What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast Augmentation is the most common aesthetic surgical procedure year after year. It allows you to improve the shape and size of your breasts with breast implants or fat transfer while giving your bust a more youthful appearance. After the short surgical procedure, most patients are back to work within a week.
At Austin Plastic Surgeon, we tailor every augmentation to each individual patient. Dr. Franco will discuss everything from implant options to sizing to ensure that your aesthetic goals are met. Our sizing system also allows you to visualize what your breasts will look like after the procedure, which will help you determine your best options.
In some cases, your breast augmentation may be combined with another procedure, such as a breast lift, to create the look you want. During your initial consultation, Dr. Franco will explain all of your treatment options.
Patients travel across the state and from throughout the U.S. to receive the exceptional care and outstanding results of Dr. Franco. We encourage you to visit our before and after gallery to see examples of Dr. Franco’s outstanding results for yourself.
Am I a Good Breast Augmentation Candidate?
The best way to find out if breast augmentation is right for you is to meet personally with Dr. Franco in a confidential consultation at our office. During your initial consult, Dr. Franco will discuss your goals and concerns, review your medical history, and determine your candidacy for breast augmentation.
Generally speaking, breast augmentation may be the right choice for you if:
- Excessive weight loss or pregnancy has changed the size and shape of your breasts.
- You have difficulty in finding clothing that fits proportionately.
- You have significant asymmetry in your breasts.
- You want to enhance the size of your breasts.
Types of Breast Implants
There are different types of breast implants that can be used in breast augmentation, including:
- Silicone implants: Silicone implants tend to create a much softer and more natural appearing breast. In patients that are very thin, Dr. Franco tends to recommend silicone implants since there isn’t as much breast tissue to cover the implant.
- Gummy bear implants: These highly cohesive gel implants have a silicone that stays together, and are not as liquid as the previous generations of silicone implants. They have been colloquially named “gummy bear” implants due to their ability to remain intact, even when cut in half, like their namesake candy.
- Saline implants: Saline implants have been around for years and patients also tend to be very happy with them. They just are a little firmer, and in larger sizes can give patients more of a round, fake appearance. In very thin patients, the edges of the saline implant are usually a little more palpable than with a silicone implant.
Teardrop vs. Round Silicone Implants
Teardrop shaped implants tend to be used for either breast reconstruction or for thinner patients, as it creates a more natural slope of the breast. Shaped implants are also good for patients who are interested in getting a bigger size but still want to avoid the fake appearance. When using a small implant the differences between shaped and round implants is very small.
That being said, when using a silicone gel implant, your overall result will tend to be more natural, so a shaped implant may not be necessary.
Textured VS. Smooth Implants
When choosing between textured or smooth implants, consider the following:
- Shaped implants should always be textured as they will keep the implant in position.
- Implants placed above the muscle should also be textured as it helps decrease the scar tissue that will form around the implant.
- Textured implants have not shown proven benefit for implants placed below the muscle, so this is left to preference.
- Smooth implants usually can be placed through a smaller incision than their textured counterparts.
- Smooth implants tend to have a softer feel after the breast augmentation.
- Smooth implants will have a little movement in the pocket giving them a more natural feel and appearance.
It is important to discuss your breast implant options with Dr. Franco to determine which choice is right for you. He will guide you during your breast augmentation process toward an implant that will meet your specific needs.
What Should I Consider When Choosing Breast Implants?
The vast variety of breast implant choices can feel overwhelming. However, the good news is that there is no one perfect answer. There are several factors that are important to keep in mind when choosing a breast implant to keep a natural soft appearance:
- The implant needs to fit your body frame.
- Silicone implants will be softer and more natural in appearance when compared to saline breast implants.
- The amount of natural breast tissue that you have will act as a natural buffer for your implant.
- The size of the implant will affect the final appearance of your breasts.
In most cases, you want to find a size that you can dress up (for a night out on the town) or dress down (for work or dinner with the in laws), depending on the situation.
What Breast Implant Is Going to Give Me a Natural Feel and Appearance?
Most women seeking breast augmentation want to achieve a full, youthful, natural-looking appearance. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of implants available to help you achieve the results you desire.
The use of silicone implants has made a dramatic change in terms of the natural feel and shape you can have after breast augmentation. Silicone implants are generally much softer in look and feel than the saline implants, which leads to a more natural appearance. This is because the saline implants are very firm and thus create a round unnatural shape.
For patients that want a natural feel and appearance to their breasts, Dr. Franco strongly recommends silicone (gel) breast implants. There are several implants in this category, including but not limited to Allegran, Sientra and Mentor breast implants. Within each of these companies, there is also a variety of implants from round to shaped, smooth and textured.
Dr. Franco will listen to your individual goals, assess your unique physical attributes, and work closely with you to determine which type of breast implant can best achieve your desired outcome.
Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
Fat transfer involves removing fat from an area of the body where you’d like less of it, such as the abdomen or thighs, and placing it where you’d like more volume. The fat is harvested from a targeted area through liposuction.
Fat transfer has become extremely common in multiple facets of plastic surgery; it is used in almost every body part from facial augmentation to a Brazilian butt lift. One of the most exciting uses for fat transfer is in breast augmentation. Fat transfer can be used either alone or in combination with implants for breast augmentation surgeries.
Fat transfer has been used in breast reconstruction for years and is actually done in the majority of Dr. Franco’s breast reconstruction surgeries. It has become increasingly more common in breast augmentation. It gives patients an option for a natural soft breast augmentation.
Breast Augmentation Incisions
Dr. Franco will work with you to determine the best incision point for your breast augmentation. These options include:
- Nipple Incision (peri-areolar): The areola skin border is a great place to hide the incision as this natural transition of color will make the incision very difficult to see once it has completely healed. However, if the areolar complex is very small this approach may not be an option as the implant has to fit though the incision.
- Under the Breast Incision (inframammary): This incision is very common as it is a direct approach and in the majority of patients hides very well. Patients with darker skin or a tendency to form thicker scars this approach should be avoided as it may not hide as well as other methods.
- Armpit Incision (transaxillary): This approach is great in that it avoids any scars on the breast. With the use of the endoscope the implant placement can be very precise and atraumatic. The natural creases in the axilla hide the incisions and are difficult to find with time.
Endoscopic Trans-Axillary Breast Augmentation
Trans-axillary breast augmentation is a very safe and effective way to have your breast augmentation performed, and is becoming an increasing popular method for breast augmentation as technology continues to improve. There are several misconceptions about axillary breast augmentation.
Both saline and silicone implants can be used with this method. It is a myth that only saline can be used for your augmentation – many patients and surgeons that do not commonly perform this surgery don’t know that a silicone implant can be placed from an axillary incision. Dr. Franco routinely places a wide range of silicone breast implants through the axilla. The use of the Keller funnel allows the implants to be placed through the axilla easily.
The incisions in the axilla is just as small as it would be if it was placed around the nipple or under the breast. The incision is well concealed in one of the natural arm creases in the axilla. The use of the endoscope has made the procedure very precise as the entire breast pocket is created under direct vision. This method has become very popular in Miami where Dr. Franco first practiced and now he commonly performs this procedure in Austin, Texas as it avoids putting any incisions on the breast, thus decreasing the chances of altering nipple sensation. This had made the results very consistent and predictable.
Access to the breast pocket is actually more direct than with other methods. The muscle can be palpated in the axilla and the implant can be placed underneath this without cutting any of the breast tissue. The implant is placed easily into a natural plane.
Breast Implant Placement
Breast implants can either be placed:
- Under the breast tissue (subglandular)
- Under the muscle (submuscular)
Because most patients want a result that will feel and look the most natural, the majority of breast augmentations in the United States are performed under the muscle. However, there are certain cases where an implant would be placed over the muscle. During your initial consultation with Dr. Franco, he will guide you through the process and determine the best option for your desired result.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Breast augmentation and recovery is very straight forward, and the vast majority of patients are extremely happy with their results. The surgery is performed during the day, which means that you can go home the same day as your procedure.
Dr. Franco will see you within a day or two after your surgery to ensure everything is on track. For the first couple of days, you will feel pressure on your chest; this typically comes from the muscle being stretched by the implant underneath it. Occasionally, patients feel some burning at the incision, however this is usually minimal. It will take a day or two to get all of the anesthesia out of your system, and you will start feeling more like your normal self.
It is important to take it easy for the first couple of weeks following your procedure. You can resume all of your normal daily activities after a week. Most patients are back to work after several days, depending on their occupation.
Breast implants tend to sit a little high the first couple weeks and then settle as the skin and muscle relax, and the implants fall into position. It takes several months for all of the swelling to resolve and the implants to completely settle. However, you will likely already look great after a couple weeks.
Breast Augmentation Revision
Revisions are relatively rare after a breast augmentation. Revisions are typically performed to address complications, correct undesirable results from another, previous doctor, or change the size or type of breast implant as a patient’s personal preferences change over time.
Dr. Franco usually recommends that patients wait at least six months after their initial augmentation before undergoing a revision, as this gives the tissues time to heal and for all of the swelling to settle.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
At Austin Plastic Surgeon, we take pride in being transparent and up-front with our pricing. We invite you to visit our comprehensive pricing page to see your range of options and related costs.