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Breast Augmentation FAQ

Breast Augmentation FAQPhoto from Unsplash

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Below are some of the most common questions that we hear from prospective patients who are interested in breast augmentation, along with answers from me, Dr. Peter Capizzi.

1. What is the difference between saline and silicone? What about gummy bear implants?

Saline and silicone breast implants are both FDA-approved for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. They are both made of a silicone shell, but they differ in what they are filled with and how they feel.

Saline implants are filled with sterile saline solution, which is the same type of salt water that is found in intravenous (IV) bags. Saline implants are typically inserted empty and then filled with saline solution once they are in place. This allows the surgeon to adjust the size and shape of the implant to the patient’s individual needs. Saline implants have a firm, round feel.

Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. Silicone implants are typically softer and more pliable than saline implants, and they tend to look and feel more natural. Silicone implants can be inserted pre-filled or empty and filled once they are in place.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between saline and silicone breast implants:

Feel Risk of Rupture Cost Sterile saline solution Firm, round Higher Less expensive Silicone gel Soft, pliable Lower More expensive

2. What makes a gummy bear implant different from traditional silicone gel?

The main difference between a gummy bear implant and a normal silicone implant is the consistency of the silicone gel. Gummy bear implants are made with a thicker, more cohesive silicone gel, which gives them a more natural look and feel. They also have a lower risk of rupture and leakage than traditional silicone implants.

3. What implant shape is most common?

The most common breast implant shape is round. Round implants are symmetrical and provide fullness and lift to the breasts. They are also less likely to rotate out of place than other implant shapes.

The other option is a shaped implant. Typically, teardrop implants are more common in reconstruction cases where there is less breast tissue or muscle to create a natural slope of the breast.

4. Can I breastfeed after getting breast implants?

Yes, you can breastfeed after getting breast implants. Most women with breast implants can breastfeed successfully. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The placement of the implants can affect your ability to breastfeed. Implants that are placed above the chest muscle (submuscular) are less likely to interfere with breastfeeding than implants that are placed below the muscle (sub-glandular).
  • The size of the implants can also affect your ability to breastfeed. Larger implants may make it more difficult for your baby to latch on and nurse effectively.
  • If you had surgery to reduce the size of your breasts, you may have less glandular tissue, which can make it more difficult to produce enough milk.

If you are considering breast implants and plan to breastfeed, it is important to discuss these factors with your plastic surgeon. They can help you choose the right type and size of implants for your needs.

5. How does implant placement (over or under the muscle) affect a breast augmentation result?

The placement of breast implants, either over or under the muscle, can affect the breast augmentation result in a number of ways.

Under-the-muscle (submuscular) placement:

  • More natural look and feel: Under-the-muscle placement can provide a more natural look and feel to the breasts, especially in women with thinner breast tissue. This is because the implant is cushioned by the chest muscle, which helps to create a softer, more seamless transition from the chest wall to the breast.
  • Less risk of capsular contracture: Capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation in which the scar tissue around the implant hardens and contracts. This placement is associated with a lower risk of capsular contracture than over-the-muscle placement.

Over-the-muscle (subglandular) placement:

  • More risk of rippling: Rippling is a complication of breast augmentation in which the edges of the implant can become visible through the skin. Over-the-muscle placement is associated with a higher risk of rippling than under-the-muscle placement, especially in women with thinner breast tissue.
  • Less natural look and feel: Over-the-muscle placement can provide a less natural look and feel to the breasts than under-the-muscle placement, especially in women with thinner breast tissue. This is because the implant is not cushioned by the chest muscle, which can create a more visible transition from the chest wall to the breast.

6. When can I return to normal activities after a breast augmentation?

Most patients do rest the first 2-3 days. Many find washing their hair and doing light housework absolutely doable within 24 hours. Most patients begin driving and return to work 2-3 days after their procedure. At Capizzi MD, we use specific techniques before, during, and after surgery to provide a speedy recovery. These techniques have been developed over 20 years in practice as part of the Capizzi Method.

Here is a general outline of recommended restrictions and when you can get back to doing everything in your routine:

  • Day of: Walking around the house is encouraged for circulation.
  • 2 days after: You can begin driving and going back to work if you work in an office or other low-impact profession. You may also lift up to 5 pounds (no working out, but lifting things as needed is acceptable).
  • 2 weeks: You may begin swimming again, or go on vacation out of state (if you are coming from out of town we modify this one for you so you can return home ASAP and continue care with virtual check-ins). You may also do yoga.
  • 4 weeks: You may begin running again and engaging in intimacy with a partner. You may also begin lifting more than 5 pounds and lifting workouts (work up gradually).
7. Do I need to wear a special bra after surgery? What sorts of bras can I wear?

Typically, the answer is no. You will be given a Coobie bralette in your pre-operative kit to wear after your breast augmentation, but it is completely optional. This soft, stretchy bralette will provide comfortable, minimal support should you desire it. We do not recommend purchasing any special bras or binders to apply to your breasts after surgery. Our main priority is to allow your implants to settle into place and for the swelling to subside.

You can wear any light bralette for the first 4 weeks. You may begin wearing underwire bras four weeks after your surgery.

8. How long do breast implants last? Do I need to get them redone in ten years?

There is no hard and fast rule and implants do not have an expiration date. Breast implants can last ten years, they can also last fifty. The main reason that people seek their first revision is due to lifestyle change or desire for a change in look.

9. Where will my scars be?

If you are getting a breast augmentation, your incisions will be 1.5” long in the lower crease of your breast. After the initial healing, this scar will be pink. Over the next 6-12 months, it will continue to lighten and fade until it blends in with your skin color.

If you are getting a breast lift, then you may have an additional scar around your areola or, what is called the “lollipop” scar that encircles your areola and then extends to the bottom crease of the breast.

10. What size implant would be best for my frame?

This is the best part of each breast consultation! Your team has over 30 years of breast augmentation experience and is here to help you find the best-size implant for your desired look. To help you envision your size even more, we use a software called Crisalix 3D that shows patients different size recommendations on their specific body measurements. Patients can access their Crisalix simulations after their appointment so they can take their choices home to decide on their perfect pair.

It’s important to choose the best surgical team that meets all of your needs and more! If you are curious about pricing or have more questions about cosmetic surgery, please give our office a call at 704-655-8988.

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