Small or asymmetrical breasts can make you feel self-conscious about your figure and negatively impact otherwise pleasing body proportions.
A breast augmentation by Drs. Hurwitz and Davila in Pittsburgh, PA, can enhance the size and shape of your breasts and help you achieve a fuller, shapelier bust line.*
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In addition, 85 percent of women in the study responded that their new size was "just right."
While an augmentation can change the size and shape of your breasts, it does have certain limitations. If you are interested in enhancing the appearance of drooping breasts, a breast augmentation alone may not provide the results you desire. Tour plastic surgeon can perform a full examination and discuss your cosmetic goals to determine if a breast lift or a breast lift with implants would be a better approach.
During a breast lift, Dr. Davila can address excess skin and reposition your breasts as well as your nipple. He can also combine these techniques with an augmentation to provide larger, fuller breasts. You can discuss all your options with Dr. Davila to see if an augmentation is the right procedure for your unique needs.
Women who are interested in breast augmentation should ask themselves one important question:
“Why do I want to enhance my breasts?”
Answering this question honestly and in great detail will help you develop a full understanding of the procedure and feel confident about their choice to undergo this treatment. It is important that patients do not undergo breast augmentation simply to appease a spouse or significant other. This is a very personal decision and should only be sought out after serious consideration.
General candidacy for breast augmentation includes women who are in good health and near their ideal weight. Those who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding should not undergo this procedure. If you have a medical condition which could make surgery a potential risk, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or an autoimmune disorder, you may not be eligible for this type of treatment.
Is There an Age Requirement for Breast Augmentation?
Saline breast implants can be placed in patients aged 18 and older. However, those considering silicone implants must be at least 22 years old. In some instances, breast augmentation may be considered for patients under the age of 18, but only when correcting congenital deformities or addressing traumatic injuries.
Many women are worried about the safety of undergoing breast augmentation surgery.
You can rest assured.
Breast implants have been widely used for several decades. Both silicone and saline implants are FDA-approved for cosmetic enhancement. Many patients enjoy their breast implants for 10 to 20 years before needing a replacement.
When undergoing surgery at the Hurwitz Center, you can enjoy the comfort, convenience, and privacy of our own outpatient operating room, which is surrounded by blissful views of the Monongahela River, Downtown Pittsburgh and hilly South Side.
We hold our team to the highest safety standards and have even earned certification from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, Inc. our plastic surgeons have completed hundreds of procedures in this operating room. However, patients can also choose to undergo their surgery at UPMC Magee-Women's Hospital for those who prefer hospital care.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation typically involves the placement of breast implants to enhance the size and shape of your breasts. Some patients can achieve comparable results with a fat transfer.
Planning Your Surgery
During an initial consultation, you can explain your cosmetic concerns and goals to Dr. Davila. After a careful examination, he can recommend the techniques and procedures that can offer the most natural-looking results based on your body type and breast tissue. Using this information, you can collaborate with Dr. Davila to design a personalized treatment plan.
Customizing Your Results
One of the benefits of choosing a breast augmentation is the ability to customize your surgery to suit your unique cosmetic goals. By carefully selecting each aspect of your procedure, you have a great deal of control over the results you see at the end of treatment.
There are several decisions you will need to make before surgery, including:
- The size of the implant
- Where the implant will be placed
- The profile of the implant
- The type of implant you will receive
- The incision method
We can thoroughly explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Hurwitz believes it is crucial that patients make educated decisions about their breast augmentation procedures and have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve.
We offer a range of sizes for our implants. Our staff can walk you through samples to help you choose the size which is most suited to your figure. Sophisticated 3-D imaging is available with augmented reality to best visualize your ideal result.
There are two methods of placing implants: submuscular and subfascial. In submuscular placement, Dr. Davila inserts the implant below the pectoral muscle which can help to hide any imperfections. However, this method is more invasive and requires a longer recovery. With sub-Pectoral muscle fascia placement, recovery time is shorter, but the implants are closer to the surface, meaning issues are more easily noticeable.
Breast Implant Profiles
An implant’s profile refers to how far the implant projects outward from the chest wall. The type of projection appropriate for you will depend on your unique aesthetic characteristics. There are several options available, including:
- Low profile breast implants: These implants project only a short distance from the chest and have a generally flatter appearance. This option is usually considered for patients with wider chests.
- Moderate profile breast implants: Generally, moderate profile breast implants deliver the most natural-looking results. Often recommended for women with small or narrow chests, moderate profile implants have a higher projection compared to low profile options, but a lower projection than their high profile counterparts.
- High profile breast implants: Narrow at the base for maximum projection, high profile breast implants deliver full, round results. While this option may look unnatural on some individuals, petite patients with a narrow chest wall often find this option suits them well.
Silicone vs. Saline
Breast augmentation candidates should spend plenty of time considering silicone vs. saline breast implants. Both offer unique advantages that can make a significant difference in the results you can expect to achieve.
About Silicone Implants
Silicone implants consist of a flexible silicone exterior containing a viscous silicone gel. They are approved for use by patients age 22 and older. Most breast augmentation patients feel that silicone implants provide the most realistic texture. Because the silicone gel is thicker than saline solution, the implants retain their shape more effectively. They will not ripple, so you can feel confident that your breasts will support a natural-looking outward appearance. This feature can make silicone implants an excellent choice for patients with a naturally thin, lean frame.*
Because the implants are prefilled, they require a larger incision than saline implants. Although both types of implants have the potential to rupture, it is more difficult to detect a ruptured silicone implant. It is also more difficult to replace a ruptured silicone implant because the gel can adhere to surrounding tissues. Capsular contracture, or the abnormal growth of scar tissue around an implant that often results in a severely distorted breast, occurs more frequently among patients with silicone implants. While the precise cause of capsular contracture is not fully understood, research indicates that you can minimize your risk of the condition by choosing an accredited and experienced surgeon.
About Saline Implants
Saline implants consist of a silicone outer shell containing a saltwater solution. They are filled after placement, making it possible to perform surgery using only a very small incision. Saline implants are approved for use by patients age 18 and older. Once the implant is in place, it can be filled to achieve the desired size. This option also makes it easier to achieve symmetry between the breasts. In the event of a rupture, it will become immediately apparent. Meanwhile, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body.* Recently a baffled structure implant has become available that has the look and soft feel of silicone gel without the anxiety of silent rupture, called Ideal Implant. We has considerable experience with Ideal structure saline filled implants with considerable patient satisfaction.
Choosing the Right Implant
The best way to determine which implant is right for you is to meet with Dr. Davila. He will evaluate a number of factors, including your body type, weight, height, and your overall cosmetic goals. To help you make your decision, he will show you before and after photos of patients with results similar to what you hope to achieve.
Every breast augmentation is different because every patient is unique. A typical procedure lasts about one hour and is performed either under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with oral sedation. Once you are comfortable, the plastic surgeon will make an incision in an area such as the crease of the breast, the armpit, or the near the areola. These incisions are placed in a way that results in the most discreet scarring possible.
The next step is placement. Breast implants can be positioned under the Pectoral muscle (submuscular or subfascial placement) or directly behind the breast tissue (subglandular placement). Except for the thinnest patients, whose implants are placed subPectoral, we place the implant under the subpectoral fascia. That layer supports the implant and retards capsular contracture but is not excessively mobile with use of the muscle. Once the implant is in place, we suture close the incisions. You are provided with a compression bra
There are several types of incisions Dr. Davila can use to discreetly place your implants: to minimize swelling and support your breasts while they heal.
The optimal incision type for you will depend on the type of implant you receive, the level of enlargement, your particular anatomy and personal preference. Regardless, we have the skills and experience to ensure your incisions are as minimal and discreet as possible.
What Is Transaxillary Breast Augmentation?
Commonly, breast augmentation is performed with incisions along the crease underneath the breasts, or around the areola surrounding the nipple. In transaxillary breast augmentation, implants are placed without incising the breast tissue at all. The transaxillary incision is made along a natural crease in your underarm area. About an inch and a half in length, this incision is almost undetectable once it is healed.*
Transaxillary breast augmentation is more complex than other insertion techniques and requires special instrumentation. For the most natural looking result, it is important to seek out a qualified surgeon with significant experience in this area. With Davila’s expertise, you can receive safe, proven care for the figure you have always wanted.
Advantages of Specialized Procedures
Benefits of transaxillary augmentation include:
- Natural-looking breasts without tell-tale signs of surgery
- No scars on breast or nipple tissue
- Evidence of surgery limited to inconspicuous armpit area
- Reduced chance of sensation impairment in the nipples
- Less impact on nerves and tissue that affect breastfeeding
- Both saline and silicone implants can be placed
This procedure is also typically safer than other scarless procedures. Many patients have undergone a transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) that uses incisions in the belly button and only allows the placement of saline implants. However, because of recurring issues that can endanger patient safety and satisfaction, the Hurwitz Center for Plastic Surgery does not perform this method.*
Transaxillary breast augmentation is usually performed at one of our ambulatory surgical centers. It requires general anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Guided by his endoscope, Dr. Davila creates a pocket in the breast tissue and gently inserts the implants to achieve your desired size and shape. Implants can be placed either above or beneath the pectoral muscle, so you can achieve the look you want. When your implants are in place, Dr. Davila will close the underarm incision with sutures.*
The Right Technique for You
Having received excellent specialized training and a protégé of Dr. Hurwitz, Dr. Davila is highly skilled with all types of breast surgery. He has a widespread reputation for innovative body contouring, with an emphasis on providing patients with natural-looking results. At your initial consultation, you will discuss your goals with Dr. Davila and he will offer his expert opinion on the best method to achieve the look you want.
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will return home the day of surgery. Our team will provide specific postoperative instructions. Dr. Hurwitz may prescribe medications for pain management and to prevent infection.
The Recovery Process
During the healing process, you should wear your support garment around the clock. Most patients find that acute pain subsides within one to five days. However, you may experience some soreness and swelling for several weeks.
You should plan to relax for the first few days until Dr. Hurwitz determines that it is safe to resume certain activities. It is usually safe to return to a non-strenuous job after about a week. Keep in mind that carefully following post-operative instructions is crucial to ensuring your results.
Seeing Your Results
The breast augmentation procedure results in larger breasts right away. However, it may take a few weeks to see the final effects of treatment. As swelling and bruising subsides, you will be able to visualize your final, refined results.
Dr. Hurwitz may recommend wearing a support garment for several months to help shape your breasts, especially if you had asymmetry or very small breasts before treatment. Incision lines will continue to fade in the months after the procedure.
Breast Augmentation Cost Factors
There are several factors that can affect the cost of your breast augmentation procedure. Some of these include:
- Any associated medical tests
- Hospital or surgical center fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Prescription medications
- Post-surgical compression garments
- Consultation fee
“I honestly never thought of myself as a serious candidate for elective surgery ... but I’m already feeling and looking so much better.*” Jill's Story