As a patient considering breast augmentation at our Santa Rosa, CA practice, you probably have plenty of questions about all aspects of the procedure. Dr. Furnas and I are proud to be some of the most prolific breast surgeons in the area. We’ve performed more than 5,000 successful breast surgeries during our time in practice, and we are eager to share what we’ve learned. To help you understand what to expect, we’ve answered some of the questions we hear most often from our breast augmentation patients.
Request a free consultation online at Plastic Surgery Associates or call (707) 537-2111 to learn more about breast surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Augmention
Q. How old do I need to be to have a breast augmentation?
A. In the United States, adult women of any age are eligible for breast augmentation. Saline implants are approved by the FDA for breast augmentation patients 18 and older, while silicone implants are approved for patients 22 and older.
There is no upper age limit for breast augmentation. Older patients should be healthy enough to undergo the surgery, including anesthesia, but there is no medical reason a healthy woman may not get breast implants later in life.
Q. Are silicone or saline implants better?
A. The answer to this question depends on the patient – her anatomy, goals, and preferences. Although implant technology has evolved greatly over the years, there is no perfect implant for everybody. Saline and silicone implants both come with their own pros and cons, and Dr. Furnas and I can help you make the right choice for you.
To learn more about the differences between saline and silicone implants, check out our breast implant options page.
Q. Where are the incisions placed?
A. You can choose from different incision options, including the inframammary incision (under the breast in the natural crease), periareolar incision (around the areolas), and transaxillary incision (in the armpits). All these options create discreet scars, and the choice is largely based on your preferences and the implants you choose. We can help you find an appropriate option.
Q. Should my implants be placed under or over the muscle?
A. Again, this choice should be based on your body, your preferences, and the kind of implant you choose. Women with less natural breast tissue may get better results with a submuscular placement (under the muscle). Subglandular placement (over the muscle) can help with mild drooping of breast skin. Because both options come with advantages, we can help you find a choice that suits your needs.
Q. How do I know whether I need a breast augmentation or breast lift?
A. If you would like to add volume to your breasts, an augmentation is a good option, but if you are more concerned about your breasts sagging, a breast lift may be best. Many women also combine the procedures into a single operation to address both concerns at once. We can help you determine which option is best for you during a consultation.
Q. What can I expect during my recovery?
A. At Plastic Surgery Associates, we offer rapid recovery breast augmentation to our patients from Napa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, and beyond. This streamlined approach allows most of our patients to return to work within just 4 days of surgery. Previous breast augmentation techniques often required 1 week or more of downtime. Other normal activities, such as working out, can be resumed in less than 2 weeks.
During recovery, patients are fitted with a supportive surgical bra that must be worn at all times to support and protect the breasts. Although patients may shower the day following surgery, bathing or submerging the incisions is not permitted. Many women are pleasantly surprised to find that pain is manageable with prescribed medications. Within a few days, most patients are able to comfortably transition to over-the-counter pain relievers.
Q. Will I be able to breastfeed with implants?
A. Breastfeeding is possible and safe for most women with breast implants. Be sure to discuss your future plans for pregnancy with Dr. Furnas or me during your consultation at our Santa Rosa office. We can adjust our breast augmentation techniques to preserve the nipple and other vital structures of the breast, increasing the likelihood of future breastfeeding.
Q. How long do breast implants last?
A. Today’s implants use advanced materials for far more strength and resilience than previous models. However, no implant lasts forever. Many implant manufacturers say their products can last anywhere between 10 and 20 years, depending on the patient’s anatomy, lifestyle, and style of implant.
Over time, implants may lose their shape, weaken, or shift within the body. Although these events are not physically harmful, they often alter the appearance of augmented breasts. Once a woman and her doctor determine that her implants are no longer effective, she may choose to replace them with newer implants or have them completely removed in a procedure known as an explant.
Q. Does breast augmentation affect breast exams?
A. Breast implants can affect mammography. If you’ve undergone a breast augmentation, be sure to tell your mammography technician. He or she will use a different screening technique to ensure your results are accurate.
Q. Are there other surgeries that I may combine with breast augmentation?
A. Yes. Many women choose to combine breast augmentation with abdominoplasty, liposuction, or labiaplasty in a procedure known as a mommy makeover. Because these surgeries are performed as a single procedure, total downtime is reduced, and the results are amplified.
You can add other procedures to your breast augmentation, too. Facial procedures and even non-surgical treatments can all be performed at the same time as breast augmentation for a fully customized transformation.