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Your Best Breasts: A Complete Guide to Breast Augmentation

The art of breast augmentation has made extraordinary advances since it started way back in the 1960’s. Whether a woman wants that Pamela Anderson fullness or a soft natural look, today’s patients have more options than ever to make their vision real.

At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons are experts in the latest surgical innovations and techniques, ensuring that they can safely create as many styles as there are women seeking a boost in self-confidence for their figures.

If you’re among the countless women in the world who are considering breast augmentation, the result - how your breasts will look afterward – is paramount. To maximize your satisfaction with your result, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I pursuing breast augmentation?
  • Is it the right time for me to have surgery?
  • How much larger do I want my breasts to be?
  • What are my short-term and long-term goals?
  • What look do I want to achieve in my results?

The Basics of Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a procedure that enhances natural breast tissue, making the bust line larger with an implant. All implants are encased in resilient surgical-grade silicone. There are two choices of materials for the inside of this shell — saline (sterile salt water) and silicone gel. Both are safe, and while saline implants are less expensive, silicone has a softer, more natural feel. Silicone is also available in both round and tear-drop shapes, while saline implants are round and less flexible. Studies have shown that there are no greater risks of permanent damage or long-term health problems associated with silicone implants than there are associated with saline implants.

 Decisions, decisions…

Desired Results: Shape and Size

In the last few years, breast implant technology has changed a great deal, particularly in the number of style options available to the patient.  This change, originating out of patient safety, has led not only to safer implants but more options for patients.  So now, you can think about your ideal cup size, and our surgeons will translate your desired cup size into cc’s (cubic centimeters), which is how the filling of the implant is measured. From a small 100 cc implant too much larger sizes, patients have lots of choices for the final look.

Pay attention to the women you see around you every day and in the media. What size and shape appeal to you most? Do you like the full, rounded, push-up bra style? Maybe you worry your breasts have a “deflated” or uneven appearance and prefer a slightly larger size but a more natural “tear-drop” shape. Or you want to channel Grace Kelly’s lifted, projected look. Is your priority how you look in clothes or without? Or both? Our surgeons will not dictate aesthetically during a consultation but will try to help you understand your own desires and goals with surgery.

They will supportively guide you through the decision-making process and explain your options based on your measurements and frame. They will answer your questions using state-of-the-art 3D Vectra imaging that allows you to “try on” different looks see the results before ever stepping into an operating room.

Incisions: Types and Locations

All breast augmentation procedures involve the placement of a small incision through which an implant is inserted during surgery. The incision can be made in one of four possible places on the body:

  • Inframammary: Breast Fold
  • Periareolar: Areola
  • Transaxillary: Armpit
  • Transumbilical: Belly Button

Your anatomy, your healing capability, implant size and associated issues will all factor into your final decision about where to make the incision. Most patients select the IMF (infra-mammary fold) incision, which lies in the natural fold beneath the breast. Other options include an incision made in the areola skin or one placed more remotely, in the armpit. At the consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to see photos of each incision —you’ll be surprised by how well-hidden the scars can be.

Implants: Options and Placement

Silicone and saline implants are both safe and provide a natural look. The type of implant that fits your needs will depend on your goals for size, shape, and feel. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to try on and feel both types of implants. Both silicone and saline implants are FDA approved and safe.

Implants: Saline or Silicone

  • Saline Implants: Do not come pre-filled. The implants will be filled and adjusted after they have been inserted and placed. Saline implants are ideal for women wishing to improve size symmetry – small differences in breast size can be made up by filling one implant more than the other. Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution, like natural body fluids. In general, saline has a slightly firmer feel than silicone.
  • Silicone Implants: Come prefilled and are designed to provide a natural feel. They are filled with a silicone gel which mimics the consistency of breast tissue. Because of this feel and the way the gel moves, Silicone implants, in general, have a more natural feeling result.

Placement: Above or Below the Muscle

Placement of the implant can also be an aesthetic choice. Whether you choose silicone or saline, implants can be placed either under or over the muscles of your chest. For most people, under the muscle provides a preferable result – it generally looks more natural and stays that way longer. If, however, you’re choosing a smaller implant and/or you prefer the round, push-up look, you might choose to place the implant over the muscle.  It’s certainly an easier procedure to recover from. 

Need a Lift?

Augmentation to sagging breast tissue will not usually lift the breast. Another procedure, called a breast lift or mastopexy, is often required to attain that perky, youthful look. Almost every woman will experience breast sagging at some point in her lifetime. It’s common after pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as shifts in body weight and the natural process of aging. On its own, the lift is designed to reshape a sagging breast for a woman who likes the size of her breast. This lift can be combined with an implant to both increase breast size correct its droopiness

What to Expect

At the end of your consultation, you’ll leave the appointment having decided on the size and type of implants you desire, as well as having chosen an incision site and placement over or under the muscle. At Austin-Weston, breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure; you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the office, as well as stay with you for the night to ensure you are feeling fine and there are no complications.

The procedure takes about an hour, but our experienced surgical team will make sure you don’t feel a thing. The day after your surgery, you’ll meet with your doctor again, who will assess how you are feeling, check the bandages and make sure everything is going perfectly.

At your one-week post-op appointment, the stitches are clipped so they can continue to dissolve. We’ll often see you one month after surgery to make sure the implants are softening nicely, and finally at three months so that you and your doctor can check on “final” result.  At this visit, you will be provided with copies of your before-and-after photos.

Cost Breakdown

At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, the cost of breast augmentation ranges from $5,900 to $8,000. Nationally, these prices fluctuate depending on the type of implants you choose, geographic location, surgeon experience, and quality of results they’re able to achieve. Our price includes all surgical fees, so be sure to do your research.

Make sure to confirm at other consultation that there are no hidden costs such as, surgeon fees, anesthesia, implants, operating room, surgical facility, post-op garments, all post-op appointments, and 24/7 on-call support from the nurses and doctors.

Revisions or Re-Operating

The board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston stand behind their work. What that means for you is that your primary breast augmentation surgery will be under warranty for three years following your surgery – no charge for any revision that is surgically or medically indicated for capsular contracture or implant malposition. Any changes you may want to make regarding the implant size (if you decide to go larger or smaller) are done at the cost of the implant only. To keep this warranty valid, you must come see us for post-op appointments at the one year and two-year marks after surgery.

We are unaware of any other practice in the country that offers such a warranty. We hope this piece of mind will help you choose an Austin-Weston surgeon for your breast augmentation.

Trust, Experience Results

Whatever look you prefer, at Austin-Weston, patients are guided throughout the decision-making process, procedure, and postoperative care by board-certified surgeons with more than 75 years of combined experience. You are in charge of an exceptional team!

Selecting a well-qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon and asking the right questions will increase your chances of getting the most out of your surgery and in achieving your desired results, which is exactly what plastic surgery is: an investment in yourself. You deserve it.

To schedule a complimentary consultation, call 703.854.9445 or contact us today for more information regarding breast surgery and the various procedure options.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.