Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants in Richmond, VA
Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure that enlarges your breasts and can give them a slightly different shape, such as what can be achieved with rounded or teardrop breast implants. Richmond Plastic Surgeons offers breast augmentation for women in Richmond, Midlothian and surrounding areas of Virginia.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Enhancing the size or shape of a woman’s breasts is accomplished through a plastic surgery procedure known as breast augmentation. Breast augmentation changes your breasts via breast implants which are medical devices approved by the FDA for this purpose.
Breast implants have two components: an outer shell and a liquid inside the shell. The shell is always made with silicone, and the liquid may be silicone or saline. Both types of implants are approved by the FDA, but women must be at least 22 years old to be considered for silicone breast implants. Each type of implant offers unique benefits. The two types of breast implants also have different textures, so your breasts will feel differently with saline versus silicone.
Some aspects of breast implants that can help you decide which ones are right for you are:
- Breast implants are sized by the amount of filler inside the implant (measured in cc, or cubic centimeters)
- Implant options include filler type, size, and shape
- Women must be at least 18 years old for saline implants and 22 years old for silicone implants
- Breast implants can be used on younger patients for reconstructive purposes
- Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and revision surgery may be needed to replace one or both implants
- Your annual breast examinations should include an evaluation of the implants
Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?
From the early 1990s until 2006, the FDA limited the use of silicone implants until research and clinical studies could determine the safety of the implants. In 2006, the restrictions were lifted after thousands of reviews determined that silicone implants are safe when the breast augmentation is performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon.
Benefits of Breast Augmentation
Having a breast augmentation is a very personal choice, but we find that most patients want breast augmentation surgery to:
- Feel better about their bodies and gain confidence
- Improve the fullness or projection of the breasts
- Give their bodies better overall proportions
- Extend the types of clothing that fit well
Who is the Ideal Candidate for Breast Augmentation?
Having a lower breast volume or small breasts can happen for a variety of reasons. Some women are just naturally small breasted. Others may lose fullness over their lifetime due to aging, pregnancy and losing a large amount of weight. Other candidates for breast augmentation are women who:
- Had a mastectomy (removal of all or part of the breast, typically to treat cancer)
- Have breasts that are naturally asymmetrical in size, shape or position
In some cases, our plastic surgeons recommend breast augmentation with a lift to enhance breast shape and size while simultaneously improving any sagging that is present.
What Do I Need to Do Before Having Breast Augmentation?
Having a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons is the first step for breast augmentation. After examining your breasts and discussing your personal motivation for having breast augmentation, we will explain each type of implant. Choosing the right implant for your procedure is based on several factors:
- The type of filler (silicone or saline)
- Implant size, shape, and other characteristics
- Breast anatomy
- Body type
- Desired size change for the breasts
- Lifestyle, personal preferences, and other individual factors
- The recommendations of your plastic surgeon
You can feel confident about your choice because we take a comprehensive approach to breast augmentation.
What Should I Expect on The Day of My Breast Augmentation?
The procedure for a breast augmentation is developed based on a person’s individual anatomy and the type of implant. The surgery does require the use of general anesthesia. Incisions are made:
- In the natural crease under the breast
- In the armpit area
- Around the areola, if needed
After making the incision, your surgeon lifts the breast tissue and skin to form a pocket where the implant is to be placed. The implant may be placed on top of or under the muscle. Once your surgeon is satisfied with the position, the incisions are closed, and a bandage is placed over the breasts.
How Long Does It Take to Perform Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation surgery takes one to two hours.
What to Expect After Breast Augmentation
You will be tired and sore for the first 24 to 48 hours, so we recommend that you plan to rest at home. You should have someone available to help you as needed. If needed, your surgeon will prescribe medication to alleviate any pain. The gauze bandage is removed within a few days, and you may be given a special bra to use. During that time, you may experience some discomfort, tenderness, bruising and swelling. You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for the first two weeks. The sutures are removed seven to 10 days after your surgery.
You will need to stay home from work for a few days. Your surgeon will advise you about when you can return to exercising and other strenuous activities. The nipples will be very sensitive for three to four weeks, so you should avoid any excessive physical contact with your nipples.
Will I Have Scars After Getting Breast Augmentation?
The incisions that are needed for a breast augmentation will leave scars, but they will be well-hidden so that people cannot easily see them. The scars will be dark pink for at least six weeks, and then start to fade after several months.
When Will I See the Results?
You will see the changes in your breasts right after the surgery, but the swelling will affect the appearance of your new breasts. Full results can take six months to one year.
What Are Possible Complications of Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a relatively straightforward procedure, but any type of surgery has risks. Problems that may result from a breast augmentation are:
- Capsular contractions that occurs when the scar around the implant tightens. The condition causes the breast implants to feel hard. Capsular contractions may need to be treated with a second procedure to remove or “score” the scar tissue. In more advanced cases, the implant needs to be removed or replaced.
- Infections around the breast implant are rare, but most infections occur within one week of the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will monitor for signs of infection during your follow-up appointments. If the infection cannot be treated with medications, the implant may need to be removed until the infection is resolved.
- Nipple sensitivity may change after a breast augmentation. Your nipples may be less sensitive, more sensitive or numb. You may also have some numbness around each incision. In most cases, the sensation returns.
- Breastfeeding and pregnancy are safe for women who have implants, but these life stages will affect your breast shape and size. If you have a breast augmentation when you are young, you may need to correct any sagging or other problems once you have children. If you are considering having children in the future, are revision to your breast augmentation may be part of your Mommy Makeover.
- Mammograms are more challenging in women who have implants, so you should disclose to your physician and other medical professionals that you have implants before your mammograms.
How Long Will the Results of Breast Augmentation Last?
Breast implants are not designed to remain in place for your entire life. You may need to replace your implants after 10 to 20 years. You may also want to replace your implants should your personal preferences about breast shape and size change as you get older.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost in Richmond?
Breast augmentation is not covered by insurance. After your consultation, we provide a complete cost and explain our payment options. Financing is available through CareCredit®.
Changing the size and shape of your breasts improves your overall proportions and boosts your confidence. If you are considering breast augmentation, entrust your care to the surgeons of Richmond Plastic Surgeons. We specialize in breast augmentation and provide exceptional care to every patient. Contact us today to schedule your personal consultation.