Many women in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Sacramento, Napa, and throughout Northern California seek breast augmentation at Kaiser Permanente for reasons that are as unique as each patient. The surgery is often about so much more than simply enlarging small breasts. Patients also choose breast augmentation to change the shape of their breasts, to balance uneven breasts, to reconstruct the breasts after mastectomy, or simply to enhance their silhouettes. In any case, the objective is to feel good about yourself.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, technically called augmentation mammoplasty, is the surgical insertion of an implant behind the breasts to increase their size or improve their shape. The FDA has approved saline and silicone implants, and Kaiser Permanente offers both.
What Are the Risks?
Any surgery, including breast augmentation, comes with certain associated risks. While breast augmentation is a relatively minor procedure, some risks specific to this procedure include implant malposition (such as the implant rotating or moving after it’s been placed), implant rupture, and capsular contracture, a complication that occurs when the body creates scar tissue around the implant. Additionally, patients can experience bleeding irregularities and a temporary or permanent change in nipple sensation. During your consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss your individual risk profile.
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Variations of Breast Augmentation
Though breast augmentation is a straightforward procedure, there are certain variables involved. The size and shape of the implants used will vary and affect other options, such as placement. Implants can be placed under the breast tissue (subglandular placement) or beneath the muscle of the chest’s wall (submuscular placement). Both options have pros and cons, and the right placement for you will depend on your goals and anatomy.
Breast augmentation uses one of the following incision options:
- Inframmmary: A popular incision option, this choice traces along the crease beneath your breast. Once its healed, its location ensures it stays hidden, even in swimwear.
- Periareolar: This incision type makes use of the color border around the lower edge of the areola. It’s appropriate for smaller implants and saline implants, which are placed empty and filled once they’re in the body. This option also creates discreet scars, since they typically blend with the color of the areola.
- Transaxillary: Placed within the armpit, this is the least common incision option but also the most discreet. Patients like this option because it doesn’t leave a scar on the breast, but it also offers the least amount of control for the surgeon.
Breast enhancement surgery can significantly alter your appearance. Having realistic expectations about breast augmentation is important. Breast augmentation can improve feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, but it is not a cure for any ailment. Talking to your doctor about your expectations is as important as any other medical factor. Non-smoking women who are in good health, both mentally and physically, are typically good candidates for breast augmentation.
Your surgeon will evaluate your general health, the condition of your breasts, and your skin tone to determine the appropriate technique to achieve your desired outcome. You and the doctor should truthfully discuss your expectations as well as the limitations and risks of the surgery. Keeping a written list of questions to ask during your consultation is a good idea. Writing down the answers can also help you evaluate your options later. The consultation is the appropriate time and place to ask the physician your questions and to bring up concerns you might have.
Breast augmentation surgery generally lasts for about 2 hours. Stitches are used to close the incision, and bandages are applied around the breasts to aid healing. Generally, our providers use general anesthesia so that you’re unconscious for the duration of your procedure. In some cases, breast augmentation can be performed using only local anesthesia and sedation. Breast augmentation is almost always performed as an outpatient surgery, which means you’ll be released from the hospital the same day of surgery. Because of the anesthesia involved, you will need a trusted adult to drive you home after surgery.
Read Patient Testimonials
I have been a patient of Dr. Eric Lin’s for about 6 years. I have received 2 breast augmentations, the second to replace a rupture along with Botox® and Juvaderm®. Dr. Lin has performed all of these procedures.
I have been to a few different plastic surgeons for fillers and Botox®. Out of all the Dr.’s I have seen, Dr. Lin far surpasses them all. He is excellent in all he does and I have been extremely happy with the results. His character, manner, kindness and caring and impeccable talents are what I feel makes him a special doctor.
I no longer live in Sonoma County as I have relocated to Orange County. I have not found a doctor in this mecca of plastic surgeons that can even come close to Dr. Lin’s gift and kindness and exquisite talent. I highly recommend him and Kaiser Permanente Cosmetic Services.
You may feel drowsy and sore for up to 48 hours after surgery. Based on the specifics of your surgery, your doctor may prescribe medication for pain. After a few days, your doctor can remove the bandages. You may be given a surgical bra to wear as directed. Your surgeon removes stitches at 7 to 10 days after surgery. Some swelling and discomfort may continue for 3 to 5 weeks, but many patients find that they’re able to return to work and other light activity within a week. The recovery process is discussed in detail during the initial consultation.
I’m Interested! What’s My Next Step?
Start planning your breast augmentation with your local Kaiser Permanente provider.