Breast augmentation is a procedure to surgically increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. A breast implant of various sizes will increase your breast volume to different shapes. Dr. Cortés typically places the implant behind the muscle to increase your bra cup size. In this brief description, we will discuss the basics of a breast augmentation, what to expect after surgery, and how the surgery is performed, among other things.
The approach for a breast augmentation used by Dr. Cortés is more technically focused on which implants fit better based on the patient’s anatomy and measurements. The notion that the bigger the breasts, the better it is seen in society does not apply to the natural history of the breast augmentation procedure. Dr. Cortés carefully chooses your breast implants, not only to provide very nice and beautiful results, but also to make sure that the implant is not going to be causing any issues right after the surgery. He has developed a system to choose an implant by taking into consideration the patient’s anatomy but also the desired breast size wanted.
A breast augmentation is recommended for patients that want to have a fuller breast. There are different types of breasts and how the breast augmentation surgery is performed will be determined by your anatomy. A breast augmentation will not fix extremely saggy breasts. These are breasts where the nipple areola complex is lower by more than 3 cm from its correct anatomical location. If you have saggy breasts, then, a simple wonder breast lift or a wonder breast lift with an implant will be a better option for you.
There are multiple factors that are taken into consideration when performing a breast augmentation. One of these factors is the type of implant. There are different options to choose the best type of implant for a patient:
Breast implants are medical devices approved by the FDA. They have a silicone shell filled with saline intraoperative or prefilled with silicone by the manufacturer. The safety of the breast implants has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that they do not cause any chronic medical diseases, cancer, etc. The size of the breast implant is measured in cc or cubic centimeters. Prefilled silicone breast implants come in a 25 cc difference between one and the other. For example, it can be a 400 cc implant and then jump to a 425 cc implant, etc. Saline implants are different because they are empty bags that are placed inside the breasts and then filled to the desired volume. So, there is a wide variety of range in terms of the sizes that can be accomplished with a saline implant.
We encourage you to visit our YouTube channel drwilbertocorteslive for educational videos that Dr. Cortés’s has created. These videos will help you better understand the breast augmentation surgery.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Cortés, not only assesses your breasts, but also your chest dimension. A beautiful breast, not only refers to the size of the breasts, but also to the relationship between the breasts to the chest. He will assess your skin tone, the location of the inframammary fold, and the size of the nipple and areola, among others.
Dr. Cortés will measure your breasts to determine any asymmetry that you have had before the surgery. Remember that your breasts are sisters, not twins. There are always variables that are taken into consideration during your surgery like the volume of your breasts, the location of your nipples, etc. Dr. Cortés will often recommend different sizes of implants to match your breast volume so you do not look loop-sided after surgery.
He will also assess and recommend the best volume that will provide you with beautiful results to suit your preferences to the utmost.
He will assess your medical history, your social history, and the medication you are taking, among other things.
Typically, the main question patients ask when it comes to the implant is “What cup size would be appropriate for my body?” In general, every 150 cc implant is a cup size. So, if you choose a 450 cc implant it will increase your breast by 3-cup sizes.
You should be aware of the fact that, even though the breast implants are permanent medical devices, there is no guarantee that they will last a lifetime and there is a chance that you may need surgery in the future for breast-related issues pertinent to the breast augmentation surgery itself.
A breast implant by itself carries a risk like any other procedure of infection and bleeding, to name a few. Nevertheless, a breast implant has its own complication-related issues. One of the most common complications which occurs in 8 to 10 percent of patients is a capsular contracture. The capsular contracture is basically a scar that forms around the implant. Most patients develop a scar around the implant, but it is a very thin layer that does not cause any issue. Although bleeding and infection are risk factors when it comes to capsule contracture, most of the times we do not understand the main cause of a capsular contraction. In severe cases of capsule contracture, the scar gets thick and is squeezed the implant very hard causing the breasts to become painful, hard and distorted. If this occurs, there are various ways of fixing this issue. If it happens early after surgery, medications like vitamin and Singulair have shown to soften the breasts. It is also very important after surgery to perform the breast exercises that Dr. Cortés recommends to decrease the incidence of this effect. Finally, if the capsular contracture gets severe, you will need to have surgery to remove the scar partially or completely.
Rarely a small percentage of patients can develop an infection early after surgery or even months to years after surgery. If this occurs, the implant in some cases needs to be removed and replaced 6 months later.
The sensation of the breasts can change and it includes the breast mound as well as the nipple-areola complex. The nipple can get very sensitive or it can be numb. There can be patches of numbness around the breasts. Most of these symptoms disappear after a while but they can become permanent in some patients.
A breast implant does not cause any problems to the baby in the event that you get pregnant after a breast augmentation and it does not generally interfere with the ability to breast-feed. However, your breasts can change after your pregnancy resulting in additional surgeries required to restore your breasts to their previous form.
As always, there is fear of rupture of breast implants. Rupture can occur due to injury or from a normal compression or movement of the implant causing the shell to leak. If a silicone breast implant breaks, then, your breast will be deflated in a few hours and the body will naturally absorb saline because there is water inside the implant. In cases where the silicone gel implant leaks or breaks, the gel might escape, but it typically stays around the perimeter of the breast pocket. You may not even notice that you have a silicone implant that is ruptured but, if a physical exam or symptoms suggest a rupture, then, an MRI can be used to determine if the implant is ruptured. A mammography is still recommended after a breast surgery in women that are indicated to assess breast cancer. It is technically a more difficult procedure, but it has been shown that breast implants do not increase the chances of women dying of breast cancer.
Dr. Cortés performs his surgeries in the Houston Northwest Medical Center using general anesthesia administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. You will be discharged the same day of the surgery. If multiple procedures are done at the same time, then, you will need to stay overnight at the hospital.
Dr. Cortés performs a breast augmentation using different access incisions. The most common ones are the incisions at the breast fold or the one through the areola. During your consultation, he will determine which one would be the best incision for you for a successful placement of the implant. Regardless of where the incision is placed, the scars tend to heal very well. Once Dr. Cortés performs the incision, he dissects through the breast tissue until the muscle of the chest is identified. He will grab the muscle, cut the muscle at the inferior edge, create a pocket under the muscle, and insert the implant. Once the implant is inserted, Dr. Cortés will use a size to match the volume of the other breast because it is extremely common for women to have some asymmetries in volume that will become more noticeable after surgery. So, he makes sure he uses the most appropriate implant to minimize the asymmetries of the breast that will occur after the surgery. Incisions are closed with reabsorbable sutures and you will be discharged.
Pain after a breast augmentation is very minor. Nevertheless, we will provide you with pain medication to control any signs of discomfort. The breasts will feel tight and also your implants will ride very high, sometimes with an unnatural look, but all of this will settle within a month through exercises and sometimes using a breast strap to accommodate the implant in the right place. Your sutures will come out in about 7 to 10 days and you need to start doing the breast exercises within days of the surgery.
You will be able to take a shower right after the surgery. Your breasts will be very sensitive to stimulation, but it is still important that you perform your breast exercises. Your scars will heal slowly and will take about a year to mature, but they will never disappear completely. Routine mammograms and breast exams need to be performed as if the patient had never had a breast augmentation surgery. You will be able to exercise in 3 to 4 weeks and lift heavy loads in about 4 to 6 weeks. If you follow all our recommendations carefully, you should be able to return to work within 3 to 7 days.
If the proper implant size is chosen, you will have beautiful breasts that will last long. You will need to be very patient since the settling of the breasts will take from weeks to months.