Steve T. Vu MD, FACS | Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335, Huntington Beach, CA 92647  |  (714) 848-1133

Breast Lift with Augmentation

What is it?

Breast augmentation with implants is a cosmetic surgery procedure that utilizes implants in order to change or enhance the shape of a woman’s breasts. Surgeons usually use fat that is harvested from certain parts of a patient’s body such as the buttocks or abdomen. The implants in question are placed behind each breast. A breast lift procedure is meant to enhance or lift sagging or drooping breasts. Both of these procedures may be carried out in a single surgery.


Patients who usually opt for the surgical procedure are women who –

  • Feel the need to enlarge abnormally small breasts

  • Want to restore asymmetrical breasts

  • Want to restore breasts that have been removed due to treatments for chronic illnesses like cancer

  • Want to restore the shape or size of the breasts after pregnancy, breast feeding or weight loss

  • Add volume to breasts that haven’t fully developed due to a condition called micromastia

According to a report in Plastic Surgery Nursing from researchers from the University of Florida, women who undergo the procedure usually experience a boost in self esteem afterwards.

A Word to the Wise

Breast augmentation surgery does not rectify sever drooping. Patients who are looking to make their breasts look more lifted are recommended breast lifts. This procedure may be done along with breast augmentation. A surgeon decides whether breast lift can be accommodated within breast augmentation or after it.

Breast Implants

Breast implants as the name implies are medical prosthesis that are placed inside the breast in order to create the physical form of the breasts. The interior of the implants is filled with saline solution or salt water or silicone gel while the exterior is made from firm silicon. Manufacturers say that the implants can last for about ten years. There are basically three types of implants –

  • Silicone Implants – A silicone implant is an elastomer silicone shell that is filled with a viscous silicone gel. The gel serves a purpose. If the implant has a leak the gel inside will be contained and will not leak out. Since the implant will not collapse in on itself after the leak patients are often unaware when it does happen. This is why women who choose this type of surgical procedure are recommended to carry out regular medical checkups through ultrasound or MRIs.

  • Saline Implants – These implants are filled with sterilized saline solution that is contained within a silicone shell. The firmness, shape and texture of saline implants may vary according to the amount of solution that is filled within. If the implants happen to leak, the solution will be absorbed and expelled by the body without any adverse affects.

  • Alternative Composite Implants – These types of breast implants are filled with soy oil, polypropylene or some other type of material.

The Procedure

Patients are allowed to choose between local or general anesthesia. Most patients choose the latter since local anesthesia only makes the targeted area numb while the patient is fully conscious. Patients are also recommended to choose the type of incision since this also affects the final outcome. The choice ultimately depends on factors such as –

  • The anatomy of the patient

  • The type of implant chosen

  • The degree of enlargement

  • The personal preferences of the surgeon or patient

The types of incision include the following -

  • Periareolar Incision – This incision is made around the nipple

  • Inframmammary Incision – This incision is made under the crease under the breast

  • Transaxillary Incision – This is made in the axilla or armpit

The chosen breast implant is inserted into a pocket. Surgeons choose either of these two placement techniques for breast implantation –

  • Subglandualr or submammary placement – This places the implant over the pectoral muscle behind the breast tissue

  • Submuscular placement – This places the implant under the pectoral muscle. Due to the extensive nature of this surgery, it may take a patient longer to recover and she might be required to undergo more post operative care as well.

After the procedure is over the patient is prescribed painkillers in order to gain relief from the pain that follows. In general patients are cautioned against engaging in any physical activity for six weeks after the procedure. Mild exercise such as flexing the arms is also recommended to minimize discomfort and pain. Patients who have drainage tubes placed within the breasts or sutures that do not dissolve are required to have them removed later during follow up appointments. Absorbable sutures usually disappear in a few weeks. After the procedure is done with, the surgeon advises the patient in the following –

  • How to care for her new breasts

  • When to call a doctor

  • When to schedule a follow up visit

  • When and how to use the medication that is prescribed

Recovery times have improved considerably thanks to advancements in these two techniques

Associated Costs

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the average costs for surgery that involves silicone breast implants comes up to $3848 while the cost for saline implants comes up to $3441. The total cost may vary from state to state as well as factors such as the experience of the surgeon, cost of anesthesia, operating facility cost, cost for prescription medication and the geographical location of the medical facility. Women who decide to undergo breast augmentation are recommended to go for experienced surgeons who are certified and have performed several breast implant procedures.

It is important that patients ask the opinions of several surgeons in order to determine what they will be ultimately charged for. There are no set standards for the costs mentioned above. In the end, every decision a woman makes affects the total price. Patients are therefore advised to ask their surgeons every aspect of the procedure before they commit to anything.

Patients ate also advised to inform their surgeons of any conditions or autoimmune deficiencies such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. These conditions may result in complications during the procedure or interfere with a patient’s ability to heal. Smokers are recommended to quit the habit a few weeks prior and following breast augmentation as well.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

To discuss your interests, we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Steve Vu. We can answer general questions about our our procedures and practice by phone and email during our regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For out-of-town visitors, please contact us so that we can suggest accomodations and make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Office Locations:

Huntington Beach Office:
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Tel: (714) 848-1133
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Corona Office:
800 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 109
Corona, CA 92879-3157
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Temecula Office:
31720 Temecula Parkway, Suite 203
Temecula, CA 92592
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114