At our Bellevue plastic surgery practice, we offer breast augmentation using silicone gel or saline implants of varying shapes and sizes.
Choosing the Ideal Breast Implant for You
Dr. Rand will spend a full hour in his initial consultation with you and will choose the ideal breast implant with your input by the end of that visit. This choice will be entirely based on a careful evaluation of your goals and what your body brings as your starting point.
Precise measurements will determine which size and shape of breast implant matches your chest width perfectly and the potential result will be simulated to be sure that you are highly satisfied with your final results.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone gel implants are filled with a highly cohesive gel that closely mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. 95% of Dr. Rand’s patients in Seattle and Bellevue are choosing silicone implants for the natural breast augmentation results they consistently provide.
Some key benefits of silicone gel implants include:
- Gel feels more like real breast tissue.
- Less likely to have visible or palpable wrinkles or ripples beneath the skin compared to saline.
- Gel implants cannot deflate while saline implants can.
Saline Breast Implants
Some key benefits of saline implants include:
- Implant volume is adjustable during surgery for optimal size control.
- No MRI exams are needed to determine implant integrity in the future.
- Some patients just feel “safer” with IV fluid inside the implants vs silicone gel.
- FDA required for patients under 22 years of age.
How Breast Augmentation Is Performed
For Dr. Rand, the breast augmentation surgery itself is a 30 to 45 minute operation.
Pockets are created for the implants and checked thoroughly for accuracy and symmetry prior to implant insertion. Incisions are small and are closed with dissolvable sutures.
Breast Implant Placement: Options include above the pectoral muscle, or beneath the muscle. For first-time augmentation patients, Dr. Rand always places the implants under the muscle. Reasons for that choice include improved mammography, decreased scar tissue, less palpability of the implant, and a better long term look as the implants tend to stay fuller in the upper pole compared to above the muscle.
Breast Augmentation Incisions: Surgical incisions can be placed in the crease below the breast, around the nipple, near the armpit or in the navel. Scientific studies have recently shown that the crease incision produces the least capsular contracture scar tissue around the implants.
After Breast Augmentation: What to Expect
Expect to be tired and sore for a few days after your surgery, but after 48 hours you should be doing quite well. Pain is well-tolerated with prescribed medications. Depending on the level of activity required for your occupation, returning to work may be possible within a few days to a week. Most of our patients say the recovery was easier than expected.
You’ll wear a surgical bra 24/7 for 3 months to hold implants in perfect position. Because of this post-surgical process, Dr. Rand rarely does revision surgery on his patients for implant malposition.
The day after surgery, gauze dressings will be removed. Stitches are all dissolvable. Minor amounts of swelling will take 8-12 weeks to almost completely disappear.
You will be given special instructions on resuming exercise at 3 weeks, keeping the breast area “quiet” and getting back to all normal physical activities by 3 months.
Surgery scars will be firm and pink for several weeks. The appearance of scars will change over the course of the following year, but eventually they will fade and flatten out. Scars will never disappear completely. Scar treatments will be prescribed starting at one week after surgery.
Routine examinations will be recommended, which may include MRIs, mammograms and ultrasound.
Breast Augmentation FAQ
Should I choose saline or silicone breast implants?
Both implant types are capable of producing attractive, natural breast augmentation results. You need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each, taking into account your personal preferences. For most women, the most significant difference lies in how the implants feel. Visually, both types of implant basically look the same when breast augmentation is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Rand.
What is the right breast implant size and shape?
The best breast implants for you will have a base diameter that matches your chest wall diameter and a profile that creates a look you desire. Breast implant volume and desired cup size are less important factors in choosing your best implant. Breast implant sizers are used at your consultation to simulate possible results but nothing can perfectly predict your outcome. Expect your final size to be visible by 3-4 months following surgery.
What is the best breast augmentation incision?
The inframammary fold incision (in the breast crease) is the most versatile choice. With this incision, any breast implant size can be inserted and all revisions can be performed through the same incision. The recent scientific discovery that this incision produces the least amount of scar tissue around the implant makes this Dr. Rand’s preferred incision of choice.
The transaxillary incision (near the armpit) is used less frequently than it was years ago. This method does not allow direct access to the breast pocket, so it may require the use of an endoscope. Also, if revision surgery becomes necessary, another incision may be needed.
The areolar incision (around the nipple) used to be a popular choice and the surgery scar will usually blend in nicely with the pigment of the areola. But for some patients, the areolae are not large enough to place a silicone gel breast implant of the desired size. The interior architecture of the breast is injured by using this incision breast lift.
Breast Augmentation Quick Facts
Procedure Time: 30-45 minutes
Anesthesia: General anesthesia
Side Effects: Temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation, rarely bruising. Breast sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.
Risks of Breast Augmentation: Lack of implant permanence. Surgical removal or replacement of the implants may be required to treat problems, including: rupture; the formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture), which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard; bleeding or infection. Increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, occasionally permanent. Mammography requires a special technique.
Recovery time: Back to work in a few days. Physical contact with breasts: 3 weeks. Fading of scars: several months to a year or more.
Duration of Results: Variable. Implants may require removal or replacement.
Contact us today for more information, or to schedule your breast augmentation consultation at our Bellevue office.
Dr. Richard Rand is a Board Certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation for women in the greater Seattle area and beyond.
Together with his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rand is committed to patient care and education and the highest quality surgery and safety so you can feel confident about moving forward with cosmetic surgery. Because of the vast amount of information available online, breast implants can be a complex topic, but we are committed to helping patients understand their options before proceeding with breast augmentation surgery.
The information above is presented briefly for quick reference. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Bellevue today for more details.