Breast augmentation is one of the most popular and rewarding cosmetic procedures available, helping thousands of patients every year obtain the fuller, shapelier figure they desire. Greensboro plastic surgeon Mary Ann Contogiannis, MD has extensive experience performing transformative breast enhancement surgeries, and she can help guide you through choosing the right implant type and placement for an optimal aesthetic outcome. Here at The Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery & Wellness, we value beautiful, natural-looking results that help our patients feel more confident. We encourage you to explore the informative sections below to learn more about breast augmentation. If you are ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Contogiannis, please contact us today!
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States. By using implants to enlarge, reshape, and/or restore lost volume to the breasts, a fuller and more proportional figure can be obtained. Some common reasons patients choose to undergo breast augmentation include the desire to increase their breast size, restore volume loss after pregnancy or weight loss, reduce asymmetries, or correct congenital breast defects. Many patients report feeling more confident about their figure after this surgery.
Breast augmentation can be accomplished in several different ways, depending on the extent of the enlargement desired. Most typically, saline or silicone breast implants are used. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and requires the use of general anesthesia.
What are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation?
There are many potential benefits to having breast augmentation, and some go far beyond the visible difference in your physical appearance. Most women who have breast augmentation are thrilled with their results. Some of the most common benefits include:
- Dramatic improvements in self-confidence and overall body image
- An enhanced silhouette that appears more shapely and proportionate
- Increased enjoyment while shopping for and trying on clothes
- A more symmetrical, balanced chest appearance
- Natural-looking results tailored specifically to your aesthetic preferences
Many patients also turn to breast augmentation for post-pregnancy rejuvenation, either as a standalone procedure or as a part of a more comprehensive mommy makeover. Implants can help restore breast volume that may have been lost during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
What Are My Breast Implant Options?
Breast implants are silicone shells that are usually filled with either saline solution or silicone gel. Both types of implants are considered quite safe. During your consultation, Dr. Contogiannis will discuss the advantages of both implant types and help you decide which is right for you. She understands that each woman’s breasts, body shape, and aesthetic desires are unique to her. She takes the time during your individual consultation to understand your goals and uses that information to develop a customized treatment plan. Dr. Contogiannis will thoroughly discuss your implant options and go over appropriate implant placement during the consultation. Below is a brief overview of some of the different implant types we offer:
Silicone breast implants are often considered the most natural-looking breast enhancement option. This is because the cohesive silicone gel used to fill them is able to mimic the texture and feel of real breast tissue more accurately than saline options. Silicone implants are FDA-approved for patients over the age of 22, and they are considered a safe and reliable option for those looking to improve their breast aesthetics.
Saline implants have been a popular choice among those interested in breast enhancement for decades. This type of implant is made up of a silicone shell that is then filled with a saline (saltwater) solution. In many cases, the implants are only filled to the desired size once the silicone shell has been placed within the breast pocket, enabling Dr. Contogiannis to utilize a smaller, more discreet incision during surgery. Saline implants are FDA-approved for patients 18 and older.
What is Involved in the Breast Augmentation Procedure?
Dr. Contogiannis understands that every breast augmentation procedure is unique to the patient’s breast and body shape, so she will outline a customized plan for you to achieve your aesthetic goals. Our whole office works to make the surgery a great experience for you. During your private initial consultation, Dr. Contogiannis will discuss implant and incision options with you and outline the surgical plan. You will then have a pre-operative appointment where Dr. Contogiannis will finalize the surgical plan with you. You will also be able to see different implant sizes to get an idea of what your new breasts can look like after surgery.
The surgery will be performed in our AAAHC-accredited, office-based surgical center as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Incision options include: inframammary (in the crease under the breast as it meets the chest wall), periareolar (around the areola), or transaxillary (in the armpit). These incisions are all placed in inconspicuous areas that blend with the natural breast/chest contours. After the surgery, you will be discharged to recover in the comfort of your own home.
What is Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?
Dr. Contogiannis uses EXPAREL® (a medication that provides pain relief for almost 3 days post-operatively) at the time of surgery to help control your post-operative pain and soreness. You may still have some discomfort for about 3-5 days after surgery, but it is typically manageable with medication. Dr. Contogiannis would like for you to resume normal activities as soon as you can, as this can help speed up the recovery process (she does, however, advise against lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds for about 4 weeks after surgery).
Most patients feel a little tired and sore after surgery, but this should resolve. Your nipples may be sensitive and a little sore for a few days. Some bruising and tenderness around the breasts is normal and typically resolves within a few short weeks. Many patients are able to return to work within a week. Dr. Contogiannis will instruct you to wear a light support bra for around four weeks post-op to support the breasts and decrease swelling. She will also have you begin performing implant massages within a week after surgery. The surgical incisions usually begin to fade after a month and should continue to improve in appearance over the next year or so.
Will I Have Scars After Breast Augmentation?
As with any surgical procedure, some scarring is inevitable after breast augmentation. That said, Dr. Contogiannis has years of experience placing incisions so that the scars are as discreet as possible. Depending on the incision pattern utilized, your scars will either be blended in along the inframammary fold (inframammary technique), around the outer edges of the areola (periareolar technique), or under the armpit (transaxillary technique). Scars typically begin to fade about a month after surgery, and they should continue to lighten and soften over the course of the next year or two. If you are concerned about the appearance of your scars, our on-site medical spa offers a number of skin treatments and take-home skin care products that can help further promote scar reduction.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
Breast augmentation costs will vary from one patient to the next depending on the choice of implants, the surgical complexity of the operation, and other variables. That said, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that the average cost for breast augmentation in the United States is around $4,500. Costs for your specific case will be discussed during your initial consultation, and a member of our friendly and knowledgeable staff can give you a personalized price quote at that time. Many cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance, so it’s best to contact your provider in advance.
At The Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery & Wellness, we try to keep our procedures accessible and affordable for all of our clients. To that end, we’re pleased to accept financing through trusted third-party healthcare lenders Alphaeon® and CareCredit®.
Ready to learn more about breast augmentation, or interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Contogiannis? Contact us today.