Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE BEST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE STEPS?
In breast augmentation using implants, your surgeon makes an incision, creates a pocket in the chest/breast area and places an implant in the pocket. This incision can be made in 3 different ways: axillary (armpit), periareolar (around areola) and inframammary fold. The implant can be placed in front of or behind the chest muscle, depending on the type of prosthesis chosen, the elasticity of the skin and other anatomical features. Finally, the incision is closed through dissolvable stitches, creating a thin and linear scar that should fade over time and become hardly noticeable. The procedure takes between one and two hours.
An additional option for breast augmentation is autologous fat transfer, a process in which your surgeon removes some of your own fat, through liposuction, from other parts of your body - usually your thighs, belly, and buttocks - processes it and then injects it into your breasts.
Every patient should discuss the best option and evaluate possible concerns with a doctor before deciding on breast augmentation surgery.
WHICH IMPLANT IS BEST FOR BREASTS?
The type, shape and size of the breast implant must be chosen taking into account the structure and expectations of each patient. The plastic surgeon will determine the best technique and material for the augmentation, also seeking for a lower rupture rate and a more natural-looking effect. Implants can be:
● Saline - these implants are filled with sterile salt water. In the unlikely event of shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. This type of implant can provide a uniform shape and firmness for the breast and are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 18 or older. Some saline implants have the advantage of being postoperatively adjustable.
● Silicone - since it is more viscous than saline, silicone flows differently within the implant shell and can often create a more natural look and feel to the breast. It is an inert polymer with no known human allergies or reactions, however, women must be 22 years of age or older to be offered silicone gel implants for augmentation, as per the FDA's regulations.
● Round - presented in both saline and silicone options, it is a traditional implant shape that remains very popular, since it creates a soft, well-proportioned end result. Round implants come in a range of different diameters and degrees of projection, giving the surgeon flexibility when fitting it to any woman’s breast and body shape.
● Gummy Bear - is actually a nickname for teardrop-shaped, gel-based implants. It was introduced in the mid 2000s, also known as highly cohesive gel, and it is recommended for patients who desire a more subtle increase in shape with the augmentation.
● Smooth - only available in the round shape, smooth implants feel softer and are able to move freely within the breast, seeming more natural. Increasingly more popular, these implants also don’t require a large incision for implantation.
● Textured - this type of implant has tiny grains in varying sizes on the surface of the implant shell. The texture of the implant can be felt when touched and it is provided in both anatomical and round shapes with a firmer silicone-filled gel.
* Results may vary
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?
There are several requirements patients should meet before undergoing breast augmentation surgery, since it can be considered a fairly invasive elective procedure. Ideal candidates are physically healthy, not pregnant or breastfeeding and have fully developed breasts. Patients that seek for breast augmentation are commonly women bothered by the size, shape and asymmetry of their natural breasts. Or even, women who have experienced loss in shape and volume of the breasts after pregnancy, weight loss or with age.
As in any cosmetic procedure it is important to be well informed about the steps of the surgery and have reasonable expectations of the outcomes. Above all, patients must be dedicated to pre and post-operative care in order to optimize healing and promote good results.
* Results may vary
HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY FOR A BREAST AUGMENTATION?
Every patient is unique, so time can vary. There is no exact timeline for recovery, however, most surgeons agree that a full recovery can take on average six to eight weeks. Some factors will influence your breast augmentation recovery, including implant placement and your general health prior to surgery. But most women can return to a normal routine within the first seven to ten days following surgery, as long as their job does not require lifting or strenuous physical activity. Light exercise can be resumed at two weeks post operation.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BREASTFEED WITH BREAST IMPLANTS?
Most breast implants are placed between your chest wall and your breast and do not interfere with the breast ducts or mammary glands from which milk is excreted. So you can breastfeed with implants. Especially with incisions under the fold of the breast or through your armpit, you shouldn't have any problems breastfeeding.
HOW LONG DO BREAST IMPLANTS LAST?
The majority of breast implant manufacturers agree that the average lifespan of a breast implant is around 10 years. After this mark, it is recommended that you return to see your surgeon and get a professional opinion on what your next steps are. It is also advisable to have an MRI scan during this period, which allows your doctor to check the integrity of the implant without you needing to have surgery.
ARE BREAST IMPLANTS SAFE?
Although there is ongoing research on the safety and effectiveness of saline and silicone breast implants, both are considered safe for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. Still, some doctors regard saline implants to be a safer choice because if it ruptures or its valve fails, it’s easier to detect possible leaks.
DO BREAST IMPLANTS CAUSE CANCER?
Recently the FDA has identified a possible association between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), an uncommon cancer of the immune system. So it is strongly recommended to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to monitor your breast implants and if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms, promptly report them to your surgeon or health care provider.
WHERE CAN I GET THE BEST BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY?
StudioMD has been the leader in the field of cosmetic laser and medicine in NY since 2008. Highly respected and established in her field, Dr. Sharon Giese is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and internationally known for her surgical skills and contributions to the medical field. Due to the development of her signature procedures, she has pioneered advanced surgical techniques which focus on producing beautiful and natural-looking results using less invasive methods.
Dr. Sharon Giese is a breast specialist, completing a fellowship in breast and aesthetic surgery at Georgetown University. A recipient of multiple prestigious grants over the years Dr. Sharon Giese had her research featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Allure magazine. As a leading authority on plastic surgery, Dr. Giese has been featured in many broadcasts, including CBS’ The Early Show, The Dr. Oz Show, FOX, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NBC's Today Show. Dr. Sharon Giese and the StudioMD staff are happy to schedule a consultation with you about breast augmentation.