Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure for breast enhancement, and for millions of women all over the world, it offers a chance to reclaim their femininity and boost their self-confidence. Breast augmentation can enhance your breasts in many ways; women can increase volume and fullness to their chests or correct uneven breasts. Breast augmentation can even improve the projection and firmness of the breast for a more balanced, proportional figure. You might be a mother wanting to return your breasts to their youthful state, or maybe you want a better fit for your clothes, better body proportion, or a more feminine figure. Whatever your reasons might be, it’s important to choose a practice in the San Jose area like Aesthetx, whose surgeons have an extensive history with cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries.
Our exquisite results are made possible by our surgeons’ talent and expertise in breast augmentation, and also because Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz believe in deeply personalizing each procedure. They practice dimension-based planning, a unique approach to creating a surgical plan that takes into account a woman’s specific anatomy and personal body architecture. We believe that every woman is unique, and our surgeons will meticulously plan your breast augmentation, taking detailed measurements, and carefully analyzing breast tissue and your body frame to find the perfect fit. More importantly, both Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz believe that breast augmentation should be a collaboration, and we listen to each patient’s goals and ideas so that we can work together on creating the best results. Aesthetx’s breast augmentation results are natural, balanced, and are designed expertly enough to withstand the tests of time.
The History of Breast Augmentation
Even long before technology had advanced enough for it to be safe, finding ways to enlarge the breasts has long captivated women in our society. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, surgeons and patients alike experimented with different substances to inject or insert into the breasts to increase their size. Materials ranging from paraffin, ivory balls, vegetable oils, mineral oil, lanolin, beeswax, putty, goat’s milk, and more were used to enlarge the breasts, many times with disastrous results. By the 1950s, women were using polyethylene tape wound into a ball, which years later caused horrible shrinking and hardening of the breasts.
The first real revolution in breast augmentation finally occurred in 1961, when Houston plastic surgeons Dr. Thomas Cronin and Dr. Frank Gerow developed the first silicone breast implant. This implant consisted of a thick silicone gel material enveloped in a rubber bag, and in 1962 it was used to perform the first breast augmentation for patient Timmie Jean Lindsay in Texas.
The next step forward was in 1964 when French company Laboratories Arion developed saline-filled implants. Both saline and silicone breast implants flourished until 1992 when the FDA issued a moratorium on all silicone implants in the United States for breast augmentation due to concerns about patients having adverse reactions to the silicone filling. Saline breast implants became the sole option for breast augmentation in the United States, with the newest evolution, a thin silicone outer shell with a saline filling, dominating the market for decades.
Newer saline implants were also incredibly versatile, eventually designed to contain a small valve that made it possible to be filled once inside the body, giving the options for women to have breast augmentation with smaller incisions.
In 2006, after years of clinical trials and studies, the FDA reversed its moratorium on silicone breast implants after confirming it was safe and effective. As popularity for silicone breast implants skyrocketed, further generations of implants evolved and rose in popularity, like 5th generation highly cohesive silicone gel implants (“gummy bear”) implants and implants made with anatomical or teardrop shapes to give an alternative more natural-appearing option.
Thanks to light-speed development and innovation, breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world. Aesthetx is proud to be led by two elite San Jose surgeons – Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz – who have created their significant contributions to a procedure that has brought confidence and pride to millions of women around the world.
Breast Augmentation Techniques
The Aesthetx surgeons believe that getting the best results is dependent on a surgeon’s willingness to adapt, to change with the times, and improve on their technique. It’s why they have pioneered so many techniques that have led to superior results and increased patient safety. Aesthetx’s Dr. Berkowitz himself developed an advanced method for saline implants: endoscopic breast augmentation. With the use of a small camera called an endoscope to guide the procedure, surgeons can insert the saline implant through a one-inch incision in the armpit area, also known as the transaxillary incision pattern. Your surgeon can see the inside of your body through a video feed displayed on a screen. Using specialized tools, a pocket can be created in the breast and the implant can be positioned, all through the very small incision. The implant can then be filled once it’s in the body. This minimizes scarring from breast augmentation surgery.
With silicone breast implants, our surgeons use inframammary incisions, which are incisions made under the breast crease. Our Aesthetx surgeons, Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz, prefer this incision because they’ve shown a much lower risk of complications after surgery and a higher probability of a faster recovery. Inframammary incisions lead to lower tension in the breast tissue, and it’s associated with lower rates of post-surgery complications. The incisions are also relatively easy to hide. Ultimately, the kind of incision a woman gets will depend on what type of implant she chooses, and her own unique needs.
One other criterion that you will get to decide is the placement of the implants, with the most common placements being over the muscle (sub-glandular) and under the muscle (sub-muscular). Placing implants under the muscle often leads to lower rates of post-surgery complications like capsular contracture, and women tend to like the more natural look it creates. However, other women tend to like the dramatic cleavage and round shape that comes from placing implants over the muscle.
For women who want a small amount of lift, Aesthetx offers a breast augmentation technique called the dual-plane mini lift, a procedure that places the implant partially under the muscle while separating the muscle from the breast tissue. The dual-plane mini-lift is perfect for creating a small amount of lift by giving fullness in the lower part of the breast and raising the nipple to a perkier position. For women who need a more significant lift, we can also perform a full breast lift or mastopexy.
Aesthetx also offers subfascial breast augmentation, a technique where the breast implants are placed above the muscle but beneath a sturdy sheath surrounding the tissue. This option is gaining popularity in Silicon Valley especially amongst women who want the implants to feel natural or are concerned about the implants interfering with their upper body exercises. We offer a wide array of options and will walk you through them all so that we can work together to find an approach that will work best for your goals, your body, and your lifestyle.
Breast Implants – Which Are for You?
Aesthetx believes that every patient deserves options, and we will discuss the benefits and negatives of each implant before you make a decision. Our San Jose patients can choose between saline or silicone, highly cohesive silicone implants, or a softer silicone gel, anatomic or round, textured, or smooth. With hundreds of different varieties available, Aesthetx is here to guide each patient in picking the right one. For those seeking anatomic, highly cohesive silicone breast implants (shaped gummy bear implants), Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz are among the most experienced surgeons with using anatomic implants in the San Jose area. Thanks to their textured shell and teardrop shape, these breast implants are more likely to retain your breast shape over time while lowering risks of typical complications associated with traditional silicone implants.
Your lifestyle, anatomy, and aesthetic goals should figure heavily in your choice of implants. Do you want shaping, anatomic implants that impart a more natural contour, or the more dramatic cleavage that round implants create? Would you rather have a drastic increase in size or a modest size that allows for more freedom of movement? We will talk through each of these to help you choose your perfect implant.
Planning Your Breast Augmentation
There is no one type of implant, implant placement, or incision location that will work for all patients. It’s why we work hard to help tour patients make the best choices for themselves. We believe that the way to create the best results is by listening intently and carefully considering a patient’s aesthetic wishes. We extensively plan each breast augmentation in advance so that when the big day comes, we base the procedure on decisions we make with the patient.
After the patient has decided on a particular aesthetic for their breast augmentation, we’ll carefully analyze the quality of breast tissue and the level of asymmetry if it exists. Then we’ll look at the patient’s figure overall to make sure the breast implants will look balanced and proportional.
A large part of your pre-procedure planning will be spent sizing your breast implants. We want our patients in the San Jose area to feel confident about how their new breasts will feel on them, so we use our extensive collection of sizers to help give our patients a good sense of how individual implants will look in their bra.
Creating the Perfect Breast Augmentation Results
Aesthetically, we try to create perfectly proportioned breasts that are symmetrical and have a good ratio between the breast mount and the areola. But we shoot for more than aesthetics; through proper planning and by addressing a patient’s unique tissue quality, we strive to create results that can endure the tests of time.
Aesthetx uses dimension-based planning to find optimal breast implants for every patient. That means that Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz practice a philosophy that actively takes a woman’s tissue quality and specific body measurements into account. By respecting a woman’s specific physical attributes and natural sizes, Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz avoid stretching, sagging, and other possible breast augmentation complications.
Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
To help refine your results, Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz also offer breast augmentation with fat transfer. By adding fatty tissue over the breast implants, you can correct size differences between the breasts and give your breast augmentation a little cleavage “boost.” By adding additional mass, your breast augmentation can look and feel softer. Adding another layer of fatty tissue over the implants also gives a more natural feel and movement to the breasts. The other added benefit of this breast augmentation procedure using fat transfer is the opportunity to remove some excess fat in target areas for improvement in body contour.
Research in Breast Implants
The Silicon Valley community celebrates Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz for their innovative work. These medical professionals are true pioneers in the world of breast augmentation, having worked as clinical trial investigators for some of the most prominent developers of breast implants in the world. Most recently, both board-certified plastic surgeons helped bring Allergan’s highly cohesive anatomically shaped breast implants to FDA approval. They are also investigators for Sientra’s post-FDA approval study for their breast implants. Dr. Zeidler, in particular, is active within Sientra, and is currently the Medical Director of Clinical Trials for their devices and serves as a trusted advisor on their Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Zeidler has been selected to be a clinical investigator for a sensational new breast implant clinical trial that will be launching later this year and just received approval from the FDA. This launch will be a new breast implant company, Motiva created by Establishment Labs. They offer new advances including nanotexture, a super-silicone, and an implanted microchip that holds implant information. Dr. Zeidler will be the only surgeon in Northern California and Silicon Valley offering this breast implant clinical trial.
Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz’s time participating in breast augmentation research have made them trusted authorities in the world of breast augmentation; to this day, they are the most experienced practice in the San Francisco Bay Area when it comes to the revolutionary anatomically-shaped breast implants.
FAQs and What to Ask During Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
What Kind of Recovery Can I Expect from Breast Augmentation?
After a breast augmentation, it’s common to experience bruising, swelling, and some pain in the breasts during the first few days. However, we will make sure you have the proper medications to alleviate any discomfort while you heal. You may also need to wear a surgical support bra during the first few weeks.
Most patients return to work and their daily routine within a week, but you will need to avoid certain types of exercise and other strenuous activities for up to six weeks. The surgeons at Aesthetx are here to help you at every step of your breast augmentation journey, so be sure to reach out to them if any problems arise during your recovery.
Where Will the Procedure Be Performed?
For best results, your procedure should be performed in an accredited surgical facility. Aesthetx has a beautiful surgical suite onsite that is fully accredited to meet strict national standards of the American Association of Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF). This private surgical suite was built with privacy, comfort, and safety in mind, to ensure that our patients have an exceptional surgical experience.
Will I Have Scars After My Breast Augmentation?
Every surgical procedure produces scars, but the surgeons at Aesthetx take great care to make incisions as discreetly as possible. The inframammary incision produces well-concealed scars, as it is hidden along the crease where the breast meets the chest. The transaxillary incision is made in the underarm, so it leaves the breasts untouched in terms of scarring. Many things are done to minimize the scars, including careful suturing techniques, specialized skin glue and postoperative silicone scar therapy. Our Director of Dermatology, Dr. Amelia Hausauer, often sees patients for early laser treatments to manage scars and sometimes sees high-risk patients to pretreat the scars.
Will I have cleavage?
Cleavage is when the inner breast tissue is pushed together by a bra or dress. Breast augmentation will significantly increase the amount of overall breast volume. That said, the amount of “cleavage” is dependent on how much natural tissue you have in the inner breasts, where you choose to have your implants placed, and how much your natural breast tissue stretches after surgery.
If you’re hoping to achieve a dramatic increase in cleavage, bring this up during your consultation so we can determine the best path forward together.
Can my breast be placed higher on my chest?
Breast augmentation focuses on refining the size and shape of the breasts–it will not address drooping or lower hanging breasts. If you want to place your breasts higher, you’ll need to combine your breast augmentation with a breast lift.
Often done in conjunction, together these two procedures can create a holistic improvement to the size, shape, and positioning of the breasts for stunning and restorative results. By combining procedures, we can help you achieve upper breast fullness while repositioning sagging breasts and nipples.
What is the recovery like?
Recovery is somewhat different for every patient. Countless factors go into a successful recovery, and chief among them is properly following aftercare guidelines. At Aesthetx, every patient’s breast augmentation is one-of-a-kind. We customize your surgery to suit your needs and complement your anatomy. As such, we’ll be able to give you the most precise idea of what recovery will look like during your consultation.
In general, though, full recovery tends to take an average of six weeks. Some women may feel completely fine after just one week, though.
Immediately after surgery, you’ll feel a bit groggy from the anesthesia and will need someone to drive you home and stay with you at least overnight.
After a few days, you should be able to switch to over-the-counter painkillers, and at around the one week mark, most women can return to work. During this initial period, it’s essential to move around to aid blood flow and avoid clotting.
However, you should plan to avoid all strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for several weeks. We encourage patients to ease back into light exercise slowly, always listening to your body. Once you’re fully recovered, your surgeon will give you the go-ahead to return to a full range of motion.
When can I start exercising?
As mentioned above, moving around even the night after surgery is an integral part of the healing process. Even just walking from room to room once an hour is enough. After two weeks of recovery, patients will be given the all-clear to begin slowly returning to cardio like walking uphill or on a treadmill.
After about a month, most patients can resume exercises other than heavy lifting. At six weeks, you should be able to resume all exercise.
What is the “no touch technique”?
The “no touch technique” is an advanced surgical technique designed to lower the risk of capsular contracture (a rare complication where the breast implants develop a hard shell of scar tissue). Research has shown that avoiding direct contact between skin and implant significantly lowers risks.
By using a funnel-like device, your surgeon can insert your implant without it ever touching the skin. Once the implant pocket has been created within the breasts, your surgeon will place the implant into the funnel so that it can be delivered into the pocket.
Aside from the benefits of no skin-to-implant contact, this method offers a far gentler delivery with minimized pressure on the surrounding skin. This makes for faster, more efficient healing as well.
What Type of Breast Implant Looks and Feels Most Natural?
In general, silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue than their saline counterparts. Cohesive Gel, or “gummy bear,” implants are particularly close in texture. In the hands of a skilled, experienced, and board-certified surgeon, any implant type can look and feel completely natural.
At Aesthetx, our team of top-qualified and board-certified doctors will work with you to determine which implant type, size, and placement technique will provide the best results. We bring years of experience to every procedure and pride ourselves on having an extremely high patient satisfaction rate.
Will My Nipple Lose Sensation?
Complete loss of nipple sensation after breast augmentation is very uncommon. Some women may experience a temporary decrease in nipple sensitivity, but in most cases, full sensation tends to return over time.
We’ll help you weigh your options and discuss the likelihood of any complications in-depth during your consultation.
Will I Have Drains After Breast Augmentation?
There is no evidence that drains provide patients benefits or better results after breast augmentation. As such, most patients will not have drains.
In the following situations, we may recommend placing a drain:
- Excessive fluid leakage during surgery
- Revision of a prior breast surgery
- Following removal of a capsular contracture
- In certain breast reconstruction cases
- To treat bleeding or a hematoma (blood collection) post-op
- To treat a seroma (fluid collection) which developed post-op
If a surgeon plans on using drains for an average breast augmentation, be sure to ask if it is necessary.
Will Sutures Need to Be Removed After Breast Augmentation?
Your surgeon will give you specific steps for how to care for your incisions and bandages after surgery. In general, patients can remove their bandages 48 hours after surgery. Your sutures will be dissolvable and placed under the skin where you cannot see them. Over time, they will naturally dissolve without the need for removal.
How Long Will I Be Out of Work?
Most patients require one to two weeks off from work. If you work in a job that requires heavy lifting, plan for at least three weeks off. While many patients may be able to work from home within the first week, we highly recommend having at least seven days to truly rest before returning.
What are the most common complications of breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation has a long history of being a safe and effective aesthetic procedure. As with any major surgery, though, there are some possible complications.
- Anesthesia risks
- Unwanted changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Abnormal scarring
- Improper or faulty position of the implant
- Implant leakage or rupture
- The formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Persistent pain
- Possibility of revision surgery
We will fully outline all the possible risks during your consultation and answer any of your remaining questions.
How do I make sure that I get the size that I want?
Choosing the size of your implant is a deeply personal decision, but you don’t have to decide alone. Your surgeon will provide their expert advice and years of experience to ensure you choose an implant size that will achieve your goals. To ensure the best fit, we highly encourage patients to bring in a “look book” of women or celebrities with similar body types and breasts they like.
This way, we can have a clear idea of what you’re hoping for. We’ll also provide you with plenty of before and after pictures to show you what’s possible and what different implant sizes look like post-op.
How Do I Pick the Right Implants?
Breast augmentation is an infinitely customizable procedure. Each implant type, size, shape, and placement offers unique benefits and considerations. Your surgeon will work with you to determine your goals and needs. From there, we can guide you to the best possible implant choice based on your aesthetic preferences and anatomy.
Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation?
In the vast majority of cases, women can still breastfeed after breast augmentation without any complications. In some cases, depending on if the milk ducts were disturbed during surgery, there may be some impediment to functioning.
That said, it’s important to note that regardless of breast augmentation, many women struggle to breastfeed.
Can an Implant Break? How Would I Know If It Did?
Yes, both saline and silicone implants can break. If a saline implant ruptures (or its valve fails), the saline solution will leak out quickly over a few days. The body will safely absorb the saline solution, and you will notice a deflated change in the appearance of your breast.
Silicone implant ruptures, on the other hand, may or may not show symptoms. Symptomless silicone ruptures are known as “silent ruptures.” In general, though, patients may notice a change in breast size or shape and/or an increase in pain, firmness, and swelling over several weeks. Some ruptures may also cause capsular contracture.
Can I Still Get Mammograms After Breast Implants Are Placed?
Yes, it is still very important to get mammograms after breast implant placement. When you go to receive your mammogram, be sure to choose a facility with experience working with patients who have implants. Always tell the technologist you have implants before beginning the procedure.
Women with implants usually have four extra pictures taken (two for each breast), alongside the standard four taken during a routine mammogram. These extra pictures allow for clearer imaging of the front of each breast.
Will Breast Implants Cause Cancer?
Breast implants do not cause cancer or increase your risk of breast cancer. Research does show that women with certain types of implants have a higher risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL).
This rare condition is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If caught early, en-bloc removal is an extremely effective treatment.
My Breasts Feel Tight After Surgery. What should I do?
It’s normal for the breasts to feel tight following surgery. Generally, the peak of this sensation will be on recovery day three or four. That said, some women experience swelling for up to three months following their augmentation, and in some cases, implants require six months to settle fully.
If you experience a sudden change in tightness or any unexplained discomfort, please call your doctor immediately for advice and assistance.
Will I Hurt Something If I Move?
As we’ve noted, movement is an important part of the healing process to encourage circulation and avoid clots. That said, moving too much or too fast can lead to unwanted complications. Your doctor will give you a detailed list of what is and isn’t appropriate for each stage of recovery.
Follow all of this advice to the letter and listen to your body as you ease back into exercise. If you’re mindful of how you move, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Do I Need to Wear a Bra After Breast Augmentation?
Your breasts will sit higher and be considerably firmer after augmentation. However, we still recommend wearing a bra after surgery to slow down sagging and prevent any shifting of the implants over time.
For the first eight weeks of recovery, avoid wearing underwire bras, which can irritate your sutures and scar tissue. In some cases, we may provide a compression bra to aid the healing process.
Is This Operation Performed Under General Anesthesia?
Yes, we will discuss all the details of surgery and anesthesia during your consultation.
Does Someone Have to Stay With Me After Surgery?
You will need to have someone drive you home from surgery and stay the night with you, as you’ll be recovering from general anesthesia. After the first 24 hours, while not medically necessary, we strongly recommend having someone by your side.
During the initial healing process, everyday activities like getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, cooking, and moving around your house may be quite difficult. Having a friend or family member to help out ensures you’ll have the most comfortable possible recovery.
Will I Need My Breast Implants Replaced in The Future?
There is no exact ” lifespan” of implants and no guarantees of how long they’ll last. Some women have their implants for a lifetime without any complications. Other patients may experience complications and require removal or replacement within seven years. The majority of implants last 10-20 years, though.
Recent studies done by the FDA show that around 20% of women require implant repair or replacement within ten years of their initial augmentation.
Dr. Zeidler and Dr. Berkowitz are both renowned for extremely informative and in-depth consultations. To schedule your private consultation for breast augmentation, or to learn more about the procedure, contact Aesthetx by visiting HERE or calling (408) 559-7177.