While functioning first and foremost as an organ to nurse the young, the female breast also serves as a defining aesthetic feature of a woman’s body. When the breasts are full, supple and symmetrical, there is a sense of confidence and well-being. Evening dresses, bikinis and t-shirts all fit stylishly with natural elegance.
On the other hand, deflated, sagging breasts that have lost their volume and vitality due to aging, breast feeding or weight loss can cause embarrassment and frustration with one’s appearance in photographs and in the mirror. It is also more difficult to fit well into bathing suits and clothes.
Fortunately, these negative feelings need not last. Breast augmentation represents one of the most popular methods of reshaping the bust for a more pleasing, youthful silhouette. Women of all shapes and sizes have successfully undergone breast enlargement thanks to the versatility of modern techniques and the wide array of implants available today, and our specialists at PPSD proudly provide some of the best results after breast augmentation in Charlotte, NC and other surrounding cities. Including Charlotte, we have practices located in Gastonia, Hickory, Shelby, Denver, and Cornelius.
Types of Implants
Breast augmentation patients can select either saline or silicone implants. Both have been FDA-approved and rigorously tested for safety. Each has unique strengths and drawbacks, which can be discussed at length during your initial consultation with your doctor.
These implants contain a silicone shell that is filled with salt water, the same harmless solution that is used in IV drips. If the implant were to rupture, there is no damage to the body, as the salt water is simply absorbed within hours. Some advantages of saline implants include their lower cost, safety, smaller incisions, and a lower occurrence of capsular contracture (scar tissue that hardens the implant). However, saline implants may not feel as natural as silicone implants. In addition, while rippling can occur with any implant, the risk of visible rippling is more common with saline implants—especially in thin and small breasted women.
Filled with semi-solid silicone gel rather than salt water, these implants tend to feel more authentic to the touch, and are less at risk of rippling due to their natural firmness. Silicone implants also tend towards greater longevity. Cosmetically, silicone implants offer more dramatic results for those with significant skin laxity and breast deflation.
Types of silicone breast implants
There are two major categories of silicone implants: round and shaped. The round implants are filled with a cohesive silicone gel that molds to the shape of the implant pocket after place. Shaped implants are filled with a highly cohesive gel that maintains its shape while in place. Each type of implant has certain benefits and drawbacks; it is best to discuss these with one of the experienced, board-certified Charlotte NC breast implant surgeons at PPSD to see which is right for you. The term “gummy bear” implant is now often used to describe certain silicone implants, although this is only a nickname—see the video below for more information.
Depending on your goals as well as your anatomy, your doctor will choose either a nipple incision, a crease (inframammary fold) incision, or an underarm incision. Each will be thoroughly explained during your Charlotte NC breast augmentation consultation, so that you will have realistic expectations going forward.
Nipple incision (periareolar):
Often chosen when a patient is undergoing both breast augmentation and a breast lift, this is one of the most common incision sites, made just within or around the nipple-areola complex. The advantage of this site is that the skin’s natural pigment at the nipple will usually conceal the scar and make it very difficult to see.
Crease incision (inframammary fold):
An incision made at the crease offers the benefit of obscuring scars by hiding them underneath the breast. These incisions are typically between 4-5 centimeters in length, and are among the most popular due to the ease of accessibility and control that they provide to the surgeon during implant placement.
Underarm incision (transaxillary):
An incision is placed in each axilla to provide access for implant placement. After a pocket is formed, the implant is slid through an incision hidden in the skin folds under the arm, helping to ensure that scarring is difficult to see. Not all implant types/sizes can be placed via this approach.
Breast implants can be placed in either a subglandular or submuscular position. There are risks and benefits to each, which again will be discussed with your doctor during consultation. In general, the subglandular placement involves positioning the implant under the breast tissue above the pectoralis muscles. This often facilitates a speedier recovery with less downtown and discomfort. During a submuscular placement, the implant is positioned primarily beneath the pectoralis muscles. This tends to result in a lower risk of capsular contracture, as well as a lower incidence of implant sagging. If saline implants are employed, a submuscular placement will discourage rippling and bulging.
Choosing the best plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation
PPSD offers an unsurpassed level of patient care that has earned the practice a glowing reputation for some of the best breast augmentation in Charlotte, NC and beyond. Through their combined skill and decades of expertise, PPSD board-certified plastic surgeons have placed thousands of breast implants with stunning results.
Breast augmentation begins with a private consultation in the warmth and comfort of your Charlotte plastic surgeon’s office, where he or she will carefully evaluate your goals, go over photographs and 3D imaging results, address any concerns and review your medical history. Some important questions to ask during your consultation are:
- What is the best type of implant for me?
- What is the best type of incision and implant placement for my body and goals?
- What can I expect in terms of downtime and recovery?
- Are there any risks associated with this procedure?
- Can I see more before and after photos?
- How can I pay for my surgery?
Details of the surgery
Your breast augmentation surgery will be performed at an AAASF-accredited surgical facility in Charlotte, Gastonia, or Hickory, NC depending on which location is closest and most convenient to you. A qualified, experienced Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist will be on hand to provide your anesthetic to ensure your comfort and ease during surgery. Breast augmentation generally takes about one hour, not including your preoperative prep and recovery times. You can typically expect to be at the facility for about 2 ½ to 3 hours, overall.
Your surgeon will make an incision, create a customized pocket for the implant, and then adjust its position, possibly reshaping the nipple area for the most pleasing aesthetic outcome—if indicated.
Patients recovering from breast implants in Charlotte, NC will find that initial healing takes 1-2 weeks, although most patients are back to work within one week. Patients with jobs requiring heavy lifting or activity will require longer. Patients should consider scheduling assistance in advance for everyday activities such as childcare and driving. Pain medication will be prescribed to help alleviate any discomfort. Your doctor may ask you to wear a surgical bra, and to refrain from any activity that could potentially damage or displace your new implants for several weeks. Follow-up is an important part of your surgery. Final healing—when your breasts have fully accommodated the new implants and your breasts have taken on their final shape—typically takes about 4 months. Your doctor will schedule aftercare appointments to ensure your continued health and happiness with your results.