Breast Augmentation FAQ
Breast Augmentation FAQ
Below are some of the most common questions that we hear from prospective patients who are interested in breast augmentation, along with answers from me, Dr. Peter Capizzi.
1. What is the difference between saline and silicone? What about gummy bear implants?
These names all refer to what an implant is filled with. Silicone implants are filled with – you guessed it – silicone! The silicone implants we use at Capizzi MD are called “gummy bear” implants. The silicone used in these implants is cohesive in nature. This means that if you cut the implant in half, the silicone gel would stay in place (like the interior of a gummy bear candy). Due to their cohesive nature, they can create volume at the top as well as the bottom of the breast. They also are safer for our patients, with lower rates of complications and ruptures than saline or other silicone varieties. We love gummy bear implants!
Saline implants have a silicone shell, and are filled with sterile saline. They tend to be a little heavier than silicone implants, and create more volume at the lower part of the breast.
2. What about round or teardrop/shaped implants?
Round implants can provide patients with cleavage and volume at the top of the breast. Shaped or teardrop implants can provide patients with a more natural sloping breast shape. It all depends on the look you may be going for and if you desire volume at the top of your breast.
A common misconception is that all round implants will give you the “bubble boob” look. However, when properly sized for your individual frame, a round implant can give you fullness and cleavage while also yielding a very natural result.
3. Can I breastfeed after getting a breast augmentation?
Absolutely! During a breast augmentation, a breast implant is placed in a way so that they do not interfere with breastfeeding. At Capizzi MD we often assist patients who have not had children yet. During your consultation appointment, I will always recommend the best options for your long-term health and goals.
4. Should my implants be placed over or under the muscle? Why?
It’s okay if you aren’t sure about this one! After a thorough discussion of your desired look, and taking into account your current lifestyle, Dr. Capizzi will recommend the placement he believes will serve you best.
Subglandular placement (or under the mammary gland) may be great for patients who are very athletic in their upper body, or those who desire the fastest recovery. Using this placement there is less risk of “animation” or your implant shifting when you flex your chest muscles. This placement can cause a more noticeable augmentation in patients with smaller frames or less breast tissue.
Submuscular placement (placement under the mammary gland AND pectoralis muscle) may be great for patients who are desiring a more natural look to their breast implants. This is not recommended for athletic or very active women as animation can occur.
“We work with patients from all different lifestyles. Competitive athletes and bodybuilders, people who work in corporate america and banking, and busy mothers and caregivers.”
5. When can I return to normal activities after a breast implant surgery?
I love this question! Usually 2-3 days. If you have surgery with me on Thursday, you can go back to work on Monday. No, I am not kidding. We use specific techniques prior, during, and after surgery to provide what we call: “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery.” This is something I’ve developed over 20 years. You’ll notice other surgeons have longer recovery timelines than mine. This is fine too! It is simply the difference in experience and skill. When I perform these techniques, our patients notice less swelling and pain, which means they are back to their normal routines sooner.
Here is a general outline of my recommended restrictions and when you can get back to doing EVERYTHING in your routine:
- Day of: Walking around the house is encouraged for circulation.
- 2 days after: You can begin driving and going back to work if you work in an office or other low-impact profession. You may also lift up to 5 pounds (no working out, but lifting things as needed is acceptable).
- 2 weeks: You may begin swimming again, or go on vacation out of state (if you are coming from out of town we modify this one for you so you can return home ASAP and continue care with virtual check-ins). You may also do yoga.
- 4 weeks: You may begin running again and engaging in intimacy with a partner. You may also begin lifting more than 5 pounds and lifting workouts (work up gradually).
- 6 weeks: You will be back to all parts of your normal routine, workouts, and life at this point!
6. Do I need to wear a special post-surgical bra? What about underwire?
We will give you a Coobie bralette to wear after your breast augmentation. This is a soft and stretchy bralette that will provide comfortable, minimal support should you desire it. It is completely optional and we do not require our patients to wear anything after surgery if you do not want to. We do not recommend purchasing any special “wraps” or bindings to apply to your breasts after surgery. Our main priority is to allow your implants to settle into place and for the swelling to subside.
You may begin wearing underwire bras 4 weeks after your surgery, once the majority of the swelling has subsided.
7. How long do implants last? Do I need to get them redone in 10 years?
Implants can last 10 years, they can last 50 years. I will say that if you are having no issues with your breasts (firmness, change in shape, any pain, etc.) then you can continue to keep your implants safely. I actually offer the FDA-recommended breast implant ultrasound in my office so that we can continue to monitor their integrity and safety over time. The FDA recommends an ultrasound be done five years after implants are placed and then every two years after that. This is to make sure that all is well!
8. Where will my scars be?
If you are getting a breast augmentation, you will have a 2-inch scar in the lower crease of your breast. After the initial healing this scar will be pink. Over the course of the next 6-12 months it will continue to lighten and fade until you will be barely able to notice it.
If you are getting a breast lift with implants, then you may have an additional scar around your areola (modified breast lift) or what is called the “lollipop” scar that encircles your areola and then extends to the scar in the bottom crease (full breast lift).
9. What if I don’t know what size I need?
Do not worry! With over 20 years of breast augmentation experience, I am here to recommend the best size and type of implant for your desired look. Having placed over 10,000 implants, I will be able to recommend exactly what implant I believe will help you achieve your goals.
To help you envision your size even more, my staff uses a 3D software called Crisalix to show patients what different implants will look like on your body. This is a sizing exercise that will happen during your consultation. You will also be able to access your Crisalix simulations after your appointment so you can take them home with you to decide on your perfect implant.
If there’s anything I haven’t answered as part of this piece, feel free to reach out to my staff at 704-655-8988 to chat or schedule a consultation. I can’t wait to meet you!
Dr. Peter Capizzi