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Breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, is a procedure designed to increase the volume of the breasts through placement of saline or silicone implants. While this cosmetic surgery primarily aims to increase the breast size, utilizing implants can also improve the shape and symmetry of the breasts. As the most popular aesthetic procedure currently performed by plastic surgeons worldwide, breast augmentation has helped countless women achieve their desired breast appearance for improved confidence and breast contours.

Whether pursued for cosmetic enhancement or reconstruction after mastectomy, board-certified plastic surgeon John Ayala, MD, FACS can achieve natural-looking breast augmentation results for patients in and around the San Antonio and San Marcos regions. After a discussion of your goals, he will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to attain your ideal outcome.

Why Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is often considered one of the best techniques to enhance the breast shape and size. Every patient has their own personal reasons for undergoing breast augmentation, but the procedure is typically popular with women who have lost breast volume due to pregnancy, experience asymmetry between the breasts, or simply wish to attain the breast size they have always desired.

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Increase Size

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Post-Pregnancy Correction

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Correct Imbalance

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Reconstructive

Who is a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation can be a very rewarding procedure for individuals who wish to:

  • Increase or restore their breast volume
  • Enhance the shape of their breasts
  • Resolve asymmetry
  • Achieve an improved breast contour

In addition to enhancing the silhouette, some patients also find that breast augmentation helps them fit in a wider range of clothing. Those interested in breast augmentation should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations about what the procedure can accomplish. Examples of the outcomes previously achieved are showcased in Dr. Ayala’s expansive before-and-after photo gallery, which can provide a good idea of how breast surgery can reshape and rejuvenate the breasts.

Types of Breast Implants

Breast implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing patients many different choices in the look and feel they would like to achieve. Dr. Ayala offers both saline and silicone breast implants at Ayala Plastic Surgery, and the best type of implant for you will depend on your needs, goals, and anatomic indicators.

Saline Implants

Saline breast implants are composed of saline solution encased in a silicone shell. They are FDA-approved for patients 18 and older, and breast reconstruction patients of any age. As implants that have been in use for decades, saline has proven to be a timeless and effective implant fill material for breast enhancement. In the rare event of rupture, these implants have the benefit of the sterile saline solution being harmlessly absorbed by the body.

Silicone Implants

A more recent innovation in breast augmentation, silicone breast implants consist of silicone gel inside an outer silicone shell. These implants are typically known for resembling the feel of natural breast tissue and can often provide a realistic-looking breast contour. FDA-approved for patients 22 and older, many types of silicone implants keep their shape in the event of rupture.

During your consultation, Dr. Ayala will discuss the pros and cons of each implant type with you so you can make a well-informed decision. You will also have the opportunity to try on different implant sizes with a special bra, which can give you insight into how each option may affect your overall appearance.

Implant Placement Diagram

Implant Placement

There are two options for placement of your breast implants: below the breast tissue or below the chest muscle. When the implant is positioned under the chest muscle (submuscularly), there is generally more coverage for the implant and a reduced risk of visible implant edges. Mammography readings can also be more reliable with an under-the-muscle approach. Additionally, the risk of capsular contracture, which involves scar tissue forming and hardening around the implant, is decreased when compared to placement directly under the breast tissue.

With that said, some patients believe implants retain a more natural appearance when placed over the chest muscle. This is only possible if there is enough skin and natural breast tissue to adequately cover the implants, as the incidence of feeling and/or seeing the implant edges—known as implant rippling— can occur if a patient has thin breast skin. Dr. Ayala can work with you to decide which implant placement is ideal for you.

Where are Breast Augmentation Incisions Located?

When Dr. Ayala places your breast implants, there are three incision options that can be utilized to perform your breast augmentation. Each technique offers its own benefits, and the most ideal incision depends on your existing breast size, the dimensions of your implants, and the thickness of your breast skin:

  • Periareolar: Placed along the borders of the areola. This incision is most successful for relatively smaller breast implants. While the periareolar incision is not recommended for women who wish to breastfeed in the future, this technique can allow post-operative scars to blend into the natural change in pigmentation between the breast skin and the areola.
  • Inframammary: Made along the crease where the breasts meet the chest wall. Inframammary breast augmentation is typically more versatile when compared to other incisions and can produce natural-looking results for implants of any type or size.
  • Transaxillary: Located in a natural fold of the armpit. With this technique, the implant is filled after insertion into the breast pocket. A transaxillary incision can only be utilized when placing saline implants, but it offers the benefit of an unscarred breast appearance.

Dr. Ayala will recommend an optimal incision based on your needs and goals for the outcome. The inframammary incision is usually the most common breast augmentation technique, as this location within the breast crease can offer more visibility when positioning the implant and scars often blend into the natural contour of the breast fold.

How is Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed?

Breast augmentation at Ayala Plastic Surgery is performed in our accredited surgical center and typically utilizes general anesthesia. First, an incision is made in a predetermined location, either around the borders of the areola; within the breast crease; or in a natural fold of the armpit. The best type of incision for you will depend on the desired size of your implant, the fill material, and your anatomic indicators. Dr. Ayala will then create an implant pocket either above or below the chest muscle and position the implant. The incisions are closed, and you will be able to rest in our post-operative center under the supervision of our experienced nurses until you are ready to continue recovering at home.

What is Recovery From Breast Augmentation Like?

After breast augmentation, a friend or loved one must be available to drive you home and accompany you for the first 24 hours of your recovery. Tightness and swelling of the breasts are to be expected, and oral pain medications can typically help manage any discomfort. Following the procedure, it is not uncommon for the breasts to appear higher on the chest wall or in an oval shape. With time, the breasts should settle into a natural position and final results are generally apparent after approximately one year. To help prevent blood clots, we encourage light ambulation, such as standing and walking around the house, as soon as you feel up to it. An important part of the healing process is close monitoring of your incisions. Please be wary of putting pressure or strain on your incisions, and try to avoid touching your incisions without gloves on. Our team will prescribe antibiotics to help further prevent infection.

For the first two weeks after surgery, you should wear a surgical bra or non-underwire bra at all times. While most patients return to work within one week, please avoid heavy lifting for two to three weeks, as well as vigorous exercise for three to four weeks.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast implants are not designed to be lifetime devices; however, many women enjoy their implants for decades and don’t ever have the need to undergo a secondary procedure. Dr. Ayala advises remaining vigilant to changes in the way your breasts look or feel over the years to help detect any complications that may have arisen. Should an issue occur, Dr. Ayala offers breast revision to replace older implants or to exchange them for a different size, shape, or type of implant. Some women may even choose to remove their implants altogether after decades of use, which breast revision can additionally accomplish. In these cases, a breast lift may also be necessary to correct stretched breast skin and restore your breast shape to its original appearance.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

In San Antonio, the cost of breast augmentation typically falls between $4,000 and $8,000. This range is an overall approximation that includes the usual expenses associated with cosmetic surgery, such as fees for the operating facility, anesthesia, surgeon, etc. However, cost estimates vary depending on each patient’s unique needs. Several factors can impact the price of your procedure, including:

  • The type of breast implants chosen
  • The type of incisions utilized 
  • Whether your procedure is a breast augmentation revision
  • The complexity of your surgery

Since each individual’s treatment plan differs, our office will be able to provide you with a personalized quote after your goals are discussed in a consultation. Ayala Plastic Surgery accepts plastic surgery financing plans through CareCredit®, a leading healthcare lending company that offers qualified patients both long- and short-term financing options to help make surgical costs more manageable. If you have any questions about the price of breast augmentation, a member of our team would be happy to assist you.

Will I Have Visible Breast Augmentation Scars?

Scarring after certain surgical procedures cannot be avoided. Fortunately, breast augmentation scars can be very well-hidden within the natural contours of the breasts. The shape and location of your scars will depend on which incision was utilized to place your implants. A periareolar incision typically creates a scar that blends into the borders of the areolas when fully healed, while the scar from an inframammary incision can be camouflaged along the contour of the breast fold. If you opt for a transaxillary incision, the scar is usually hidden within a crease of the underarm and should only be visible when the arms are raised.

What is Breast Augmentation Revision?

Whether your original results from another plastic surgeon were not what you expected, or complications such as implant rippling, implant rupture, or capsular contracture have compromised the outcome, Dr. Ayala performs breast augmentation revision to address your concerns and improve upon the results of your initial procedure. Common reasons why some patients seek a secondary breast augmentation surgery include:

  • To exchange saline implants for silicone implants
  • To resolve a complication
  • To enhance the results of an initial breast augmentation
  • To remove their implants altogether

Most individuals who receive breast augmentation are very pleased with their final results; however, when an unqualified plastic surgeon fails to communicate openly or adequately address patients’ needs, some women seek a revision breast procedure elsewhere. Dr. Ayala is committed to helping you maximize your original results with a personalized breast revision treatment plan designed to achieve your goals. To gain a sense of your concerns, he will thoroughly discuss your needs and expectations with you to learn how he can help you achieve the appearance you desire.

For more information about how you can improve your breast contour with saline or silicone implants, please don’t hesitate to contact Ayala Plastic Surgery today.