Augmentation mammaplasty, also known as breast augmentation, breast enlargement or breast enhancement, is surgery to enhance the contour and breast size for a female who views her breast size as small for her frame. Breast augmentation can also correct for the natural loss in breast fullness that occurs following pregnancy, breast feeding or weight loss. Breast enlargement surgery can be done at the same time as a breast lift (mastopexy) to correct undesired breast shape or nipple position.
Dr. Frank Isik is a board certified plastic surgeon who has practiced Seattle breast augmentation surgery for more than a decade. Dr. Isik is also honored as a top doctor by Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.
Breast enlargement can be used to balance a difference in breast size. Breast asymmetry is very common. Differences in breast size can result from congenital under-development (hypoplasia) of one side, where one breast develops less than the other breast during puberty, or due to a congenital breast deformity such as Poland’s syndrome.
Breast augmentation can enhance your self-esteem. Surveys done on patients who had breast augmentation reported improvement on a number of dimensions including: physical health, physical appearance, social life, self confidence, self esteem, and sexual function. (see the reference articles below)
Breast augmentation involves inserting a saline (salt-water) filled or silicone gel-filled breast implant underneath the breast and pectoralis muscle via a hidden short scar underneath each breast. The saline or silicone gel-filled breast implant permanently resides under your pectoralis major muscle. The breast enlargement operation does not weaken your chest muscles. Future breast feeding is still possible and nipple sensation is preserved.
The incisions are very low on the breast, just above the fold. Once faded, the scars are well concealed.
Breast augmentation surgery is performed as outpatient surgery, meaning you will go home the same day. The operation takes about 1 – 1.5 hours. No drains are required and only absorbable sutures are used, making recovery easier and the number of clinic visits afterwards few. Most patients return to work within a week or less after surgery.
Before considering a breast augmentation, a normal mammogram maybe required. After your breast enlargement surgery, we recommend only digital mammograms as they compress less than traditional mammograms. You should always tell the mammographer that you have breast implants.
Your safety is paramount. All cosmetic procedures are performed by Dr. Isik, accompanied by an anesthesiologist or CRNA in a AAAASF certified operating room. Dr. Isik performs breast enlargement surgery for patients from Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and the greater Western Washington area. For patients from Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, we coordinate reduced rate accommodations at several high-quality hotels within walking distance of our plastic surgery center and downtown Seattle.
To learn more about whether breast augmentation is right for you, contact our SEATTLE OFFICE to see patient photos and learn about the surgery.
Breast Implant Safety Information
Breast implants are commonly used by plastic surgeons in cosmetic breast surgery and breast reconstruction surgery. Breast implants come in one of two types: saline filled or silicone filled. All patients can opt to have saline-filled breast implants for aesthetic breast augmentation or breast reconstruction purposes. Because of FDA regulations, patients that desire silicone-filled breast implants for breast augmentation need to be at least 22 years old.
Breast implants were introduced in 1961 by Dow-Corning as silicone-filled breast implants and in 1964, saline-filled breast implants were introduced. Although many variations in the gel filler material have occurred over the decades, both the saline and silicone filled implants remain the only options available today. Both implants are similar in that the outer membrane is made from solid silicone. As far as we know, there is no health risk from the outer solid silicone membrane. All of the health questions regarding silicone have been related to the silicone gel inside the implants.
The old silicone gel-filled implants (pre-1992) had a silicone gel filler that was encased within a thin outer membrane of solid silicone. This older generation of implants had a higher rupture rate and the free (non-cohesive) silicone would then contact the patient’s tissues. In rare cases, the free silicone gel would migrate to the lymph nodes.
Numerous scientific studies have been done since 1992 to determine whether the older silicone implants caused any health problems. Studies from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Medicine, FDA and the Harvard Nurses Health Study have not shown a clear link between saline implants or silicone filled implants and auto-immune diseases. Studies have not shown an increased risk of developing breast cancer or problems in detecting breast cancer if you had augmentation in the past with either saline or silicone filled implants.
Whereas the safety profile of silicone implants are being resolved with numerous long-term ongoing clinical trials, the data we have today suggests that they are safe. In fact, the rupture rates on the latest FDA approved silicone cohesive gel implants are less than 3%, superior to the saline implants (which are closer to 5%). However, since silicone implant ruptures are often unnoticed by the physician or patient, you will need to have an MRI every 3 years.
Saline filled implants are known to be safe. Saline implants are filled with salt-water which if leak, would not result in any bodily harm. Outpatient surgery is necessary to replace a defective implant. Saline implants have been in use for decades and their safety profile has been well established.
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- Young VL, et al. (1994). “The efficacy of breast augmentation: breast size increase, patient satisfaction, and psychological effects”. Plast Reconstr Surg. (Dec): 958–69.
- Cash TF, et al. (2002). “Women’s psychosocial outcomes of breast augmentation with silicone gel-filled implants: a 2-year prospective study”. Plast Reconstr Surg. 109 (May): 2112–21.
- Figueroa-Haas CL (2007). “Effect of breast augmentation mammoplasty on self-esteem and sexuality: a quantitative analysis”. Plast Surg Nurs. (Mar): 16–36.
Chahraoui K,, et al. (2006). “Aesthetic surgery and quality of life before and four months postoperatively”. J Long-Term Effects Medical Implants: 207–210.