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Breast Augmentation
Gulf Shores

Breast augmentation, offered at McCollough Plastic Surgery, is a cosmetic procedure used to increase the size and sometimes the shape of a woman’s breast. This is accomplished by placing silicone or saline implants beneath the chest muscle and the existing breast tissue. Our surgeons customize the procedure according to each patient’s individual preferences and body proportions, helping them achieve their desired breast size and appearance. Schedule a consultation to discuss your breast augmentation in Gulf Shores today!

Breast Augmentation Considerations

The Desired Breast Size
Although almost any degree of augmentation can be achieved, you and your surgeon must decide on a general size improvement that coincides with your total body size and shape in addition to your preoperative breast size. Your ultimate breast size will be determined at the time of operation. To accomplish the most attractive, natural-appearing result, the implants must be placed within a pocket the surgeon creates beneath the existing breast tissue.

Implant Placement
Implants can be placed in the submuscular (under the muscle) plane or subglandular plane (over the muscle and under the breast gland). Some advantages to subglandular placement include a quicker recovery and more natural appearance. Some advantages of submuscular placement are a slightly decreased risk of capsular contraction (firmness of the breast) and slightly better mammographic imaging. Recommendations as to which approach is best are customized to each patient.

Incision Location
Naturally, incisions must be made into the skin in order to place the implants. These may be placed beneath the breast in the skin crease where it is hidden, within the axilla (armpit), or around the nipple and areola. The inframammary approach is common. The scars in the thinner skin of the anterior armpit, however, are virtually imperceptible. Regardless of the incision, every effort is made to obtain the best scar possible, depending on the individual’s healing capacity.

doctor with patient examining implant for breast augmentation in Gulf Shores, AL

Breast Implant Options: Saline & Silicone

Saline implants consist of a silicone “bag,” which is inflated with salt water solution at the time of your breast augmentation in Gulf Shores. Mentor and Allergan (formerly named) saline-filled breast implants are approved for:

  • Reconstruction (primary reconstruction and revision-reconstruction) in women of any age
  • Augmentation (primary augmentation and revision- augmentation) in women 18 years or older

Saline implants carry a deflation rate of approximately 2%. They are slightly less expensive than silicone and can be placed beneath the breast through smaller incisions. Leaks are easily detected as the saline is absorbed by the body and the implant deflates. Saline implants are somewhat adjustable as you fill them at the time of surgery. They do not feel as natural as silicone implants and can have problems with rippling. The rippling is occasionally palpated (felt) through the breast tissue, especially in the lower half of the breast.

Breast Augmentation

Before & Afters

*Each patient is unique, and individual results may vary.
See More Before & Afters

Silicone Implants

Mentor and Allergan silicone gel-filled breast implants are approved for:

  • Reconstruction (primary reconstruction and revision-reconstruction) in women of any age
  • Augmentation (primary augmentation and revision-augmentation) in women 22 years or older

Silicone breast implants feel much more natural than saline implants, do not have problems with rippling, and are much less likely to be palpated (ability to feel). They are placed beneath the breast through slightly larger incisions than saline since they are pre-filled. Silicone leaks are much harder to detect. The only reliable way to detect silicone rupture is by MRI. The companies recommend an MRI after 3 years of implantation and then every 2 years thereafter.

Most silicone leaks are silent (not detected by the physician or patient). Occasionally, one has symptoms of leaking silicone implants. These symptoms include hard knots or lumps surrounding the implant or in the armpit, change or loss of size or shape of the breast or implant, pain, tingling, swelling, numbness, burning, or hardening of the breast. If a leak is suspected, the implants should be removed and/or replaced.

Potential Risks & Complications

Complications are possible during any surgical procedure. Reactions to medications, poor scarring, hematoma, and infection are problems associated with any surgery. There are several complications unique to breast augmentation:

  • Asymmetry: Asymmetry or improper location of the implants is possible. This usually occurs when there is a preoperative discrepancy in the size of the breasts. We attempt to obtain symmetry by using different size implants, but occasionally, the asymmetry persists.
  • Loss of Sensation: Loss of nipple sensation is almost always transitory and eventually resolves. Permanent loss of sensation is unusual but can occur anywhere in the breast.
  • Formation of Capsules: Capsules are circumferential scars around the implants, causing an unnatural firmness to the breast. Although the submuscular placement of the implants has decreased this problem, occasionally, some degree of firmness is present. If the capsule becomes severe, causing an unnatural appearance or painful breast, a second operation to release the capsule may be necessary.
woman after breast augmentation in Gulf Shores, AL

Are Silicone Implants Safe? YES!

Silicone is one of the most biologically inert (non-reactive) materials used throughout the medical profession. There has recently been a rash of sensationalized programs in the national and local media concerning silicone. Silicone is used in thousands of different medical devices. It is used to coat every needle and syringe, to lubricate surgical instruments, is a major ingredient in such drugs as the antacid Di-Gel, and is added to many topical products. Virtually everyone has some exposure to silicone in his/her life.

An attempt has been made to link silicone breast implants with the development of diseases of the immune system, breast cancer, and other collagen diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. This has not been proven in any scientific study. Over two million women in the United States have chosen silicone breast implants for purely cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. In a recent national survey of women with breast implants, 93% of those questioned were satisfied, and 88% said they would have their surgery again “without a doubt.”

doctor examining patient for breast augmentation procedure in Gulf Shores, AL

Postoperative Care After Breast Augmentation

Varying amounts of postoperative discomfort are common, as well as some nausea, swelling, and possibly bruising of the chest skin. The swelling and bruising can be reduced by wearing a support bra provided at the time of surgery. The support bra is worn at all times for one week. To help the body maintain the size and shape of the pockets, the implants are massaged beginning on the third day in a manner that your doctor and nurses will instruct you.
Activity after submuscular implant placement must be limited to six weeks. We prefer no heavy lifting over twenty pounds, no aerobics, and no swimming. Walking is recommended but jogging is not advisable. Most women do find that they are able to return to work in 3-5 days. As with any operation, your healing will be a personalized activity.

It usually takes two to three months for your scars to soften and begin to fade. Your scars must be protected from sunlight during the entire healing process. Your breast shape and location of the implants will slowly change over several months until your healing is well underway, so do not be disturbed if your breast shape seems too high or if your skin feels tight. Your body and the effect of gravity and massage will allow your implants to settle into the final result.

Schedule Your Consultation

McCollough Plastic Surgery is your trusted destination for comprehensive transformations that go beyond superficial appearance. Located amidst the beauty of Craft Farms, just minutes from Gulf Shores, our multidisciplinary medical facility offers a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere where you can achieve your aesthetic goals. Schedule your consultation with our plastic surgeons to learn more about breast augmentation in Gulf Shores.

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