What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation, also called breast enlargement, creates a more attractive breast shape and size using implants or excess body fat.
Who is a candidate for breast enlargement?
Clareo doctors see a range of patients in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s to enhance their breast size, some are moms who want to restore the volume and /or shape lost after having children; some have a narrow body, others a wider frame. Clareo doctors take all these factors into consideration when presenting options to patients.
Benefits of breast augmentation
While each woman’s reasons for considering breast augmentation are unique, our patients’ goals often include:
- Increasing the size and fullness of their breasts
- Improving proportions to the rest of their bodies
- Restoring volume lost after pregnancy, nursing, or significant weight loss for a more youthful appearance
- Creating symmetry when one breast is larger than the other
It is important that all patients are aware of the risks and responsibilities associated with breast implants. Clareo surgeons carefully review the facts with each woman at her initial consultation. Additionally, they perform a comprehensive health examination for all breast enhancement patients.
Your breast augmentation options
Once you decide to get breast implants, your Clareo surgeon will guide you through a variety of options so that you get the results you desire. For example, if you want your breasts to look very natural, you may opt for anatomically shaped silicone gel implants rather than round implants that can offer a more dramatic transformation.
Together, we will choose:
- The size of your implants: Your breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (ccs) rather than cup sizes. Generally, around 200 to 225 ccs will increase your breasts 1 cup size. Our surgeons can help you decide how many ccs are right for your breast augmentation based on your body type and goals.
We also offer an advanced 3D imaging system called Crisalix. This software uses photos of you to create realistic 3D avatars of your anticipated results. Crisalix can help you get a better idea of what your breasts will look like based on different implant sizes.
- Your implant shape: Breast implants can be round or anatomically shaped. Round is the most commonly chosen implant, although anatomical or “tear-drop” implants have become more popular over the years.
Both types of implants have benefits and drawbacks. Round implants offer more fullness in the upper portion of the breast, which enhances the look of cleavage. They can also move freely in the breast pocket and, because they are circular, they won’t distort the breast shape.
Anatomical implants have a ski-slope look that provides more fullness at the base of the breast. Women who choose this type of implant do so because the implant shape mimics the natural upward curve of the breast. However, if the implant rotates or moves in the breast pocket, the breast shape can be affected and may look irregular. For this reason, anatomical implants have a textured shell to prevent them from moving.
- Silicone or saline: Your implants can be filled with either a silicone or saline solution. Silicone is the more popular choice because it looks and feels very similar to a natural breast. And because silicone breast implants are now made of a very cohesive gel that won’t leak from the implant pocket, they are just as safe as saline implants.
However, some women prefer saline implants because they feel it’s a more natural option. Saline implants contain a harmless salt water solution that poses no threat to the body if it leaks from the implant. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of implant, and our surgeons will discuss them with you at length during your consultation.
- The implant texture: Breast implants have an outer silicone shell that can be either smooth or textured. A smooth texture allows the breast implant to move freely and is typical of round implants. While all anatomically shaped implants are textured (to prevent rotation), round implants can have either a textured or smooth shell.
Research has shown that textured implants have a lower risk of capsular contracture – a complication that occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant and distorts the implant shape; this risk reduction is greatest when the implant is placed above the muscle. The risk of capsular contracture is similar among smooth and textured implants when the implant is placed below the pectoralis major muscle. The pros and cons of both options will be explained to you so you can make an informed choice.
- Incision locations: Our surgeons can place your breast implants through incisions under the breast, around the areola, or in the armpit. All options provide discreet scarring so that your results look as natural as possible. Which incision location is right for you will depend on your personal preference, your breast size and shape, and the type of implant you select.
- Implant placement: Your breast implants can be placed in front of or behind the chest ( pectoralis major) muscle. The size and type of implant you choose, as well as your incision locations and the amount of breast tissue present, will factor into which option is best for you.
- Over the muscle: Implants placed over the muscle (or subfascial placement) are positioned between the breast tissue and pectoralis muscle. The benefit of this technique is that there’s no cutting of the muscle, which results in a faster, easier recovery. However, this is not always a good option for women with little existing breast tissue because the risk of wrinkling is higher.
- Under the muscle: Our surgeons also offer a “dual plane” approach that releases the pectoralis muscle from the chest wall resulting in a pocket that is partially under the muscle and partially under the breast gland. This creates a pocket for the implant and provides a very natural-looking result. However, this technique is more invasive and can make recovery more intense.
Breast implant surgery
Clareo doctors perform breast augmentation using general anesthesia because it relaxes the muscles, decreasing bleeding and the risk of capsular contracture. Breast pocket symmetry is also better when the muscles are relaxed. The recovery after general anesthesia is no longer than with sedation anesthesia. Regardless of your choices, our doctors use advanced suturing techniques to ensure your scars are as fine and discreet as possible.
After placing the implants and closing the incisions, our medical staff closely monitors your recovery to determine when you are ready to return home. Patients typically leave an hour after the procedure ends, only need MOTRIN® for pain control, and return to normal activities the evening of surgery or day after surgery.
Fat transfer breast augmentation
Over the years, many patients have asked, “Can’t you just take some of the fat from down here and put it up there?” Well, now the answer is, “Yes!” Clareo offers our patients breast augmentation using the micro fat grafting technique.
Fat grafting is an innovative approach to breast augmentation that uses unwanted fat from areas such the abdomen, love handles, or thighs to enhance the size of the breasts. Liposuction is used to remove the extra fat which is then prepared and transferred to the breasts using a cannula. Our doctors use a refined, meticulous approach to help minimize the risk of contour irregularities for a beautiful, natural result.
The results of fat grafting can be more subtle than with breast implants, and it can be the ideal approach for anyone who is interested in liposuction and wants a modest increase in chest size. Because liposuction is also performed at the same time, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of a slimmer, sleeker physique.
The recovery from fat transfer breast augmentation surgery is similar to liposuction, and usually includes a few weeks of downtime. Your final results will appear gradually over the course of several weeks or months. While most of the transferred fat will survive, some won’t. But the fat that does survive is permanent.
Preview your results
Clareo offers our patients the opportunity to preview their results through 3D simulation using Crisalix software.
Recovery and results
Breast augmentation surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in the Boston area, which means that you will be able to go home the day of surgery. Make sure you arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you the evening of surgery. Within the first week following breast augmentation, you should be able to return to most of your normal activities, adding in exercise and other strenuous activities about three to four weeks after surgery.