At Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery, a leading plastic surgery Portland provider, the surgeon and staff frequently hear the following questions about breast augmentation surgery. They are happy to provide answers to these commonly asked questions.

What types of breast implants can I choose from?

The two most popular types of breast implants are filled with either saline solution (i.e., sterile saltwater) or silicone gel. The principal advantage of saline breast implants is that the body is able to absorb the saline solution naturally in case the implants rupture. The main advantage of silicone breast implants is that they more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breasts.

Are there various shapes of breast implants?

Breast implants are either round or shaped like a teardrop. Round breast implants deliver the most lift, fullness and cleavage to breast augmentation patients. On the other hand, teardrop-shaped breast implants are more anatomically correct.

Breast augmentation patients can also choose between breast implants with textured or smooth outer shells. Textured breast implants tend to affix to the overlying breast tissue. This helps keep breast implants higher on the chest, counteracting the pull of gravity over time. It has also been said that textured implants reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a condition in which scar tissue forms around breast implants, causing the breasts to feel hard and possibly rupture. However, this claim is still being investigated. In contrast, breast implants with a smooth outer shell tend to move more freely within the implant pockets.

What are the placement options for breast implants?

Dr. Bohley can place breast implants in either the subglandular or submuscular position.

With subglandular placement, also known as overs, Dr. Bohley positions breast implants over the pectoral (chest) muscle and underneath the natural glandular (breast) tissue. The principal benefit of subglandular placement is that it provides less trauma to the muscle tissue, allowing for a quicker and easier recovery following breast augmentation surgery.

With submuscular placement, also known as unders, Dr. Bohley positions breast implants either partially or completely under the chest muscle. Submuscular positioning may look more natural and reduce the risk of certain complications. However, unders positioning is also more invasive, requiring longer recovery time.

What can I expect during surgery?

Before starting breast augmentation surgery, the board-certified anesthesiologist administers either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation medication, so you do not feel any pain during the procedure.

To begin the procedure, Dr. Bohley makes an incision in a hidden area on or near each breast. This minimizes visible scars. The Portland plastic surgeon can make the incisions on the areola, in the armpit or under the natural breast fold. The location of your incisions will depend on several factors, such as the type of breast implant and your individual anatomy. Dr. Bohley will review the choices with you in detail during consultation.

After he makes the needed incisions, Dr. Bohley inserts and positions your chosen type of breast implants. Finally, he closes the incisions with stitches, skin adhesive or surgical tape.

What can I expect during the recovery period?

Each individual’s recovery time for breast augmentation is different, depending on the positioning of the breast implants, as well as other factors that are unique to each person. Generally, however, the recovery period is most intense in the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery. Dr. Bohley may prescribe pain relievers to ease any discomfort in the first few days after breast augmentation.

You will have to wear a surgical bra for several weeks following surgery as directed by Dr. Bohley. You should plan to take a few days off from work, and avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for about two weeks or as advised by Dr. Bohley. You will gradually resume your normal exercise routine.
You can expect swelling and soreness in the treated area, but this is normal and will subside with time. Dr. Bohley or a qualified staff member will provide you with specific instructions regarding the preparation and recovery periods.

Note: Smokers should be prepared to quit smoking for several months before and after breast augmentation surgery to allow for proper healing.

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implant manufacturers usually guarantee implants for 10 years. Dr. Bohley may recommend that you replace breast implants in 10 to 15 years, but please note that they may need to be replaced sooner if there are complications or if they rupture. In general, breast implants are not intended to last your entire life, and you should plan on replacing them at some point in the future.

What are the possible complications with breast augmentation?

  • The patient is not satisfied with the original results of breast augmentation, and would like larger or smaller breast implants.
  • The surgeon who performed the initial breast augmentation procedure was inexperienced, resulting in an unsatisfactory outcome.
  • Breast implants can rupture. The degree of rupture can range from a minute leak to complete deflation. Rupture usually occurs as the result of outside force, such as the impact of a car crash.
  • The patient may experience severe capsular contracture, which can cause the breasts to feel unnaturally hard or possibly cause the implants to rupture.
  • The patient experiences symmastia, a condition in which the two breast implants are located too closely together, causing breasts to appear as though they are joined in the middle.
  • The patient becomes unsatisfied with the breast implants over time, and requests a different look.

To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Bohley to learn more about your breast augmentation surgery options, please contact Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery by calling (503) 253-3458 today.