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Breast Augmentation

Overview

Breast augmentation (or breast enlargement) can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of implants beneath the breast. This is the most common cosmetic breast surgery in the U.S. While making the breasts larger to fill out clothing or a swimsuit is a typical reason for breast augmentation, other factors such as shape, proportion, and upper breast fullness must be factored in as well.

Women may elect to undergo breast augmentation for different aesthetic considerations, including balancing breast size and compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy, surgery, or weight loss. If necessary, the procedure may be combined with a breast lift for more satisfying results.

During your breast augmentation consultation, Dr. Birchenough will discuss options for creating your unique, ideal breast appearance:
• Breast volume, shape, position, and asymmetry corrections
• Nipple location
• Implant size and profile (thickness)
• Implant material (silicone gel, saline, ‘gummy bear’)
• Implant position (above or below the pectoralis chest muscle)
• Incision types

What Can I Expect During Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Consultation with Dr. Birchenough is critically important to allow in-depth discussion of goals, allow a breast examination, and to give patients time to ask detailed questions about their unique situation.

The procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. Implants are placed behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle. Improved contour, position, shape and symmetry of the breasts can be expected, in addition to an increase in cup size.

An incision location is chosen to be as inconspicuous as possible and to provide adequate room for implant placement (in the armpit, in the crease on the underside of the breast, or around the areola, which is the dark skin around the nipple). A pocket beneath the breast or muscle is created into which the implant is inserted. The pocket and skin is carefully sutured closed and special dressings are placed.

How Long Will It Take For Me to Recover?

Patients are encouraged to return to normal activities as soon as possible, with the exception of strenuous arm and shoulder exercises or heavy lifting. Wearing a supportive bra or compression band can help with swelling.

Typical recovery times are from three to seven days to get back to work or moderate exercise. Arm exercises and lifting will be gradually increased per Dr. Birchenough’s instruction over about two to three weeks, depending on the specific surgery

While the volume increase of the breasts is immediate, the exact position of the implants may change in an anticipated fashion over two to three months.

What Questions Should I Ask Dr. Birchenough?

  • “What are the advantages of using the “gummy bear” or anatomically shaped breast implants?”
  • “Why do you use different implant locations or incisions on different patients?”
  • “Can I get implants instead of getting a breast lift to get the same result?”
  • “What implant sizes are the best fit for me, and what limits the size I can get?”