogram for as long as you have the implants in order to produce the most accurate results.

Breast Augmentation FAQs

Am I a candidate for breast augmentation?

Good candidates for breast augmentation include individuals seeking to enhance the appearance of their breasts in one or more of the following ways:

In addition, ideal breast augmentation candidates should be in good overall health, be a non-smoker (or have quit at least six weeks prior to surgery, preferably with no intention of continuing), and have realistic expectations for what can safely and effectively be achieved. At the time of the consultation, your plastic surgeon can discuss all of this criteria with you in full detail to determine if breast augmentation would be right for you.

What are my breast augmentation incision options?

At our practice, breast augmentation incisions are made in one of three locations: in the armpit, in the inframammary fold beneath the breasts, and around the areola. Each incision option offers unique advantages and disadvantages, all of which will be covered in complete detail during the consultation process. Based on your unique needs and goals, your plastic surgeon will help you decide which location would be the best choice for your breast augmentation.

Which implant placement creates the most natural appearance?

Breast implants can be placed in front of the pectoral muscle (subglandular) or behind the pectoral muscle (submuscular). The position that provides the most natural-looking results will ultimately depend on each individual’s needs and desires, but there are a few general rules of thumb that apply to most cases. When a patient has an ample amount of skin and/or breast tissue to cover the implant, the subglandular position can often create a very natural appearance. This is because a sufficient quantity of soft tissue coverage can help mask the shape of an implant as well as diminish the risk of any visible rippling. When a patient does not have enough skin and tissue in the breasts, however, the submuscular position will often provide a more natural-looking outcome. This is because the pectoral muscle helps to provide the extra tissue coverage needed to minimize the visibility of implants and reduce the potential for noticeable rippling and/or other issues. The pros and cons of each implant placement option will be thoroughly outlined at the time of the consultation, at which point you and your surgeon can determine the most appropriate location.

Will I still be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation?

Assuming you are capable of breastfeeding in the first place, breast augmentation should have no impact on your ability to do so after treatment when the procedure is performed safely and correctly by an experienced plastic surgeon. If you still have concerns, however, our doctors offer certain techniques—such as the inframammary incision and submuscular implant placement—that can greatly limit any possible disruption of mammary glands during and/or after breast augmentation.

Am I too old for breast augmentation?

Aside from needing to be 18 years old for saline implants and 22 for silicone, age is not typically considered a critical element in determining candidacy for breast augmentation. In fact, our doctors have treated patients in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and above, all of whom were a good fit for implants at the time. More important than age is generally your overall health and whether or not you have realistic expectations for surgery. Your plastic surgeon will discuss all factors that determine candidacy—including your unique needs and goals—with you during the consultation.

Schedule a Breast Augmentation Consultation

If you are considering adding volume to the breasts for a fuller, more contoured appearance, please contact The Ohio State University Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Our plastic surgeons can help you attain your goals with results that look both natural and beautiful.