San Diego & La Jolla, CA
- What is breast augmentation?
- Am I a Candidate?
- Types of implants
- Placement options
- Incision options
- How to choose implants
- Your Initial consultation
For many women, their breasts play an important role in their confidence and how they feel about their overall appearance. Unfortunately, a number of factors, including genetics, pregnancy, weight fluctuations and the natural aging process, can lead to the decline in shape and volume of the breasts over time. For other women, having larger and fuller breasts has been an almost life-long dream. If any case, breast augmentation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Brian Reagan, can help.
*Individual patient results may vary. Examples presented are not to be interpreted as a promise or guarantee.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammaplasty, enhances the shape and size of your breasts using breast implants or fat transferred from another area of your body. Sometimes called a “boob job,” this procedure is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States. Breast augmentation can address uneven or asymmetrical breasts, provide a proportionate body shape and increase your self-confidence by enhancing breast projection and fullness.
Are You a Candidate?
You may be a suitable candidate for breast augmentation if you have:
- Naturally small breasts
- Breasts that have lost their shape and volume due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging
- Asymmetrical breasts
In addition, you must be in generally good health before undergoing breast augmentation. This includes not smoking and being free of medical conditions that can impair healing. You must also have reasonable expectations about the procedure and results, as well as understand the risks and possible complications associated with breast augmentation.
For your safety and satisfaction, Dr. Reagan and the team at True Beauty will thoroughly evaluate your health and other candidacy requirements before recommending breast augmentation.
Brian Reagan, MD, FACS
Dr. Brian Reagan is a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine. Dr. Reagan is renowned for his surgical skills and commitment to patient satisfaction. Dr. Reagan has been featured on local media outlets, including ABC 10, and recognized as one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine, and “Best Plastic Surgeons in La Jolla” by La Jolla Light Newspaper.
Is Breast Augmentation with Breast Lift Right for You?
If, in addition to small or deflated breasts, you are bothered by noticeable breast sag (ptosis), Dr. Reagan may recommend combining breast augmentation with lift surgery.
Breast lift repositions the breast mound higher on the chest wall for a more youthful and perkier appearance. During breast lift, loose, excess breast skin is removed and the breast tissues are reshaped. The nipples and areolas are also reshaped and repositioned on the breasts, if necessary.
Breast augmentation with lift is a great option if your breasts appear shapeless and saggy following pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss, or as a result of genetics or aging.
Types of Breast Implants
Selecting the right breast implants involves more than just implant size. Together with Dr. Reagan, you will make decisions on the following:
Filling: Saline vs. Silicone
Breast implants are filled with either a saline solution or silicone gel. Saline implants are placed on the chest and then filled with the saline solution. As a result, saline implants typically require a smaller incision than that used to place silicone gel implants, which come pre-filled by the manufacturer. Another advantage of saline implants is that when an implant leaks or ruptures, it immediately becomes noticeably deflated as the body safely absorbs the saltwater solution.
Silicone gel implants are preferred by many women because the filling material better mimics the look and feel of natural breast tissue than saline implants. Dr. Reagan also offers highly cohesive silicone gel implants, also known as “gummy bear implants,” which provide even more natural-looking results. A disadvantage of silicone gel implants is that ruptures and leaks are harder to detect as the implants mostly retain their shape if the shell experiences a complication.
Shape: Round vs. Anatomical (Teardrop) Shape
Breast implants are available in round or anatomical shapes. Round implants have equal projection in the upper and lower poles of the breast, while anatomical shaped implants add more fullness at the bottom of the breast, resembling the sloped curve of a natural breast. Should a round implant rotate in the breast pocket, the appearance of the breast is not affected. On the other hand, anatomical shaped implants provide the most natural-looking shape but once rotated in the breast pocket, can lead to an irregular breast shape.
Texture: Smooth vs. Textured Implants
Both saline and silicone gel implants can be either smooth or textured. Smooth breast implants move within the breast pocket, allowing for the most natural movement of the breast. Textured breast implants consist of a rougher outer shell, which keeps the implant in place. This is an advantage particularly for anatomically-shaped implants that, if rotated, can create an irregular breast appearance.
Placement Options for Breast Implants
There are a couple of placement options for breast implants: subglandular (over the chest muscle) and submuscular (under the chest muscle). The right placement for your breast implants will depend on your body type, the size of the implants, the implant type (saline or silicone) and your desired goals. Dr. Reagan will help you determine the best option for your unique anatomy and possible results.
With subglandular breast implant placement, the saline or silicone implant is positioned between the breast tissue and chest muscle and sits under the breast glands to avoid impacting future breastfeeding. Subglandular breast implants offer reduced movement during physical activities and may leave you with less discomfort after the procedure. However, they may not look as natural as submuscular breast implants and could interfere with mammogram readings.
Submuscular breast implants are positioned under the breast tissue and partially underneath the chest muscle (pectoralis major). The submuscular technique offers better mammogram readings, a more natural look and a lower risk of capsular contracture.
There are three options for the incision site through which the breast implant is placed in the breasts.
- Inframammary: The inframammary incision is made in the crease under your breasts to conceal the resulting scar in the fold of your skin tissue.
- Periareolar: The periareolar incision is made in the pigmented portion of skin around your nipple (areola).
- Transaxillary: The third option is an incision made under your arm (axillary). The axillary incision site is typically used for saline breast implants because an empty silicone shell is inserted and filled with saline after it’s placed in the breast tissue.
Dr. Reagan will discuss your breast implant incision options and design a surgical approach to give you the best results with the least risks.
How to Choose Breast Implants
Choosing the breast implant fill, shape and texture for your breast augmentation can be a difficult decision. Dr. Reagan will outline your options and discuss the pros and cons of each type of breast implant.
Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for women who are 18 or older, while silicone breast implants are approved for women 22 and older. These are your basic fill options, though silicone implants also come in “gummy bear implants,” which use a more cohesive silicone gel. Some implants contain partitions to achieve a more natural feel.
Your breast implants may be round or “teardrop” shaped and have a smooth or textured shell. Round breast implants are often smooth and won’t affect the look of your breasts if they rotate. A teardrop implant may be textured to help hold it in place and offers a more natural-looking shape.
The first step in breast augmentation is a private consultation with Dr. Reagan, during which your health will be discussed and a physical examination will be performed. You will also be able to review before-and-after photos of Dr. Reagan’s previous patients, so you have a better idea of what results to expect. In addition, Dr. Reagan has an implant sizing kit available at his office, so you can “try on” differently sized implants and better visualize your results.
After discussing with you your needs, goals, details of the procedure and recovery, Dr. Reagan will design a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.
Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. To begin, Dr. Reagan will create surgical incisions to place the implants. The incision patterns Dr. Reagan may use to place your implants include:
- Perioareolar: incision is made around the outer perimeter of the areola
- Inframammary: incision is created horizontally underneath the natural fold of the breast
- Transaxillary: incision is created in the armpit area
Implants can be placed in front of or behind the chest muscle, depending on various factors including your anatomy, lifestyle and personal preferences. Once the implants are properly positioned and Dr. Reagan has made all of the agreed-upon modifications to the breasts, he will close the incisions using sutures and dress the treatment area with soft bandages and an overlying surgical bra.
Breast augmentation is a safe, proven and routine procedure, but patients should also be aware of potential complications, however rare.
Your best defense against experiencing any negative outcome is the skill, experience and judgment of your surgeon.
Capsular contracture is one possible complication. This is the term for a condition in which scar tissue has formed around the implant, resulting in pain and a hardening of tissue. It has the potential to cause a rupture in the implant.
When implants rupture, immediate explant surgery is advised.
When implants move from their proper position, the condition is called symmastia. In extreme cases the implants can appear to be joined in the center of the chest.
Symmastia usually happens when implants migrate, but it can also happen during placement.
When implants are too close to the surface, the skin may take on a textured, “rippled” appearance. The outline of the implant may also become noticeable.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
The initial recovery period for breast augmentation can take one to two weeks. Soreness and swelling are normal during this time. Any discomfort you may feel can be managed with prescription pain medication. You will need to refrain from normal activities until Dr. Reagan clears you to do so, including bending, lift, and exercise, as your mobility will be limited.
Most patients are able to return to work and resume most normal activities after two weeks. While the initial results of breast augmentation are visible soon after surgery, it can take up to a year for the final results to become noticeable.
BREAST AUGMENTATION RECOVERY
Patients are sent home with post operative instructions as well as a surgical bra.
One to Two Weeks After Surgery:
All dressings are removed and changed. Patients are permitted to fully shower after this visit.
Three to Four Weeks After Surgery:
Incisions are checked. Silicone scar therapy is begun. Able to return to gym. Typically, underwire bra during day and soft supportive bra at night.
One to Two Months after Surgery
Patients start to see the final results of the procedure.
On average, visible results are seen in 2-6 months, but may continue to improve and heal over next several months.
*Individual patient results may vary. Examples presented are not to be interpreted as a promise or guarantee.
Breast Augmentation Results
At True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine, Brian Reagan, MD, FACS is an expert in performing breast augmentation and is known for his meticulous and patient-based approach. His years of advanced training and experience have led the plastic surgeon to develop an advanced surgical technique that leads to beautiful and natural-looking results with minimal scarring.
Dr. Reagan is able to consistently deliver exceptional results by personally working with each individual patient. With Dr. Reagan, you can rest assured that your needs, goals and personal preferences will be carefully considered and applied when Dr. Reagan plans and performs your breast augmentation procedure.
When will I see my results?
You may notice your larger bust right after your procedure, but compression garments and post-surgical swelling and bruising make it challenging to see your new breast size. Your breast implants will start to settle around four to six weeks after your breast augmentation procedure, and you’ll see your initial results. Your final results may take up to four months or longer, depending on how well you follow post-op instructions during recovery.
How long will my results last?
Breast augmentation with breast implants can last 20 years or longer. However, the aging process can affect your results as your skin loses collagen and elastin, causing the breasts to droop or sag. If you have silicone breast implants, you may have an MRI every few years to check on the integrity of your breast implants and look for a “silent rupture” or capsular contracture.
Some women choose to switch their breast implants with newer ones around the 10-year mark to avoid future complications such as ruptures.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
The cost of breast augmentation varies from patient to patient depending on several factors, including the type of implant used and whether the operation includes a breast lift. Dr. Reagan and our staff can give you an accurate estimate of your breast augmentation procedure following an in-office consultation.
See What Our Patients Have to Say!
“I had a body lift, breast augmentation, tummy tuck and arm lift. Post opp day 3 I was able to sit up on my own and be alone at my house with my 3 year old and no assistance. I went to 5 consults Dr Reagan was my fifth. I knew he was the right doctor then I saw his quote and was sold. Not only did I like what he had to say his prices beat everyone else by thousands. I am extremely pleased with my body and recovery I am no on day 18 with almost zero discomfort.”
Breast Augmentation FAQs
How will the feel and firmness of my breasts change?
This will depend to some extent on the type of implant you choose. Silicone gel implants are often preferred by women who want the most realistic feel. Saline is essentially salt water, and so it is naturally less dense.
As a result, it moves around more inside the implant. The feeling is completely comfortable, but this characteristic means that a saline implant will feel less like a natural breast.
If your surgeon inserts the implant behind the chest muscle and stretches the surface by filling it with additional saline, the consistency of a saline implant can be enhanced, resulting in a more natural feel.
In general, implants add firmness to breasts, improving strength and integrity. Very large implants may increase the likelihood of future sagging, however.
In such cases, Dr. Reagan may recommend that breast lift be performed in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Will I need to stay in a hospital?
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure that takes one to two hours. Patients usually receive either general anesthesia or IV sedation, sometimes referred to as “twilight” sedation.
Will I have scars?
Scarring is a consequence of surgical incisions, and so some scarring is unavoidable.
Dr. Reagan takes a conservative approach, employing the most advanced and least invasive techniques. This high degree of precision and skill results in the shortest scars.
Although sometimes implants can be inserted through inconspicuous areas, such as under the arm pit, in most cases patients receive an incision at the base of the breast and around the circumference of the nipple. This allows for the most accurate positioning of the implant and the most secure placement.
Scars fade over a period of up to a year after surgery.
During recovery, there are some steps that patients can take to ensure optimal healing, which will reduce the appearance of scars. Dr. Reagan will explain these steps as part of your surgical consultation.
Schedule a Breast Augmentation Consult
To find out if breast augmentation with Dr. Reagan can help you look and feel confident, please schedule a consultation. Contact our La Jolla practice by calling (858) 454-SKIN (7546) today.