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Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)
What is Breast Augmentation?
by Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez
The Breast Augmentation, or Augmentation Mammoplasty procedure, enlarges your breast. This can be done with either silicone or saline implants, as well as using your own fat.
I've always felt that my breasts were not in proportion to my body
The procedure can also change the shape of your breasts or make them more symmetrical. I perform breast augmentation under IV anesthesia in our AAAASF accredited surgery center here in Baltimore, Maryland. By using IV anesthesia instead of General Anesthesia, much of the post op nausea is eliminated. The procedure takes up to two hours and you can go back to work in one week.
Use Our Before and After Gallery to Help Pick Implant Size
Take a look at our before and after breast augmentation photo gallery to see pictures of actual patients who have undergone breast augmentation. Examining the pictures will help you consider what size and shape might be right for you. Please note that all of the patients featured there have given their written consent to have their photos displayed on our site. We are very grateful for their willingness to participate in patient education!
What decisions do I need to make before my breast augmentation procedure?
Most patients elect to have Breast Augmentation with breast implants, because it is the most affordable option. For those patients who go with implants, we discuss the following decisions during your initial breast augmentation consultation:
- saline or silicone
- implant volume (size of implants)
- round or oval (shape of implants)
- textured or smooth (surface of implants)
- under or over the muscle (placement of implants)
- location of incision site (placement of implants)
- with or without a lift
- high profile or moderate profile
What are the Most Popular Breast Implant Sizes and Styles?
The most popular type of breast implant in our practice is high profile (HP) silicone. We recently did an analysis of our last 125 cases to find out that the most popular implant size is 400cc. Learn more about our case analysis in this blog post. While the choice of implant size and shape is always customized for each patient, average metrics are worth noting. The top 3 implants in our analysis were:
- 400 cc HP Silicone
- 350 cc HP Silicone
- 450 cc HP Silicone
What is the Difference Between Moderate Profile and High Profile Implants?
High profile implants are usually selected if you want a lot of projection or if you are a small framed woman with a small chest wall. I wrote about this in further detail explaining the difference between moderate and high profile implants in this blog post.
If you are having breast augmentation, you should first consider the implant profile type before you select the size of the implant. See me talk about the two types of breast implant profiles and what body types each is most suitable for in the YouTube video here on the right.
Where is your Office and Where is the Procedure Performed?
Your breast augmentation procedure is performed by me, Dr. Rodriguez, in our AAAASF Accredited Surgery center located next to my office, here in Baltimore. I use IV sedation instead of General Anesthesia to make your recovery as quick as possible. For the utmost safety, your anesthesia is administered only by Board Certified Anesthesiologists.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
The TOTAL cost for breast implant surgery depends on the implants you select. Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants. We are currently running a special discount promotion through March 31, 2015. In our AAAASF accredited Surgery Center, Total Cost for Silicone Implant Augmentation is $5900. A pain pump, which is highly recommended, can be added for $250, or $6150 Total Cost. These total costs includes surgeon's fee, silicone implants, Board Certified anesthesiologist, and operating room fee.
Total Cost for Breast Augmentation with saline implants is $4800. These prices are good for surgeries performed by March 31, 2015. We believe that these are the best implant prices in the Baltimore area! To understand how great our prices are, please see our survey of local Plastic Surgeons to find out the average cost in Baltimore. Similarly, if you do any comparison shopping, be sure to get quotes for Total Cost. This should include the following component costs:
- Surgeon Fee
- Operating Room/ Recovery Room Fee
- Anesthesia Fee (Board Certified Anesthesiogist)
- Implants (saline or silicone)
- All follow up office visits
- Pain pump (should be quoted with and without)
Call 410-494-8100 or email us here to make your consult now!
Are silicone implants safe?
The short answer is yes, but I would like to share some of the history of the silicone implant controversy with you to comfort any concerns you may have.
History of silicone implants for cosmetic surgery
Between 1992 and November 2006, silicone breast implants were banned for use for cosmetic reasons while the FDA gathered information regarding their safety. The only patients who received silicone implants during 1992-November 2006 were reconstructive patients and patients with problems such as capsular contracture and breast asymmetry. These patients were required to enroll in a study where they were followed for 5 years post operatively.
In summary, all of the FDA studies led researchers to conclude that silicone breast implants did not cause any kind of disease. Studies showed that there was no greater incidence of any type of disease in women with silicone breast implants compared to the general female population. Silicone implants were determined to be medically safe.
I am very experienced with silicone implants
I have been using silicone implants since 1988. Prior to the ban in 1992, I used silicone implants as the implant of choice for cosmetic patients because of their natural feel. Since 1992 I've had scores of patients involved in the FDA study. Read even more about the historical perspective on the silicone implant controversy.
Who are typical candidates for the breast augmentation procedure?
Most women who undergo breast implant surgery in our Baltimore Office fall into one of two groups. The largest group comprises women in their thirties with children. They have noticed a loss in skin tone with sagging of the breast. They often notice a decrease in size of the breast (most noticeable in the upper and outer portion). Sometimes the breast augmentation procedure is combined with a breast lift. The second group consists of women in their twenties who want larger breasts to balance the rest of their body.
What is the post op recovery for Breast Augmentation?
Following your procedure, you should plan for the following:
- 1 week off from work
- no driving for 1 week
- wear bandeau or ace wrap for first week
- drains for 2 or 3 days, removal at first post op appointment
- wear optional pain pump for 2-4 days following surgery
- some swelling for 4-6 weeks
- exercise: resume lower body activities at 10 days, upper body activities at 4-5 weeks
- post op appointments at: day 2, one week, one month, four month
How are silicone breast implants different from saline implants?
Silicone implants have a much more natural feel than saline implants. I've worked extensively with silicone implants and believe they are the best choice for many women. To understand the differences further, please see this blog post.
What types of complications can occur with breast augmentation?
Breast implants have been used for over 40 years. Most women have no problems. However, your Plastic Surgeon should review the list of possible complications during your consultation. Two possible complications following Breast Augmentation surgery are:
- Capsular Contracture
- Deflation of the Implant
Of the two, the most common complication that we see after surgery is capsular contracture. This is tightening of the capsule that surrounds the implant. The area often responds to massage, but may need surgery to eliminate the capsule. The average incidence of capsular contracture in Breast Augmentation among all surgeons ranges from 10-15%. I recently reviewed my last 200 Breast Augmentation Cases to calculate that my capsular contracture rate is 5%, which is well below the average!
Deflation of the implant is less likely than capsular contracture. If this should occur, the deflated implant would need to be removed and replaced.
How do I know what bra size I will be with breast implants?
Your breast size after surgery depends on two main factors: how big you were before surgery and the volume of implant inserted.
The volumes of the breast implants are measured in CCs, (30cc = 1oz). The most popular implant size is 400 cc. You can get a rough idea of how big you might look by placing the desired volume in a freezer bag and then placing it in the lower part of your bra.
In our Baltimore office patients try on actual implants by placing them inside different bra sizes that you will try during your consult. You should bring two different types of tops (a blouse and a tank top) with you to your consultation. This will help you make your decision about the implant size.
Is it better to place the implant over the muscle or under the muscle?
Each approach offers some benefits, however I generally recommend going under the muscle. Placing the implants under the muscle provides the most natural and long term result. Additionally, it is usually easier to obtain a mammogram.
Where do you make the breast incision to insert the implants?
There are three main choices of incision locations: inframammary, infraareolar, axillary, and TUBA. I rarely performs the TUBA as I prefer to work through the nipple, especially since most of our patients select silicone implants. For more information, please see my blog post on breast augmentation incision choices.
Is there a way to reduce the pain after surgery?
As our patient, you'll have the option of purchasing a pain pump which dramatically reduces your pain in the first 2 days following your surgery and helps shorten the number of days in recovery. I've written more about why pain pumps help in breast augmentation and urge our patients to strongly consider the option.
Can I finance my Breast Augmentation surgery?
Yes, we work with a number of finance companies so that you can have a low, affordable, monthly payment. Please call the office at 410-494-8100 or see our financing section for more information.
Updated January 10, 2015
by Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon