Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentations, also known as augmentation mammaplasties, are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. Breast augmentations often help patients feel more confident and comfortable with their breast size. Breast augmentations will naturally provide a little lift in the breast tissue, but some patients may benefit from having a breast lift and augmentation during the same procedure.

Our highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons have performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. We invite you to book a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options.

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Breast Augmentation Benefits:

  • Increased fullness

  • Corrected asymmetry and harmony

  • More natural and youthful breast projection

  • Resized or repositioned areolas, if necessary
  • Reconstructed breast shape after mastectomy or injury

Our goal is to accentuate your natural curves and proportions while adding volume and projection to the breasts.

What to Expect

First, we’ll meet to talk about your surgical goals, medical history, and anatomy. We’ll take photographs and measurements, and will talk about which treatment approaches would be best suited to meet your goals. We will also review the implant manufacturer’s materials with you, answer your questions, and discuss the procedure, potential risks and benefits, anesthesia, medications, and recovery instructions.

Breast Implant Sizing Trial

During this consultation, we’ll also perform a sizing trial in the office, using a bra that helps us simulate what your breasts would look like with different volumes of implants. This way you can try multiple sizes, see how they feel, and compare your options.

Implants are defined by their width, volume, and projection. Based on your anatomy, we will talk about the most appropriate volume and profile for your proportions. Your natural breast width and chest wall measurements will help us determine the maximum width and volume of implant we can use. As implants go up in volume, they also get wider. Using moderate or moderate-plus profile implants can usually help us achieve more volume and projection while still achieving a natural-looking result. Implants that are too large look unnatural, and can stretch and thin the breast skin and tissue, leading to sagging over time.

Types of Implants

The most common types of implants are smooth round implants. Some surgeons use shaped implants, but these can rotate and result in poor appearance, so they are not commonly used. All implants have a silicone shell, however, they may be filled with saline or a silicone gel. Many patients say that silicone implants feel more natural, and more comfortable during high-impact sports. Silicone implants also offer different densities of gel that can affect how the implant performs and feels.

Breast Augmentation Surgical Overview

First, an anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia. Next, we’ll prep the area and will make a 5 cm incision hidden in the fold of the breast. These incisions heal nicely, have the lowest rate of implant infection and complication, and minimize the appearance of scarring. Some plastic surgeons will make an incision along the edge of the nipple or in the armpit, but those incision patterns have a higher rate of capsular contracture and other complications.

Our surgeons typically take a dual-plane approach, inserting the implant partially underneath the chest muscle and the breast tissue to achieve a natural result. The dual-plane approach also has the lowest rates of capsular contracture and complications and tends to camouflage the implant resulting in a more natural appearance to the augmentation.

Implants that are placed only under the muscle tend to cause the implant to sit too high and can cause excess animation – meaning when you move your chest, your implants also move. Some patients, for example, competitive athletes who want to retain chest muscle function, may be candidates for having implants placed on top of the muscle. This approach, however, can yield more implant show and rippling.

We’ll talk more about treatment approaches with you based on your surgical goals and anatomy.

The entire procedure takes approximately two to three hours, and you can go home afterward. You will need somebody to drive you home, as you will not be able to operate a vehicle after anesthesia. We perform breast augmentations as outpatient procedures at our accredited Northern Arizona SurgiCenter in Flagstaff.

Medical Review: This procedural information has been medically reviewed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Brian A. Cripe, M.D.

Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos

For privacy, we reserve the majority of before and after photos for viewing during in-office consultations. The cases presented are representative and shared with permission.

Breast lift before and afterBreast lift before and after

Breast Augmentation Recovery and Aftercare

You can expect to see breast augmentation results immediately, and the appearance will continue to improve as you heal. Many of our breast augmentation patients feel well enough to return to work after two weeks and can resume all activities and high-impact exercises within four to six weeks. Remember to listen to your body and take it easy while you recover from your breast augmentation surgery. Everyone heals at their own pace.

To optimize healing, we ask our patients to follow these recovery guidelines after their procedure. If you notice increased redness, discharge, or pain near your incision, please give us a call right away.

  • Incision Aftercare: After surgery, we’ll apply a surgical dressing to the incisions. Please be gentle with this area and keep it dry. You can shower after 48 hours, but avoid using hot water and getting the incision areas wet. Don’t submerge your body in water while bathing or swimming for four weeks. This helps reduce the risk of infection.

  • Post-Operative Bra: We’ll give you a post-surgical bra to wear continuously for six weeks. This compressive garment helps reduce swelling and improve incision healing. If you prefer, you can wear a sports bra or soft bra that also provides gentle compression. Don’t wear any undergarments with underwires for six weeks.

  • Medications: We’ll usually prescribe pain medications to help you feel more comfortable as you heal.

  • Scar Massage: After two weeks, once your incisions are fully healed, we’ll advise you to gently massage the scar areas. This can improve the appearance of your incision lines and promote healing. Don’t worry about buying an expensive scar cream. Any gentle moisturizer, like Aquaphor or cocoa butter, will do the job.

  • Sun Protection: Breast augmentation incisions are usually hidden by clothing, bikinis, and undergarments, however, sun exposure can impede scar healing and damage your skin cells, causing wrinkling. Wear sunscreen on your chest and avoid direct sun exposure on the incision areas to help keep your skin healthy and improve scar healing.

  • Laser Treatments: Laser skin resurfacing treatments can help improve the appearance of breast augmentation scars, and based on how you’re healing we may perform these during your follow-up appointments.

Breast Augmentation FAQs

Breast lifts address sagging and breast position, whereas breast augmentations enhance breast fullness, shape, and projection. Patients who have significant drooping tissue and want to achieve a rounder, fuller breast, may be better suited for a mastopexy augmentation versus just a breast augmentation. We often perform breast lifts and augmentations simultaneously, which reduces the number of surgeries and minimizes the recovery period. Patients who have large breasts may opt to reduce their breast size while also lifting the tissue during a mastopexy reduction.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a sterile saltwater solution. One purported benefit of saline implants is that they can be filled with varying amounts of solution to achieve the desired breast size, shape, and firmness. There are different profiles of saline breast implants available. Some proponents of saline breast implants also note that saline can be harmlessly absorbed by the body if the implant ruptures. However, if a saline implant ruptures, there is a complete loss of volume in the breast. Saline implants have dipped in popularity in recent years. In 2020 just 16% of all breast implants were saline, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Some downsides of saline implants are that they are more prone to wrinkling, may have a less natural feel, and are more likely to rupture than silicone implants.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants are composed of a silicone shell filled with cohesive silicone gel. They have a more natural look and feel compared to saline implants, and are less likely to ripple or wrinkle. Silicone implants are also preferred by many active patients, who feel that they are more comfortable during high-impact activities like running. More than 84% of breast augmentations in 2020 used silicone implants, according to ASPS. Whereas saline is dissolved by the body, if a silicone implant ruptures, the volume stays inside the implant capsule and doesn’t get systemically absorbed by the body. This can make it harder to detect ruptures but also means that the breast won’t entirely deflate in the event of a rupture. Silicone implants are available in different shapes, profiles, and textures to accommodate different patient needs. These are the most common variations of silicone breast implants:

Smooth Silicone Implants

Smooth implants tend to be rounded and form a thinner capsule around the implant. The capsule itself tends to be less palpable, giving the implants a more natural feel. Smooth silicone implants also conform to the patient more, whereas shaped implants force the patient’s anatomy to conform to the breast implant.

Textured Silicone Implants

Textured silicone implants have a coarse or dimpled outer shell. Early studies suggested that these implants may have less capsular contracture over time, but the impact is likely minimal and is negated by placing the implant in a dual-plane or submuscular pocket. Because the implant becomes more adherent to the capsule, it may move less with the patient and has a less natural feel.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

The gummy bear implants are textured, cohesive, and shaped implants. Composed of a denser gel that holds shape, these implants force the patient’s tissue to adapt to the implant. They’re designed to sit in a natural teardrop shape of the breast. A downside is that gummy bear breast implants can rotate if the pocket isn’t right enough or if there is capsular contracture, giving the breast an asymmetric or abnormal contour.

Every plastic surgery practice offers different pricing. The national average procedural fee for breast augmentation is around $4,500, plus the cost of anesthesia, surgical facility costs, and medications. Please set up a consultation with one of our surgeons to learn more about the procedure and to receive a personalized quote.

We generally perform breast augmentations on patients who are healthy, nonsmokers, and who don’t have any medical conditions that may impede wound healing. BMI is also a consideration. When you meet with one of our surgeons for your consultation, we will discuss your goals and anatomy to determine which cosmetic procedures would be best suited to meet your unique needs.

At our practice, we offer interest-free financing options through Care Credit and PatientFi.

Many patients also combine their breast augmentation with a breast lift, tummy tuck, or liposuction. Mommy makeovers are also very popular combination procedures that can help contour and restore the breasts and abdomen while repairing diastasis recti after pregnancy and breastfeeding. At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, we provide discounts for subsequent cosmetic procedures. Booking multiple cosmetic procedures at once is much more affordable than standalone surgeries, and reduces recovery time.

You May Also Be Interested In:

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  • Thigh Lift

  • Tummy Tuck

Book Your Breast Augmentation Appointment

Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons would love to bring you in for a consultation to discuss your goals and treatment options. Fill out this form to receive a call-back shortly, or give us a call at 928-774-2300.