Breast Augmentation in Denver
Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. and one of our most popular services. Breast augmentation can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of saline or silicone implants under the breast or under both the breast and chest muscle (pectoralis muscle).
Our Denver patients elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different aesthetic reasons, including the desire to have larger breasts than genetics provided, balancing breast size, compensating for reduced breast volume such as from pregnancy or breastfeeding, and correcting a congenital breast defect. Patients enjoy great-looking, natural-feeling breasts that are one or more cup sizes larger after the operation.
Fully Customized Breast Enhancement
We know that every woman is unique in both her desires and her body shape. With that in mind, we take the time during the initial consultations to learn what each patient hopes to gain from breast augmentation surgery and to decide which implant type, size and placement location is best. In this way, every one of our patients enjoys completely customized treatment designed with her specific goals in mind.
Breast augmentation can achieve dramatic and beautiful results on its own as well as in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries. We sometimes recommend combining breast augmentation with a breast lift or nipple lift in order to achieve certain goals.
Saline and Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Breast implants consist of an outer shell made from silicone rubber and filled with either saline (sterile salt water at the time of surgery) or silicone gel (pre-filled during manufacturing). Both implant types are very safe, and each offers its own advantages. We will help you decide which style is right for you. During surgery, the implants are placed either under the breast tissue or under both breast tissue and muscle, each having its distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Although silicone gel breast implants were greatly restricted in 1991 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), subsequently after many years of data collection, in 2006 the FDA lifted the restrictions, approving silicone breast implants for cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. We are delighted to offer patients the option of silicone gel-filled breast implants since they are much softer and feel more natural than saline-filled breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Incision Techniques
A breast augmentation procedure lasts 2-3 hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Incisions are made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility. These incisions may be located either around the nipple, called a periareolar incision, or under the breast, called an inframammary crease incision. In either case, a pocket is created either under the breast tissue itself, or under both the breast tissue and the chest wall pectoralis muscle. The implant is inserted into the pocket.
Breast Augmentation Surgery - Placement Options
Implant placement under the muscle of the chest offers a few advantages over placement under the breast tissue only which is on top of the muscle. Benefits under the muscle include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant), possibly improved upper breast slope, and less interference with mammogram examinations. Possible disadvantages under muscle include slightly more post-operative pain and swelling with a longer recovery. We will discuss which option may be best for you.
After the implants have been inserted and properly positioned beneath the nipples, the incisions are stitched closed, and a surgical bra placed. In one week, the surgical bra is removed, as well as stitches.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Most patients feel tired and sore after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes within several days. Many patients return to work within a week and full activity within one month.
Stitches are removed in one week after breast augmentation. Any post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few months.
Scars from breast augmentation incisions will begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade over one year.
Breast Augmentation Complications
Complications following breast augmentation surgery are uncommon and usually minimal. They may include capsular contracture, swelling and pain, infection around the implant, a change in nipple sensation, inability to breast feed, and breakage or leakage of the implant (implant rupture) as a result of injury, such as a car accident. Breast implants undergo normal wear and tear as any implantable device does, and it is recommended that they be replaced in a timely fashion.
If a saline implant ruptures, the implant will simply deflate in a few hours and your body will absorb the salt water. Slow saline implant leaks are also possible with the size slowly going down. If a silicone implant ruptures, it usually maintains its normal volume since the gel is very viscous (thick). Ruptured silicone gel implants can often be diagnosed by an MRI scan. Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continuing breast and implant health. A ruptured implant, whether saline or gel, should be replaced within several weeks of the rupture. It is not an emergency but it should not be ignored.
Breast Augmentation FAQs
Why consider breast augmentation?
Whether this procedure is right for you is a completely personal decision. For most women, their breasts are an integral part of their body image, and even their overall self-confidence with their figure. If you have always felt that your breasts were not proportional with the rest of your figure, this procedure can change that. If your breasts are somewhat asymmetrical, augmentation can change that while also adding volume. Maybe you’re unhappy with the way your breasts have sagged after childbirth and breastfeeding, or just from the effects of gravity, and you’d like a breast lift with additional volume through adding implants to the procedure. Maybe you’d simply like a shapelier figure.
There are many reasons women opt to have breast augmentation, and the procedure has really high satisfaction ratings afterwards.
One thing is ultimately important with this decision, however. The decision to have breast augmentation needs to be yours and yours alone. This shouldn’t be a decision made at the behest of a partner or spouse. It can’t be made to “keep up” with a neighbor or friend. For you to be ultimately happy with your procedure and your new figure, you have to want breast augmentation for you.
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?
Good candidates for breast augmentation with Dr. Bershof should be in good overall health. It’s best if you don’t smoke, as this can impact your healing. If a patient has a fair amount of sagging skin, due to pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, or from extensive gain and loss of weight, it would be best to have a breast lift combined with augmentation. The lift will remove the excess sagging skin prior to the placement of the implants.
Good candidates also need to be realistic about what this procedure will do for them. While augmentation will change your figure, it won’t necessarily change your life. That said, breast augmentation has among the highest satisfaction rates of any cosmetic procedure, and most women note that it positively changes their self-confidence and body image.
How do I prepare for breast augmentation?
Preparing for your surgery with Dr. Bershof is not extensive. During your consultation and planning, the two of you will discuss the various options and choices you need to make. To prepare for the procedure itself, you’ll need to stop taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory medications that can increase bleeding and bruising. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior and afterwards. You’ll need someone to drive you to and from your surgery, and it’s wise to have someone with you for the first night following surgery.
Does breast augmentation increase my risks of breast cancer?
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and other sources, neither saline nor silicone breast implants increase the risk of a woman developing breast cancer. This involved a meta-analysis of 10 different studies. In a few studies, women with implants actually were found to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. However, this isn’t likely due to the implants themselves as to the women opting for augmentation being healthier and thinner than the general population.
The FDA has extensively studied any correlation between breast implants and breast cancer and has found similar results. It especially looked at any link between silicone and health concerns when silicone implants were temporarily taken off the market for more research from 1992-2006. It found that silicone implants were safe and approved their return to the market.
There is a possible link between breast implants and a very rare, treatable form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). ALCL occurs in about 3 in 100 million women. The FDA is studying a link between both silicone and saline implant and a slight increase in the risk for ALCL. But the FDA has noted this is only a possible link and has not recommended any changes with breast implants or their finding of safety.
Can I have breast augmentation if I plan on having children later?
Breast augmentation does not impact pregnancy in any way. There is a risk that breastfeeding could be impacted by certain incision locations, but Dr. Bershof usually is able to keep the milk glands from being impacted. Implants otherwise do not affect breastfeeding.