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Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Surgery


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Learn the answers to the most common breast surgery questions such as what is a breast augmentation? Brought to you by New Orleans plastic surgeons, Dr. Velargo and Dr. Hendrick

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Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Surgery

  1. 1. New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions: Breast Surgery 1. Breast Lift vs Breast Augmentation: How to tell which is needed? Breast lift and augmentation surgeries are two procedures that can address breast size and shape. The best way to tell if breast lift, augmentation, or both are needed is to look at the breasts themselves. If your breasts appear flat, deflated, or you are looking for more volume or an increase in size then an augmentation may be the right surgery for you. If your breasts (in particular your nipple position) appear to be sagging but you are happy with the size of your breasts then a breast lift (mastopexy) might be recommended. If you notice both a loss in volume and sagging, then a combined or staged, mastopexy with augmentation may be the right surgery to get you the result you desire. 2. How to choose the right breast implant size? Choosing the right breast implant size really comes down to the discussion with your plastic surgeon during the consultation. There are several things you and your surgeon will need to take into consideration when choosing the right implant size. First, your body size and frame. Your surgeon will take into consideration your height, weight, BMI, and current bra size. Secondly, your surgeon will take important measurements of your breast during the consultation, the most important of which is the breast base width. This measurement will provide your surgeon with the selection of implants that will best suit your body. 3. Do breast implants lift slightly sagging breasts? Breast implants can and sometimes will give slightly sagging breast a small lift due to the increased volume of the breast. However, a breast augmentation alone is not the answer for noticeably sagging breasts. 4. Can I have breast implants under local anesthesia? While breast implants may be offered at some plastic surgery offices under local anesthesia, this is not something we offer at the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery. Our augmentation surgeries are performed under general anesthesia providing the most comfort possible for this surgery. 5. Can I have breast implants if I’m planning to have kids in the future?
  2. 2. New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery Yes. But one must remember that your breasts may enlarge even more during pregnancy and more so if breastfeeding. 6. Can I breast feed if I have breast implants? Yes there is no harm to the infant if a mother with implants breast feeds her baby. Keep in mind that there have been instances in which mothers who had breast implants placed prior to breastfeeding had difficulty or were not able to breast feed. This complication is more related to incisions placed around the nipple. 7. What is the best shape of implants to achieve more natural looking results? There are two types of shaped implants: round and tear-drop (anatomic). Both types of implants can offer a natural looking result. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Choosing round vs. teardrop comes down to personal choice. If the patient is looking for more upper pole fullness then the round (traditional) implant is likely the best choice and if the patient is looking for more teardrop shaped breast with a gentle slope to the nipple then the anatomic implant may be the best choice. Both implants have their advantages and disadvantages and your surgeon will be able to explain them to you in detail and help guide you to choosing the right implant for you. 8. Do silicone implants harden over time? The silicone implants themselves will not harden over time, however, there is complication known as capsular contracture in which the patient’s body forms a capsule around the implant that may harden and even become painful at times. 9. Do breast implants need to be replaced overtime? Yes. Breast implants are NOT lifetime devices. Most common reasons for replacement: change size or type, rupture, capsular contracture, and infection. 10. How long is the downtime for breast augmentation surgery? The optimal downtime for recovery after a breast augmentation is 7-10 days. Patient may resume normal daily activities within this time frame, however, heavy lifting and exercising are restricted until 4-6 weeks or when approved by your surgeon. Most patients are back to all activities by 8 weeks. 11. Silicone vs. Saline: Which breast implant is safer? The FDA has approved both silicone and saline implants as safe options for breast augmentation. However, silicone implants are only FDA-approved for those patients older than 22 years of age. 12. What are the risks of breast implants?
  3. 3. New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery Like any surgical procedure, breast augmentation surgery can and does have complications. These can include: bleeding, infection, scarring, wound healing issues, implant rupture, breast firmness, changes in nipple/skin sensation, contour irregularities, skin discoloration/swelling, skin sensitivity, tissue/fat necrosis, seroma, capsular contracture, implant extrusion, skin wrinkling/rippling, skin stretch marks, calcifications, chest wall irregularities, and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Just knowing about these potential complications with breast augmentation surgery makes you as a patient more knowledgeable about the procedure and will help you make the educated decision about choosing an elective cosmetic procedure.