Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed throughout the greater New Jersey area. No wonder, since the results are often life-changing for women. It can serve not only to enhance their physical appearance but, for many, also significantly boosts their self-confidence. As with any medical procedure, knowledge is key for those considering breast augmentation. The board-certified plastic surgeons at The Peer Group in Florham Park, NJ understand this and have expertly answered patients’ top questions about this exciting procedure.

What type of breast implants are right for me?

Approved for use in patients age 18 and older, saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. Silicone implants, available to those over age 22, contain a gel and feel most similar to natural breast tissue. Silicone-filled, teardrop-shaped “Gummy Bear” implants retain their shape if ruptured and feel firmer than traditional silicone implants. Structured implants, known as IDEAL implants, are composed of multiple shells between which saline is inserted, resulting in a more natural-breast feel than is afforded by traditional saline implants.

How do I choose the correct size?

Breast augmentation is customized to each individual. When it comes to implants, size definitely matters, as does a woman’s desired aesthetic outcome. Several factors – including body type, height, weight and current chest size – must be considered during an extensive pre-surgery consultation with your physician. At The Peer Group in Florham Park, NJ, our board-certified plastic surgeons work closely with patients to determine what size implants will produce the best results. It is critical that patients not be over-augmented, as that can cause movement of the breast tissue toward the outside (called lateralization) and result in a distorted look that makes the breasts appear too large for the body.

Will implants improve my cleavage?

Contrary to popular belief, breast implants may not significantly enhance cleavage. That actually is dependent upon factors including the shape and diameter of the breasts preoperatively, the amount of breast tissue a woman has, and the degree to which the breasts are augmented. For the most part, patients who have an average-sized chest wall have a better chance of experiencing cleavage improvements. However, the results cannot be guaranteed since

Implants may actually push breasts outward and toward the side, which may ultimately diminish the appearance of cleavage.

Can sagging breasts be “lifted” by implants?

While most women will experience at least a moderate lift when breast implants are placed, those with sagging breasts (a condition called “ptosis”) may additionally require a breast lift surgery called mastopexy. Unlike breast augmentation, this procedure removes excess skin and will result in additional scars. Without it, implants alone likely will not correct the appearance of sagging breasts.

How do you prevent implants from appearing “rippled”?

Ideally, implants are placed where there is adequate breast tissue, either above or below the pectoralis major muscle. It is important that saline implants not be over-or underfilled, both of which can cause a rippled appearance. Silicone implants placed under the muscle may be the best choice for patients who lack an adequate amount of breast tissue. In either case, it should be noted that most women will be able to feel the implant in the lower outside quadrant of their breast.

What will my recovery be like?

Most patients in the greater New Jersey area that come to our Florham Park, NJ plastic surgery center recover quickly and are up and about within a day of surgery. Some pain, swelling, and discomfort are expected, but can usually be alleviated with the help of pain medications. Patients typically can return to work in a week, although activities that include lifting or stretching the arms will likely be uncomfortable and should be modified. Women should avoid exercises that involve the pectoralis muscle, such as push-ups and planks, for a while. Breast augmentation patients usually can resume their regular workout regimens in about a month. Following your recovery period, the breasts should feel normal.

Will I lose nipple sensation after surgery?

It is common to experience some sensory changes following breast augmentation surgery, particularly if the implant is large. While some loss of sensation is acceptable, typically it does return to the nipple in three to 12 months. This is especially true if the implant was placed beneath the muscle. However, a small percentage of women do experience long-lasting changes in nipple sensation following surgery.

Will I be able to breastfeed after augmentation?

Most women are still able to breastfeed successfully after receiving implants. When an implant is placed below the breast tissue, it does not impact the ability to produce milk. Likewise, placing it below the muscle preserves proper breast function. Allaying another concern of mothers, it appears that neither saline nor silicone implants change the composition of breast milk and therefore it should be safe for babies to consume. The plastic surgeons at The Peer Group, serving the greater New Jersey area, are happy to discuss your breastfeeding concerns during your consultation.

What if I have a problem with my implants?

Knowing whether you an implant has ruptured depends on the type of device you have.Saline implants will deflate and your body will safely absorb and process the sterile solution. Silicone-implant ruptures must be confirmed with an MRI. Because Gummy Bear implants retain their shape, it may not be evident if and when a rupture occurs. Ruptured silicone implants should be surgically removed and/or replaced within several months of a diagnosis. It is recommended that women with silicone implants undergo an MRI about every three years to check for any damage.

Do you have other questions?

Although it is one of the most commonly requested and performed plastic surgery procedures, the decision to undergo breast augmentation is a serious one. From determining your appearance goals and which type of implant is right for you, to set expectations for your recovery process and post-surgery lifestyle, there is much to be considered. If you have questions of your own, including whether you are a candidate for this transformative procedure, we encourage you to contact The Peer Group in Florham Park, NJ and schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. Our New Jersey plastic surgery practice is dedicated to providing patients the most up-to-date information about breast augmentation.