Why a breast augmentation?

breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that allows women to change the shape and size of their breasts through the use of either saline or silicone implants. This procedure offers the chance for improved aesthetic appearance by creating larger, fuller breasts. Breast augmentation is also ideal for women who have breasts that are dissimilar in size and/or shape and wish to gain better symmetry. Patients should consider an augmentation mastopexy if they hope to improve sagging of the breasts, as this procedure includes implants along with a breast lift. Many women find that breast augmentation or augmentation mastopexy leave them with enhanced self-esteem, and a new sense of confidence.

How can I prepare for a breast augmentation?

Before undergoing a breast augmentation you will need to come into the plastic surgery clinic for a consultation with your surgeon in order to discuss your surgical options, and make sure that you are a suitable candidate for this procedure. The three main decisions that you will have to consider prior to surgery are incision type, implant placement, and implant style. Dr. Kim provides his patients will all of their surgical options, as well as provides guidance based on his expertise.

When it comes to incision type you will have 3 options to decide between: Perioareolar, Inframammary, and Transaxillary. A perioareolar incision is located at the lower border of the areola. An inframammary incision is located directly underneath the breast, in the fold between breast and chest wall. Finally, a transaxillary incision is located in a crease in the armpit. Each of these small incisions are strategically placed in order to minimize visible scarring. Any scarring left after surgery will likely fade over time. Another important decision to consider is implant position, either above or below the pectoralis muscle. There are advantages and disadvantages involved with both techniques. The sub-pectoral approach results in less upper pole hollowing but may cause “dynamic rippling” and animation. The pre-pectoral approach offers a more facile technique but results in increased upper pole hollowing and “static” rippling. Dr. Kim will offer guidance on implant placement based on his professional opinion.

The most important decision you will make leading up to surgery is desired implant type. There are several manufactures that create an assortment of implants that vary in size, shape, fill, and surface texture. Breast size is a personal decision that should be considered in depth prior to your surgery. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to see sample implants of various sizes. Dr. Kim may even suggest that you have 3D photographs taken in order to simulate how different sizes will appear on your body. Silicone implants consists of a shell filled with elastic silicone gel which feels like the natural breast tissue. Saline implants have a silicone-based outer shell, but are filled with sterile saline solution. Saline implant size can be adjusted during surgery, as your doctor will be able to add or remove solution as needed. Both implant types have associated pros and cons, so it is important to find the implant style that is best for you. Implant shape, round or anatomical, is another factor that you will need to decide upon, based on your specific cosmetic goals, prior to your surgery.

What should I expect?

A breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure that occurs under general anesthesia which typically takes around one hour to complete. While all surgeries carry some degree of risk, breast augmentation is a safe procedure with a low risk factor. Some possible risks include breast-feeding complications, changes in breast and nipple sensation, deflation or implant rupture, infection, rippling, and hematoma/seroma. The implant will be placed either above or below the pectoralis muscle through a small incision. Next, the incision will be closed and tape, gauze, or other bandages may be used for additional support. After surgery it is common to experience some degree of stiffness or pain, but this should subside within a few days. You may be prescribed pain medication in order to alleviate any discomfort. The results from a breast augmentation are immediately visible, however the ideal shape will not be achieved until approximately two months prior to surgery once the implant settles.

If you are someone who is interested in a breast augmentation or an augmentation mastopexy, schedule your free consult with Dr. John Kim at the Northwestern Plastic Surgery Clinic.

View real patient results of breast augmentation by Dr. Kim.