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Breast Augmentation in Virginia Beach

Breast augmentation is a procedure that enlarges and reshapes the breasts with the use of breast implants. This procedure offers women the ability to address breast size and dissatisfaction by increasing fullness and projection of the breasts by improving the balance of the figure, which ultimately enhances self-image and self-confidence. Choose Associates in Plastic Surgery for more natural-looking and fuller results. Our plastic surgeons have decades of experience in the Virginia community.

Table of Contents

What is a Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to increase the size, shape, and fullness of the breasts. This is typically achieved by placing breast implants either behind the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. Breast augmentation can enhance the natural contours of the breasts, improve breast symmetry, and restore volume lost due to factors such as pregnancy, weight loss, or aging.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes incisions in inconspicuous locations to minimize visible scarring, then creates a pocket to insert the breast implants. The implants are available in various sizes, shapes, and materials (such as saline or silicone gel), allowing for customization to meet the patient’s aesthetic goals and anatomical considerations. After placing the implants, the incisions are closed with sutures, and the breasts are bandaged to facilitate healing.
Breast augmentation is a highly customizable procedure that can address a wide range of aesthetic concerns, including small breast size, asymmetry, or changes in breast appearance following pregnancy or weight loss. It’s important for patients to discuss their goals, preferences, and concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the most suitable approach for achieving their desired breast appearance. Additionally, patients should be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with breast augmentation surgery and carefully consider their decision before proceeding with the procedure.

Am I an Ideal Candidate? An Ideal Candidate for a Breast Augmentation

  • Desire to increase the size or fullness of their breasts
  • Have small or underdeveloped breasts due to genetics or other factors
  • Experience changes in breast appearance or volume after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss
  • Desire to improve breast symmetry or proportions
  • Have realistic expectations about the outcomes of breast augmentation
  • Are in good overall health and free from medical conditions that could increase the risks of surgery
  • Have stable emotional well-being and a positive body image
  • Understand the potential risks and complications associated with breast augmentation surgery
  • Are non-smokers or willing to quit smoking before and after the procedure, as smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications.

What Happens During a Breast Augmentation?

During a breast augmentation procedure, several steps are typically involved to achieve the desired enhancement of breast size and shape. Here’s an overview of what happens during breast augmentation:
  1. Anesthesia: The surgery begins with the administration of anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout the procedure. Options may include general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on the surgeon’s preference and the patient’s medical history.
  2. Incision Placement : The surgeon makes incisions in strategic locations on the breasts to minimize visible scarring. Common incision sites include:
    • Inframammary: Along the crease where the breast meets the chest wall.
    • Periareolar: Around the edge of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
    • Transaxillary: In the underarm area.
    • Transumbilical: Near the belly button (less commonly used for breast augmentation).
    The choice of incision placement depends on factors such as the patient’s anatomy, implant type, and surgeon’s preference.
  3. Creation of Implant Pocket: After making the incisions, the surgeon creates a pocket within the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle (pectoralis major muscle) to accommodate the breast implants. The placement of the implant pocket may be subglandular (above the muscle) or submuscular (partially or fully beneath the muscle), depending on factors such as tissue thickness and desired implant position.
  4. Insertion of Breast Implants: The surgeon carefully inserts the breast implants into the pre-created pockets using specialized surgical instruments. Breast implants are available in various sizes, shapes (round or teardrop), and materials (saline or silicone gel), allowing for customization based on the patient’s preferences and anatomical considerations.
  5. Adjustment and Positioning: Once the implants are in place, the surgeon adjusts their position to achieve optimal symmetry, contour, and projection. The surgeon may perform intraoperative assessments to ensure proper implant placement and symmetry between the breasts.
  6. Closure of Incisions: After positioning the implants, the surgeon closes the incisions with sutures or surgical adhesive. The incisions are meticulously closed to minimize scarring and promote optimal healing.
  7. Dressing and Bandaging: The breasts may be wrapped in surgical dressings or compression garments to provide support, minimize swelling, and aid in the healing process. Drains may be placed temporarily to remove excess fluid from the surgical site.
  8. Recovery and Post-Operative Care: After the procedure, patients are monitored in a recovery area until they are stable to be discharged home. They receive instructions on post-operative care, including how to manage discomfort, care for the surgical incisions, and attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon.
Breast augmentation is a customizable procedure tailored to each patient’s unique goals and anatomy. The surgical technique and approach may vary based on factors such as implant type, incision placement, and implant position. It’s essential for patients to discuss their expectations, concerns, and surgical preferences with a board-certified plastic surgeon during the consultation process to ensure a safe and satisfactory outcome.

Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline

  1. Immediate Post-Operative Period (Day 1-2):
    • Discomfort and Swelling: Patients may experience discomfort, swelling, and tightness in the chest area immediately after surgery. Pain medication prescribed by the surgeon can help manage discomfort.
    • Activity Restrictions: Patients are advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities during the first few days of recovery. It’s essential to avoid activities that could strain the chest muscles or disrupt the healing process.
    • Compression Garments: Patients may be instructed to wear a surgical bra or compression garment to provide support, minimize swelling, and promote proper healing.
  2. First Week:
    • Follow-Up Appointment: Patients typically have a follow-up appointment with their surgeon within the first week after surgery to monitor the initial healing process, assess the surgical incisions, and address any concerns or questions.
    • Limited Physical Activity: While it’s essential to avoid strenuous activities, patients are encouraged to engage in light walking and gentle movements to promote circulation and prevent blood clots.
    • Management of Surgical Incisions: Patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions for caring for the surgical incisions, including keeping the incision sites clean and dry, avoiding soaking in water (such as baths or swimming), and wearing any recommended dressings or bandages.
  3. Second Week:
    • Reduction of Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising typically peak within the first few days after surgery and gradually start to diminish during the second week of recovery. However, some degree of swelling may persist for several weeks to months.
    • Return to Light Activities: Patients may begin to gradually resume light activities and daily routines, but it’s important to continue avoiding strenuous exercises or heavy lifting.
    • Follow-Up Care: Patients may have another follow-up appointment with their surgeon during the second week of recovery to assess progress, remove any sutures or dressings as needed, and address any concerns.
  4. Third Week to Fourth Week:
    • Resolution of Initial Discomfort: Most patients experience a significant improvement in discomfort and pain by the third to fourth week of recovery. However, some residual discomfort, tightness, or sensitivity in the breast area may persist.
    • Return to Normal Activities: Patients can usually resume more normal activities and may feel more comfortable engaging in light exercises, such as walking or gentle stretching. However, it’s essential to continue avoiding high-impact activities or exercises that could strain the chest muscles.
    • Scar Management: Patients should continue to follow the surgeon’s instructions for scar management, which may include applying scar creams or silicone gel sheets to promote optimal healing and minimize the appearance of scars.
  5. Long-Term Recovery (After One Month):
    • Final Results: While the majority of swelling and bruising should have resolved by this time, it’s important to note that final results may take several months to fully manifest as the tissues continue to settle and the breasts achieve their desired shape and position.
    • Gradual Return to Normal Routine: Patients can gradually return to their normal routine, including more strenuous activities and exercises, based on their comfort level and surgeon’s recommendations.
    • Regular Follow-Up Visits: Follow-up appointments with the surgeon will continue to monitor the long-term healing process and assess the final outcome of the breast augmentation procedure. The surgeon may provide further guidance on scar management, breast massage techniques, and long-term care.
  6. Ongoing Recovery Considerations:
    • Patience and Self-Care: It’s essential for patients to be patient and allow their bodies to heal properly following breast augmentation surgery. Adequate rest, proper nutrition, hydration, and adherence to post-operative instructions are crucial for optimizing the recovery process and achieving the best possible results.
    • Communication with Surgeon: Patients should maintain open communication with their surgeon throughout the recovery process, reporting any unusual symptoms, concerns, or changes in breast appearance. The surgeon can provide guidance, reassurance, or additional treatment as needed to ensure a successful recovery and satisfactory outcome.

It’s important to note that the recovery timeline can vary from patient to patient based on factors such as individual healing abilities, surgical technique, implant type and size, and overall health. Patients should follow their surgeon’s specific recommendations and guidelines for post-operative care to promote a smooth and successful recovery following breast augmentation surgery.

Maintaining Results

Maintaining the results of a breast augmentation involves a combination of proper care, lifestyle choices, and regular monitoring. Here are some tips for maintaining the results of breast augmentation:
  1. Follow Post-Operative Instructions:Adhere strictly to the post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. These instructions may include guidelines for activities to avoid, proper wound care, medication usage, and wearing any recommended compression garments. Following these instructions is crucial for optimal healing and long-term results.
  2. Wear Supportive Bras: Invest in supportive bras that provide adequate support and protection for your augmented breasts. Your surgeon may recommend wearing a surgical bra or compression garment during the initial recovery period to promote proper healing and minimize swelling. After the initial recovery phase, choose bras that offer good support and comfort for your breasts during daily activities.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle can contribute to the long-term success of breast augmentation surgery. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Maintaining a healthy weight can help preserve the results of breast augmentation and minimize changes in breast size or shape over time.
  4. Protect Your Skin: Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and avoiding prolonged sun exposure. Sun exposure can accelerate skin aging and affect the appearance of scars following surgery. Consider wearing clothing that provides coverage to the chest area when outdoors, especially during peak sun hours.
  5. Monitor Changes in Breast Appearance: Keep an eye on any changes in the appearance or feel of your breasts following surgery. This includes changes in breast size, shape, symmetry, or the appearance of scars. If you notice any unusual changes or concerns, contact your surgeon promptly for evaluation and guidance.
  6. Attend Regular Follow-Up Appointments: Schedule and attend regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor the long-term results of breast augmentation and address any concerns or questions you may have. Your surgeon can assess the stability of your results, provide recommendations for ongoing care, and address any potential issues early on.
  7. Consider Revision Surgery if Needed: Over time, changes in breast appearance or the integrity of breast implants may occur. If you experience significant changes in breast size, shape, or symmetry, or if you encounter complications such as implant rupture or capsular contracture, discuss your options for revision surgery with your surgeon. Revision surgery can address any concerns and help maintain or improve the results of breast augmentation.
  8. Be Mindful of Aging: It’s important to understand that breast augmentation does not halt the natural aging process. Over time, factors such as gravity, hormonal changes, and fluctuations in weight may affect the appearance of your breasts. While breast augmentation can provide long-lasting results, periodic monitoring and potential future interventions may be necessary to maintain the desired aesthetic outcome.
By following these tips and staying proactive about your breast health and overall well-being, you can help maintain the results of your breast augmentation surgery and enjoy the benefits of enhanced breast size and shape for years to come.

Possible Complications

While breast augmentation surgery is generally considered safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries potential risks and complications. It’s essential for patients to be aware of these potential complications and discuss them with their surgeon before undergoing surgery. Here are some possible complications associated with breast augmentation:
  1. Capsular Contracture: Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue (capsule) forms around the breast implant and tightens, causing the breast to feel firm or hard. This can result in changes in breast shape, discomfort, and potential implant displacement. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct capsular contracture.
  2. Implant Rupture or Leakage: Breast implants may rupture or leak over time, leading to deflation (in the case of saline implants) or silicone gel leakage (in the case of silicone implants). Ruptures may be caused by trauma, age-related wear and tear, or implant defects. Surgical removal or replacement of the implant may be required if rupture occurs.
  3. Changes in Breast Sensation: Some patients may experience temporary or permanent changes in breast sensation following breast augmentation surgery. This can manifest as increased or decreased sensitivity, numbness, or altered sensation in the breast or nipple area. In most cases, sensation changes improve over time, but they may persist in some individuals.
  4. Infection: Infection is a potential complication following any surgical procedure, including breast augmentation. Symptoms of infection may include redness, swelling, warmth, pain, fever, and discharge from the incision sites. Prompt treatment with antibiotics may be necessary to resolve the infection, and in severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.
  5. Hematoma and Seroma: Hematoma refers to the accumulation of blood within the surgical site, while seroma is the accumulation of serous fluid. These fluid collections can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort and may increase the risk of complications such as infection or capsular contracture. Drainage or surgical intervention may be needed to address hematomas or seromas.
  6. Changes in Breast Appearance: While breast augmentation aims to enhance breast size and shape, there is a risk of unexpected changes in breast appearance, including asymmetry, rippling, or implant malposition. These issues may require revision surgery to correct and achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.
  7. Scarring: All surgical procedures result in some degree of scarring, which can vary depending on factors such as incision placement, skin type, and individual healing characteristics. While efforts are made to minimize scarring, some patients may develop noticeable scars around the incision sites. Scar management techniques such as silicone gel sheets or scar creams may help minimize the appearance of scars over time.
  8. Anesthesia Risks: Anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory complications, and adverse reactions to anesthesia medications. Patients should undergo a thorough pre-operative evaluation to assess their suitability for anesthesia and minimize the risk of anesthesia-related complications.
  9. Breastfeeding Issues: Breast augmentation surgery may affect the ability to breastfeed in some individuals, particularly if the milk ducts or nerves are disrupted during the procedure. While many women can still breastfeed successfully after breast augmentation, it’s important to discuss any concerns about breastfeeding with your surgeon before surgery.
  10. Psychological Impact: While not a physical complication, breast augmentation surgery can have psychological implications for some patients. Unrealistic expectations, body image concerns, or dissatisfaction with surgical outcomes may contribute to psychological distress or body dysmorphic disorder. Open communication with the surgeon and realistic expectations are essential for a positive surgical experience.
It’s important to note that while these complications are possible, many patients undergo breast augmentation surgery without experiencing significant issues. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast augmentation and following all pre-operative and post-operative instructions diligently can help minimize the risk of complications and achieve a safe and satisfactory outcome. Additionally, maintaining regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon allows for ongoing monitoring of your breast health and early detection of any potential issues.

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