Breast augmentation can dramatically improve a woman’s self-esteem and confidence level by bringing fullness and an ideal shape to the chest. The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure performed each year, breast augmentation makes the chest proportionate with a woman’s body, creating a more youthful, shapely figure. A successful breast augmentation procedure requires a high level of surgical skill and a discerning eye for balance, harmony, and natural beauty. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Paul Vitenas performs more than 500 breast augmentation procedures each year. Considered one of the leading cosmetic surgeons in the country, his innovative breast augmentation techniques are among the best in Houston. Dr. Vitenas can confidently help you achieve your aesthetic desires through a custom-tailored breast augmentation procedure.
Reasons for Breast Augmentation
- To enhance the breasts, making them fuller and more shapely.
- To establish a more proportionate figure.
- To replace lost breast volume.
- To improve asymmetrical breasts.
- To look better under clothing.
- To increase confidence in personal relationships.
How to Choose The Right Breast Implants
Once you have decided on breast augmentation, the first thing you will need to do is choose the size and type of implant that best suits your needs. Start by reviewing Dr. Vitenas’ before and after photos of breast augmentation, one of the largest galleries of a surgeon’s work in the world. Picking the right implant will have a substantial impact on your final appearance, so you will need to take into consideration your lifestyle, body type, and aesthetic goals. Your choices will include saline or silicone implants that are smooth and round and can be placed in a submuscular or subglandular position. With a deep understanding of the female anatomy and an artistic eye for physical proportions, Dr. Vitenas can help you to determine the best type of implant to meet your personal goals and provide beautiful natural looking breasts.
Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants
- Saline implants are made using a silicone shell filled, after insertion, with a sterile saltwater solution, making them safe should a rupture or leak occur. FDA-approved for women over the age of 18, saline implants create a firm, rounder looking breast. Saline implants are firmer to the touch than silicone implants because water is a noncompressible substance. Therefore, when you squeeze a saline implant you are only compressing the silicone elastomer membrane holding the water. Saline implants are used in extremely few cases these days as silicone implants are far superior. Saline implants are guaranteed for 10 years to be free from leaks.
- Silicone implants are the most popular choice, used in 99% of Dr. Vitenas’ breast augmentation procedures. They are FDA-approved for women over the age of 22. Prefilled with a cohesive silicone gel, often referred to as “gummy bear implants,” this type of implant tends to look and move more like natural breast tissue. They are also less likely to ripple. Silicone implants feel the most like natural breasts and are much softer than saline implants because silicone is a compressible substance. However, a rupture can go undetected more easily than with saline implants.
Smooth vs Textured Implants
- Textured implants have a firmer, grainy-type of a silicone shell. The texturing helps the implants stay in place, with less chance for re-positioning. However, this can also keep the textured implants from moving naturally within the breast pocket. Textured implants have been shown to carry a much larger load of bacteria on their surface than smooth wall devices do. Although Dr. Vitenas has extensive experience with these implants, he chose to discontinue their use more than fifteen years ago and now only uses smooth implants.
- Smooth implants are the most common choice for women. They are known to feel softer and more like natural breast tissue. Smooth implants move freely within the breast pocket, shifting with the body.
Round vs Anatomical
- Anatomical implants are teardrop in shape, they were designed in theory to provide a better shape to the breasts, with more volume along the lower pole. While anatomical implants do initially offer excellent aesthetics, they run the risk of turning on the chest, causing the breast to become misshapen. Teardrop shaped implants are always textured to help keep them in place and prevent rotation, however, this is not always effective. Recent studies have demonstrated no differences in look between round and anatomical implants. Dr. Vitenas does not use anatomical implants as there is no advantage to these implants in look or feel of the breast and they carry with them the additional risks associated with textured surface implants.
- Round implants are the traditional circular shape, offering more upper pole projection and breast fullness. While anatomical implants have volume along the lower portion, round implants provide shape to both the upper and lower pole and assume a teardrop shape when the patient stands up. They can create a soft breast that looks natural on any woman. Dr. Vitenas only uses round, smooth implants to create beautiful natural looking breasts.
Submuscular vs. Subglandular Implant Placement
- Submuscular placement puts the implant below the chest muscle. This positioning provides an attractive result that does not require a substantial amount of existing breast tissue. The dual plane technique is a variation of the submuscular placement, involving dissection and division of the lower portion of the pectoralis major muscle, thus allowing the implant to fill out the lower pole of the breast in a sub glandular position while maintaining the upper pole of the implant in a submuscular position. The dual plane technique provides the best of both worlds in breast augmentation and is the preferred technique recommended by Dr. Vitenas. Utilizing this technique allows the breast to assume a natural look much more quickly than the traditional submuscular placement.
- Subglandular placement puts the implant above the pectoral muscle, directly under the breast tissue. For the best results, patients should already have a good amount of natural breast tissue, ensuring the implants look natural. Wrinkling and rippling can be more obvious than with submuscular placement. The margins or edges of the implant may also be easier to feel with subglandular placement.
Implant Volume (CCs)
The volume of liquid or gel used in breast implants is measured in volume indicated in cc’s. This number is not, in itself, indicative of how large the implants will look on your body. A taller, larger frame may choose 350cc implants that result in a C cup, while a shorter, smaller woman with the same volume implant will have a D cup. This is because the augmented effect of implants will vary according to the amount of native breast tissue present, as well as the size and stature of the patient. Instead of focusing on the volume of the implant you are getting, Dr. Vitenas strongly suggests you visualize how implants of different volumes make you look. With a large variety of implants available, your breast augmentation procedure can be uniquely tailored to your individual aesthetic goals. If asymmetry is present, implants with different volumes can be placed on each side, creating more uniform breasts.
As an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic surgeon, who performs more than 500 breast procedures every year, Dr. Vitenas can help you visualize how each breast size will look on your body. During your first appointment in our state-of-the-art Houston office, Dr. Vitenas will have you try on implant sizers. Dr. Vitenas has one of the largest collections of sizers in the country to help you understand exactly what shape and size breasts you will be getting. To get the most realistic impression, sizers should be worn with a sheer bra, under a tight-fitting t-shirt. Try on several implant sizers to see which volume will look best on you. Also, trying on the sizers with your own clothing is an important part of the process. Dr. Vitenas feels it is extremely important for the surgeon to be present in helping you choose the correct implant to achieve your ultimate goals. After all, there is no one more skilled in understanding which implants will fit correctly in your chest than the surgeon who is putting them in.
Who Makes The Best Candidate for Breast Surgery?
Any woman who is unhappy with the size or shape of her breasts can potentially make a good candidate for breast augmentation. Potential patients should be in generally good health and not smoke. Saline implants are recommended for women over the age of 18, while silicone implants are FDA-approved for those over the age of 22. It is important that anyone choosing breast augmentation understand the surgical process, the potential for complications, and have realistic expectations for the final results. Remember breast asymmetries are often not corrected by a breast augmentation alone. Breast implants magnify the way your breasts start out looking. It is important to carefully access your breasts prior to surgery and to understand how your breasts look and how things will change with the augmentation process.
Women who have recently given birth are encouraged to wait three months after having their baby, or six months after stopping breastfeeding, before their breast augmentation. This allows the breast tissue to stabilize and milk production to cease. With his extensive experience, performing thousands of breast augmentation procedures over the years, Dr. Vitenas can design the best surgical timeline for your personal situation.
How is Breast Augmentation Performed?
All of our breast augmentation procedures are performed in Dr. Vitenas’ private operating suites in the Houston Surgery Center, an outpatient facility conveniently located in the same building as Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. Our technologically advanced operating rooms are part of the reason Dr. Vitenas is one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Houston, offering some of the safest breast augmentation procedures in the city.
The outpatient procedure is performed by Dr. Vitenas under general anesthesia administered by our board-certified anesthesiologist. Depending on your unique situation and the technique used, breast surgery can take from one to two hours. Once the anesthesia has been administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Vitenas will meticulously place the predetermined incisions:
- Inframammary: A 1-2 inch incision along the breast crease, providing a wide access point to place larger silicone or gummy bear implants. This incision placement has been shown to produce the least amount of complications in breast augmentation surgery and is now used in over 87% of all breast augmentation procedures worldwide.
Working from this incision, Dr. Vitenas will create a tissue pocket within each breast. A submuscular placement includes a breast pocket under the pectoral muscle, while the subglandular placement utilizes a breast pocket above the pectoral muscle. Dr. Vitenas’ dual plane technique creates a breast pocket under the pectoral muscle superiorly and in the subglandular plane below the nipple areola.
Next, Dr. Vitenas will place the chosen implant. If saline implants are used, they will be filled with a saline solution once placed in the breast pocket. Finally, the incisions will be closed in such a way that all sutures are placed on the inside of the skin so as to leave only a fine line scar.
What to Expect from your Breast Augmentation
Your augmentation recovery will take about a week. Your chest may feel tight, numb, or hyper-sensitive for several weeks. While Dr. Vitenas will prescribe the necessary medications for a comfortable recovery, many women find the discomfort from their breast augmentation to be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. Minor bruising and swelling is normal for the first seven to fourteen days. Most swelling will diminish over the first two to three weeks. However, residual swelling can continue for six to twelve months. Most patients can resume light activities in only a day or two, returning to work in two to three days. Strenuous activities, exercise, and heavy lifting need to be postponed for four to six weeks.
Through his 30 years of experience, Dr. Vitenas has developed a very precise dissection technique that creates the correct size pocket for each implant, thereby negating the necessity of wearing a bra during the first six weeks of healing. This enables the breast pocket to heal without restriction, allowing the implant to shift organically in the chest for a natural-looking breast. During your post-op follow-up appointments, Dr. Vitenas will monitor your healing progression and discuss when you may start wearing a bra.
Potential Complications from Breast Augmentation
Although breast augmentation is consistently the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States and is considered extremely safe; there is always a chance for complications to occur. While rare, these can include bleeding, seroma, hematoma, scarring, infection, asymmetry, and capsular contracture. The only way women can ensure the lowest chance of complications is by choosing an experienced, board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Vitenas is a leader in Houston breast augmentation procedures, with more than 30 years of experience. It is this experience that has prepared Dr. Vitenas to consistently provide the safest and most effective results.
Capsular contracture occurs when the capsule tissue, which normally forms around the breast pocket, grows thick and tight around the implant. The breast may become hard, red, and feverish. Eventually, the breast can look misshapen and deformed. Unfortunately, the only way to correct capsular contracture is with a breast augmentation revision procedure. In this instance, Dr. Vitenas can remove the excess scar tissue and replace the old implant with a new implant using Strattice, a reconstructive tissue matrix designed to protect from recurring capsular contracture. During your consultation, Dr. Vitenas will discuss all of the potential risks and complications associated with the breast augmentation procedure.
While most women are very happy with the results of their breast augmentation procedure, there are times when the implants no longer match her desired appearance or lifestyle. When this occurs, a breast augmentation revision can be performed to improve the shape/size of the breast. Additionally, a breast implant exchange is a technique designed to swap out the original implants with a different set that are newer, safer, and more proportionate to a woman’s figure.
Ready to Schedule your Consultation?
Dr. Paul Vitenas is considered one of the foremost cosmetic breast augmentation surgeons in the United States, with more than 30 years of experience. Each year, Dr. Vitenas performs over 500 breast augmentation procedures, giving him one of the largest before/after galleries of breast implants in the world. This wide berth of experience provides Dr. Vitenas with an unmatched level of knowledge and skill, giving him the ability to recommend the right implant and offer the safest breast augmentation techniques available today.
Contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.484.0088 to schedule your breast augmentation consultation. During this visit, Dr. Vitenas will review your medical history, assess your existing breast tissue, and discuss your aesthetic goals. If breast augmentation is right for you, Dr. Vitenas will create a personalized treatment plan. At this time, our patient coordinator will review all of your payment options, including medical financing through Care Credit and Alphaeon Credit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure using saline or silicone implants to enhance the size and shape of the breast. Breast augmentation can improve a woman’s figure, making her look better under clothing and increase self-confidence.
Almost any woman who is dissatisfied with the look or shape of her chest can make a good candidate for breast augmentation. An ideal patient will be healthy and a nonsmoker, with realistic surgical expectations. Women should wait from three to six months after pregnancy or six months after they stop breastfeeding, before having breast surgery. Saline implants are FDA-approved for patients over 18, while silicone implants are approved for those over 22. To determine if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation, a confidential consultation will be scheduled with Dr. Vitenas in his state-of-the-art, Houston office.
The two types of breast implants commonly used today are saline implants and silicone gel implants. Both are comprised of a silicone shell. Saline implants are filled with saline, a saltwater solution. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel.
During your first consultation for breast augmentation, Dr. Vitenas will take the time to understand your goals, answer any questions you may have and go over your medical history. You will see several before and after photos of previous Breast Augmentation in Houston patients. Dr. Vitenas will go over reasonable and expected outcomes and explain the details of the technique used called the dual plane method, the recovery, the risks, as well as financing options.
Through his 30 years of experience, Dr. Vitenas has determined that the most successful breast augmentation results are achieved when women abstain from wearing any type of bra for at least six weeks after their breast surgery. This ensures that the breast pocket will heal in an ideal shape so that the implant settles naturally on the chest and moves smoothly with the body.
In general, breast augmentation can cost between $6,500 and $7,500. However, the exact price will vary according to the patient and the technique used. This price will be determined during your consultation appointment. The breast implant price will include the surgeon’s fees, the anesthesiologist, surgical suite and follow-up appointments; the only thing it doesn’t include is your prescription medications which your insurance should assist with.
Dr. Vitenas performs all of his breast augmentations at Houston Surgery Center. These private surgical suites are part of a fully accredited outpatient facility located on the second floor of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery.
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure always performed with general anesthesia. For patient safety, Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery uses a board-certified anesthesiologist during every surgical procedure.
The length of a breast augmentation procedure will vary according to the individual patient, taking from one to two hours. For breast augmentation, an incision is made in the inframammary crease beneath the breast. After the incisions are made, the implants are placed in the breast, either beneath the chest muscle (submuscular) or above the chest muscle (subglandular).
There are three possible locations for the breast augmentation incisions. They may be located around the areola (periareolar), in the armpit (axillary), or in the crease beneath the breast (inframammary). The incision location that is right for you will depend upon your anatomy and your goals.
The breast augmentation procedure does result in a small scar. However, with excellent surgical experience, Dr. Vitenas uses care to meticulously place the incisions along a well-hidden area. These scars along the breast crease will fade over time if cared for properly and kept from direct sunlight.
Patients may experience some discomfort, though this can be managed with medication.
Patients should expect their breast augmentation recovery to take from 2-3 days. Initially, the breast will be slightly swollen with minimal bruising. While the majority of swelling will diminish in the next one to two weeks, residual swelling can take six months or longer to resolve. The breast may feel tight, with temporary numbness, tingling, and hypersensitivity. Exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for four to six weeks. Patients are often able to return to work within a few days after their breast augmentation. This time off may need to be longer, however, if your job includes strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
Patients will need to postpone strenuous activities and exercise for about four to six weeks after the breast augmentation surgery.
Breast augmentation is considered a very safe procedure. More than 1.7 million breast augmentation procedures were performed last year. However, as with any surgical procedure, there is always a chance for complications to arise. Although these are rare, some women will develop an infection, hematoma, unexpected bleeding, loss of nipple sensation, capsular contracture, asymmetry, or breast malposition. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with thirty years of experience as one of Houston’s top breast augmentation specialists like Dr. Paul Vitenas is the best way to ensure a safe and satisfying procedure.
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery does offer financing options for cosmetic breast augmentation, and your patient coordinator will discuss these with you during your first breast augmentation consultation. To learn more about these options, including No-Interest options, please visit our financing page.