Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic operations in America. This advanced procedure can beautifully enhance volume and fullness in the breasts with results that look natural. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Eric Okamoto, is highly skilled and experienced with breast enlargement surgery and will customize the procedure to meet your unique needs and goals.
Breast augmentation can be an ideal option for women who would like to increase the size of the breasts, address asymmetry, improve overall shape, and/or make the breasts more proportionate to their body frame.
Dr. Okamoto will meet with you for an initial breast augmentation consultation to discuss your goals. Four main questions must be discussed and resolved for every consultation:
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Where are the Incisions Made?
The potential incision location for inserting the breast implants will be discussed. There are four choices: through the navel, through the armpit, underneath the breast, or the edge of the areola (the dark-pigmented region surrounding the nipple). Dr. Okamoto prefers the areolar or under-the-breast incision techniques; however, he will explain all of your options and ultimately make the determination based on your individual needs.
Where are the Breast Implants Placed?
A decision must be made whether to place the implant above or below the main chest muscle (pectoralis major). In almost all cases, under-the-muscle placement will be emphasized, but there are some occasions where above-the-muscle placement would be more appropriate.
What are the Types of Implants Available?
The advantages/disadvantages between breast implant types will be thoroughly evaluated. This is the time to discuss virtues and drawbacks as they pertain to silicone vs. saline implants, textured vs. smooth, and shaped vs. round implants. Any implant manufactured in the U.S.A. and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is generally available for your use; however, if you don’t have a preconceived idea as to the type of implant you desire, Dr. Okamoto will explain the multiple advantages for smooth-walled, round saline implants, his usual preference.
What Size Should I Be?
The fourth decision during the breast augmentation consultation is to determine the most appropriate size for your breasts. Plastic surgeons recognize that many different methods exist to help make this determination, each with its specific advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, more than one method is utilized to make the final choice. For example, some surgeons measure breast and chest dimensions and use this information as the primary factor to make a decision. Others give their patients sample implants to stuff under their bras and allow them to make the final choice on this basis. Dr. Okamoto uses these methods in some cases, but usually prefers to rely upon having the breast augmentation candidate peer through a book of images depicting full-breasted women and pick the particular image that closely represents her desires. This method gives him a visual image of how much fuller the patient would like to be.
On the day of surgery, a preliminary implant, known as a “sizer,” which is the approximate size of the permanent implant predicted for the patient, is installed into the breast pocket as a first step. Each sizer has a variable range – e.g. a 350 cc sizer can be filled with 330 to 400 cc’s of fluid. As the sizer implant is filled, attention is focused on the expanding size of the breast. When it is deemed to be close to the size of the image that the patient has chosen, the amount of fluid introduced into the sizer is noted. This quantity is used to choose the appropriate size of the permanent implant. Although this is the method usually applied by Dr. Okamoto, he is open-minded about other options. On some occasions, a patient asks for a specific size of implant, which is honored whenever possible.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
The next step in the consultation process is to discuss the risks and complications of the operation, particularly those special considerations that are related to the implants. Once you have made your decisions, had your concerns addressed, and are determined to be a good candidate for this procedure, your breast augmentation treatment plan will be created. During the operation, Dr. Okamoto will utilize the incision location agreed upon in your consultation to place the implants. Once they are placed, the incisions will be closed and the recovery stage of the process will begin.
Breast augmentation surgery typically takes about 1 – 1½ hours to complete and is usually be performed on an outpatient basis.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
In general, most women with relatively sedentary jobs can return to work about one week after breast augmentation surgery; however, since most breast augmentations utilize under-the-muscle placement for the implants, it will take six to eight weeks for this muscle to fully heal. There will be some swelling, bruising, and numbness in the breasts for a few weeks following surgery. Post-surgical pain and discomfort can be managed with medication.
Please note that you should still have mammograms after breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Okamoto can talk more with you about the kinds of mammograms you may require in order to properly see around breast implants for accurate results.
With breast implants, you can attain fuller breasts with beautiful, natural-looking results. Please contact Dr. Okamoto today with any questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.