What are breast implants?
Breast augmentation–or an augmentation mammoplasty–increases your breast size or changes your breast shape. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision based on your desired outcome. Then they can insert the breast implant under or over your pectoral muscle before closing the incision.
Patients often get breast implants after significant weight loss or post-pregnancy. Though we often hear about breast implants as a way to increase breast size, they can also be used to simply make breasts fuller. As a whole, breast augmentation surgery is highly customizable.
If you want to learn more about breast implants—or schedule a consultation with a breast implant surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
Breast implant candidates include adults with the following characteristics:
- Small breasts
- Breasts that lost shape after weight loss, pregnancy, or age
- Breasts lack volume
- Asymmetrical breasts
Breast implants are highly customizable–so you can have the size, shape, and fullness you’re looking for.
Schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s breast implant surgeon in the Lehigh Valley to determine if breast implants are right for you.
Getting breast implants can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits:
- More symmetrical breasts
- Better-fitting clothes
- Added volume and curves
- Restored breasts after pregnancy or as a result of aging
The implants themselves are durable and safe. As a result, the procedure has a low risk of complications. Breast implants can dramatically improve your body image and give you a more youthful appearance.
As with all surgeries, breast augmentation surgery has risks. Some of them include the following:
- Capsular contracture
- Changes in sensation
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Misshapen appearance due to scar tissue
Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.
Before the procedure
In the time leading up to your breast implant surgery at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:
- Goals and expectations
- Surgical options
As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:
- Ordering lab work
- Taking “before” photos for comparison
- Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
- Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:
- Filling outstanding prescriptions
- Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
- Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
- Staying hydrated
You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.
During the procedure
Saline implantsA surgeon will insert a silicone shell with saline implants and fill it with sterile salt water. The shell is usually placed in the body while empty and then filled with the saline solution to the desired size. This procedure results in a more discreet scar. If your implant leaks, the body will naturally absorb and release the fluid.
Silicone gel implantsWith silicone implants, a surgeon will insert a silicone shell prefilled with silicone gel. This type of implant mimics the feel of the natural breast. So they look and feel more natural, therefore, are more realistic. They also have a longer lifespan with less leakage and lower rupture rates.
After the procedure
While your breasts will be larger after the surgery, you’ll have to wait for the swelling to subside for the final results. You may need a follow-up surgery because breast implants aren’t lifetime devices. So you’ll notice changes in your breast as you age or your weight changes. However, most women feel more attractive after this procedure and are happy with their results.
Your St. Luke’s plastic surgeon will determine the best breast implants based on your desired treatment results. The typical recovery milestones include the following:
- Day of surgery: You’ll go home with the caregiver you’ve picked–and they’ll stay with you overnight. When you get home, you should rest and stay comfortable. Your surgeon may also ask you to wear a special bra for support.
- One to two days after surgery: Though it’s essential to move around every few hours (to promote healthy blood flow), you should avoid activities that require you to lift your arms. If you feel discomfort, take pain relievers as prescribed by your surgeon.
- Five to seven days after surgery: You’ll likely experience bruising, swelling, and discomfort–but this should start to subside by the end of the week. If your implants are placed under your muscle, they may appear too high as they settle. However, they’ll settle over the next several weeks.
- One to three weeks after surgery: You should be able to resume regular activities slowly–including exercise and work (depending on how physically strenuous your job is). Your surgeon will determine when you can completely resume everyday activities and exercise.
- Four to six weeks after surgery: Depending on your surgeon’s recommendations, you may add more strenuous activities to your routine. But you’ll still want to avoid heavy lifting until approximately six weeks post-surgery.
- Three to four months after surgery: You should be able to see your final results now that the implants have settled and the swelling has completely subsided.