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What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation, enlargement, or enhancement is a surgical procedure that can help make the breasts more proportionate to the rest of the body. The objective is to improve the appearance of the breasts by increasing their shape, fullness, and size using implants. For some, a breast augmentation can also help with other aesthetic concerns that have resulted from weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or age. Dr. Courtney works with saline, silicone, and gummy bear implants placed under the chest muscles or breast tissue.

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Benefits of Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation can be a life-changing procedure, and can greatly improve confidence for women who have struggled with their breast size, shape, and symmetry. It is one of the most popular procedures we offer because it provides such significant benefits, including:

  • Restoring breasts that have “deflated” due to pregnancy and aging
  • Providing aesthetic breast symmetry 
  • Creating feminine, curvy proportions and a shapely appearance
  • Restoring the breasts after a mastectomy procedure
  • Improving self-esteem and boosting confidence 
  • Providing a better and more attractive fit in clothing
Beautiful woman sitting on a chair at sunset with a beautiful smile and large breasts

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Implant Placement

In general, breast implants can be placed submuscular, under the pectoral muscle, or sub-glandular, which is under the breast glands and fatty tissue of the breasts. They can also be placed on top of the pectoral muscle, which is called a “pre-pectoral” breast implant placement.

Placement of the implant will be determined by your body’s natural figure and proportions, as well as the size and shape of the implant. Each choice has its advantages. Dr. Courtney will work together with you to determine how these details figure into your personal aesthetic goals and overall health. Generally, women who have little natural breast tissue achieve a better outcome with the implants placed below the muscle.

Sexy woman with larget breasts in black lingerie in bed

Saline, Gummy Bear, & Silicone Implants

Saline Implants

Saline implants consist of a silicone shell filled with saltwater. The saline shell can fit into a smaller incision than the incision created for a silicone implant, as they are filled after placement. Dr. Courtney adjusts the amount of liquid in each implant to ensure your new breasts are round and symmetrical.

Saline-filled implants can have less of a natural feel and move less naturally than silicone implants, but they have the advantage of requiring a smaller incision.

Pros of Saline Implants

Saline implants have several advantages. These are the only implants that are FDA-approved for patients 18-21. In the rare case that a saline implant ruptures, it is immediately noticeable as the implant will deflate, but the saline is harmless. When a silicone breast implant ruptures, the cohesive silicone gel may stay in place, with the gel slowly entering the surgical pocket. These complications are very rare but even so, you may consider saline implants as an option.

Gummy Bear Implants

Introduced in the mid-2000s and FDA-approved for women over 22, “gummy bear” implants are made with cohesive silicone gel shaped into a teardrop. They are called gummy bear implants because of their consistency, which is known for realistically mimicking the form and feel of natural breasts. Gummy bear implants can help provide a larger cup size without sacrificing elegance or sophistication in the breast contours.

Pros of Gummy Bear Implants

There are several distinct advantages to gummy bear implants. Because of their consistency, there is a reduced risk of rupture when compared with other types of implants. However, you will need to undergo regular medical screenings to ensure that your implants haven’t migrated or leaked. MRIs are recommended every three years following your procedure. Another advantage is that gummy bear implants have a much lower risk of rippling or folding due to the security of their form. Finally, these implants typically leave the patient with less scar tissue. Note that gummy bear implants are not suggested for patients who are currently pregnant or nursing.

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants consist of a silicone shell containing a viscous silicone gel. This gel feels very natural to the touch and retains a very natural shape and “bounce”. Silicone implants are often chosen by women seeking breast augmentation, as the new breasts look and feel very natural.

Patients can select which level of silicone gel viscosity and projection (shape) they prefer. One popular option for gel viscosity is “form-stable” (gummy bear). The gel viscosity has a firmer texture and achieves the plumpest, most natural-looking level of projection. These implants maintain fullness over the life of the implant better than saline implants other types of silicone implants. The teardrop shape of gummy bear implants was developed to more closely mimic natural breast tissue.

Silicone breast implants are some of the most extensively studied of all medical devices. In 2006, the FDA reviewed all research involving leaked silicone’s impact on the body and found no connection between silicone gel implants and systemic diseases. Silicone implants are approved for all women over 21.

Pros of Silicone Implants

Rounded implants containing the less cohesive gel can provide more fullness to the top portion of the breasts, while anatomical or teardrop-shaped implants provide more fullness in the middle and bottom of the breasts. For women with significant asymmetry or those who are undergoing a revision or reconstruction breast surgery, it is not uncommon for implants of different sizes to be placed in each breast to create better symmetry.

During your consultation with Dr. Courtney, you can discuss all your options for size, shape, projection, and type of implant in detail. He will allow you to test different-sized implants to see how they look and feel on your body.

Candidates for Breast Augmentation

Candidates for breast augmentation are women who would like to enhance the shape and size of their breasts. Candidates meet the following requirements:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You aren't pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You do not smoke
  • Your breasts are fully developed
  • You have realistic expectations about what this surgery can do for you
  • You are unhappy about deflated, empty-looking breasts 
  • You feel your breasts are too small 
  • Your breasts are noticeably asymmetrical
  • Your breasts have lost shape and volume after children or due to age 
beautiful woman with large breasts smiling and looking into a mirror with Dr. Courtney behind her.

Cost of Breats Augmentation in Houston

Breast augmentation in Houston tends to run between $5000 and $10,000. We can provide you with financing options from reputable healthcare lenders with reasonable rates. Make sure you entrust your body to an experienced, credentialed practitioner who has your best interests at heart.

Your Breast Augmentation Recovery

You will wake from your surgery in our surgical center with one-on-one nursing care. You will have a compression bandage around your chest to support and protect your breasts and limit post-surgical swelling. After spending a couple of hours in recovery, you will be released to return home the same day. During your first few days of breast augmentation recovery, it is best to have someone stay with you and assist you. One of the aspects of Dr. Courtney’s personalized care includes a visit from a health care specialist, at your home, to monitor your recovery and needs. We send a homecare nurse to you the day after your surgery. He or she will check your incisions, and bandages and ensure all is proceeding as it should. If you are one of our out-of-town patients, the nurse will visit your recovery center or hotel room.

Within a week or two, most women return to their normal daily activities with some limitations. For instance, you should not lift anything over five pounds and must avoid lifting your arms above your shoulders. You will be required to avoid all vigorous exercise or physical activities until cleared by Dr. Courtney.

While you will see immediate results with your new breasts in place, your body will continue to heal over the coming weeks to months. Once the swelling subsides, the implants will settle into their final position. During this time of recovery, carefully follow all postoperative instructions Dr. Courtney provides to maximize your healing and results. Breast massage during your recovery will help you achieve optimal results.

5 Tips for Breast Augmentation Recovery infrographic

What to Expect After Breast Augmentation

Breast massage after Breast implants with Dr. Courtney

FAQS

Do breast implants feel heavy?

Breast implants themselves do not weigh much, but you may feel a tightness and heaviness in your chest as the breast tissue heals around the capsules. These are perfectly normal sensations, and they will fade with time. Most women say that after a few months, they feel like their implants were always there, and they can’t remember what their chest felt like before.

How will I choose my implant size?

Choosing the best implant size for your body is a personal decision and one that your plastic surgeon can assist with based on years of expertise. The choice will depend on several factors, including your lifestyle and activity level, your aesthetic tastes, and your body frame. Most surgeons will let you “try on” your implants under your blouse during your consultation.

Will I be able to breastfeed after augmentation?

Breast implants do not typically affect your ability to breastfeed, as long as the incisions do not interfere with the nerves surrounding your areolas. Certain types of incisions, such as those within the armpits, are less likely to cause nursing problems later on. If you are planning to breastfeed again after surgery, make sure you speak with your doctor about your options.

Will my nipples lose sensation?

Temporary loss of sensation and sensitivity in the nipples is common after breast surgery, as the nerves surrounding the areolas may be impacted by your incisions. Most times, nipple sensation will return within a few months after your procedure. You can gently massage the breasts each day to help restore full feeling. After exploring your concerns, your surgeon will choose the best incision type, implant type, and implant placement for preserving your nipples after surgery.

Is breast augmentation painful?

Breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia so that the client will feel nothing during surgery. Afterward, pain can be well-controlled with prescription painkillers provided by the doctor. As long as no complications occur, the recovery process for breast augmentation is typically smooth and seamless.

In your one-on-one consultation, you’ll be able to learn more about the breast augmentation procedure, explore your other surgical and non-surgical options, ask any questions, and get to know Dr. Courtney. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, he knows that any cosmetic procedure can be a challenging decision to make, which is why he will make you feel comfortable and never pressured. His goal is to help all of his patients find the best version of themselves.

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