Every woman seeking breast augmentation has a unique and individual reason for wanting to enhance the shape or size of their breasts. The decision is often a major step and extremely personal. One of the most popular and frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures, breast augmentation has a long track record in helping women achieve a better proportioned and more appealing figure. The goal of board certified plastic surgeon Jonathan Lee, MD, FRCSC is to help you achieve the best results and make your experience as safe and comfortable as possible.
What are my options?
There are many different choices for breast augmentation and Dr. Lee will perform a thorough evaluation of your breast shape, size, and symmetry to guide you towards the ideal choice for your specific aesthetic goals.
Augmentation options include:
Cohesive Gel Silicone Implants
Frequently referred to as “gummy bear” or “form stable”, these implants are made from crosslinked molecules of silicone, making them thicker and firmer than traditional silicone implants. As a result, they are able to hold their shape better and may have less rippling. They also have a more natural feel compared to saline implants and they are Dr. Lee’s preferred implant of choice.
Saline-filled Breast Implants
These implants are filled with sterile salt water housed in a silicone shell. They tend to have a less natural feel than silicone and rippling may also be more noticeable. Also, if the implant ruptures, the volume loss will be apparent immediately.
Autologous fat is removed with liposuction from areas of the body that have abundant fat (eg. abdomen, flanks, thighs, hips). After being placed through a refinement process, the fat is injected into the breast. This procedure is less common and reserved for very select patients. Fat transfer to the breasts is still undergoing clinical investigation and will not provide the level of projection or fullness to the breast that can be achieved with breast implants.
Where are the incisions placed?
Multiple options are possible for incision location. The two most common approaches are:
A small incision is placed underneath the breast at the level of the crease. This is the most common type of incision used and it is often recommended for its safety and accuracy of implant placement.
The incision is made along the lower edge of the areola where the darker skin meets the lighter skin.
All incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches and the scars will mature and fade with time to the point of being very fine lines.
Good Candidates For Breast Augmentation
- Women who are self conscious about having smaller breasts
- Women who wish to fill out clothes and swimsuits better
- Women who have lost the size and shape of their breasts following pregnancy, weight loss, or aging
- Women who want to improve symmetry if one breast is larger or smaller than the other
- Women who want a better proportioned and more appealing figure
What factors determine the size and type of implant to choose?
- Your aesthetic goals for breast augmentation
- The amount of existing breast tissue that you have
- Your body’s proportions, including weight and frame shape
- Your personal preference for implant type, size, and incision placement
Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC) is an experienced, Canadian and New York fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon based in Calgary. Well-established, he is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Where are the breast implants placed?
Submuscular (dual-plane): The implants are placed under the pectoralis muscle with the muscle covering the upper portion of the breast implant and the breast tissue covering the lower portion. This allows for a very natural appearing breast and minimizes the risks of capsular contracture.
Subglandular: The implants are placed in front of the pectoralis muscle but behind the breast tissue. Dr. Lee reserves this type of placement for women who have sufficient breast tissue to be able to adequately camouflage the implant.
Before the Surgery
During your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will perform a thorough evaluation of your breast and body shape. He will determine if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. He may also advise combining your augmentation with a breast lift should you have any drooping or sagging of your breasts. Pre-treatment photos will be taken and any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.
This often helps in the discussion and visualization of the target goals.
After the Surgery
A breast augmentation is performed under a general anaesthetic and will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete. Most patients are able to return home two hours following the surgery.
Patients may experience some pain along the breasts and chest wall that usually settles within a few days. Dr. Lee will prescribe you a pain reliever. After the first week, Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort and most patients are able to resume regular activities after 2 weeks.
Following the surgery, you may have some mild bruising and swelling. Initially, the implants may also appear high on the chest and feel firm to touch. They will gradually soften and start to settle, becoming more natural looking within several weeks to months.
During the first 2 weeks after the surgery, you should avoid any strenuous activities. For the first 6 weeks, sleeping on the stomach or sides should also be avoided.
Dr. Lee will typically see you within one week after the surgery At this time, he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year.