In recent years, Breast Augmentation has become one of the most widely accepted practices in all of plastic surgery. Women of different ages and backgrounds have sought the procedure in order to cosmetically enhance the size and contour of their breasts, allowing them to have a youthful and shapely physique.
For years, Dr. Cara Downey has provided countless women in the state of Texas with satisfying and long-lasting results from breast augmentation surgery. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Downey now to learn if you are a candidate for this life-changing surgical procedure.
Breast Augmentation Cost
At Downey Plastic Surgery, the breast augmentation cost in Houston is typically between $6,000.00 – $8,000.00. The final cost of your surgery will be determined by a number of factors such as the skill and experience of Dr. Downey, the location of your augmentation procedure, and other miscellaneous medical expenses.
However, since breast augmentation surgery is a cosmetic procedure, it may not be covered by your insurance provider unless it is a medical necessity.
Things You Should Know About Breast Augmentation
As one of the top two cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States, breast augmentation is a procedure that many women choose to undergo for countless reasons. One can admit they wish their chest was a little bigger and others will choose to get breast implants to achieve an improvement in the shape and increase the upper pole fullness, aka “cleavage.”
Mothers are also common candidates for implants because breastfeeding can lead to experiencing sagging and loss of breast tissue volume, with the desire to restore the breast to a more youthful pre-pregnancy/breastfeeding state. An augmentation is often included in a mommy makeover, too.
Breast augmentation is most commonly achieved with the use of a breast implant. These are surgical devices invented right here in Houston, Texas. In fact, they were developed by a resident who trained in the same program as Dr. Downey herself. We have come a long way in the development of breast implants over the past 40 years to include 4th and 5th generation silicone gel implants. There are many choices when it comes to the selection of the type of breast implant as well as where and how the implant is placed. Dr. Downey can help you decide what is best for your particular body and your goals.
Ideal Candidates For Breast Augmentation
Ideal candidates for breast augmentation surgery include women in good health. Patients over the age of 40 or who come from a family with a significant history of breast cancer are required to undergo a mammogram prior to surgery. This applies to women who experience skin dimpling, irregular discharge in the nipple, and any changes that include lumps and bumps.
Additionally, women who have just given birth are required to wait at least six months after breastfeeding has ceased before undergoing surgery, in order to allow the breasts to settle into its final state. If you are planning to have children, it is advised to wait as the procedure may inhibit the ability to breastfeed. You may discuss this issue with Dr. Downey upon your consultation with her.
Patients undergoing breast augmentation must cease smoking for at least six weeks prior to surgery and must continue to refrain from the habit for at least two months after. This will ensure your body recovers properly.
Types Of Breast Implants
|4-5th Generation Gel Implants||SALINE (salt water)|
|How does it feel?||Softer, more natural||Less natural feel|
|Position||Sits slightly lower||May sit higher (more cleavage), more rounded appearance|
|Risk of capsular contracture (see fig 1)||approx. 9% at 6 years||approx. 10% at 7 years|
|Rupture?||approx. 3% for 6 years and not easily detected||approx. 7% at 10 years and causes obvious deflation|
Textured & Smooth Implants
- ADVANTAGE: Textured implants have a decreased rate of capsular contracture (or scaring around the implant see fig 1). They tend to “stick” to the tissues better which is believed to withstand the forces of gravity and possibly increase the longevity, and lessen the chance of “bottoming out” (where the implant slips down below the breast over time). Dr. Downey may suggest textured when performing a concurrent breast lift or if you are considering future pregnancy.
- DISADVANTAGE: The textured implant has a firmer shell and is therefore not quite as soft and squishy as a smooth implant. They also tend to have a greater chance of rippling, and should ideally be placed beneath the muscle if there is little native breast tissue.
Anatomical or “shaped implants” always come only in a textured option to minimize rotation and malposition.
- ADVANTAGE: Smooth implants have a softer feel. They also have less rippling in the upper area of the breast and may be better for women with very little breast tissue coverage.
- DISADVANTAGE: The smooth implants have a slightly higher risk of capsular contracture (see fig 1) and due to the fact that they are able to slide more in the tissues, may be more affected by gravity over time.
This implant shape provides women with more fullness in the upper pole, creating a distinctly round profile. The round implant shape is often used to enhance breasts that are naturally shapely, while creating a more defined cleavage.
The shaped (or teardrop) implant has become popular in recent years. More fullness is projected along the lower half of the implant, allowing it to mimic the contour and shape of a woman’s breast.
Breast Implant Placement
This position lifts the pectoralis muscle and places the implant beneath it. It allows more “coverage” over the implant; protecting it from visibility and palpability while also decreasing the risks of rippling and capsular contracture.
The operation is ideal for thin women with very little breast tissue as implants are more appreciable in those cases. The downside includes more pain after surgery and the possibility of “animation deformity.” This means that the implant will move when the patient flexes the pec muscle, which can look strange and even be uncomfortable.
This places the implant over the pec muscle but under the breast tissue, without violating the pec muscle at all. It is ideal for patients who have enough tissue to “cover” the implant and for women with some degree of ptosis or sagginess to prevent a “double bubble.” This occurs when the implant is placed either above or below the breast mound, leaving the appearance of a breast on top of a breast.
The risk of capsular contracture may be increased and your doctor may recommend textured implants in this case to lower that risk, as well as prevent the bottoming out of the implant or downward migration over time.
- Dual Plane
The top half of the implant is covered by the muscle but the bottom half is covered by the breast tissue. It helps reduce visibility in thin patients who also have a little sagging and may be prone to “double bubble.” It reduces capsular contracture and possibly lessens the presence of animation deformity.
Breast Implant Profiles
Based on this width and the amount of stretch of the breast skin and tissues, your surgeon can give you a range of acceptable options depending on your goals. The range is all thanks to the certain projection that each style of implant has. Refer to the below photos and diagram of low, moderate and high profile implants, all with the same size base.
- Low Profile
Contains the least projection and the widest base diameter. While it may seem to be noticeably flat when seen from the side, low profile implants give the breast a more natural look.
- Moderate Profile
Often regarded as the most common profile used during surgery, this can provide women with more volume and fullness, allowing the breasts to appear more natural.
- High Profile
This profile type provides women with a considerable amount of projection on their breasts. High profile implants yield the narrowest base, giving the implant a rounder shape.
Breast Implant Incisions
- Inframammary Fold
This is by far the most common incision and route used. The incision is fairly inconspicuous and is hidden under the breast and typically not visualized from a standing position. It allows Dr. Downey the greatest control and possibly a decreased risk of infection.
This incision may not be an option for women with very small nipples, especially with silicone implants. It may be ideal for those who are undergoing a simultaneous small peri-areolar lift. It does run the risk of minimal implant exposure due to the sterile glands beneath the surface of the nipple. And therefore, it could carry a slightly higher rate of infection and capsular contracture. If the scar is poorly formed, it may be obvious.
This is a good option for women with very little breast tissue and no true breast fold. The scar, although it may be visible, is away from the breast in the arm pit. The size of the implant may be limited and it may be challenging for the surgeon to use this same incision for future breast implant surgeries or implant exchanges.
- Transumbilical (TUBA)
This is reserved for saline implants only. It offers very little exposure for the surgeon and for this reason, leads to the improper placement of implants, therefore it is not widely used.
I’ve been wanting to do botox and get my skin looking great for some time now. I was a little nervous, Dr. Downey had a great staff, and she was super patient and fed me enough information to calm m…
– Stephanie O.
I had such a great experience with Dr. Downey. I was referred by a friend. This was my third attempt at getting surgery on some trouble spots after significant weight loss. I didn’t go in with h…
– Paul V.
It was very easy for me to make a consultation appointment. There was no pressure to sign up for surgery that day. Dr. Downey was very professional and friendly. She answered all my questions an…
– Brittany G.
I had breast augmentation on 12/2/14 and Dr. Downey and staff made the whole experience amazing. Since the surgery I have minimal scarring and I look and feel great! This was one of the best decis…
– Ashly T.
Dr. Cara Downey, thank you so much for the care you gave to me and the exceptional work you have done to my body! You are amazing. Because of you, dreams come true! You are the best! Thank you for ble…
– Andrea C.
I didn’t think I would ever feel this great again. Now I can wear strapless dresses. My shirts no longer have the peep holes near the buttons. I’m just so pleased with the work Dr. Downey has done. Bu…
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast Augmentation is a minor to moderate procedure that does not require a hospital stay. You will be asked to arrive at the hospital 1-2 hours before the start of your surgery, when the hospital staff will prepare any necessary documentation and have you sign a consent form. You will meet and talk with the anesthesiologist, as this procedure would require general anesthesia, during which time you are completely asleep and supported by a breathing machine. The nurses or anesthesiologist will place an IV and start fluids.
Dr. Downey will greet you just before surgery and place marks on your breast with a marking pen. You will then be taken to the operating room and placed on the operating table, where you will gently be put to sleep. You will awake in the recovery room with only minimal discomfort and will have dressing and a surgical bra in place. Your family will be instructed on your care prior to leaving the recovery room.
It is advisable to rest that day and avoid foods that easily upset the stomach such as dairy and heavy proteins until you feel the anesthesia waring off, which may take up to 72 hours.
Risks Associated With Breast Augmentation
- Bleeding or hematoma
This may require a return to the operating room to clear.
This happens in less than 2% of cosmetic augmentations.
- Capsular contracture
Scar tissue formed around the breast implant. See chart below. The amount of scarring can be very little to substantial. There is an increased risk of capsular contracture as time goes on but there is also a risk of “early” capsular contracture that occurs weeks to months after the procedure. There is no way to predict who is at risk.
- Poor scar formation
Especially true if you are prone to the development of keloid or hypertrophic scars.
This can be an issue with shaped implants.
If the asymmetry is significant, Dr. Downey may choose two different implants to attempt to lessen that asymmetry or she may suggest a small additional procedure to reposition the nipple if applicable.
- Increased or decreased nipple sensation
- Need for further exchanges and/or breast lifts overtime
Implants are man-made devices that are not meant to last forever. You can expect to change them about every 10-15 years and possibly sooner.
After Breast Augmentation Surgery
Athletic women, be patient. Most can resume work and social outings within days of having an augmentation, but intense exercises should be put on hold until you get it cleared with Dr. Downey. For most, this means avoiding anything in the first 2 weeks that can raise the heart rate and blood pressure. You will also not be allowed to lift more than 5-10 lbs for at least 4 weeks. At 6 weeks, you may be released to full normal unrestricted activity with a gradual ease into it.
To protect your incision in the fold of the breast, you will be told to avoid underwire for 6 weeks. Scars will be present, but those will greatly improve by about 6 months. Depending on the placement and type of implant, you may experience temporary “high riding” or a higher placement of the implants in the initial period. This will settle out and “drop” over the first 3 months to the final position. Dr. Downey may advise or may strictly prohibit breast massage, so be sure to clarify this before performing it.
Some pain and discomfort is expected in the first few days, which will be eased with pain medication. Bruising and swelling may also be expected though extreme swelling and pain on one side only may indicate a problem and warrants a call to the doctor immediately.
You will also be given a short course of antibiotics to prevent infection. The bra and dressings should be left in place for 48 hours, after which you can remove and begin showering regularly. Avoid baths or submerging your breasts in water for at least 4 weeks.
Request Your Consultation
To learn more about breast augmentation and implants, you can schedule an appointment online or you can call +1 713-496-2427