In-Op Time: 1-2 Hours


Breast Augmentation

in Baltimore, MD

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Emile Brown offers a variety of breast augmentation options to patients in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Annapolis and the surrounding areas of Maryland. If you wish for fuller, rounder, more symmetrical breasts, then a breast augmentation may be able to help. As one of the most customizable procedures, the breast augmentation comes with a lot of options. Dr. Brown can help develop a treatment plan that is unique to you.

What is a Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. It involves placing implants, or transferring your own fat, to boost the size of the breasts and/or to reconfigure their shape. Breast augmentations provide long-lasting results and can be customized to give you the exact look you desire. A breast augmentation is often performed alone, but can also be combined with another procedure like a breast lift. Patients will be able to choose the material (saline or silicone), size, shape, texture, and placement of their implants in order to achieve the results they want.

Benefits of a Breast Augmentation

The breast augmentation can benefit those with one of the following concerns:

  •         Naturally small breasts
  •         Breast asymmetry
  •         Volume loss after childbirth and breastfeeding
  •         Volume loss after a significant weight loss
  •         Volume loss and sagging with age

Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

You might be a candidate for a breast augmentation if you are unhappy with the size, shape, or symmetry of your breasts. This can be due to aging, weight loss, childbirth, or genetics. With the use of implants, women can achieve significantly larger breasts, while those who wish for a more subtle enhancement might choose a breast augmentation with fat transfer alone. Candidates must be in good health with breasts that are done developing. Those who are currently breastfeeding or plan to have kids in the near future may want to wait to have their breast augmentation procedure.

How is Breast Augmentation Performed?

Breast Augmentation with Implants

Using local or general anesthesia, your surgeon will create a “pocket” for your implant to sit in. This pocket may be:

  •         Directly underneath the breast tissue and on top of the pectoral muscle (sub-glandular placement)
  •         Partially under the pectoral muscle (dual plane placement)
  •         Fully underneath the pectoral muscle (sub-muscular placement)

If you are also having a breast lift performed, your outer skin will be trimmed and tightened before closing your incision. The incision may be hidden in three different locations, depending on patient anatomy and preference including:

  •         In the fold underneath the breast (inframammary or IMF approach)
  •         At the border of the areola (periareolar approach)
  •         In the armpit (transaxillary approach)

In order to achieve optimal results with an incision in the armpit, the surgeon must use specialized equipment including a camera and video screen. This procedure is commonly referred to as “scarless breast augmentation” since the incision is hidden within the armpit and there is no visible scar on the breast. The technical name for this procedure is “endoscopic transaxillary breast augmentation.” Dr. Brown is pleased to have this specialized equipment and be able to offer all three of these incision options to patients.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

A fat transfer breast augmentation involves the use of a patient’s own fat cells for the enhancement. Fat cells are obtained through liposuction techniques, using tiny incisions where a cannula can be inserted to remove stubborn fat. This is typically done on areas like the abdomen, flanks, and thighs. These fat cells will then be processed and purified. The fat will then be placed in the breasts in order to enhance size, shape, and contour.

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

After breast augmentation, some swelling, bruising, and general discomfort can be expected. Patients should plan for about a week off work to properly recover at home. During this time, it is important to rest and avoid certain movements that involve the chest muscles like lifting weights or doing yoga. For several weeks, patients will need to avoid exercise, only adding more strenuous movement after getting the okay from their surgeon Dr. Brown. As swelling diminishes over the next several months, the breast implants will also continue to settle into a more natural position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are breast implants under warranty?

Breast implants do come with a manufacturer's warranty. The risk of implant rupture is low, but this warranty will cover the cost of implant replacement if rupture does occur. The warranty may also help pay for surgery to fix capsular contracture.

Can I move my arms after breast augmentation?

Yes, you can move your arms and lift them above your head after breast augmentation. However, you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise with your chest muscles for 4 weeks after surgery.

Can breast implants cause pain years later?

If excessive scar tissue forms around the implant, this can cause discomfort years after breast implants. This scarring is known as capsular contracture. Thanks to modern techniques for breast augmentation, the risk of capsular contracture has now been greatly reduced.

Can you breast feed after breast augmentation

There are many reasons why some women are not able to breast feed, so it is difficult to ever know whether a prior surgery affects this. However, there is no conclusive evidence that breast augmentation impairs the ability to breast feed and many women are able to do so after breast augmentation.

Do breast implants cause autoimmune disease?

No, there is no evidence that breast implants cause autoimmune disease. Breast implants are one of the most studied medical devices in history. Numerous large studies have shown no link between breast implants and autoimmune disease.

Can breast implants last 30 years?

Yes, breast implants can last 30 years, or longer. Modern breast implants are very durable devices with very low rupture rates. There is no magic number regarding how long breast implants last, but they do not need to be replaced unless they are causing issues for you.

Can fat be transferred to breasts?

Yes, fat can be transferred from elsewhere in the body and placed into the breasts. Fat cannot provide as much upper pole fullness and increased projection compared to breast implants, but can provide a natural volume boost. Fat can also be used to maintain breast volume after implant removal.

Do breasts sag after breast augmentation?

A woman's breasts can change over time as she ages, with changes in weight, or with breastfeeding. All of these factors might cause a woman's breasts to sag, regardless of whether she has implants or not. Larger, heavier implants can also stretch out the skin over time, but this varies from patient to patient and there are surgical options to help prevent this from happening.

Do you have to replace breast implants every 10 years?

It is a common myth that breasts implants need to be replaced every 10 years. Modern breast implants are very durable devices with very low rupture rates. There is no magic number regarding how long breast implants last, but they do not need to be replaced unless they are causing issues for you.

How do I know if my breast implant is leaking?

Modern silicone implants are all "gummy bear" type implants and generally will not "leak" out anywhere if they rupture. Usually a rupture of this type is detected by mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI. When a saline implant leaks/ruptures, it quickly deflates and your body naturally absorbs the saline, so it will be obvious that the implant has deflated.

Does getting breast implants make you gain weight?

Getting breasts implants will not make you gain weight, other than the weight of the implants themselves. For silicone implants, every 100cc weighs about 0.23 pounds. Saline implants weight slightly less at 0.21 pounds per 100cc. So most women will only gain a pound or two at most after breast augmentation.

How do I prepare for breast implants?

There is nothing special that needs to be done to prepare for breast implants. Patients should be at a relatively stable weight and have stopped breast feeding at least 3-6 months ago. Women who are otherwise recommended to have mammograms should make sure they have had one done in the past year.

Does insurance cover breast implants?

Insurance does not cover breast implants done for cosmetic reasons. Insurance will only cover breast implants if they are required for breast reconstruction after breast cancer.

How do you know if you have capsular contracture?

Capsular contracture is a thickening or hardening of scar tissue around a breast implant. This can make the implant feel hard and tight. It can also cause the breast to change in shape and the implant might look higher and rounder.

How dangerous is breast augmentation surgery?

Breast augmentation is a very safe procedure that millions of women undergo each year. Make sure that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery and your procedure will be done in an accredited surgery center.

How long do breast implants last?

Modern breast implants are very durable devices with very low rupture rates. There is no magic number regarding how long breast implants last, but they do not need to be replaced unless they are causing issues for you.

Is getting a breast augmentation worth it?

Breast augmentation has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any plastic surgery procedure. Women generally are very happy and feel a huge boost in self confidence.

how much does breast augmentation cost?

The cost of breast augmentation will vary based on the surgeon, the type of anesthesia, the type of implant being used, and the geographical region. Silicone implants also cost a bit more than saline implants. For primary augmentation, this can range from approximately $5,000 to $10,000. For an augmentation with a lift, the range can be from approximately $8,000 to $15,000.

Will Cigna cover breast augmentation?

Insurance does not cover breast implants done for cosmetic reasons. Insurance will only cover breast implants if they are required for breast reconstruction after breast cancer.

How long are breast augmentation incisions sore?

Most of the discomfort after breast augmentation is the result of placing the implants under the chest muscle. This generally lasts about 1-2 weeks for most patients. The incisions themselves do not tend to be very sore at all.

Is there an alternative to breast implants?

In order to increase the size of the breasts without breast implants, fat can be transferred from elsewhere in the body and placed into the breasts. However, fat cannot provide as much upper pole fullness and increased projection compared to breast implants.

How painful is breast augmentation recovery?

Most of the discomfort after breast augmentation is the result of placing the implants under the chest muscle. This feels more like a pressure on the chest as opposed to a sharp pain. This generally lasts about 1-2 weeks, but most patients are back to their normal daily routines in a week or less.

Is breast enlargement possible without surgery?

There is no effective way to permanently enlarge the breasts without surgery. Topical creams and magic pills simply do not work, and could even be dangerous.

What is the average cost of a breast augmentation?

The cost of breast augmentation will vary based on the surgeon, the type of anesthesia, the type of implant being used, and the geographical region. Silicone implants also cost a bit more than saline implants. For primary augmentation, this can range from approximately $5,000 to $10,000. For an augmentation with a lift, the range can be from approximately $8,000 to $15,000.

Whats the safest breast implant?

There is no single breast implant that is considered the "safest." However, decades of evidence in thousands of patients have shown that all modern breast implants are very safe, with low rates of rupture and capsular contracture.

What is the most common breast implant size?

Breast implants can range in size from approximately 100cc to 800cc. The most common size varies depending on geographical location, but generally runs between 250cc and 400cc.

What are cohesive breast implants?

All silicone breast implants are cohesive - what varies is HOW cohesive the silicone is. A simple way to think of this is less cohesive means the gel is more like a soft liquid, more cohesive means it is more like a firm solid. There are many reasons why a surgeon might choose a more or less cohesive implant, but the important thing to know is that all modern silicone breast implants are relatively cohesive. Which means they tend to remain in one solid piece in the event of rupture, and do not tend to "leak" outside of their capsule like older implants could.

What are gummy bear implant?

There is no universally accepted definition for gummy bear implants. The implant manufacturers have never used this designation, and it was originally coined by surgeons more as a marketing term. Some surgeons use it to refer to 5th generation highly cohesive shaped implants, while others use it to refer to 4th generation smooth, round implants as well. Fourth generation implants are much more cohesive than prior generations, but tend to be less cohesive than 5th generation implants.

What are Natrelle breast implants?

Natrelle breast implants are a particular brand of implants manufactured by Allergan. The two other most popular implant brands in the United States are manufactured by Mentor and Sientra.

What can go wrong with breast implants?

The main long-term complications that can occur after breast augmentation are implant malposition, capsular contacture, and rupture. The risks of malposition and capsular contracture are low and can be reduced by good surgical technique. The rupture rate of modern breast implants is also very low, and is also generally covered under some type of warranty by the implant manufacturer.

What is the difference between a breast augmentation and breast implants?

Breast augmentation means increasing the volume (size) of the breasts. This is most commonly done with breast implants, but can also be done with fat transferred from elsewhere in the body. Fat cannot provide as much upper pole fullness and increased projection compared to breast implants, but can provide a natural volume boost.

Your Consultation in Baltimore, MD

During your consultation at the Aesthetic Center at Woodholme, we will be glad to answer all of your questions, including those pertaining to specific techniques that might affect your cost. We will also help you determine the best method of payment based on your needs and budget. Many times, we are able to offer specials that help patients maximize their cosmetic procedure dollars. On other occasions, we may recommend financing through a major credit card or low-interest financing through CareCredit® or Prosper® Health Care Lending.

If you are anxious to look and feel your best, contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Emile Brown today to schedule your breast augmentation consultation. We proudly serve patients from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Annapolis and the surrounding areas of Maryland.

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