Breast Implants & Enlargement
Dr. Schusterman is a board-certified plastic surgeon leading the team at the Texas Center for Breast and Body in breast reconstruction and breast augmentation procedures. As breast implants and other types of breast augmentation services are rapidly getting more attention, Dr. Schusterman guides women through the options and risks of both medical and cosmetic breast procedures. Some women make a change for medical reasons, although the procedure is also common among women who wish to increase their breast size for cosmetic and self-confidence reasons.
At Texas Center for Breast and Body, our patients give us high marks for the natural, comfortable results they achieve. They also appreciate our level of helpful and friendly service throughout the entire consultation, surgery, and recovery procedures. In addition to the practical information on breast augmentation below, you can read patient testimonials to learn about the personal experience of choosing Dr. Schusterman and the Texas Center for Breast and Body to help you achieve your body goals. If you’re interested in a private consultation, please contact our Houston, TX, office to schedule a consultation for a more beautiful and confident you.
What Is Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation, medically known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure used to enhance the size and shape of women’s breasts with a saline or silicone gel implant. If you’ve ever heard the terms breast augmentation and breast implants used interchangeably, that’s not to cause confusion; it’s because both terms refer to the same procedure of inserting the implant behind each breast to increase the bust line by one or more bra cup sizes.
Breast Augmentation vs. Breast Implants
The terms breast augmentation and breast implants can be used interchangeably. Breast augmentation is simply the name of the surgical procedure to place breast implants.
Types of Breast Implants
Not all breast implants are identical, so even if you’re confident that an augmentation procedure is right for you, you’ll need to learn a little more about which type of implant fits your goals best. While there is no right or wrong choice, each of the three types of FDA-approved breast implant—gummy bear form stable implants, silicone gel filled, and saline filled—have their own advantages to consider.
Named because they have the consistency of gummy bear candy) are the most recent development of implant. They are cohesive and “form stable,” meaning they retain their shape over time and even if the shell breaks, the gel implant stays put.
Gel-filled breast implants are filled with a softer gel than the gummy bear type, but still cohesive for a safe shape with no leaking. They feel more “natural” than gummy bear implants, making them the implant of choice for most patients.
Saline-filled breast implants are filled at the time of the surgery with a liquid saline solution. They don’t feel as “natural” as gel and are more prone to ruptures. However, the advantage of the inflatable saline implant is they require the smallest incision of all implant types to insert the deflated shell before filling it to the desired size with saline.
Choosing the Right Size, Placement, and Incision Point for a Breast Implant
For a natural look and feel, you should consider several factors during your consultation to determine the ideal implant size for your overall build and shape. This can include the width of your chest, distance between breasts, the skin elasticity in the area (which can also be improved with a breast lift), and breast symmetry. During your consultation, Dr. Schusterman will help you evaluate the best options for the incision site and implant placement based on your goals. The two most common incision sites are around the nipple (periareolar) or within the fold under the breast (inframammary). A periareolar incision may affect breastfeeding.
Using 3D Imaging to Plan Your Breast Augmentation
With the options you have for the size, placement, and incision sites, the Texas Center for Breast and Body understands that it can be stressful to commit to a procedure when you can only imagine the final results. Our team has taken the next step in breast augmentation surgery to take the guesswork out of your experience with a VECTRA 3D imaging simulation. This advanced computer program adapts a 3D photo of your torso to help you visualize the results of your chosen breast augmentation procedure and feel confident in the final results.
To see a few real-life breast augmentation results from our Houston patients, please visit our Before and After Breast Augmentation Photo Gallery before scheduling your own consultation for a virtual experience of what your new bust could look like.
The Submuscular Placement
The submuscular placement: The breast implant is placed behind the chest wall muscle (pectoral muscle). This placement looks and feels more natural because the implant is further away from the skin. It may require a longer surgery and recovery period, but typically results in less capsular contracture (scar tissue formation), and easier imaging of the breast with mammography.
The Subglandular Placement
A subglandular placement for the breast implant behind the breast tissue offers shorter surgery, less pain, and a faster recovery because only skin and fat are impacted. However, this placement may result in more obvious implants, more capsular contracture, and difficulty imaging the breast with mammography.
Risks Associated with Breast Augmentation Surgery
As with any operation, there are risks and specific complications that may be associated with breast augmentation surgery including scarring, infection, hematoma, and implant leakage or rupture. While most women do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon before committing to the procedure.
Patients should be aware that breast implants aren’t always permanent. They often require a future operation to remove and replace the original implant.
Planning Your Surgery
In your initial consultation, Dr. Schusterman will evaluate your health and suggest which surgical techniques are most appropriate based on your age, health, and the condition of your breasts If your breasts have simply lost elasticity and are beginning to sag, we may recommend a breast lift. Please let our office know if you smoke or if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs that could affect the safest way to proceed. The method of inserting and positioning your implant, as well as the incision location will depend on your anatomy, but we make every effort to create a natural-looking final result with minimal scarring.
Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. We’ll explain the type of anesthesia and the costs involved for the entire procedure. Because most insurance companies do not consider breast augmentation medically necessary, they generally do not cover the cost.
Preparing for Your Breast Augmentation Surgery
Please follow our personalized instructions on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications before surgery. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for a few days. Your breast implant surgery will be performed at the state-of-the-art Hermann Drive Surgical Hospital near our office, and usually takes one to two hours to complete. Stitches are used to close the incisions, which may also be taped for greater support. A gauze bandage may be applied over your breasts to help with healing.
Post-operative Care and Recovery
Typically, patients are discharged the same day of the surgery but will need someone to drive them home. You can expect to feel tired and sore for a few days following surgery, and you may also experience a burning sensation in the nipples for about two weeks. However, the brief discomfort isn’t enough to stop most patients from showering, going out, and doing other regular, safe post-op activities within a day. We will prescribe pain medication if needed and a surgical zip-front bra to minimize discomfort.
Immediately after surgery, your breast implants may appear higher than you wish due to post-surgical chest swelling but will drop into a natural placement after a few days. During the healing process, you may notice increased or decreased sensation in your nipples temporarily, but in most cases, you’ll retain your pre-augmentation sensitivity once the implants have settled into place and all swelling is gone. The absorbable sutures will dissolve in 60 to 90 days, and any swelling can take three to five weeks to resolve.
Getting Back to Normal
During your follow-up visit to the Texas Center for Breast and Body, we’ll evaluate your progress, address any concerns about shape, size, or discomfort, and check that the healing process is going well. At the follow-up visit, you will likely still have firm, pink scars, which will stay prominent for at least six weeks. This is normal, and they may remain the same size for several months or even appear to widen before finally beginning to fade. If you’d like to minimize scarring as much as possible, please consult with Dr. Schusterman and our medical staff about at-home moisturizers we recommend to calm redness and reduce scar visibility.
Most patients return to work within a few days, but please follow all instructions regarding the limited activities that can be resumed immediately following your breast augmentation and when to resume normal exercise and other activities. Strenuous exercise and direct contact or stimulation should be avoided for at least two to three weeks, as a general guide.
Can I have a Mammogram After Breast Implants?
It is still safe and highly recommended to get mammograms after your breast augmentation procedure has completely healed. Adult women over the age of 40 should continue to schedule routine mammograms, but always inform the mammogram technician that you’ve undergone breast augmentation. This will help him or her evaluate the results more accurately, take appropriate precautions while taking a reading, and check for any complications associated with your implants for early detection and treatment of health issues if needed.
Dr. Schusterman, I would like to thank you for such a great job, not only do I feel better physically, but mentally, I’m at an all time high! I would also like to praise your office staff who were at all times friendly and professional. Dr. Schusterman was outstanding from start to finish! I would not ask for better experience.
My experience with Dr. Schusterman and his entire staff has been wonderful. They are friendly and thorough, and I am very pleased with the results of my procedure. I have already, and will continue to, refer potential clients to Dr. Schusterman.
Wonderful, friendly, and helpful staff. Fabulous results. The results were exactly what I wanted.
Dr. Schusterman was very helpful in achieving all of my goals, answering my questions, and following up even after surgery. I would recommend him to anyone, and my only regret is that I did not find him sooner.
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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Mark A. Schusterman, MD, FACS
Although his research and development of microsurgical reconstruction techniques established his reputation, his knowledge and understanding of the human body and the challenges associated with aiding patients suffering with head and neck injuries as well as breast cancer patients has made Dr. Schusterman an award-winning plastic surgeon.
About Nobilis Health
Nobilis Health operates hospitals in 7 states, has more than 60 ambulatory care centers, clinics, and is fully committed to ensuring that every patient receives top-of-the-line care at our conveniently-located, state-of-the-art facilities.
Nobilis Health has developed numerous partnerships with an extensive network of highly-specialized, board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons. We empower our partner physicians with the cutting-edge technology and highly specialized staffs they need to deliver the highest quality care to every patient.
About Hermann Drive Surgical Hospital
Hermann Drive Surgical Hospital, part of the Nobilis Health family, is a state-of-the-art acute care hospital committed to excellence. At Hermann Drive Surgical Hospital, our highly credentialed staff, cutting-edge equipment, and robust on-site services provide every member of the community with access to exceptional healthcare, 24/7.
We provide concierge-quality care in a comfortable environment. At Hermann Drive Surgical Hospital, you’re family, and we stop at nothing to create a compassionate, welcoming environment for you and our fellow community members.