Breast augmentation is an extremely popular cosmetic surgery for adding fullness to the breasts and creating attractive curves that help women gain more confidence in their appearance. In Houston, Texas, Dr. Paul Vitenas is a breast enhancement specialist, performing more than 500 breast augmentation procedures each year. He works with each patient to design a custom treatment plan that helps them reach their aesthetic goals.
- What is Breast Augmentation?
- Breast Augmentation Before-and-After Photos
- Benefits of Breast Enhancement
- Implant Types
- Candidates for Breast Augmentation
- Breast Augmentation Age Limit
- Breast Implants and Pregnancy
- Your Breast Augmentation Consultation in Houston, TX
- Preparing for Breast Surgery
- The Breast Augmentation Procedure
- Breast Augmentation Techniques
- Breast Reconstruction After Cancer Treatment
- What to Expect Post-Surgery
- Breast Augmentation Recovery
- Breast Augmentation Results
- Implant Safety and Risks
- About Implant Failure
- Cost of Breast Augmentation with Implants
- Why Choose Dr. Vitenas?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Augmentation
- Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
What is Breast Augmentation?
Many women are unhappy with the size and appearance of their breasts. Breast growth starts at the onset of puberty and may continue into young adulthood, but some women will always have naturally small breasts.
Breast augmentation, also known as a “boob job,” is a surgical procedure that adds volume to the breasts using artificial implants or the patient’s own fat. It is an extremely popular procedure with a long history of great results. Women can choose the size and type of implant for their surgery that suits their frame and preferences.
Women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer can also benefit from breast enhancement. Mastectomy (removal of one or both natural breasts) is often necessary to save a woman’s life. Implants or tissue from the patient’s body can be used to reconstruct the breasts after mastectomy to help women regain their confidence.
Breast Augmentation Before-and-After Photos
It’s always a good idea to set your expectations for plastic surgery by looking at before and after photos of former patients. Dr. Vitenas has an extensive gallery of photos for prospective patients to browse.
Benefits of Breast Enhancement
Women who choose to undergo breast enhancement are usually thrilled with their results. Not only do they love their new curves and find they are excited to show them off, but they also feel less self-conscious and happier in their own skin.
Breast augmentation can also make shopping easier. Most clothing for women is designed with curves in mind, making it difficult for women with smaller chests to find flattering styles. After breast augmentation, most women are excited about the new possibilities their implants offer for exploring their personal style.
For breast cancer patients, breast augmentation can be truly life-changing. Mastectomy is a traumatic experience for most women, and wearing a fake breast prosthetic does not provide the emotional benefits of breast augmentation. Breast reconstruction can be a key step in cancer recovery for women.
Breast augmentation can also be part of a “Mommy Makeover” for women who have had one or more children. The breasts change significantly during pregnancy and breastfeeding, causing many women to develop self-esteem and confidence problems once their children are weaned. With procedures like a breast lift, breast augmentation, and a tummy tuck, moms can feel more like themselves again and boost their self-esteem.
Breast implants come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Each patient is unique and one breast implant might be perfect for one woman while being totally wrong for another. That’s why it’s so important to be honest with your plastic surgeon about your goals and expectations—they can help you find the implant type that’s right for you.
Breast implants are all made of a flexible silicone shell which is filled with either silicone gel or saline solution (sterile salt water). Both silicone and saline implants are FDA-approved, although saline implants are considered safe for women over the age of 18, while silicone implants are recommended for women over 22.
Silicone implants were pulled from the market for several years, due to concerns over their safety. However, they were put back on the market in 2006 after further research did not reveal significant safety issues. Today, they are the more popular implant type.
Saline and silicone implants both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to really think about what’s most important to you when picking your implant type.
Saline implants are generally a little bit cheaper than silicone. They’re also FDA-approved for younger women, so they might be the only option for someone who is under the age of 22. Saline implants are very safe since the salt water they contain will be absorbed by the body if a rupture occurs.
Another big advantage of saline implants is that they can be surgically placed before being filled, meaning that the surgeon can make a smaller incision that creates a smaller scar. However, saline implants are known for looking a little less natural than silicone. They can also be more prone to “rippling” and becoming visible underneath the skin, especially in women with very little natural breast tissue.
Silicone implants are known for looking and feeling very natural. There are two main types of silicone gel used in breast implants: standard soft gel and the thicker, cohesive gel used to create “gummy bear” implants.
Most patients love the appearance of silicone breast implants. Although they are slightly more expensive than saline implants, the cost difference usually isn’t enough to really impact a woman’s decision about what implant type to get. Silicone implants are less prone to rippling and tend to be the default choice for women with less breast tissue.
One thing to keep in mind is that silicone implants do require a larger incision for placement and it’s not easy to tell if an implant has ruptured since the gel will continue to sit in the breast pocket. If you are concerned about scarring or “silent ruptures,” you might want to think about saline instead. However, the majority of breast augmentation patients ultimately decide to go with silicone.
Implants can be round or a “teardrop” shape. While teardrop breast augmentation can look more natural initially, there is the risk that the implant will rotate within the chest and end up looking strange. If a round implant moves around, there should be no change in the appearance of the breasts.
Your plastic surgeon will help you pick the shape that’s right for you. The best option can depend on your frame, the amount of breast tissue you have, and your goals for the procedure. However, most women end up choosing round implants.
Dr. Vitenas only uses round implants in his Houston breast augmentation procedures because he has found that they look very natural and do not cause as many issues for patients as teardrop implants. Having an expert give a recommendation is extremely helpful in choosing the right implants.
Implants can be either smooth or textured. Smooth implants are more popular, as they move naturally within the chest. Textured implants are less likely to shift, however, which can sometimes be a benefit.
It is important to note that textured implants have been associated with a rare type of cancer: BIA ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma). This is not a type of breast cancer, but cancer that affects the immune system.
Although BIA ALCL is a concern to take seriously, it is very rare. Smooth implants further reduce the risk of developing this rare cancer. Dr. Vitenas exclusively uses smooth implants, as he does not feel comfortable using textured implants for safety and aesthetic reasons.
When most women think about choosing their implants initially, they are thinking more about the size than anything else. Obviously, the goal of breast augmentation is adding volume to the chest, meaning that choosing the right size is extremely important.
However, many women don’t realize that choosing the right size means considering several factors. First, implant sizes are very different from bra sizes. Each bra manufacturer has its own sizing formula, meaning that cup sizes vary widely from brand to brand.
To standardize implant size, these devices are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). That way, you know exactly how big the implants will be, regardless of the manufacturer. However, implants can look very different on different women, depending on their height, weight, frame, and natural breasts.
It’s important to try on implant sizers before you decide how big you want to go with your implants. Bigger isn’t always better! Trying on the sizers with a few different types of shirts can help you choose the size that will make you feel happy, confident, and comfortable.
Candidates for Breast Augmentation
Healthy women over the age of 18 can be good candidates for breast augmentation surgery, depending on their goals and expectations. Breast augmentation is major surgery, so it’s important for prospective patients to be healthy and able to tolerate general anesthesia. Candidates should be non-smokers or willing to quit and have realistic expectations for the procedure.
The best candidates are women who are unhappy with their natural breast tissue and are seeking augmentation for their own happiness, not to please anyone else. Cosmetic surgery is deeply personal and the decision to undergo breast augmentation should not be taken lightly.
Many women who want breast augmentation simply have naturally small breasts and very few curves. However, others struggle with issues like tuberous breasts (tubular breasts), asymmetry, and other developmental abnormalities. Breast implants can improve not only the size of the breasts but also their contours and uniformity.
Breast removal through mastectomy can also make a woman a great candidate for breast implants. Reconstruction can be an important step in the overall recovery process after breast cancer treatment.
Dr. Vitenas evaluates each prospective patient during a private consultation at his Houston, TX office, or virtually. He carefully looks over the patient’s health history and asks questions about any current or past health concerns to ensure that they are healthy enough for surgery. He will also go over candidacy factors such as age, goals and motivations, and expectations.
A reputable plastic surgeon will never recommend a procedure that is unsafe or unsuitable for a prospective patient. Dr. Vitenas wants each patient to reach their goals safely and designs breast enhancement procedures carefully to set them up for success.
When it comes to breast augmentation candidacy, age plays only a minor role. Everyone is different, and there’s no “perfect age” for breast augmentation. Physical and emotional maturity, life circumstances, and health all play a larger role in whether or not breast implants are right for an individual woman.
Generally, the minimum age for breast implants is 18 for saline implants and 22 for silicone. With that said, implants are appropriate for women of all ages who need reconstructive surgery. Following the FDA guidelines, any healthy adult woman whose breasts have finished their development can be a good candidate.
Physical development is just one factor in candidacy, though. Women should be emotionally mature and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Breast implants are a big investment, and it’s important for women to be emotionally prepared for the experience.
There’s no upper age limit for breast augmentation. As long as a woman is healthy and understands all of the risks and benefits of the procedure, she can have the surgery regardless of her age. Many older women choose to get breast augmentation as a gift to themselves.
Your future plans also matter when it comes to breast augmentation. If you are thinking about having a family in the next few years, it’s probably a good idea to wait on the surgery until you have finished having children and breastfeeding.
The breasts go through many changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Although breast implants aren’t known to present any safety risk for mothers and babies, changes in the breasts during pregnancy could affect the results of the surgery and create the need for revision surgery.
Many women are concerned about how breast implants will affect their ability to start a family. Younger patients might have plans to get pregnant in the future, but don’t want to wait years and years to get their implants.
There are three major concerns women tend to have about breast implants and pregnancy: the ability to breastfeed, the safety of implants for breastfeeding, and pregnancy’s effect on the results of breast augmentation. Let’s break that down a little, as there’s a lot of misleading information out there.
First of all, breast augmentation doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to breastfeed. Depending on the surgical technique that is used, the milk ducts contained within the breasts may not be affected at all. If you think you will want to breastfeed someday after having breast augmentation, be sure to mention this to your plastic surgeon during your consultation.
Second, breastmilk remains very safe for infants, even after breast augmentation. Research has not indicated that breastfeeding after getting implants has any negative effect on the safety of the breast milk. While implants might affect supply, most women are able to successfully breastfeed after their augmentation procedure.
It’s also important to note that women with a tuberous breast deformity might naturally have more trouble breastfeeding. Since these women often seek surgical solutions to these problems, that might be a larger factor in an individual woman’s ability to produce enough milk, rather than the implants themselves.
Finally, it is true that pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect the cosmetic results of breast augmentation, due to changes in the natural breast tissue. Although the implants will stay the same throughout a woman’s pregnancy and lactation, the hormonal fluctuations cause changes in breast size and shape. After breastfeeding, many women notice that their breasts look much different and choose to have a secondary procedure to reach their aesthetic goals.
Depending on the situation, you may want to wait on breast augmentation surgery until you’ve had your children. If you’re thinking about starting a family in a year or two, it probably makes sense to wait so that you don’t have to worry about future pregnancies affecting the appearance of your breasts.
If, however, you’re not sure when you might start having children, it can make sense to have the surgery right away. If you’re in your early twenties and you’ve got some time before you want to settle down, there’s no reason to miss out on years of feeling good about yourself.
The bottom line is that breast implants won’t impact any future pregnancies, but pregnancy and breastfeeding could impact the results of your surgery. That’s something you need to consider before you move forward. For some women, it makes sense to go ahead with the augmentation, while others choose to wait and get a breast lift with breast implants after having children.
Once you know what makes someone a good candidate for breast augmentation, you can decide if you want to take the next step: the consultation. A consultation is required for all breast augmentation patients to ensure that the procedure is a good fit for them. It’s almost impossible to evaluate your own individual candidacy without speaking to an expert plastic surgeon.
The consultation is an opportunity for you to discuss your expectations and goals for the procedure. You should come in for your appointment with the following:
- Information on your medical history
- A list of medications and supplements you take
- Basic knowledge of the procedure
- A list of questions to ask the doctor
You will learn more about the breast augmentation procedure during your appointment, but knowing the basics of the surgery will allow you to make the most of your appointment. You’ll have the knowledge you need to ask specific questions and learn more about how to achieve the best breasts for you.
During your consultation in Houston, TX, Dr. Vitenas will go over the procedure and ask you why you’re interested in breast augmentation. He will also examine you and make recommendations about the type of implant and surgical techniques that might get you the results you’re looking for.
The consultation is also important for ensuring that you are healthy enough for surgery. Dr. Vitenas will discuss your medical history with you and ask questions about any current or past health conditions and medications that could affect your safety during surgery. It’s important to bring up any allergies that you or your family members may have as well, to help prevent any complications during surgery.
Dr. Vitenas may ask you about your lifestyle and family plans, to ensure that now is a good time for you to undergo breast enhancement surgery. He will also talk to you about preparation and recovery, the cost of breast augmentation, and what to expect after you have healed.
Once he has all the necessary information about your candidacy and goals, Dr. Vitenas can begin putting together a preliminary custom treatment plan for you. The goal of this meeting is to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure and to give you all the information you need to decide if breast augmentation is right for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your appointment. Dr. Vitenas is a highly-respected, board-certified plastic surgeon and a well-known breast augmentation specialist. His knowledge on the topic is unparalleled and he will be glad to help you get clarification on anything you find confusing or concerning.
Because safety is his top priority, Dr. Vitenas will likely go over the risks of the surgery with you during your Houston breast augmentation consultation. Please understand that although complications can and do occur in some patients, choosing an experienced and ethical surgeon cuts down on the risk considerably.
If you would prefer to meet with Dr. Vitenas over video chat, you have the option of a virtual consultation from the comfort of your own home. You will need a reliable internet connection and you may be asked to submit photos prior to the meeting.
All in all, the consultation is a great opportunity to not only learn more about your candidacy and the procedure but to get to know Dr. Vitenas. You can ask to see before-and-after photos, get a customized treatment plan, and get everything you need to feel comfortable about your final decision. You should leave your consultation feeling like the surgeon has your best interests at heart.
Preparing for Breast Surgery
If you do decide to move forward with breast enhancement, then you will need to follow some preparation steps in the weeks leading up to your procedure. This is to ensure that risks are minimized as much as possible. Proper preparation will also lead to a more comfortable and successful recovery.
Smokers need to quit several weeks before the surgery and shouldn’t smoke during the recovery period, either. Nicotine and other chemicals can interfere with healing, cause complications during surgery, and compromise your results. The sooner you can quit before your surgery, the better.
Certain medications can also be an issue. Your surgeon should provide you with a list of medications and supplements that could cause excessive bleeding or other issues during surgery. You should stop taking these two weeks before the procedure.
It’s very important to be honest with your surgeon and tell them about everything you take, whether it seems important or not. With an elective procedure, you should take every possible precaution to reduce risks.
Then, you should think about the practical preparations before surgery. Take plenty of time off from work for recovery and make plans for child and pet care if necessary. You aren’t going to feel up to doing much but resting during the first week or two, and it’s important to avoid bending, lifting, and strenuous activity.
Set up your recovery area and make some meals in advance so you don’t resort to unhealthy takeout. Run any important errands in advance and make sure you have books, movies, and other entertainment ready for your recovery.
The night before your procedure, you shouldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight if you will be receiving general anesthesia. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your surgical appointment as you won’t be able to safely drive yourself. It’s a good idea to have someone stay with you at least for the first 24-48 hours in case you need assistance.
Your surgeon will give you specific preparation instructions when you book your surgical appointment.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation is typically an outpatient procedure. Most patients can undergo surgery at an accredited ambulatory surgery center and go home the same day. The procedure itself is pretty short, usually taking only 1-2 hours to complete.
Before the surgery begins, you will meet with Dr. Vitenas at the Houston surgical facility and go over the details of the procedure. This is to ensure that you are on the same page before the surgery begins. He may use a marker on your skin to indicate the surgical plan before getting you prepped for surgery.
Just before the procedure begins, you will be given anesthesia. Most people need general anesthesia during breast augmentation to ensure their safety and comfort. You won’t feel a thing during the surgery.
Dr. Vitenas will begin by making an incision. He will discuss the specific technique he will use with you prior to the surgery. If you will be getting saline implants, the incisions will be slightly smaller as the shells will be filled once they are in place.
Once the incisions are made, Dr. Vitenas will create a “pocket” in each breast. This is where the implants will be placed. After the surgery, scar tissue will form to surround the implants.
After the pockets have been made, Dr. Vitenas will place the implants. Breast implants are placed either over or under the pectoral muscles, depending on the surgical plan. Once each implant is securely in place, Dr. Vitenas will close the incisions with sutures, completing the procedure.
Dr. Vitenas has performed thousands of breast surgeries over the course of his career as a plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas. Although he uses many of the same techniques over and over again, he approaches each case with the understanding that it is unique. Based on what he learns during the consultation, he will combine different surgical techniques to ensure that you get the best results possible.
There are two main techniques that vary between procedures: the incisions and the implant placement.
Incision placement is important because every procedure produces scarring. When the skin heals, the new collagen fibers will look a little bit different from the existing skin. Scarring fades at least somewhat over time, but plastic surgeons are careful with their incision placement to minimize visible scarring.
Incision options for breast augmentation include:
This is the most common incision pattern for breast augmentation with implants. 1-2 inch cuts are made underneath each breast in the crease, following the curve of the natural breast tissue. When the implants are in place the fold of each breast conceals the scar.
Inframammary incisions are preferred for most women for a few reasons. First, this incision pattern is associated with the fewest complications. This has made it far and away the most popular surgical technique.
It’s also easy to hide the incisions, even when you’re only wearing a bra or swimsuit top. Inframammary incisions are discreet and patients don’t have to worry about visible scarring.
The other benefit of this incision is that it grants immediate access to the breast structures. It’s easy to place pre-filled silicone implants using this method and the doctor can be extremely precise in the placement of the implants.
Rarely, a woman might not have enough breast tissue to conceal the scars. In this case, another technique might be more appropriate.
This type of incision is made in the lower section of the areolas, near the nipples. It is easy to hide in the darker skin of the areola, but it isn’t practical for most breast augmentation patients. The smaller size of the incision does not always allow the surgeon to place a silicone breast implant.
Aside from this, the periareolar incision may be associated with a higher risk for capsular contracture. It is also more likely to cause complications for breastfeeding down the line vs. the inframammary incision.
Still, it can be an appropriate choice for certain patients. This incision type can be good for patients undergoing a breast lift in addition to implants. It can also be beneficial for women who are prone to developing thick scar tissue.
This incision type is rare, and can only be used for saline implants. The incision is made in the armpit and the implant is threaded through to the breast pocket. While this eliminates scarring near the breasts, it’s more difficult for the surgeon to maneuver and to create good results.
Working even farther away from the breasts, the rare TUBA incision is also only available for saline breast implant procedures. An incision is made in the belly button area and a small camera is used to provide visibility as the surgeon places the implant. Although this eliminates incisions near the breasts, the surgeon has less control over the placement and results.
Breast implants are placed underneath a woman’s natural breast tissue. However, they may be placed either over the muscle (subglandular) or under the muscle (submuscular). Each technique has its pros and cons, which Dr. Vitenas will discuss with you before the procedure.
Submuscular placement is a popular option for breast augmentation. The implants are placed underneath the chest muscles, which helps to disguise the edges of the implant. Submuscular placement is generally best for women with less breast tissue overall.
Placing the implants over the pectoral muscles and under the breast gland tissue, a technique known as “subglandular placement” is another option. Although it can be a good choice for some patients, subglandular placement is less popular than partial or full submuscular placement. It can be better for women with more breast tissue to cover up the implants, but patients with naturally large breasts don’t often seek breast augmentation.
Dr. Vitenas is a breast implant specialist and often uses a dual-plane technique. This allows him to give patients the best of both worlds, by positioning part of the implant over the muscle and part of it under the muscle. This creates a very natural appearance.
Women who have gotten through breast cancer treatments have a lot to celebrate. But they are also often dealing with the emotional and physical pain of losing one or both natural breasts from a mastectomy (breast removal) procedure. The good news is that there are reconstruction options available.
Reconstruction with implants is the most common option. The surgery can take place immediately after the mastectomy procedure or at a later date. Tissue expanders may be necessary to create enough skin for the surgery and incision patterns might be a bit different from traditional augmentation procedures.
Breast reconstruction can be life-changing. Many women find that they’re able to start processing the experience of recovering from cancer and move forward with more confidence following breast reconstruction surgery.
After your surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area in the surgical center while you wake up from anesthesia. You will feel groggy after your surgery and may need to wait a bit while the surgical team monitors you. They will not send you home with your ride until they are confident that it is safe for you to leave.
At home, it’s important to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions closely. You can (and should!) choose the best, most experienced surgeon, but if you don’t take care of yourself properly after your surgery, you could easily experience complications or compromise your results.
The first night, you are likely to be exhausted and may experience some discomfort. You should take your pain medication only as directed and ask your surgeon for more pain management tips. Initially, you should sleep on your back with your head elevated, to reduce swelling and to allow your implants to settle into their ideal position.
Initial recovery after breast augmentation takes about a week. During this time, rest should be your priority while your incisions heal. It is important to avoid lifting your arms, bending, and picking up heavy objects as much as possible during the first few weeks.
Expect to experience some discomfort and swelling, along with bruising, tightness, numbness, or hypersensitivity in the chest area. During the first week, use your pain medication as directed or take approved over-the-counter pain relievers. This initial recovery period is the most difficult.
Keep an eye out for any signs of infection during your recovery. If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon’s office. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Dr. Vitenas uses advanced techniques to create pockets in the breasts, so you do not need to wear a bra during your breast augmentation recovery. You should not wear bras for at least 6 weeks after your surgery. This will allow the scar tissue around the implants to form properly.
After the first couple of days, you can resume light activity. Some people feel well enough to return to desk jobs at this point, but don’t feel like you have to get back to work right away. It’s important to attend all follow-up appointments to ensure that you are healing properly.
It’s very important to avoid any strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks after surgery. You can expect most of the swelling to disappear within two or three weeks. The last of the swelling should subside within a few months.
Breast Augmentation Results
Most patients are thrilled with their breast augmentation results. They enjoy a curvier figure and larger, well-shaped breasts that look natural on their frame. This is why it’s so important to try on different implant sizes before the surgery, to see what works best for you.
Although breast augmentation provides physical improvements, most patients experience emotional benefits as well. Women who get breast implants tend to feel happier with their appearance and carry themselves with more confidence. Getting breast implants can be a great self-esteem booster for the right patients.
Waiting for your final breast implant results takes some patience. You will need to wait for your incisions to heal, for any swelling to disappear, and for your implants to settle into place. This can take a few months, however, you will see preliminary results within a few weeks of your surgery.
As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved with breast augmentation. An experienced surgeon like Dr. Vitenas can greatly reduce risks and complications by taking appropriate precautions, but every patient needs to understand that issues can always come up and what to look for. Each individual needs to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to move forward with cosmetic surgery.
Breast augmentation carries standard surgical risks, like excessive bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, and scarring. Dr. Vitenas and other experienced plastic surgeons reduce these risks by screening candidates carefully and taking precautions during the procedure. Patients can further reduce risks by following all pre- and post-op instructions.
There are also a few breast implant-specific risks and safety concerns that patients should be aware of. These include:
Capsular contracture is a complication that typically occurs within the first year or two after breast augmentation. After the procedure, a “capsule” of scar tissue forms and surrounds each breast implant. Capsular contracture refers to this scar tissue squeezing the implant and causing complications.
Mild capsular contracture isn’t usually noticeable. But as the condition worsens, it can be extremely painful and distort the implant. Revision surgery is necessary to treat advanced cases of capsular contracture.
Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
A very rare cancer, BIA-ALCL, has been associated with breast implants. While the incidence is extremely low and mostly linked to textured implants that Dr. Vitenas does not use in his practice, it’s important for all patients to be aware of the small risk of developing this serious health condition.
Other Potential Risks and Complications
- Poor healing
- Implant displacement
- Sensation changes
- Breast dimpling, wrinkling, or rippling
- Implant visibility
- Poor aesthetic outcome
A reputable surgeon will be honest with you about the potential safety risks and complications. Dr. Vitenas will go over all the possible risks with you during your consultation in Houston and talk about how he works to make the procedure as safe as possible.
It’s important for patients to monitor themselves after their breast augmentation for any signs of trouble. If you notice that something seems “off” in the area of your breasts, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Call your surgeon right away and ask for their opinion about your symptoms.
Your surgeon might suggest imaging every few years to make sure your implants are still holding up well and not causing any problems. Obviously, it’s up to you whether or not you continue to monitor your implants, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on things so you can catch any issues early on.
Implants are not lifetime devices, despite what many women think. If you get your implants as a young woman, there’s a good chance you will need to have them replaced or removed at some point during your lifetime.
Now, this shouldn’t prevent you from getting implants. Modern implants are more durable than ever and have a very long lifespan. However, it is important to realize that implants can fail at any time, and you need to be prepared for it when it happens.
Most implant failures involve a leak or rupture. An old implant springs a leak or an implant of any age is subjected to excessive force. Impact during a car accident or contact sport can lead to a rupture and implant failure.
It’s pretty obvious when a saline implant has failed. The saltwater leaks out and the body absorbs it harmlessly. That means the implant deflates and creates aesthetic changes in the chest.
Silicone implants are much more likely to have “silent ruptures.” Because the body cannot absorb the silicone gel, a woman’s breast should look pretty normal even after a rupture. However, irritation after the leak causes many women to realize their implant has failed.
There’s no way to prevent ruptures entirely, but you can reduce the risks. Wear a seatbelt and drive as safely as you can to reduce the risk of getting into an accident. Don’t participate in contact sports for the sake of your implants.
Even with these precautions, a rupture can occur. If you have silicone implants and you think you might have gotten hit hard enough to cause a rupture, check with your surgeon to schedule imaging. As your implants get older, it can be a good idea to get them checked every few years for implant failure.
When an implant fails, revision surgery is needed. During the revision procedure, your surgeon can replace your implants with a pair of the same size and material, but that’s not your only option. You can change to a larger or smaller pair, switch materials, or decide to remove your implants altogether.
If you decide to remove your implants without replacing them, you may need additional reconstructive surgery. The implants will stretch the surrounding skin, leaving a deflated look after implant removal. Surgery can be performed to address this.
The cost of breast augmentation is not fixed. Generally, the surgeon’s fees will depend on the region and the surgeon’s skill and experience. To work with the best surgeon, you may need to pay a bit more but you’ll probably be much happier with your results.
Dr. Vitenas has welcomed breast augmentation patients in Houston from a wide range of backgrounds and can discuss costs and financing options during your consultation. Breast augmentation should not be “cheap” as it’s important to choose a top surgeon who can help you reach your goals and prevent complications. It’s never a good idea to skimp when it comes to plastic surgery.
Take some time to think about how much you’re willing to invest in breast surgery. Typically, the surgery will cost more than $6000. It’s important to think about whether you’re financially prepared to take this step and to consider your financing options.
Why Choose Dr. Vitenas?
Dr. Paul Vitenas is an acclaimed Houston breast enhancement specialist. He is known for his ability to create natural-looking results for his patients and boost their confidence in their appearance and themselves.
Every patient who steps into his Houston plastic surgery center will experience a welcoming and inviting environment. Dr. Vitenas and his staff are compassionate and caring and will make you feel at home.
Dr. Vitenas’s ultimate goal is to help each patient feel happy and comfortable in their own skin. He will go over all of your goals and expectations carefully to create a custom treatment plan that will give you incredible results.
Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Augmentation
Cosmetic surgery is the only way to permanently increase your breast size. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States, as many women want to achieve a curvier, more feminine silhouette. With modern techniques, breast augmentation results usually look extremely natural.
Breast implants are the most popular choice for breast enlargement, but there are other breast augmentation options as well, such as fat transfer. Fat transfer involves taking the patient’s own fat from areas like the stomach or thighs and using it in augmenting the breasts.
Many women can benefit from breast implants, regardless of the shape of their natural breasts. However, it’s important to know that tuberous breasts and other developmental issues might require more reconstruction than simply placing implants. Creating a natural-looking appearance from breast enhancement is a process that plastic surgeons customize for patients.
It’s also important to note that breast implants alone can’t fix all aesthetic issues. Many women who have experienced sagging and drooping due to aging or pregnancy and breastfeeding don’t necessarily need more volume, they need a lift. A breast lift, with or without augmentation, is often the best choice.
Many women can successfully breastfeed after getting implants. The inframammary incision, which is the most common breast augmentation technique, avoids harming the milk ducts and leaves most of the natural breast structures intact. Breastfeeding is usually not an issue following this type of augmentation, but be sure to mention to your surgeon that you hope to breastfeed in the future.
Breast augmentation costs vary quite a bit, due to a number of different factors. The implants themselves vary in cost, but the surgeon’s experience, geographic region, and other factors also come into play. The average cost is about $6500-7500.
A number of different fees are rolled into the cost of breast augmentation. The surgical fees, the cost of the implants, anesthesia, and follow-ups are just some of the associated costs. Make sure to request a full cost breakdown when going over your financing options.
Massage can be an important part of your recovery process. It can help to prevent complications within the breast pocket. You may need to massage your implants several times a day early on.
Your surgeon should give you instructions on how to massage breast implants after your surgery. If they don’t mention it, don’t be afraid to ask!
What are breast implants made of?
All breast implants are made up of an exterior silicone shell. They may be filled with saline solution (salt water) or a silicone gel. Silicone gels can be softer or more cohesive, as for the “gummy bear” implants.
Each material has its pros and cons. You and your surgeon will discuss the options during your consultation and figure out which type of implant is best for you.
How do breast implants work?
A breast implant is a false breast that is placed surgically. In cosmetic surgery, implants are used to augment the existing breasts. In reconstructive surgery, they replace breasts lost due to mastectomy or injury.
Breasts are made up of several different types of tissue, including breast gland tissue and fat. An implant mimics the look and feel of the natural breasts and immediately adds volume to the chest. These false breasts are placed underneath the natural breast tissue and typically part of the pectoral muscle for the most realistic appearance possible.
How long do breast implants take to heal?
Your initial recovery period will take about a week. During this time, you will need to get adequate rest and avoid activities like lifting and bending while your incisions heal. However, you will not be fully healed after the first week.
Breast implants need time to settle. Scar tissue will form to surround them and it’s important to avoid strenuous activities for another 6 weeks at a minimum. You should also not wear a bra for 6 weeks while you heal from surgery.
Dr. Vitenas can give you an estimated recovery timeline. But it’s important to realize that everyone is different. Your recovery experience could be quite different from someone else’s.
How old do you have to be to get breast implants?
As a general rule, patients need to be at least 18 to get implants. This is the approved age for saline implants and the age when parental consent is not required. However, younger teens occasionally get implants with parental and surgeon permission.
Being physically and emotionally mature is the most important factor in figuring out the best age for implants. You need to ensure that you’ve stopped growing so that any further development doesn’t change the results of your surgery. You also need to be mature enough to consider all the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery before moving forward.
What do breast implants look like after pregnancy?
A breast implant won’t change much once it’s placed during breast augmentation surgery. However, the existing breast tissue will change significantly during pregnancy and may change the overall appearance of the breasts. If you are thinking of having children soon, it’s probably best to wait to get implants.
How long should I wait after having children to get breast implants?
It’s important to give your breasts time to settle after giving birth and breastfeeding. In general, it’s probably best to wait at least 6 months after you’re done breastfeeding. Dr. Vitenas can answer any questions you have about your breast augmentation timing.
What is the meaning of BIA?
BIA stands for breast implant-associated. It is used to describe a rare form of lymphoma associated with implants. It’s also been used to describe “breast implant illness,” an unconfirmed condition some women say they’ve developed after getting implants.
The breast implant illness symptoms list is long and the descriptions of it are mostly anecdotal. However, if you notice any unusual symptoms after getting breast implants, you should contact your surgeon right away to discuss your options.
How long are breast implants good for?
Modern implants are extremely durable, but they are not lifetime devices. Most patients can expect long-term enhancement that lasts for at least 10 years. Many implants last longer than that. Your plastic surgeon can give you an idea of what you can expect.
How long does a breast augmentation take?
Many patients are surprised to find out just how short the procedure itself can be. For an experienced breast surgeon like Dr. Vitenas in Houston, the surgery can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Even though the surgery is short, general anesthesia is necessary. This means that it will take some time for you to wake up after the procedure. The surgical team will allow you to be driven home by a trusted loved one or friend once they confirm that you are awake and it’s safe for you to go home.
What are the most common breast augmentation techniques?
Although there are many different techniques that surgeons can use to place breast implants, the majority of procedures are performed using the inframammary technique. A 1-2 incision is made in the crease underneath the breast to allow the surgeon to create the pocket and place the implant.
This technique is the most popular because it eliminates visible scarring (the scars are hidden underneath the breasts) and reduces the risk of complications. This is also a good technique for preserving the ability to breastfeed.
What are some signs of breast implant problems?
It can be hard to tell if something is wrong with your implants, especially if they’re filled with silicone. Changes in shape, unusual hard lumps, unevenness, and sensation changes in the breasts can be signs of a silent rupture.
Swelling and pain in the breast area after you have healed from your procedure can indicate problems. Any abnormal sensations or pain should be reported to your surgeon. Early action is important for reducing complications.
If you have saline implants, another sign that something is wrong is a “deflated” appearance. This could indicate a rupture.
How often do breast implants need to be replaced?
According to the FDA, most implants can be expected to last at least 10 years, as long as they are not subjected to excessive force. Beyond that, the time frame varies.
How to find the best plastic surgeon for breast augmentation?
It is extremely important to do your research when choosing a breast augmentation surgeon. Ask to see before and after photos of previous patients, check the surgeon’s credentials, and make sure you feel comfortable with the surgeon by scheduling a consultation to discuss your goals. Choosing an inexperienced surgeon could lead to dissatisfaction or complications.
Houston breast augmentation specialist Dr. Paul Vitenas has extensive positive reviews from patients online. Online reviews can give you added peace of mind when choosing a surgeon. The most important thing, however, is to make sure your surgeon is board-certified, experienced, and has a long track record of providing great results.
What happens if you accidentally break your implants?
If you think you might have ruptured your implants, it’s important to get in touch with your surgeon right away. You may need imaging to confirm a leak or rupture.
Ruptured breast implants must be removed surgically. Most women choose to have them replaced, rather than simply removing them. The recovery time is about the same as after the initial breast augmentation procedure.
How to prepare for breast augmentation?
Preparing for breast augmentation might mean changing some of your habits. If you smoke, you’ll need to quit. If you use certain supplements and medications, you may need to stop taking them for a while before and after the surgery.
You’ll also want to make sure you have time off from work and someone to help you take care of household chores, childcare, and/or pet care. Set everything up in advance so you’ll be comfortable. Fill your prescriptions and your fridge and run any important errands in advance.
You will also want to stock up on button or zip front tops for your initial recovery. It will be difficult to pull tops over your head during the first week or two due to your incisions.
How painful is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is major surgery and you can expect some discomfort during the initial recovery phase. However, you will be provided with a prescription for pain medication that can be used to manage your discomfort during recovery. Be sure to take it only as directed.
Where should my surgery take place?
Dr. Vitenas performs breast augmentation in Houston at the Houston Surgery Center, located in the same building as his practice. Most breast augmentations these days take place at accredited surgery centers, rather than at a hospital. An overnight stay shouldn’t be necessary.
What are the pros and cons of breast implants?
Breast implants can increase confidence and curves for women who are unhappy with their natural breasts. However, major surgery is required, which is expensive and requires significant recovery.
Everyone has different reasons for wanting breast implants. Each prospective patient needs to make their own list of pros and cons before deciding to move forward with the surgery.
Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
When it comes to breast augmentation, you should take care to select a surgeon who offers the highest level of skill and compassion. Dr. Paul Vitenas is renowned for his artistic eye and extensive experience in performing breast augmentation. Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery in Houston, Texas today at 361.245.5463 to schedule your consultation.