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What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is among the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures. Although breast augmentation is extremely popular, the reasons for selecting this procedure can vary from patient to patient. Some patients seeking breast augmentation are satisfied with the shape of their breasts, but simply want them to be a bit fuller. Other common personal reasons include breasts that are perceived to be underdeveloped, asymmetry of the breasts in size and/or shape, and changes after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Weight loss, aging, and childbirth can also affect breast volume. Breast augmentation can address all of these concerns by creating a more proportional shape and size, and can often boost self-esteem, as well.

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Do I Need a Lift with My Augmentation?

Depending on your unique anatomy and aesthetic concerns, Dr. DiBello can help you decide if breast augmentation, breast lift, or a combination of the two (known as augmentation-mastopexy, or breast lift with implants) is most appropriate.

Women who are experiencing a combination of breast ptosis (sagging) and volume loss are typically considered good candidates for a breast augmentation-mastopexy (BAM). By combining a breast lift with augmentation, excess skin can be removed, breasts can be elevated to a more youthful position, and volume can be restored with implants. However, if volume loss is the only concern, a breast augmentation alone may be the best choice. If adequate breast volume is present and enlargement is not desired, Dr. DiBello may suggest a breast lift without implants.

What Types of Breast Implants Are Available?

There are two types of breast implants: saline solution filled and silicone gel filled. Standard saline filled implants come in a variety of sizes and profiles that can be tailored to your individual needs. The latest saline filled implant—the IDEAL IMPLANT®—is a structured implant (approved by the FDA in 2014) that provides the performance and natural feel of a silicone gel implant with the safety of saline implants. The current conditionally FDA-approved silicone gel filled implants are highly cohesive/form-stable (“gummy bear”) implants. When considering breast implant augmentation surgery, it is important to understand that all implants, regardless of what they are filled with, will fail, or leak, at some point. When a saline implant fails or leaks, the saline solution is safely absorbed by your body and can be easily detected by you or your plastic surgeon. When a silicone gel breast implant ruptures, it is referred to as a “silent rupture” because it is not possible to tell there is a leak without an MRI scan. The silicone gel may start leaking into surrounding breast tissue and need to be removed (since your body can’t absorb it), which can be quite complicated. To detect a silent rupture, the FDA recommends women with “gummy bear” breast implants get an MRI every two years—for life. Despite the fact that Dr. DiBello is trained and credentialed to use any and all of these devices in your breast augmentation surgery, it is due to these reasons that we recommend only the conventional and IDEAL IMPLANT® saline filled implants at DiBello Plastic Surgery. Below, you can find some general information about each of these options. To help you determine if you are a candidate for breast augmentation, Dr. DiBello will take time during your consultation to advise you regarding the known risks associated with breast implants. Additionally, you will be provided with a significant amount of literature to ensure you are well-informed prior to the procedure.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone gel filled implants were designed to provide a natural look and feel, with less chance of rippling. In 1992, silicone gel filled breast implants were restricted by the FDA for use in primary breast augmentation. Since 2006, the new generation of highly cohesive silicone implants were given conditional FDA approval for patients 22 years of age and older (approved for breast reconstruction in patients of all ages). The long-term study of the safety of these cohesive silicone gel implants was the major condition for the FDA approval, which is still currently ongoing. Because of the issue of silent rupture with the cohesive gel implants, the FDA recommends women with cohesive gel breast implants get an MRI every two years after having them placed. These MRIs are expensive and typically not covered by insurance companies. Unlike soft silicone implants of the past, these implants are filled with a firmer/thicker cohesive silicone gel that has inspired the nickname of “gummy bear” implants. Compared to the older silicone gel implants, these new gummy bear “form-stable” silicone gel implants are firmer and heavier, but the initial reports reveal that they have a significantly reduced rupture rate.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants have been extensively studied, and there is a great deal of scientific evidence supporting their long-term safety. For this reason, saline filled breast implants were never restricted from the market for breast augmentation by the FDA, and have been unconditionally approved since May of 2000. Compared to silicone gel implants, saline filled implants have a lower rupture and leak rate, and a decreased risk of capsular contracture. Saline implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a saline (salt water) solution, and are FDA approved for breast augmentation in patients who are at least 18 years of age (approved for breast reconstruction in patients of all ages). Since the saline implants can be filled after placement, the size of the incision is generally much smaller compared to an incision used for silicone gel filled implants. In the rare occurrence of a rupture or leak, the saline solution can be safely absorbed into the body. Ruptures, or leaks, can also be easily detected and addressed, due to the noticeable loss of volume in the affected breast, without the need for an MRI. Historically, saline filled implants were advertised to be associated with more rippling and a less natural, or firmer, feel when compared to silicone gel filled implants. That is no longer the case, especially with the development of the Moderate Plus Profile saline implant, and the newer structured IDEAL IMPLANT®, both of which have a thicker silicone shell and offer a performance and natural feel similar to that of the classic silicone gel implants, while providing the safety and peace of mind of saline implants.

Dr. DiBello is a highly knowledgeable, very skilled surgeon. He clearly explains the procedure at hand and takes the time to address all questions and post surgery care. I have recommended Dr. DiBello to family and friends. I sought a total of 4 opinions prior to deciding to having surgery and I was only comfortable working with Dr. DiBello.

What Are My Options for Breast Implant Shape?

Saline breast implants at DiBello Plastic Surgery come in both round and teardrop (anatomical) shapes. Each of these implant shapes can also be either smooth or textured. Dr. DiBello will discuss the advantages of each shape and texture, and can work closely with you to determine which combination is best for attaining your aesthetic goals, as well as creating the most natural appearance for your unique body frame.

How Is Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed?

When performing breast augmentation surgery, incisions are carefully and strategically placed to keep scars as inconspicuous as possible. In your consultation, Dr. DiBello can discuss the different incision options with you and determine which method is most appropriate. These options can include:

Augmentation Diagram

View our breast augmentation 3D animation to learn more about this procedure and get a better idea of what to expect.

Which Breast Implant Placement Should I Choose?

After surgery, breasts will appear “fuller” and more shapely in contour. Due to swelling, they may appear a bit larger than you anticipated, but this should gradually subside over the weeks following surgery. You may experience some mild to moderate discomfort in the first few days after the procedure, but this can typically be managed with medication. After returning home, Dr. DiBello recommends about an hour of rest, but encourages patients to get up and move around a bit (carefully) shortly afterward. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about six to eight weeks, but most patients can return to their daily routine after approximately two weeks. In your initial consultation, Dr. DiBello can provide you with more specific guidelines based on your individual case, and can answer any questions you may have. He will also provide you with personalized aftercare instructions, which should be carefully followed to ensure ideal results and avoid potential complications.

Breast Augmentation Options

What Will My Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?

The location and shape of scars following breast augmentation will depend on the incision type used. Regardless, Dr. DiBello takes great care to place all breast augmentation incisions in a way that gives them the best chance of becoming as discreet as possible, once healed. Certain factors can potentially affect the way the scar heals, such as one’s genetic makeup, personal diet, and how closely post-operative instructions are followed. Ultimately, resulting scars are typically undetectable, and most patients are so pleased with their overall results that scars are not a concern.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

At DiBello Plastic Surgery, the typical cost for breast augmentation with conventional saline implants is approximately $5,600. The average price of breast augmentation with the IDEAL IMPLANT® is approximately $6,500. While many price quotes available online only reflect the surgeon’s fee, the estimates above include a variety of factors, such as Dr. DiBello’s fee as performed at a local hospital, implant costs, and the facility fees (which include anesthesia, operating room, and pre-admission testing). These figures are only estimates, and the precise fee for your individual case can only be provided after Dr. DiBello consults with you.

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