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          Breast Augmentation – A Patient Guide

          Your breast augmentation surgery is just that — YOUR breast augmentation surgery. It is for YOU and YOU alone. It is designed especially for YOU with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon handpicked by YOU.

          The No. 1 cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the U.S., breast augmentation with implants is not a one-size-fits-all surgery, although the basic steps are pretty similar across the board.

          Breast augmentation can be performed alone or in conjunction with other breast-enhancing procedures. For example, a breast lift (mastopexy) can help perk up your sagging breasts. (It's always important to know upfront what your breast lift cost is going to be.) Or your breast augmentation may be part of your ultimate mommy makeover (the name given to a combination of plastic surgery procedures that together can help new moms look and feel like their old pre-pregnancy selves). Laser bra surgery can create an "internal brassiere" from your own tissue to add additional support as part of your breast augmentation.

          Some women who are seeking breast augmentation are good candidates for auto augmentation, which rearranges existing breast tissue to create more projection. Other breast surgeries, such as tuberous breast correction, areola reduction, inverted nipple repair and nipple reduction surgery, can also help fix things about your breasts that have always made you feel self-conscious.

          Sometimes breast augmentation is done for cosmetic reasons, but it can also be a reconstructive procedure. Many women undergo surgical removal of their breast(s) (mastectomy) due to breast cancer or to mitigate their high risk of developing breast cancer. These women may opt for breast reconstruction to help restore the look and feel of their natural breasts. Breast reconstruction following cancer or breast reconstruction surgery following prophylactic mastectomy can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy or in the months that follow. This decision is made together with your oncologist and is based on the extent of your cancer and its treatment. The risk of breast reconstruction complications varies from patient to patient, as does breast reconstruction recovery time.

          Another procedure, nipple tattooing, is often the final step after breast reconstruction.

          Regardless of why you have breast augmentation and whether or not it is the sole procedure performed, there are risks involved. Even solely cosmetic surgeries do carry risks. For starters, there are always risks when using anesthesia. Many different types of anesthesia can be used for your breast augmentation surgery, and which one you receive depends on the type of surgery, the facility where it is being performed, your general health and your surgeon's preferences. The good news is that major side effects and complications from anesthesia are rare. In this section, you will find a comprehensive overview on the anesthesia options for your breast augmentation surgery.

          If you're concerned about breast lift risks and would like to consider breast lift alternatives, we have a list of several options, along with their pros and cons. In addition, our breast lift recovery page provides useful tips to help you minimize your risk of breast lift complications.

          Other possible complications include capsular contracture and dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results of your surgery. Learn about these risks and how you can help offset them by visiting our page on breast augmentation complications.

          Being forewarned is often being forearmed.

          Good luck!

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            Joseph A. Mele, MD, FACS

            130 La Casa Via
            Building 2, Suite 206
            Walnut Creek, CA 94598
            (925) 943-6353
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          • 95 Scripps Drive
            Sacramento, CA 95825
            (916) 929-1833

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            Charles Lee, MD

            Enhance Medical Center
            462 N Linden Dr
            Beverly Hills, CA 90212
            (877) 868-1772
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