Breast enhancement is a surgical procedure to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts.
- 1 Be Empowered to Improve Your Appearance
- 2 Before and After Photos
- 3 The Benefits of Breast Enhancement
- 4 Is Augmentation Right for Me?
- 5 Your Private Consultation with Dr. Michael Howard
- 6 Preparation & Procedure
- 7 Recovery & Results
- 8 Alternative Enhancement Procedures
- 9 How Much Does Breast Enhancement Cost in Chicago?
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
Be Empowered to Improve Your Appearance
Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. You may choose to undergo breast augmentation surgery to enhance your existing breast volume or shape. You may also wish to restore volume loss following pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss.
This surgery utilizes silicone gel or saline-filled implants to enhance the volume, shape and/or appearance of the breasts. Once the proper size of your implants is determined, they are placed underneath the breast tissues in a precise location to achieve the desired outcome.
- Implants today may last many years without requiring replacement. However, studies show that implants have approximately a 1% per year risk of rupture. When an implant is noted to be ruptured, replacement surgery is needed.
- Revision surgery may be needed to adjust the implant position or correct scar tissue that forms around the implant.
Dr. Michael Howard is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been serving the Chicago area since 2005. He is proud to bring the very best aesthetic services to the midwest. Please contact his office in Lake Forrest, IL, to learn more about the wide variety of breast enhancement options that are available to you. Call us directly at (224) 271-4250 to get the conversation started.
Before and After Photos
The Benefits of Breast Enhancement
- To enhance the size of overly small breasts
- To restore breast volume lost due to weight loss or following pregnancy
- To achieve better symmetry throughout the body
- To help correct severely sagging breasts
- To assist in the recovery of a disfiguring illness, like breast cancer
Is Augmentation Right for Me?
Ideal candidates are otherwise healthy women who wish to have more agency over their appearance. These women are ready to commit to cosmetic surgery because they know reaching their goals is worth the effort. They have realistic expectations for the procedure and their recovery.
What Age Is Best for Breast Augmentation?
There are FDA guidelines and our own office policies that dictate the best age for breast augmentation. Generally speaking, will not perform breast augmentation on anyone under 20 years of age unless there’s a medical need for breast surgery.
Your Private Consultation with Dr. Michael Howard
Your private consultation with Dr. Howard is the first step on your journey of transformation. He is a regionally recognized expert in breast enhancement and he loves to bring his specialized skills to his Chicago community. Dr. Howard’s practice focuses on reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery. For women who require breast reconstruction, he offers the full spectrum of surgical options, including state-of-the-art perforator flaps, pre-pectoral implant reconstruction, partial breast reconstruction with oncoplastic surgery techniques, and implant-based reconstruction methods.
Contact us to take your first steps toward the aesthetic future you’ve been seeking. Let Dr. Michael Howard be your guide. Call (224) 271-4250 to speak with one of our helpful representatives.
Preparation & Procedure
There are several steps you can take to ensure a smooth and carefree procedure. First, we recommend that you plan ahead: pick up your prescriptions and stock up on some easy-to-prepare meals. Also, ask a friend or family member to drop you off and pick you up from your surgery. You may also want to request their assistance during your initial recovery. Having someone around can help you feel more comfortable and at ease. You will be on pain medications for a few days and may need someone to help drive you around.
Get a good night’s sleep before your surgery. On the morning of your appointment, wear comfortable clothing that buttons or zips. You will want clothes that can be easily removed. Arrive a few minutes early so you can sign-in and relax for a few minutes.
Dr. Howard begins with a simple incision. Depending on the particulars of your customized procedure, he may make his incision in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola or in the armpit. Next, he lifts your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue or beneath the pectoral muscle. Once the implant is positioned within the pocket, Dr. Howard will close the incisions. A gauze bandage may be applied over your breasts to help with healing. The surgery usually takes one to two hours to complete.
Recovery & Results
Your full results will blossom over the next six to seven months of recovery. They may initially ride high, or feel especially firm. Both of these sensations will slowly fade as your implants settle into their new home within the breast pockets. You should be able to wear a bikini comfortably anywhere from six to twelve weeks after your breast augmentation.
Your bruising and pain will fade in the first two to three weeks. However, some tenderness may remain. Take it easy on yourself. Overexertion will only impede your healing and negatively affect your end result. Exercises like arm raises will help to decrease swelling and stiffness.
A Breast Capsule is Natural
During this initial period, your body will develop a capsule around the implants, which is a natural immune response. These capsules are made up of scar tissue or collagen fibers. The capsules will form over a period of about three weeks. Sometimes, the capsules will tighten unexpectedly, leading to an unappealing result. This is called “capsular contracture.” To help prevent capsular contracture, Dr. Howard usually recommends that patients (or their loved ones) perform daily breast massages for the first few months following their breast augmentation. Breast massage is one of several things that a woman can do to avoid the perils of capsular contracture. Some patients seek Breast Revision Surgery in the event of capsular contracture. Breast revision surgery allows women the opportunity to reverse or upgrade their breast augmentation in order to meet their evolving needs.
Alternative Enhancement Procedures
Dr. Howard is an expert in breast surgery. He is well aware that sometimes “enhancement” does not necessarily mean making the breasts bigger.
Following pregnancy and or breastfeeding, the breast gland may droop to a less desirable position on the chest. To correct this, a breast lift procedure may be performed. This involves some additional incisions to relocate the nipple and tighten the breast skin.
This procedure can be combined with an implant procedure. This is known as an augmentation mastopexy.
Patients who have disproportionately large breasts for their body may consider reducing their breast volume through a procedure known as a breast reduction. Similar to a breast lift, this surgery uses incisions on the breast to narrow and lift the breast gland, but also reduces the volume of the breast and tightens the skin.
How Much Does Breast Enhancement Cost in Chicago?
Dr. Howard wants your breast enhancement to be completely customized to you. At your confidential consultation, he will get the best sense of your medical history and your aesthetic aspirations. Based on this information, Dr. Howard will craft your personalized cosmetic treatment plan. At this time, he will present you with an accurate cost estimate.
How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants do not last a lifetime. It’s likely they’ll need to be replaced at some point. Some women may need breast implant revision surgery after about 15 years. The best plastic surgeons will incorporate future revisions into your customized cosmetic treatment plan. As part of your annual check-ups to make sure that your implants are still functioning correctly, your skilled plastic surgeon will also check-in with you to see if you are pleased with the results of your surgery. It is not uncommon for a woman’s tastes to change over time. Any functional cosmetic treatment plan should include these natural inflection points in a woman’s life. Many women choose to go smaller as they get older. Some may require a breast lift and other body contouring after weight loss or following pregnancy.
Do breast implants feel natural to touch?
Silicone implants are often praised for their natural feeling responsiveness. This has only improved as the technology has advanced. This is particularly true of the form-stable (“gummy bear”) breast implant, which is filled with a cohesive gel that mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. Saline implants lack the realistic responsiveness of their silicone sisters, but they do come with other advantages. Saline implants are not as risky in the unlikely event of a rupture. Since the saltwater solution within saline implants mimic the body’s natural fluids, the implants’ filling is harmlessly absorbed when ruptured.
- Adams, W. P., & Mallucci, P. (2012). Breast Augmentation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 130(4). doi: 10.1097/prs.0b013e318262f607
- Headon, H., Kasem, A., & Mokbel, K. (2015). Capsular Contracture after Breast Augmentation: An Update for Clinical Practice. Archives of Plastic Surgery, 42(5), 532. doi: 10.5999/aps.2015.42.5.532
- Hidalgo, D. A., & Spector, J. A. (2014). Breast Augmentation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 133(4). doi: 10.1097/prs.0000000000000033