Considering Breast Augmentation? Here’s What to Know

The numbers don’t lie—breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular elective cosmetic procedures in the U.S. today. Nearly 300,000 women opt for cosmetic breast implants each year. Those are some pretty impressive stats if you add the millions of women who already have them.

Many women who choose the procedure are looking to increase their breast size and/or improve breast shape, typically through the placement of silicone or saline breast implants. For Dr. Mark McClung, who has done thousands of successful breast augmentations in his 25-year career, he says the goal is usually to enhance a patient’s natural proportions and create a more symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing profile. “Every procedure is obviously different depending on the patient’s needs,” he says. “That’s why we go out of our way to listen to what each patient wants and how we can help.”

McClung adds there is no typical breast augmentation patient. Many women choose to have the procedure for many different reasons— correcting breast asymmetry is just one of them. “I have placed implants in patients from 18 to 70,” McClung says. “Some women want to feel more comfortable in their clothing, others are eager to reshape their breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding. It all just depends.”

Since breast augmentation is a major investment for many reasons, McClung says it makes sense to be an informed consumer, ask questions, and know to expect ahead of the procedure.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions McClung answers during his complimentary consultations:

Every procedure is different, but what is downtime typically?
“Submuscular implants—where the implant is placed underneath the pec muscle—can have three to five days of downtime typically. Subglandular implants—where the muscle is stretched over an implant—has only a couple of days of recovery. Both require exercise restrictions—no cardio for up to three weeks and four weeks before starting any resistance training.”

How long do results typically last?
“My best estimate? Implant longevity can be upwards of 15 to 20 years.”

Are there risks/complications?
“While breast augmentation is a very safe procedure, it can have risks—such as the potential of a post-op hematoma, which is bleeding in the implant pocket. Infection is another possibility. There’s only about a one percent incident rate of either happening.

One other complication is capsular contracture, which is tightening of the scar tissue capsule around the implant making the implant feel firm. There’s a ten percent risk over ten years.”

What sort of options/procedures are available or most popular?
“Saline versus silicone gel is probably the most common question I’m asked. I use a significantly higher percentage of silicone gel smooth wall implants. I prefer the inframammary approach—made in the crease underneath the breast—because it is the cleanest and gives the best visualization. That’s generally what I’ll recommend for optimal implant placement, but again, it all depends on the individual. That’s why consultations are so important.”

Which implant type is best for me? And what about sizing?

“Silicone gel implants are an ideal choice for someone starting with ample breast volume. If you are too thin or want a larger implant, then saline implants will feel less natural than silicone gel. We take several measurements in the office to find the ideal implant dimensions for the patient. Each patient tries on different implants in a sports bra. Naturally, our staff is very familiar with how to guide patients with a selection that best suits them.”

Anything else I need to know?

“Many women combine breast augmentation with other cosmetic operations, especially for women who have had children. I often suggest considering a mommy makeover, which typically includes procedures such as a tummy tuck and liposuction, along with their cosmetic breast surgery.

And I occasionally have to remind patients that if you’ve experienced lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis, you’re likely not a good candidate for a breast augmentation procedure, unfortunately.”

At Associated Plastic Surgeons, all of our doctors are well-versed in various cosmetic surgery procedures—including breast augmentations. Want to learn more or schedule a surgical consultation? Call us today at (913) 451-3722 or visit us at https://www.apskc.com/procedures/breast/breast-augmentation/.