Girls Guide to Breast Augmentation
By Michael L. Thornton DO FACOS
Mansfield Cosmetic Surgery Center
How to pick your Breast Augmentation Surgeon?
Any reputable cosmetic plastic surgeon will welcome your questions and want you to be completely comfortable with their qualifications. You should ask yourself questions like: What are the surgeon’s credentials, training, and board certification in a particular specialty and what is the surgeon’s experience and specific training in the procedure you are considering and how many procedures has the surgeon performed? Finally, review a good variety of the surgeon’s before and after photos and ask where your surgery will be performed. You should feel confident in choosing Dr. Michael Thornton, a fellowship-trained cosmetic surgeon and Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery in performing your cosmetic breast surgery. Dr. Thornton has performed many successful breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, and breast revision surgical procedures. All breast surgery is performed at Baylor Surgicare at Mansfield, an AAAHC and JCAHO accredited surgery center, using only board-certified anesthesia providers.
Interesting Facts about Breast Augmentation?
“Above the muscle or Below the muscle?”
Breast implants can be placed in two general locations, known as submuscular (below the muscle) or subglandular (above the muscle but below the breast tissue). Submuscular placement refers to an implant that is placed beneath your pectoralis major muscle. In contrast, subglandular placement refers to an implant that is placed beneath your actual breast tissue, but above the pectoralis major muscle. One of the main factors that determine where the implant will be placed has to do with how much breast tissue you have to begin with. Most patients who have small breasts with minimal breast tissue will not be able to provide enough natural coverage over the implant if it is placed directly under an inadequate thickness of breast tissue. To minimize complications under situations of insufficient breast tissue coverage, the implant is placed under the muscle. Dr. Thornton will help determine the implant placement that is best suited for you; however, the majority of Dr. Thornton’s patients receive submuscular implants (below the muscle). Subglandular placement may make your surgery and recovery time shorter, as it is less painful due to less manipulation and trauma to the muscle. However, this placement also may make it easier to see and feel your implant through your skin after your surgery.
“Saline vs Silicone..which one is right for me?”
Choosing the best breast implant type for you depends upon your desired results. There are differences between silicone gel breast implants and saline filled breast implants, but one isn’t always better than the other. Basically, women have two choices forbreast augmentationwith eithersaline or silicone gel implants. Breast augmentation using saline implants are intended for females who are at least 18 years old. However, women who choose silicone implants must be at least 22 years old according to the FDA.
If it is important to you that your breast implants feel natural then you should consider silicone gel breast implants, as silicone breast implants feature a unique “cohesive” gel filling that holds together to maintain a natural feel to resemble your own breast tissue. On the other hand, saline filled breast implants are filled with a saltwater (saline) solution that is similar to the fluids in the human body. Saline implants have a firmer feel as compared to silicone gel and saline implants are less expensive than silicone gel implants.
How to pick your “new” size of implant?
Choosing the size of implant, measured in volume (cc’s or cubic centimeters) is based on several factors and must be individualized for each body type. Some women have small or petite frames, while others are tall and have broad shoulders. The goal is to create a natural and well-proportioned feminine figure without looking “augmented”. To better simplify, there are three basic candidates requesting breast augmentation surgery: First, is the young candidate in her 20’s to 30’s with small breasts (A or small B-cup) who just need added volume. The most commonly requested size is a “36 full C-cup”, which on average may require an implant size of 375cc to 450 cc. These candidates are extremely happy following breast enlargement and experience a wonderful transformation that improves self-confidence and total body image. Second, is the candidate in her 30’s to 40’s who has experienced post partum atrophy and breast deflation following pregnancy and breast-feeding. As a consequence, their breasts now appear flat, flabby, and deflated. Sometimes, these candidates may also need a breast lift or mastopexy to reposition or center the areola over the implant. Lastly, is the candidate who already has breast implants but is now requesting cosmetic breast revision due to asymmetry, unevenness, hardening or rippling. These candidates also commonly request implant exchange from saline to silicone gel. During your consultation with Dr. Thornton you will collectively share in the decision making process about your personal needs, desires, implant size, and expectations, as your reasons to choose breast augmentation or breast revision surgery are unique and personal.
How to know if you need a breast lift?
The goal of a breast lift or mastopexy is to reposition or “lift” sagging breasts, due to the effects of pregnancy, breast-feeding, and massive weight loss. The end result of these conditions cause the breasts to temporarily enlarge, thus stretching out the breast skin and impairing its ability to support the underlying breast tissue. Once the breast skin has stretched out to its maximum limits, it looses the elastic ability to return to its original shape and the breast skin remains stretched and flaccid. This condition is termed “ptosis” and can be classified as first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree. During your private consultation with Dr. Thornton, your degree of breast ptosis will be analyzed and you will collectively share in the decision making process about your personal needs, desires, and expectations. Incisions for a breast lift are placed around the dark skin of your areola and along the underside breast crease. However, Dr. Thornton provides every effort to minimize the size of your scars and to make them as inconspicuous as possible. During the breast lift procedure, excess skin is removed and rearranged to tighten the flaccid skin envelope and provide restorative support to the underlying breast tissue. The nipple-areola complex is elevated to a more natural position, restoring your breasts to a more youthful appearance with more fullness and projection. A breast lift is often done in combination with breast implant augmentation in order to achieve the most desirable effect during a single-stage operation. Healing is a gradual process and may take several months before you begin to see a final result.
What is the Recovery process?
The initial discomfort following breast augmentation or other cosmetic breast surgery usually lasts one to two weeks. Your chest muscles will be sore—like the feeling after doing lots of push-ups—and this discomfort is typically gone after 2-3 weeks. Dr. Thornton will provide you with narcotic pain medication and muscle relaxants. You will be fitted with a comfort or sports bra and other breast garments designed to reposition your implants during the healing process. Post-operative visits with Dr. Thornton will be frequent during the first several months to identify and manage any minor complications.
Can I afford Breast Augmentation?
Medical insurance does not cover the costs of breast augmentation or cosmetic breast surgery. However, Dr. Thornton offers affordable cosmetic surgery by accepting major card cards including, Mastercard, VISA, and American Express. In addition, we are pleased to offer various third-party, private payment programs including Care Credit, one of the nation’s leading cosmetic surgery payment programs making it easy to afford breast augmentation. Dr. Thornton provides a convenient breast augmentation “package” that includes the cost of two implants (either silicone gel or saline), surgeon fee, operating room fee, and anesthesia fee, pre-op lab fee, and post-op breast garments. Contact our office for pricing details.