When Kelsi took me home shortly after I woke up, I felt fine. We talked and watched TV, then I dozed off for a bit. I couldn't stay awake for more than an hour or two before needing to rest. My throat was raw from the breathing tube. And it hurt to laugh. When the hospital meds wore off, I had a full-on headache, almost like severe caffeine withdrawal. But the discomfort never got so bad that I needed Percocet; Tylenol alone made it manageable. That first night, I thought I'd sleep terribly, but I was out cold from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. It was tricky settling in, though, because I had to sleep with my head propped up on several pillows to minimize swelling, which isn't exactly easy for a side sleeper.
The breast cancer studies Cancer in the Augmented Breast: Diagnosis and Prognosis (1993) and Breast Cancer after Augmentation Mammoplasty (2001) of women with breast implant prostheses reported no significant differences in disease-stage at the time of the diagnosis of cancer; prognoses are similar in both groups of women, with augmented patients at a lower risk for subsequent cancer recurrence or death. Conversely, the use of implants for breast reconstruction after breast cancer mastectomy appears to have no negative effect upon the incidence of cancer-related death. That patients with breast implants are more often diagnosed with palpable—but not larger—tumors indicates that equal-sized tumors might be more readily palpated in augmented patients, which might compensate for the impaired mammogram images. The ready palpability of the breast-cancer tumor(s) is consequent to breast tissue thinning by compression, innately in smaller breasts a priori (because they have lesser tissue volumes), and that the implant serves as a radio-opaque base against which a cancerous tumor can be differentiated.
If you’re researching “how much do breast implants cost,” chances are you are imagining all the benefits they offer. Breast augmentation is the top cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States for a reason. Breast augmentations have a high rate of patient satisfaction according to research. In a study published in the May 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers gathered information from 225 women after their breast augmentations. The study revealed that 91.1% of women felt improved self-esteem, 64.3% had an improved quality of life, and 98.7% would repeat the surgery. But there is another side to breast implants, one you should know about before scheduling your plastic surgery consultation. While the initial costs and satisfaction rates are similar between implant types, the long-term maintenance costs and emotional toll differs in important ways. Silicone gel breast implants carry a high rate of certain complications and an increased anxiety when compared to the newest breast implant on the market, IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.
Many different types of breast lifts are now available in conjunction with a breast reduction, including lifts just around the areola (periareolar), vertical/lollipop mastopexies (incision around the areola and down to the breast fold, and full breast lifts with an anchor incision. For patients who have very loose skin in the armpit or back, axillary or bra lifts are also often combined with breast reductions.
The procedure is accomplished by using the skin of the lower pole of the breast (the part below the nipple that sits in the bra cup) to shape the whole breast into a perky dome, then straps are made of the extra skin, anchoring it to the underlying chest muscle so that there is virtually no chance of repeat sagging. The skin that above your nipple and below your collar bone is utilized to cover the perky, lifted dome that has been created and then a new (usually smaller) circular opening for the areola is placed at the high point of the cone, creating your new lifted, full and shapely breast.
The ASPS and the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) have partnered with the FDA to study this condition and in doing so created the Patient Registry and Outcomes For breast Implants and anaplastic large cell Lymphoma Etiology and epidemiology (PROFILE). The United States FDA strongly encourages all physicians to report cases to PROFILE in an effort to better understand the role of breast implants in ALCL and the management of this disease.
Many patients return to work within the first week after breast lift surgery, depending on the nature of their jobs, and resume most daily activities after a week or so. You will need to limit exercise other than walking for the first 2-6 weeks after a breast lift; your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions about when it is safe to resume any activity.
There are a few alternatives to breast augmentation with implants. Fat grafting breast augmentation involves harvesting fat via liposuction from another area of your body and injecting it into your breasts. Fat grafting is typically used to improve the appearance of your breasts after surgery to treat breast cancer, to correct a congenital breast deformity or to even out any imperfections occurring after breast augmentation with implants, such as wrinkles or ripples. The long-term effects of fat grafting to a normal breast are not fully understood, and the degree of augmentation possible via grafting is only modest at best. For these reasons, fat grafting for cosmetic breast augmentation is still considered experimental by many plastic surgeons.
Of course, the breast reduction vs. breast lift question is not really cut and dry because every woman is unique. You may be unsure of what volume you would like with the breasts in a more favorable position. Breasts may be different sizes (asymmetric). The position of the nipple may be out of proportion to the amount of breast sag. Breasts may be ‘deflated’ after pregnancy. You may have heard that breast implants are the only reliable way to lift breasts. These questions can easily be addressed at the time of your consult.
Silicone implant rupture can be evaluated using magnetic resonance imaging; from the long-term MRI data for single-lumen breast implants, the European literature about second generation silicone-gel breast implants (1970s design), reported silent device-rupture rates of 8–15 per cent at 10-years post-implantation (15–30% of the patients).
The amount of good quality, transferrable fat will depend on how much can be retrieved from the donor sites. This can be partially estimated after examination (the surgeon inspects and pinches the areas of potential fat harvest to get an idea of how much fat can realistically be harvested), but it is hard to know for sure until the procedure is well underway. Abdominal and love handle/flank fat tend to be the best sources because the fat is more easily retrieved and softer than back fat, but the back is also routinely liposuctioned in the BBL procedure to both obtain extra tissue for transfer and to improve the 360 degree shaping of the torso. I have transferred anywhere from 300cc per buttock to over 1200 in some patients, depending on the circumstances.