If you’re researching breast augmentation, chances are you’ve probably Googled, “How much are breast implants?” and become frustrated with the lack of straightforward answers. You’ve probably found that typically, the surgery ranges from $5,000 to $10,000, though it can be more or less depending on a variety of factors. But when you decide to get a breast augmentation, you should look at the long-term effects as well as the short-term monetary ones.
An important element to consider is the possibility of breast implant revision surgery down the line. A revision surgery is not always about being dissatisfied with your results. Women can seek out a revision breast surgery for many reasons, including: wanting to change the size of their breasts, experiencing pain from capsular contracture, worrying about rupture, an implant migrating to a different area of the breast, or wanting to change the type of implant that was originally placed.
In Seattle, WA, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter’s years of experience with breast surgery make him the right expert to answer your questions about breast revision. Dr. Baxter is an Ideal Implant Preferred Surgeon due to his extensive expertise working with IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants. With zero risk of silent rupture, women can finally get beauty without compromise using this new implant technology. Dr. Baxter recently talked with us about finding the right implants for your body, different techniques used in breast augmentation, and breast revision surgery.
How do you help women determine the correct size for their breast implants?
“Well, when we’re talking to a patient about size, we do try to walk away from the idea of cup size, even though that’s sort of the only language we have to talk about breast volume. It’s not very accurate because it’s determined by the width of the chest and dimensions that really are completely unrelated to volume. So we start with a set of measurements, especially the base diameter of the breast. And then we’ll look at catalogs of moderate profile implants, and that’s usually a good place to start. Some women want something that’s very subtle, some want something that’s more obvious and they’re very explicit about that.”
How do you guide women through the augmentation process?
“I talk to women about what their options are. Often I don’t think patients come in well informed about the process for choosing the implant size and the dimensions. I go over the types of implants available: silicone gel-filled, unstructured saline, and the new structured IDEAL IMPLANT, the pros and cons of each type of implant, and I talk to them about an accurate size for their body type.”
Should implants be placed under or over the pectoral muscle?
“There are several compelling reasons to place the implants under the pectoral muscle, which is behind the breast tissue: lower risk of capsular contracture, more thorough and easier mammograms, a more natural look for many patients, less visible rippling of the implants, and less sagging of the breast over time. The downside is a high percentage of distortion of the breast with muscle flexion, called animation deformity. Using the traditional technique for submuscular placement (dual plane), this occurs in more than three out of four cases. In order to achieve the benefits of going under the muscle without the common problems, I developed the split-muscle technique.”
What is the split-muscle technique?
“With the split-muscle technique, I use the pectoral muscle to cover just the upper portion of the implant, where it is most important. The difference between this and the dual-plane method is that the split muscle technique preserves the normal attachments and function of the muscle by leaving the lower portion behind the implant.
“A lot of other surgeons use the traditional dual-plane method, where you release the attachment of the pectoral muscle in order to open up the space for the implant better, but then this free edge of the muscle adheres to the capsule that forms around the implant. And then when the muscle contracts, it distorts the breast, causing animation deformity and often ‘double bubble.’”
Revision breast surgery is a large part of what you do at your practice. What are some reasons that women need revision breast surgery?
“When a woman comes in for revision breast surgery we want to know the exact details of her first operation and what brought her in. Sometimes patients have animation deformity, other times it’s capsular contracture, and often they just want to make a size change.
“With animation deformity, (which I just talked about) one approach I take to fixing this issue is to reattach the muscle, and put the implant in front of the muscle. I’ll also use the split-muscle technique so that function is restored to the patient and the animation deformity is eliminated.
“Another common issue with women who’ve had implants for many years is that the breasts have changed. Either they’ve developed some sagging from the passage of time or from having children and breastfeeding. Sometimes doing a breast lift is not enough to fix the problem. In some cases I’ll put in what’s called an ‘internal bra’ to help lift the sagging breasts. The material I use for the internal bra is called Galaflex mesh. It has an excellent safety record and provides support very similar to an external bra, just on the inside.
“We’re also seeing patients come in who want their silicone gel textured implants removed and replaced with smooth implants, such as the IDEAL IMPLANT. Often women are concerned about silent rupture and they feel better going with a saline-filled implant that can give them peace of mind. If that’s the case, we’ll remove the silicone gel-filled implant and replace it with the implant of their choice. If it’s a size change issue, that can be kind of tricky to figure out, but we’ll discuss why they’re dissatisfied with their current size and their options for replacement.”
Why did you choose to become a plastic surgeon?
“What I love about plastic surgery is that it just has so many opportunities for creative problem solving where people are looking for a new solution. And I love doing that. I love being part of that solution. In some of the revision cases I’ve seen, a patient has traveled across the country because they’ve consulted so many doctors and they just haven’t heard the answer that they want. It’s very gratifying to solve a problem for a patient that they were previously told was unsolvable.”
How much are breast implants? Considering breast implants in Seattle, WA? Contact Dr. Baxter today to discuss your options. Simply call (425) 776-0880 or visit drbaxter.com. Dr. Baxter’s office is located at 6100 219th Street SW, Suite 290, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants.