Breast Augmentation


Breast augmentation is used to enhance the appearance of the breast by placing a saline breast implant or a silicone breast implant under the breast mound. Breast augmentation will increase volume, improve the fullness of the breast, correct asymmetry, and provide a more youthful shape. During your consultation at our plastic surgery facility in Santa Barbara, a thorough medical history and physical examination of your breasts will be performed to insure the quality and safety of the procedure. You will be shown variety of breast implants in an appropriate brassiere, in order to help decide on a general size. A small number of patients may choose to consider a mastopexy, or breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation if the breast skin is too loose.

Breast augmentation in Santa Barbara remains a popular procedure due to the straight forwardness of the operation and the predictability of the results. Breast implants can be placed behind the muscle; this is called the subpectoral breast augmentation. Alternatively, the breast implant can be placed in front of the muscle; this is called the subglandular breast augmentation. Placement of the implant depends on your individual anatomy. Most contemporary breast implant procedures in Santa Barbara utilize breast implants placed partially under the muscle, and partially under the gland. This is called the Dual Plane breast augmentation, and has the advantages of each type of operation.

Incisions for breast implant placement also vary. Incisions placed in the fold beneath the breast are usually well hidden following breast augmentation. Incisions at the edge of the nipple are also well camouflaged following placement of breast implants. 

- Dual Plane Breast Augmentation
The Dual Plane breast augmentation represents the most contemporary approach to breast implant placement, and is the type of breast implant operation most often performed by Dr. Lowenstein and Dr. Sheffield in Santa Barbara. With this procedure, the breast implant is placed partially below the muscle and partially below the breast tissue. The pectoralis muscle is raised and released along its lower portion, and the breast alone is elevated in the lower aspect of the breast. This allows the breast implant to lie with muscle covering the superior portion, while only breast tissue covers the lower portion. The muscle coverage above allows for a gentle slope to the upper portion of the breast, while often preventing the ripples and folds that the breast implant can show when the muscle is not used. On the other hand, release of the muscle in the lower area allows the implant to rest below the breast gland here and provide good projection and a more natural appearance. 

- Subpectoral Breast Augmentation
In subpectoral breast augmentation, implants are placed completely behind the muscle tissue of the chest wall. This operation allows for the breast implant to be covered with more natural tissue. In effect, this camouflages the breast implant as much as possible. This type of breast augmentation, however, can give too little projection and in some patients, can give rise to a "double bubble" appearance. This technique is usually used in breast reconstruction rather than breast augmentation. 

- Subglandular Breast Augmentation
With subglandular breast augmentation, the muscles of the chest wall are not elevated. The breast implants are placed directly below the breast tissue and are therefore not constricted by the muscle tissue. This allows for a more full appearance at the lower portion of the breast, and this can give a pleasing result in some patients. Because there is less tissue covering the breast implant with this type of augmentation, it is more likely that the breast implant can be evident, with areas of rippling or rounding, particularly in the upper and medial portions of the breast. 

Complications of breast augmentation in Santa Barbara are infrequent. These include hardening of the scar tissue around the breast implant, and rupture of the breast implant causing the need for replacement.  Both silicone and saline breast implants have been extensively studied and neither has been shown to significantly correlate with other illnesses.  This has resulted in endorsement of each type of breast implant by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Lowenstein and Dr. Sheffield will not perform any operation that they feel will jeopardize your health, but always want you to be as informed as possible with regard to your options.

Breast implant surgery in Santa Barbara is usually followed by some short term discomfort that is usually easily controlled with medication or pain pump.  A small amount of bruising and swelling is also usually mild and resolves in a short period of time.  You can shower the day after surgery, and can often resume your normal routine shortly after your breast augmentation.

Article by
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon