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Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States and Dr. Rau has helped many women achieve their desired breast shape and size. Breast augmentation is customizable with many options for the type of implants you receive and the surgical technique used.

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Breast Augmentation Procedure

Breast augmentation is done to create natural-looking, fuller breasts. The first decision that will be made at your consultation is what incision will be used to perform the breast surgery. Incisions can be around the nipples (periareolar) or under the breast folds (inframammary). The type of incision used will depend on the type and size of your implant and your cosmetic goals.

Breast implants come in all sizes so you can customize how large of an enhancement you receive. Implants are either made with silicone or saline filling, both of which have their pros and cons. Silicone breast implants look and feel more natural but can pose complications if your implants leak or rupture. Saline implants do not pose this risk because saline can be naturally reabsorbed by the body if this complication occurs. You also have the option of round or teardrop-shaped implants. Dr. Rau can offer you recommendations based on your goals and help you determine the best choice of breast implant.

Breast Fat Graft

A less invasive breast augmentation can be done with a fat graft but this is not recommended for patients with sagging breasts since it will make the breasts look worse. During the fat grafting procedure, unwanted fat is harvested from areas like the love handles or buttocks and then injected into the breast tissue to create a fuller shape. Harvested fat cells are cleaned before they are injected to maximize the safety and effectiveness of this surgical alternative.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Almost anyone who wants fuller breasts is a candidate for breast augmentation surgery. Women of any age who find their breasts too small or those who want to restore breast shape after pregnancy can benefit from this cosmetic surgery. If you are also concerned about stretched skin or sagging breasts, a breast lift can be combined with your augmentation.

Factors like breastfeeding and pregnancy may impact the type of incision used. Additionally, the FDA has only approved saline implants for patients aged 18-22. Breast augmentation patients should not smoke or use blood thinners for several weeks before and after their breast surgery.

Results and Recovery

Patients should expect to take two weeks off work for recovery and avoid strenuous activity during this time. Swelling, bruising, and soreness are common and can be treated with prescriptions or over-the-counter medication. You will also be given a compression bra that should be worn at all times (except showering) for several weeks to minimize swelling. Although you can return to most of your normal activities after about one month, it can take several months for swelling to completely reside.

The results of breast augmentation are long-lasting, but they may be affected by natural aging which can cause the skin (and your breasts) to sag later in life. Pregnancy can also change the effects of your breast augmentation. Generally, breast implants last 10 years but you should schedule imaging to be on the lookout for leaks. The current imaging guidelines call for an US or MRI 5 to 6 years after the implants are placed and every 2 to 3 years thereafter to monitor for asymptomatic silent rupture. An MRI is the most sensitive exam for detecting silicone implant rupture.