A woman’s breasts often define her femininity, and with the vast differences in shape, size, and appearance, breasts further help to define a woman’s individualism. The breasts undergo changes in response to factors such as genetics, aging, pregnancy and breast feeding, weight gain or loss, and hormonal fluctuations. All of these factors can cause the breast size and shape to change. These changes can be dissatisfying and can make women feel as if they are losing some of their femininity and youthful vitality.
Breast augmentation alone cannot restore the shape of the breasts. For those women who would like to increase the size of their breasts as well as restore a firm, more upright position, a breast augmentation in combination with a breast lift can improve body contours and revitalize their appearance.
Why choose Dr. Harris? She is one of the finest breast augmentation surgeons in the greater San Antonio area. She has been a plastic surgeon in San Antonio since 1994, and you will meet her on your first visit to the office when you schedule your consultation.
What’s involved in the breast augmentation procedure?
Patients have various choices relating to breast augmentation. Patients get to choose the implant size as well as silicone vs. saline. Dr. Harris spends time with each patient choosing the implant that would look natural and proportionate. Patients are encouraged to be very involved with the selection process. The surgery is done under general anesthesia by a board certified doctor of anesthesia in a fully accredited outpatient hospital facility.
How to decide on your breast augmentation size before breast surgery
One of the most important decisions of breast augmentation surgery is the size of the implant. Dr. Harris encourages each patient to describe her goals and expectations of the surgery. After this information is given, the patient then tries on various sizers which give additional suggestion as to the patient’s desired size. After breast and chest measurements are taken during the examination, the patient’s implant size is chosen. The patient is shown what implants sizes are available and the final decision is made according to the patient’s goals. Dr. Harris’ patients can rest comfortably the night before knowing the size of the implant will be the size that was chosen in the office prior to surgery.
Where should I have my incision made during breast surgery?
Most patients are given a choice of incisions as well. The primary incisions are under the arm (endoscopic axillary), lower nipple, or inframammary crease. Some patient might require a mastopexy or a breast lift and this incision resembles a ‘lollipop’ circumferentially around the nipple and extending down vertically at the base of the nipple towards the inframammary crease. This incision is used primarily on breasts that demonstrate extreme sagging and downward positioning of the nipple. The benefits and trade-offs of each of the incisions; axillary, inframammary, or nipple, are described to each patient and the patient is allowed to make the decision herself as to her preferred incision if she is a candidate for this procedure.
Saline breast implants vs. Silicone breast implants
Should you go with saline breast implants, or silicone breast implants? The saline versus silicone decision will also be discussed with each patient. The long term follow-ups, post-operative appearance differences, and current medical information is provided to the patient in detail.
Anesthesia and Surgery Center
The anesthesia used for breast augmentation is general endotracheal anesthesia and this is provided by a board certified doctor of anesthesia in a certified outpatient surgery center.
Physical limitations after breast augmentation surgery
Patients usually are off work for one week although this might vary depending on the physical job description. For instance, mothers might have difficulty with picking up toddlers or young children during the early weeks of surgery depending on the child’s weight. Waitresses and hairdressers also may require longer time for recovery due to the physical nature of their jobs. Patients who have desk jobs usually are able to return to work after a week.
Most women are able to resume all physical activities by 6 weeks. At this time, the breast has had time to heal and the implants have begun to settle. Early in the post-operative course, the implants are somewhat high and tight and it normally takes 6 to 8 weeks for the breasts to soften and the implant to take on the anticipated shape.
Early strenuous activity is not encouraged because it may lead to increased scarring or bleeding. Patients are usually seen one week, one month and three months after surgery and precise massage technique, exercise limitations and use of supportive garments are described to the patient at that time. Always, if a patient has any concerns, she is to notify the office and Dr. Harris will see her.
What you should do after your breast augmentation surgery
Most patients take a week off of work after the procedure. Initially, the implants are high and tight and slowly settle into the teardrop appearance over 6-8 weeks. Generally, exercise limitations including taking it easy during the first two weeks and then low impact for week 3-6. By 6 weeks, most patients can resume normal activity. Some patients need to massage the implants to encourage implant lowering. Every patient is different and specific instructions are provided to the patients to achieve the best results.
Breast feeding after breast augmentation surgery
Most women are still able to breast feed after the surgery because the milk ducts are left unharmed during the procedure. There is no guarantee that women can breast feed after the surgery as some women find it difficult even without any breast surgery history.
Breast augmentation photos
We have posted several breast augmentation before and after photos so you can get a sense of what the outcome of the procedure will be like. We can show you many more once you come in for a personal consultation with Dr. Harris.
A Look at Breast Implant Types: Silicone vs Saline
When a woman considers getting breast implants, she must first make a decision about breast implant types. There are two kinds of implants that are generally available in any part of the world. Silicone implants were the first invented and, for a time, were the dominant product on the market. Since the 1990’s, however, saline implants have risen in popularity.
The Saline vs. Silicone Debate
Since their invention in the 1960’s, silicone implants have been very popular. Men and women were impressed by the way that silicone implants more closely resembled human flesh in the way that they felt.
However, in the 1990’s certain concerns arose as to the safety of these implants. Like any device, breast implants sometimes fail. One of the most common failures involves a rupture of the material containing the silicone in whichever shape has been chosen. When this occurs, the substance inside a breast implant can leak into tissue of a woman’s body. Some implant patients claimed that there was a connection between their failed implants and various diseases that they had contracted.
While the evidence regarding these connections remained unconfirmed, many prospective patients became interested in the possibility of saline implants. As a consequence of the controversy, saline implants surged in popularity. Until then, these breast implant types had been relatively rare. Today, each type of implant is widely available.
Two Texas doctors, named Cronin and Gerow, invented silicone implants in 1961. The implant was simply a pocket filled with silicone gel. They performed the first actual implant of the device in 1962.
Implants made from silicone gained popularity quickly. Many people prefer these types of implants for their natural appearance. Doctors can implant the pockets of silicone gel in various ways. They can put them under the chest muscles or above them.
Silicone implants came under fire for alleged complications caused by ruptures. However, in 2006, the FDA re-approved these implants due to the lack of any discernible connection between them and various ailments. In fact, the FDA was unable to find any problems caused by silicone gel implants in regard to cancer, autoimmune illnesses, or breastfeeding.
In 1965, a French surgeon discovered that saline was a viable alternative to silicone implants. The significant difference between saline implants and those made from silicone is the contents. The saline is a liquid and thus has a different feel to it. However, it remained in second-place, behind silicone, as a choice for breast implants. Some patients did not like the way that the product was prone to problems such as wrinkling.
After the beginning of the silicone controversy in the 1990’s, saline became the only available implant until the FDA approved silicone again. One advantage to saline is the way that it can be inserted with fewer and smaller incisions. After placing an empty bag inside the breast tissue or in the chest muscles, surgeons can inflate the bag by passing saline fluid through a tube.
Another advantage to saline is the lack of concern about ruptures. While the saline solution would be a nuisance if it leaked from the implant, there is no question about any negative health effect since the implant holds nothing foreign to the human body. Since the re-approval of silicone, saline has continued to be a competitive choice among implants.
Doctors and Patients
Some physicians encourage certain breast implant types over others. It is important for a patient to consult with a physician and feel comfortable with the choice that they will make together about an implant. If both doctor and patient are open and honest about the options, each of them is likely to be happy with the results.