Breast Augmentation 101

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Breast Augmentation 101

Most of the women we see for breast augmentation have considered the procedure for years. Sometimes they tell us they have always felt out of proportion in clothing; other times they have seen their breasts change following childbirth. The majority of breast augmentation candidates want natural looking breasts and many express fears they will emerge from surgery appearing “fake” or too big. Some even tell us they just want to look like they do when they wear their padded bra– without the bra.

Natural appearing breast augmentation has been one of our goals at Aria Plastic Surgery.

The Consultation

The pursuit cosmetic improvement begins with the first consultation. All cosmetic consultations are with one of our two doctors, not a patient coordinator. Yes, it takes more time for the doctors but, it’s our belief that you want and need to hear about the surgery from the person who’ll be doing the surgery. Few practices do this, but we don’t feel we can get to know my patients in the five-minutes of face time some surgeons give their patients in what they call “a consultation”.

We believe its essential to listen to the patient– not only to discuss the procedure and its inherent risks, but to tailor the discussion to the factors that make each of us different and challenging. A careful examination is also directed toward explaining to the patient what positives and negatives her unique anatomy brings to the table.

At the end of the consultation, you will receive a price quote. This quote is for everything except your postoperative medications. Again, not to criticize our colleagues, but giving a patient the “surgeons fee” without the cost of surgical bras, anesthesia, operating rooms, postoperative visits, etc. has become far to common and unfairly reflects a price far less than your final cost. When you leave our office you’ll know the bottom line.


At a second visit is needed by virtually all cosmetic patients. At that visit consent forms are reviewed, a detailed description of the anticipated recovery is discussed and preoperative photographs are taken. For breast augmentation patients, a sizing is also done.

In talking to patients who have undergone surgery elsewhere, the single most common complaint was: “I was told I’d be a particular cup size, and I’m not that size.” When we asked these women how they selected their implants, some said they asked for a particular cup size and were told not to worry the implant would be picked for them. Others were told to put rice in bags and to calculate their preferred implant size based on the volume of rice. Others were shown computer simulations which supposedly showed what they could expect postoperatively.

In this practice, we do sizings by putting patients in their postoperative bra and letting them try sizer implants in the bra with a top and in the bra alone. While we won’t claim this is a perfect means of selections, it does give patients the opportunity to see the difference 50 or 100 ccs makes in their final appearance. We offer our advice when it comes to the final decision but, firmly believe that the patient not the spouse, significant other, or doctor is the one who needs to be happy with the ultimate choice. We offer all patients the opportunity to come back in before surgery a second time, if they wish, to confirm their decisions.


We use saline implants made by Mentor and Inamed (formerly McGhan). While some plastic surgeons use one brand exclusively, it has been our experience that some women “fit” better in one brand or the other. Both manufacturers stand behind their products with generous warranties and both have proven time and again their safety. We do not use “lesser” brands such as PIP or Silimed whic