Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast. Women may choose this procedure for several reasons: to enhance their body contour; to correct a reduction in breast size after pregnancy; to balance a difference in breast size; or as a reconstructive technique following breast surgery.
Once a woman decides on breast augmentation the next decision is often what size implant to use. This is a very important and personal choice and should be considered carefully. Some women desire a very subtle look while others want a more dramatic contour. Body shape, weight, height, and size of breasts prior to augmentation should also be considered when considering implant size.
Never look at someone else’s choice of implant in making your final decision. It’s what you start with…plus what you add, superimposed upon the shape of your own body that determines your final results. The same size implant may look completely different on another person. Formulas, standards, and comparisons may work in theory, but it is not uncommon to ask two women with exactly the same size breasts what size they are, and for one to say she is a C cup, while the other is positive she is a D. Breasts size is often “in the eye of the beholder!” Also, bra cup size varies between manufacturers, styles and how you wear your bra.
I suggest that my patients come to the office with photographs of the size breasts they wish to have, as well as pictures of breast sizes that they do not want. This helps eliminate all but a certain range of sizes and also gives me a good visual idea of what my patient’s goals are for surgery. When deciding on implant size It is also important to consider that as the implants settle they usually look slightly smaller.
Once breast size has been determined, saline filled implants are used to increase breasts to that desired size. This procedure is performed either in an office facility, outpatient surgical center, or hospital, and may be performed under general, or local anesthesia with IV sedation. The incision necessary for the implant can be made in the crease at the lower breast fold, around the areola, or in the armpit.
Working through the incision, the breast tissue and skin will be lifted to create a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the chest wall muscle.
Placing the implants behind the chest muscle may reduce the potential for capsular contracture. This placement may also interfere less with breast examination by mammogram than if the implant is directly behind the breast tissue.
The surgery usually takes one to two hours to complete. Stitches are used to close the incisions, and a gauze bandage is applied over the breast. The patient will probably feel tired and sore for a few days following surgery, but should be up and around in 24 to 48 hours.
Stitches are removed in five to seven days, but the swelling in the breasts may take several weeks to disappear. A woman should be able to return to work within a few days depending on the level of activity required at her job.
— by Diane Gibby • M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S
About Dr. Gibby
Diane Gibby, M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S Licensed in Texas, Dr. Diane Gibby is board- certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the founder of The Women's Center for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), American Medical Association (AMA), Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons (TSPS), Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) and the Board Certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons of Dallas. She is also a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.). Dr. Gibby's office is located at Medical City Dallas, Building C, Suite 820, (972) 566-6323. Individuals interested in brochures or names of qualified plastic surgeons in their area may call the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons at 1-800-635-0635.