Houston Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast enhancements are the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. One of the surgical enhancement procedures that women frequently request is the breast augmentation. With this procedure, plastic surgeons can enhance the shape of the breasts, and increase their size. A breast augmentation may also be referred to as breast implant surgery or an augmentation mammoplasty. At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong are double board-certified Plastic Surgeons who perform breast enhancement procedures, including breast augmentations, to assist women who are interested in changing the characteristics of their breasts.
A Breast Augmentation in Houston: What Can this Procedure Address?
At Lift Plastic Surgery Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong address numerous issues with breast augmentation.
Issues addressed with a Breast augmentation include:
- irregularly shaped breasts.
- disproportionate breasts.
- asymmetrical breasts.
- naturally small breasts.
- deflated-looking breasts, which is a characteristic that often arises following a pregnancy or after breastfeeding.
- breast loss due to a mastectomy or some other type of breast surgery.
- correcting issues resulting from a breast injury.
- improving self confidence by enhancing the patient’s physical appearance.
- abnormal breast positioning.
- breast hypoplasia (aka tubular breasts).
In addition, breast augmentation procedures are performed for individuals who are transitioning from male-to-female and for those who are transitioning from male-to-nonbinary individual.
Types of Breast Augmentations Available at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston
While most of the breast augmentation procedures performed at Lift Plastic Surgery are completed using silicone or saline breast implants, there are times when fat grafting is warranted. Autologous fat grafting involves using liposuction to harvest fat from the patient. This fat is purified and then strategically injected into her breasts.
The Differences Between a Breast Augmentation with Implants and an Augmentation with Fat Grafting
Breast implants are designed to increase the size of the breasts. Implants are used when a woman wants to substantially increase her breast size or when she only wants a slight increase. Dr. Shitel Patel and Dr. Tuan Truong offer saline and silicone breast implants to their patients.
Fat grafting may be right for a woman who only wants a slight increase in her breast size (no more than a cup), needs breast defects filled in or would like to camouflage and smooth particular areas of her breasts.
A Houston Breast Augmentation Using Harvested Fat
Patients who are good candidates for a breast augmentation with fat grafting have excess fat that the surgeon can harvest. This excess fat is removed via liposuction. Areas frequently used for fat harvesting include the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and hips.
The Fat Purifying Technique
Once harvesting is complete, the fat is washed with saline. This removes the oils and reduces oil cysts from forming. The fat is then transferred into the breast with a cannula and contoured.
The breast contouring and additional volume achieved during a breast augmentation via fat transfer is visible immediately, however, during the first three months following this procedure, the body absorbs some of these fat cells. For this reason, surgeons usually inject slightly more fat cells than are necessary to achieve the results the patient desires.
The majority of the inflammation that develops following a breast augmentation via fat grafting resolves within six months, and it is at this point that the patient’s results are evident. Twelve months after surgery, the transferred fat cells act exactly like the breasts’ natural fat tissue, which means the transferred fat expands and shrinks as the patient’s weight changes.
A breast augmentation is frequently combined with a mastopexy (i.e., breast lift). During a breast lift the surgeon moves the patient’s breast mounds to a higher position on her chest, which provides the patient with a more youthful-looking breast profile. In addition, the surgeon reduces the size of overly large nipple-areolar complexes during this combination procedure. Just as an augmentation does not lift the breasts, a mastopexy, in and of itself, does not change the size of the breasts. Patients who have a breast augmentation with a lift can expect more voluptuous breasts that sit higher on the chest with smaller nipple-areolar complexes.
The Pros and Cons of a Breast Augmentation Using Implants
As with any procedure, there are pros and cons associated with an augmentation mammoplasty performed using silicone or saline breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Pros:
- An augmentation mammoplasty is a highly customizable procedure, allowing the patient to choose the type of implant (i.e., silicone or saline), the implant’s projection (i.e., how far the implant projects out from the chest wall), it’s size, diameter and shape (i.e., anatomical or round) as well as whether the implant shell is textured or smooth.
- The results typically last at least 10 years.
- The patient’s breasts will be more voluptuous.
Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong assist the patient as she chooses her implant options. Drawing from their years of experience, Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong can determine which implant options will work well with the patient’s physical characteristics and lifestyle.
Breast Augmentation Cons:
- If the patient becomes pregnant, loses a significant amount of weight or goes through menopause at any point after her breast augmentation, the results may be negatively affected.
- Although breast implants offer patients long-lasting results, these prostheses are not considered lifetime devices. Therefore, at some point in the future, the patient may need to have a revision to replace her implants with one of the newer implant models.
A Breast Augmentation Using Breast Implants: Customization Options
If a patient is not a good candidate for an augmentation via fat transfer, or if she is a good candidate, but prefers implants, the surgeon discusses her breast augmentation options with silicone and saline breast implants.
Silicone or Saline?
Implant type is the first choice the patient has to make.
Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a thick silicone gel. When these implants arrive at Lift Plastic Surgery they are prefilled and ready to be implanted.
Saline breast implants consist of a silicone shell that is filled with saline (i.e., salt water). These breast implants are not prefilled; therefore, the surgeon adds the saline to the implant shell once it is in place.
Breast Implant Characteristics
Other implant characteristics the patient has to consider include size, shape, width, profile and outer shell.
Implant options include:
Implants are available in numerous sizes. These sizes range from 125 cc to 1,200 cc. Since implants are measured in cubic centimeters (ccs) as opposed to cup size, the general guideline when comparing ccs to cup size is 150 cc = one cup size.
An implant most commonly used is round. Most shaped implant use has discontinued due to the removal of textured implants.
The height of an implant (i.e., how far the implant projects from the chest wall) is referred to as its profile or its projection. The higher the implant’s profile the narrower its base and the further the implant projects. Implant profiles range from moderate to ultra-high.
Lower implant profiles offer:
- Softer breasts.
- More fullness in the upper pole and the side of the breast.
Higher implant profiles can provide:
- Rounder breasts.
- Firmer breasts.
- Perkier breasts.
In addition, the higher implant profiles can sometimes help with mild to moderate sagging.
Implant width varies from 7.4 cm to 17.2 cm. The width of an implant’s base also affects the size of the breast.
There are three incision options frequently used when placing breast implants.
Incision Type: The periareolar incision
The periareolar incision – the surgeon creates this incision just inside the border along the base of the nipple-areolar complex.
Incision Type: The transaxillary incision
The transaxillary incision – the surgeon creates this incision in the patient’s armpit.
Incision Type: The inframammary incision
The inframammary incision – the surgeon creates this incision at the base of the breast, along the patient’s inframammary fold.
Breast Implant Placement
A breast implant can be placed above the pectoral muscle, but beneath the breast tissue (i.e., subglandularly/submammary) or below both the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue (i.e., submuscularly).
A Houston Breast Augmentation at Lift Plastic Surgery
What to expect on the day of surgery.
Begin fasting at midnight:
At midnight, the patient needs to begin fasting (no food or beverages by mouth). Patients who take medications during the time that they should be fasting must discuss this with their Lift Plastic Surgery surgeon.
Patients need to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled surgery time
On the day of surgery, patients and their drivers need to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled procedure time.
The use of public or for-hire transportation (e.g., Uber, a taxi, etc.) is not permitted. This rule was created to ensure patient safety following surgery requiring anesthesia or sedation. Therefore, patients who arrive without a driver will need to reschedule their surgery.
This Custom-Designed Outpatient Procedure in Houston Takes About an Hour
An augmentation mammoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means the patient returns home shortly after her procedure.
This procedure takes about an hour, however, patients who choose to have multiple procedures (e.g., an augmentation with a lift, etc.) during the same surgical session will spend more time in the operating room.
General anesthesia is used to ensure the patient remains comfortable during her augmentation mammoplasty.
Creating the Incision
The surgeon creates the agreed upon incision. This incision may be created in the fold under the breast, along the base of the nipple-areolar complex or in the armpit.
The surgeon creates a pocket to hold the breast implant. This pocket may be created above the chest muscles, but beneath the breast tissue or below both the chest muscles and the breast tissue.
Placing the Implants and Internal Stitching
After placing the implants, once the surgeon is happy with the way the patient’s breasts look, several layers of dissolvable internal stitches are placed. These stitches dissolve in about a week.
Closing the Skin
The surgeon closes the skin using surgical tape, stitches or a skin adhesive.
Applying the Gauze Dressing and Compression Garment
The surgeon wraps gauze around the patient’s breasts and applies a compression garment. The dressing and the compression garment provide support for the breasts as they heal. This support helps reduce inflammation, which decreases the discomfort a patient experiences following surgery.
The patient must continuously wear her compression garment, only removing it while in the shower.
Patients who have an augmentation with a lift may need to wear their compression garment longer than patients who only have an augmentation.
Drainage tubes (i.e., drains) may be placed. Drains provide a way for excess blood and fluid to exit the body, which decreases the likelihood of excessive swelling. Reducing the inflammation helps to decrease the amount of pain the patient experiences. The drainage tubes may remain in place for up to 2 weeks.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Recommendation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises patients with silicone breast implants to have biannual MRIs performed. These MRIs are used to ensure that the patient does not have a silent rupture.
What to Expect After a Breast Augmentation with Implants
Directly following surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery room where she is monitored.
While in recovery, she slowly begins to wake up. The patient should expect to feel groggy. She will also experience achiness. Several hours after surgery the patient is released to her driver.
Patients who had their implants placed beneath the pectoralis muscle may experience muscle aches or tightness in their breasts. However, as these muscles stretch and relax, the pain decreases.
Before leaving, the surgeon provides the patient with information related to caring for her incisions.
The full recovery time for a breast augmentation is about 6 to 8 weeks. Nonetheless, patients who develop complications will experience a longer recovery time. Once full recovery takes place, the patients should be able to resume their normal activities.
The Recovery Process: Day-by-Day
Day 1 to Day 42 (6 weeks)
In order to prevent implant deformation, patients should sleep on their backs for about 6 weeks. Women who have difficulty sleeping this way may need to use several pillows for support.
Days 3 to 5
It is during the initial 3 to 5 days following surgery that patients experience the most discomfort, however, to keep the patient as comfortable as possible, she will receive prescribed pain medication. Minimal bleeding at the incision sites is normal. Patients who are concerned about their bleeding should contact Lift Plastic Surgery at 832-835-1131.
Once the patient reaches week one, she may be able to manage her pain with over-the-counter medications, thus, eliminating her need for prescription pain medication.
Patients should always ask their surgeon before they resume normal activities.
Most patients return to work a week after their surgery, however, patients who have physically demanding jobs need to wait at least 3 weeks before returning to work.
At this point in the recovery process, patients should be able to resume sexual activity.
Over the Next Few Weeks
For several weeks after their breast augmentation, patients will experience soreness and inflammation.
During recovery, patients need to avoid running for approximately 4 weeks.
8 Weeks After a Breast Augmentation in Houston
Two months after an augmentation mammoplasty, patients are close to reaching their full recovery mark. Nonetheless, the speed in which a patient recovers is reliant upon how well her body heals.
The patient’s surgeon at Lift Plastic Surgery will let her know when she can resume normal activities.
An Initial Consultation for a Houston Breast Augmentation
During the initial consultation Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong want to know about the patient’s medical history, her goals (in relation to why she wants to have an augmentation mammoplasty) and the medications that she regularly takes. In addition to medications, patients should provide the names of any herbal supplements and vitamins taken on a regular basis.
Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong also needs to know if breast cancer runs in the patient’s family and whether she has had any procedures performed on her breasts (e.g., a mammogram, a breast biopsy, etc.).
The surgeon performs a physical examination of the patient’s breasts. This examination includes taking measurements of the chest wall and the breasts.
After the examination, Dr. Patel or Dr. Truong makes recommendations related to which procedures he or she believes will serve the patient best.
If the surgeon determines that the patient is a good candidate for a breast augmentation, incision location as well as potential risks and complications are discussed. In addition, the surgeon discusses the recovery process and downtime. It is likely that the surgeon will order several lab tests, including a mammogram. To allow time for test completion and information transfer to Lift Plastic Surgery, all tests must be completed at least a week before the patient’s procedure.
Potential Complications Associated with a Breast Augmentation
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential complications that need to be acknowledged.
Potential general surgery complications:
- Bleeding issues.
- Blood loss.
- Blood clot development.
- Going into shock.
- Anesthesia related issues (e.g., an allergic reaction, etc.).
Potential complications specifically related to a breast augmentation:
- Uneven (asymmetrical) breasts.
- Pain in the breast.
- Poor or undesired aesthetic results.
- Numbness in the breast.
- Changes in the appearance of the nipple-areolar complex.
- A skin infection (i.e., cellulitis).
- Changes in the sensations experienced by the nipple or the breast.
- Breasts that seem to merge (i.e., symmastia).
- Changes in the shape of the breast.
- Implant is visible or can be felt through the patient’s skin.
- Incorrect positioning of the breast implant.
- Fluid accumulation (i.e., seroma).
- Wrinkled skin over the implant.
- Excessive scarring around the breast implant (i.e., capsular contracture).
- Breast implant illness (BII).
- Problems breastfeeding.
- A leaking or ruptured breast implant.
- Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Silicone implants are available with a textured or a smooth surface. According to research that was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, textured implant surfaces have recently been found to increase the likelihood of an individual developing a rare type of lymphoma. In response to these findings, the Federal Drug Administration recalled the textured implants that were manufactured by Allergan in July of 2019.
Breast Implant Illness, Explained
Although the FDA states that there is currently no known link between breast implants and the symptoms being experienced by women who have had them placed, there are women who believe the issues being experienced have a direct link to their breast augmentation. BII symptoms include cognitive issues, joint pain and chronic fatigue. Research continues to determine the cause of these symptoms.
If you reside in the Houston area and you are considering breast enhancement surgery, including a breast augmentation, contact Lift Plastic Surgery to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Shitel Patel or Dr. Tuan Truong. Dr. Patel and Dr. Truong are seasoned, double board-certified Plastic Surgeons who are dedicated to providing each patient with a custom-designed treatment plan.
Due to their years of experience, patients can trust the recommendations and services that the surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery offer.
To learn more about the breast enhancement procedures available at Lift Plastic Surgery, schedule an appointment today by calling (832) 835-1131. Lift Plastic Surgery’s address is 4720 Washington Avenue, Unit A, in Houston.