Breast Augmentation: What to Know Beforehand


Are you or is someone you know planning to undergo breast augmentation surgery for the first time? From costs, materials, and shapes to incision sites and implant placement, a lot goes into achieving ideal breasts. The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery encourages women who have made the choice to get breast augmentation in Portland and beyond to educate themselves on the many complex factors involved in the process. As each patient’s lifestyle, body type, goals, and expectations from cosmetic surgery are unique, these are all variables you’ll want to discuss with your chosen provider, who can advise you on the best options available.

Breasts have long been associated with femininity and attractiveness, and perhaps this explains the societal obsession with altering their appearance. From as early as the 1960s, American women have turned to breast implants as a way of emulating the enviable curves of glamorous screen actresses. Many people seek breast augmentation as a way of feeling better about an aspect of themselves they might have long felt self-conscious about, to balance out their physique, or to fit better in tops.

What’s Inside?

There are two types of fillers used in breast implants: silicone gel and saline (sterile salt water). Saline occurs naturally in the human body, making it a reliable choice for many women. The thick saline gel used in implants, however, is believed to feel more similar to the texture of breast fat. A newer form of silicone prosthetics, referred to as “gummy bear implants,” contain a more viscous, form-stable gel.

What Are the Steps?

On the day of a breast augmentation procedure, the anesthesiologist begins by administering general anesthesia for the continued comfort of the patient. Surgeons aim to get the best aesthetic results possible while using procedures that minimize risk of infection and visible scarring. Their decisions will depend on patient-physician preference, the degree of enhancement desired, the type of implant being used, and the patient’s starting size and body proportions.

The next step involves making an incision under the breast (inframammary incision). Implants are placed behind the pectoral muscle, between the breast tissue and the pectoral muscle, or partially behind the muscle. Sutures, skin adhesives, and surgical tape can be used to close the incisions.

After the surgery is complete, your chest will be wrapped with gauze and dressings. Patients are encouraged to avoid strenuous physical activity for around six weeks after a procedure, while they are healing. You’ll need to plan for at least one to two weeks of recovery time for your breasts to “stabilize” after surgery.

How Long Do Results Last?

While breast implants don’t last forever, they are typically very durable, with a lifespan ranging from 10 to 15 years or longer, on average. Following the post-surgery instructions of your plastic surgeon can help to maximize their longevity. A good rough estimate is an increase of risk of rupture by 1 percent for every year an implant is in place.

Patients whose breasts have become deflated or misshapen due to a rare rupture may opt to have them removed or replaced.

It’s important to note that breast augmentation surgery is not designed to lift sagging breasts or prevent the tissues from becoming stretched in the future. A breast lift may be used on its own or combined with breast enlargement to raise the position of the breasts on the chest and tighten skin to correct the appearance of drooping.

Have questions about breast augmentation? The Portland, Oregon, based team at The Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery understands that cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and is ready with answers. Fill out an online contact form or call 503-882-0124 or 1-800-501-6548.

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Categories: Beauty Lifestyle