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As one of the points of focus on a woman’s body, the breasts can be a source of discontent for some women if they are too small, misshapen or asymmetrical. Women that are self-conscious about their breasts may find that surgical enhancement is the best way to improve their upper body profile and boost their confidence. With many options to choose from, procedures can be tailored to your unique concerns and aesthetic goals.

Breast augmentation can be the perfect way to improve the size, shape and appearance of your breasts. At Plastic Surgery Austin, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sharma has helped many women achieve a boost in self-confidence after this life-changing procedure. In addition, the surgery can also balance asymmetries in size or shape or correct post-pregnancy (involutional) volume and size loss. Whether you want your clothing to fit better or you desire to look stunning in a bathing suit, your dreams can become a reality with breast augmentation.

Who is it for?

Breast augmentation is appropriate for adult women of any age that would like to enhance the appearance of their breasts and their upper body contour. Concerns that can be addressed through this procedure include:

  • Breasts that are disproportionately small
  • Breasts that are different sizes or shapes
  • Breasts that have lost shape or volume after pregnancy
  • Breast changes as a result of the aging process
  • Clothing that doesn’t fit correctly due to small breasts
  • Women that are self-conscious about their breasts

Dr. Sharma and his nurse will meet with you at your initial consultation to discuss your concerns and goals for breast augmentation. He will also collect a full medical history and perform an examination to ensure breast surgery will be safe for you. Through this process, he will be able to determine whether breast augmentation is the right choice for you and the best surgical plan to meet your needs and expectations. Before committing to breast augmentation, several factors will be considered. This includes:

  • Current physical health – underlying medical conditions must be considered to ensure a safe procedure
  • Determining if a lift is needed, in addition to the augmentation, if there is too much skin laxity
  • Having realistic expectations – Dr. Sharma will help you envision your breast goals
  • Receiving an augmentation for healthy reasons – at your own will, not the will of others or partners
  • The ability to set time aside for recovery

Options in Breast Augmentation

No two women are exactly the same, and no two breast augmentations will be performed in precisely the same way. Numerous decisions will go into creating your surgical plan, which Dr. Sharma will walk you through to ensure the outcome of your procedure is just right for you. Your options will include:

Breast Implant Types

Today, women can choose between saline and silicone-filled breast implants. Depending on your preference and your overlying breast tissue thickness, Dr. Sharma can help you select the best implant for your body. Saline implants are composed of a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile fluid once it is placed into the breast pocket. Silicone implants are now constructed with a cohesive gel and are often referred to as gummy bear implants today. If this implant ruptures or breaks down, no leakage of the implant occurs. Silicone implants give breasts a natural, soft feel that is hardly detectable as the material best mimics the feel of natural breast tissue.

In order to be offered a silicone gel implant, a patient must be at least 22 years of age, as per FDA regulations. However, for a saline implant, a patient can be 18. Due to its water-like consistency, if you possess thin breast tissue, the saline implant runs the risk of being seen or felt – known as implant “wrinkling.”

Breast Implant Shapes

Implants are both round and teardrop-shaped. Each offers a slightly different result. Round implants tend to feature more upper pole fullness, while teardrop-shaped implants more closely resemble a natural breast shape. Round implants will produce perkiness at the top of the nipple, which will result in more cleavage and can be achieved with either silicone or saline implants. This implant shape is preferential for patients whose breasts tend to droop or sag. Teardrop implants are often used in reconstruction surgeries or for patients with little natural breast tissue to create a more anatomical appearance. One significant drawback to teardrop shapes is that if they migrate within the breast pocket, it can distort the appearance of the breast. Each type of implant has pros and cons, and the style that is right for you will depend on your specific goals and body shape. To ensure your desired outcome, Dr. Sharma will help decide which implants will create the look you want during your in-person consultation.

Breast Implant Size and Profile

There is a broad spectrum of sizes in breast implants that allow for full customization of your new look. The most common sizes range from 200 to 850 cubic centimeters. Larger implants tend to be more than 400cc. If it is larger breasts that you want, there’s no reason to believe you need a large implant. A recommendation for implant size is typically gauged by a patient’s frame. For example, if a patient is taller, a larger implant is recommended to achieve a fuller breast while retaining a natural look. For shorter patients, a smaller implant is recommended, but an equally fuller look will still be attained. Dr. Sharma will help you choose a size based on what will give you naturally beautiful curves while fulfilling your aesthetic goals.

Profile describes the amount of projection the breast will have from the chest wall. The correct profile for you may be determined by the width of your chest, as well as the result you want to achieve. Like implant size, a profile recommendation will be based on a patient’s current figure. The same size and profile of an implant will appear completely different on two different women. Your choice in size and profile will also depend on whether you desire a more natural look or a full, round appearance.

Breast Implant Placement

The implants may be placed on top of your chest muscle and under the breast tissue, which is known as subglandular placement. Another option is to put the implant behind a portion of the chest muscle, referred to as subpectoral placement. Both options feature pros and cons and will depend in large part on how much natural breast tissue you have.

If it’s agreed upon to choose a subpectoral placement for the implant, the healing process tends to be slightly less comfortable because it is placed on or behind the pectoral muscle and you can expect to experience a longer recovery time. Despite this, a major pro for the subpectoral procedure is a longer-lasting result and less interference during a mammogram. Women with minimal natural breast tissue may opt for subpectoral placement to reduce rippling and implant visibility.

Subglandular placement requires a less complicated surgery and shorter recovery but is often recommended for women with a sufficient amount of natural breast tissue to reduce visibility. Athletic women may also opt for a subglandular procedure to reduce interference during movement and activity. Subglandular placement can also provide more lift but may be more prone to sagging in the future. Dr. Sharma will help decide which placement is right for you based on your unique anatomy and aesthetic goals.

How does breast augmentation work?

Breast augmentation is done as outpatient surgery, using general anesthesia or local anesthesia. Incisions may be placed within the pigmented area of the areola or underneath the breast in the crease. Anesthesia and incision location will be discussed at your consultation so you know what to expect. Once the incision is made, Dr. Sharma can place the implants into the breast pocket with the help of techniques that reduce trauma to the surrounding tissue and ensure a more comfortable recovery process.

Incisions are small and strategically placed in order to reduce any noticeable scarring. Dr. Sharma will then cut a path through the tissue and, depending on your decision for placement, the tissue or muscle will be separated to create a pocket for the implant.

Once the implants are in place, Dr. Sharma will use meticulous suturing techniques to close the incisions and minimize postoperative scarring. Most breast augmentation procedures take one to three hours to complete. After your surgery, you will remain in our recovery area for a few hours for monitoring by our staff before you can head home to recover in familiar surroundings.

Understanding the Recovery Process

During the first two or three days of your recovery process, you are likely to experience swelling, bruising and a degree of discomfort. We will provide pain medication for you during that time, as well as instructions to help you reduce swelling and increase your comfort level. Most of our patients are ready to move back to a daily routine within a week. Strenuous exercise will be restricted for up to four weeks to give the breasts sufficient time to heal fully.

Shortly after surgery, your breast will start to develop scar tissue. The development of this tissue is a natural process. Essentially, your body has been introduced to a foreign object (the implant) and, as a response, produces scar tissue to protect itself. This is a crucial period of recovery because this tissue must properly form and contour to the new implant.

During the first two to three days of recovery, you will be encouraged to do light cardio in order to promote blood flow and prevent blood clots. Any high-intensity and upper-body workouts must be avoided for several weeks. Because the breast augmentation is performed near or on the pectoralis muscle, it’s crucial to not participate in any exercises involving the pecs. If you’re a patient who leads a physically active lifestyle, picking up a new hobby will be beneficial to keep your mind occupied as you recover.

By the ninth week of your recovery, you will be nearly fully healed and can perform a number of exercises. No pectoral workouts are still recommended until the twelfth week. However, even though there is a week-by-week recommendation, keep in mind that you know your body better than anyone else. If you are experiencing any pain during workouts, or in general, it’s important that you stop and allow yourself more time to recover. If pain persists, feel free to contact Dr. Sharma and his staff for support.

What does breast augmentation do?

Breast augmentation provides dramatic, long-lasting results that can significantly boost a woman’s confidence in her appearance. The process is often quicker and more comfortable than women expect, and the outcome extends for many years. Once the healing process is complete, you can expect to notice several benefits, including:

  • Breasts that are proportionate to your body profile – creating a more confident you
  • Enhanced cleavage and fullness of breasts
  • Restoration of breasts that were affected by pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Better fitting clothing

Committing to breast augmentation can be a difficult decision for some and we don’t want for you to feel as though you made the wrong one. While there are many factors to consider, we are here to help gauge which implant will be best for you, how long you can expect to recover, and what to expect post-surgery.

As with any surgery, there are risks that must be considered. The risks for breast augmentation include infection, breast pain, changes in nipple sensation and the possibility for an implant leakage or rupture. However, Dr. Sharma will do his absolute best so that you receive the safest surgery possible with long-lasting results that don’t impose any complications.

To learn more about your choices for breast augmentation or find out if this procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Sharma at Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-324-2765.


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.