Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
1. Why do women get breast augmentation, and who is a candidate?
To enhance the body contour of a woman who feels her breast size is too small. In addition to positive aesthetic results, data has shown women often receive a substantial psychological boost.(1) To correct a reduction in breast volume. To balance a difference in breast size. For reconstruction after breast surgery.(2) Candidates are women who are looking for improvement, (not perfection). One should be physically healthy, and have realistic expectations. Sometimes just the augmentation will address the issue, other times a lift is needed. Goals should be discussed with your Plastic Surgeon, as each individual is different. (2)
2. How many breast augmentations are done in the United States?
There were 355,671 done in the United States in 2008. It is the most popular cosmetic surgery overall, (replacing liposuction this year).(1) There is a very high satisfaction rate (93%), (average follow-up 13 years). (3)
3. Where will the scar be?
Options include: axillae, (armpit), inframammary fold, (under the breast), or peri-areolar, (around the nipple/areola complex). Incision placement will depend on multiple factors including your particular anatomy, tissues, and goals.
4. How long does the procedure take, what is the recovery time, and pain involved?
Operating time is usually 1 to 1-1/2 hours, depending on multiple factors; surgical approach, amount of dissection, etc. You’ll wake up in the recovery room and typically go home after that. Recovery time depends on your specific operation, and the work that you do. Stitches are usually removed a week after surgery. Most are back to work in around 10 days or so. The discomfort is usually well tolerated. We also offer the option of placing a “pain pump” during the procedure. The pump, (which comes in a fanny pack), will drizzle out medicine into the pocket. It is simply removed in 2-3 days. Patients with the pump typically take less pain medicine and are more active earlier.
5. Can breast implants leak?
Implant failures are rare, (reported to be 1-3% over many years). Implants are filled with saline, (basically sterile salt water), which will be absorbed and then excreted in the urine. The implant is then replaced. The current silicone implants are made of a more cohesive gel, (Think gummi-bear). If there is a tear in the implant, the gel is designed not to leak out of the implant. The implant should still be replaced.
6. Do implants pose a problem for mammography?
Implants do not cause inaccurate mammography. The person doing the mammogram needs to know that you have breast implants, and then they can take the extra, (displacement), views.
7. Do breast implants affect pregnancy or breast feeding?
As of this writing, there is no evidence that breast implants affect pregnancy or ability to breast-feed. Pregnancy can alter breast size in an unpredictable way and could affect the long-term results of breast augmentation.(1)
8. Can fat be taken from one area of the body and placed into the breasts?
No. Fat placed into breast tissue will sometimes calcify. These small calcifications may be seen on a mammogram and taken as a sign of cancer. Women may then go through a breast biopsy that they did not need.
9. How old do I have to be to have breast augmentation?
As of May 2000, Federal regulation prohibits breast augmentation for purely aesthetic surgery in women less than 18 years of age.(1)
10. Are there systemic effects of breast implants?
As of this writing, there is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer, autoimmune disease, or any systemic illness.(1) Studies have shown that the incidence of breast cancer in women with breast augmentation is actually lower than average. This may be due to multiple factors.
Remember, this is elective surgery. That means that you’re the boss. It is important to like the Plastic Surgeon, and the office staff, that you choose. If you have any questions about breast augmentation, or Plastic Surgery in general, please give me a call.
Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
( (1) American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
(2) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
(3) Cunningham BL, Lokeh A, Gutowski KA. Saline-filled breast implant safety and efficacy: a multicenter retrospective review. Plas Reconstr Surg. 2000. May 105(6):2143-9.