When a woman has small, underdeveloped breasts or when she has lost the natural fullness of her breast after pregnancy, she may seek breast augmentation surgery. Typically, this operation not only enhances the entire aesthetic proportion of her body but also improves her self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.
Breast enlargement with implants is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia. The incision can be placed in several areas, including the mammary fold (under the breast), the periareolar area (around the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or the armpit area. A pocket is developed for the breast implant under the breast tissue or the muscles of the chest wall. Occasionally, it may be necessary to perform a breast lift at the same time as breast augmentation. The final outcome of surgery may be greatly enhanced by this procedure, which places the nipple in a more appropriate position or eliminates excess skin.
The breast implants available today for augmentation are saline-filled implants or silicone-filled implants. In the United States, silicone implants were not available for cosmetic breast surgery for many years. The reason for this was the controversy surrounding the safety of silicone for use in elective surgery. To date, there is no scientific data that implicates silicone as being a dangerous substance. Silicone implants are now available to women who wish to have these implants placed for breast augmentation. However, you have to meet certain criteria for using these implants. Alternatively, saline implants can be used as before for augmentation. These implants contain nothing but salt water and cannot harm you in any way. Ask Dr. Marefat, a Virginia plastic surgeon, to explain the health risks related to each of these implants and to tell you which implant he would recommend for your case.
Once the breast implant surgery is performed, you will wear a form-fitting surgical bra for several days. Minimal swelling and discoloration may occur after surgery but should disappear after a few days. You can expect to largely recover from surgery within a week and to return to strenuous exercises in a few weeks. Various degrees of breast firmness may develop after surgery. Speak with Dr. Marefat to find out how you can minimize this possibility.
Breast augmentation is a procedure for enlarging the breasts. The usual indication for this procedure is a woman who has small, underdeveloped breasts or a patient who has lost the natural firmness of her breasts after pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Unfortunately, to this date, there is no good alternative to breast augmentation without the use of breast implants. Autologous tissues (your own body’s fat and skin) used for breast augmentation will leave an unsightly scar, and, therefore, these tissues are not used for augmenting the breast.
The purpose of the breast implant operation is to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the chest and to improve the proportions of the chest as compared to the rest of the body. Often, this also improves the patient's self-esteem and psychological wellbeing.
In the first consultation, you will get a chance to discuss your concerns with our patient care coordinators and Dr. Marefat. We will tell you what you need to know about your procedure and will help you determine what is best for you. You will receive information booklets and pricing on the procedures.
The operation is usually done with the patient under general anesthesia. This method of anesthesia is in the best interests of the patient in terms of comfort and ease with which the procedure is performed. There are 3 commonly used incisions in breast implant surgery, including the incision in the mammary fold, the periareolar skin, and the axillary area. The method that Dr. Marefat recommends is the inframammary fold incision. The breast implants can be placed either under the breast muscle or the breast tissue. Dr. Marefat prefers placing the breast implants under the muscle because he believes that it not only provides a greater amount of camouflage for the breast implants, but it also reduces the risk of capsular contracture (hardening of the breast). Occasionally, a breast lift is performed at the same time as the breast augmentation in breasts that require repositioning of the nipples and areolas.
You should expect a moderate degree of swelling and discoloration for 1-2 weeks after surgery. The expected postoperative recovery would be approximately 1 week during which time you should limit your activities and rest as much as possible. The first 2-3 days are likely to be the most uncomfortable for you with a moderate degree of pain, which is easily relieved with oral pain medications. After 3-4 days, you should be able to attend to minor activities around the house and go on short walks. By the 5th or 6th day, you should be able to return to work. The majority of patients return to work within a week. Although some patients feel good enough to exercise in the 2nd week, most do not resume their normal exercise routine until the 3rd or 4th week. With the placement of the breast implants, there will be some changes in your lifestyle. These would include the protection of the breast implants from injuries during strenuous activities and the protection of the breast from injuries sustained during mammography.
You should choose a size that is becoming to your body and you think is right for you. Many patients come to the doctor's office and say that they don’t want their breasts to be too large. However, you must know that the most common complaint of a patient after this operation is that she wishes they were a little larger. Therefore, we recommend that a patient choose a size that is a bit larger than what she thinks is ideal. During the operation, Dr. Marefat chooses breast implants that are appropriate for the frame of the patient by placing a temporary sizer and looking at the breasts while she is in a sitting position. Based on this sizer, Dr. Marefat chooses the permanent breast implants for the patient. Dr. Marefat generally increases the size of her breast by one or two cup sizes.
Virginia breast implant surgery is one of the safest operations we perform. However, like any surgery, there are risk factors associated with it. Dr. Marefat generally discusses the following complications with the patient in her second consultation prior to surgery. You should understand that all these complications are extremely rare and are not a deterrent to surgery for most people.
A complete list of possible side effects and complications will be provided to you when you schedule your surgery. You should talk to Dr. Marefat for more information on each of these possible risks.
There may be a slightly increased risk of compromised detection of early breast cancer by having breast implants. With improved, state-of-the-art radiological techniques for detection of breast cancer, this is unlikely. Furthermore, the saline breast implant is completely clear in the x-ray, making it easier for the radiologist to see all the breast tissue. Patients who have breast implants are more likely to examine themselves and to be examined by a health professional. For this reason, the likelihood of having an undiagnosed tumor is lower.
The rare and unsubstantiated risk of connective tissue disorders, such as arthritis, relates to silicone implants; you should not worry about this with saline breast implants.
You should not have any problems with nursing; however, there have been a few cases in which the patient has not been able to nurse. Certainly, this is not a common complication of this operation.
Sutures are generally removed 2 weeks after breast implant surgery in Virginia.
We like to see our patients frequently after surgery. You are seen by the doctor or nurse within 2-3 days of breast implant surgery. Then, the normal postoperative routine is 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Of course, if there is a need, you may be seen more often. After the first year, we encourage our patients to come in for routine follow-up visits every 3-5 years.
You should be able to put makeup on the bruises after the first week. However, we do not recommend putting makeup on your incisions until they have completely healed. This may result in tattooing of the skin by the pigments of the makeup.
Most insurance carriers may not cover you for problems related to breast implants since they were placed for aesthetic reasons. You should have no problems, however, in obtaining coverage for breast diseases unrelated to the implant surgery. The breast implant manufacturers give a lifetime warranty for their products. Some manufacturers will also cover for costs of surgery if the product was found to be defective. You should ask your Virginia plastic surgeon for details about coverage.
It is a good idea to obtain a baseline mammogram prior to placement of the breast implants. Dr. Marefat recommends this in all patients over 35 years of age.
The best candidate for breast implants is a woman who has small or underdeveloped breasts or who has lost the natural firmness of her breast after pregnancy and breast-feeding. Women who have very asymmetrical breasts are also good candidates. Generally, the younger you are, the better a candidate you are for cosmetic surgery. But the physiological age of a person is more important than the chronological age. That is to say, you may be 60 years old, but your skin and general health could be better than that of most 50 year olds.
You can pay for breast implant surgery by certified check, credit card, or cash. Payments for cosmetic surgery are expected prior to the procedure. If you are scheduling your surgery several weeks in advance, you can pay by personal check.
Yes. But these scars usually heal very well and become almost imperceptible after several months. The benefit of having the scar in the fold of the breast is that even if it does not fade completely, it is still hidden in an area that is usually not seen.
Yes. However, the pain involved in breast implants surgery is very tolerable. We have heard our Virginia patients describe it as muscle aches and pains or just soreness. The doctor likes to inject the area of surgery with a long-lasting anesthetic solution that significantly reduces the pain in the first few days after breast implants surgery. Many patients do not finish the pain medications prescribed to them for relief. Having said that, remember that pain is very subjective, and it is not easy to predict what degree of pain you will have.
No. Dr. Marefat likes to do this procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. If there are risk factors related to your health for having general anesthesia, we can sometimes do this procedure under heavy sedation. If you are just having a small touch-up procedure that can be done in the office, then you will be awake. However, if you are having a large revisional procedure or having multiple changes made to your breast, your surgery will most likely be done in an outpatient facility under general anesthesia.
Breast implant surgery is done in an ambulatory surgery center in Virginia. The doctor does not do this operation in the office. The surgery center provides a safe environment without the inconveniences of a busy hospital operating room.
See More Before Afters
Yes. In all cosmetic and reconstructive cases, medical photos are taken. Photographs are mandatory. This is the only way for us to compare your before to your results. Photographs in plastic surgery serve much the same role that x-rays serve for orthopedic surgery.
Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss breast implant surgery in Virginia. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations at 703-516-7600 (Arlington area) or at 703-560-9583 (Woodbridge).
Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of breast implant surgery in Virginia. Please visit the patient financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so that you can get started with breast implant surgery in Virginia today.