Breast Augmentation in St. Louis

Probably the most common cosmetic surgery for any plastic surgeon, breast augmentation with implants has been around for 50 years! There have been many types of materials used to increase the size of the breasts over the years, and the most recent type of implant, until about 4 years ago, was the implant which was filled with sterile saline at the time of operation. Now, however, we have silicone-gel implants available to our patients, by FDA approval, and these are the new “gummy bear” gel implants, which are far different than the “gel” implants which were available in the 1980’s (and, by FDA standards, much “safer”).

For women who just never developed much breast tissue, or those who lost their original breast volume, with weight loss, or following childbirth (and often with breast feeding), the desire to attain (or regain) breast “fullness” has led them to seek breast augmentation, which Dr. Scheu has been performing for nearly 30 years.

Breast Implants

The breast augmentation is usually performed under a general anesthesia, as an outpatient, and the surgery takes about 2 hours. While the saline-fillable implants are still available, Dr. Scheu usually recommends the implantation of the new gel-filled implants, which have a consistency much more like human breast tissue than the bags of saline and there are other advantages to the use of the new implants, the most important of which is that these do not have to be placed beneath the pectoralis muscles, as did the saline implants, thus avoiding the discomfort associated with partial detachment of the chest wall muscles, the distortion of the breast mounds with pectoralis muscle contracture, as when exercising or lifting weights, and the invariable “space” between the breasts, due to limitation of the excursion of the implants by the lines of attachment of the muscles at the lateral borders of the breast bone. The disadvantage is the cost of the new gel implants, which is about 50% more than the cost of the saline-fillable implants, which is the unfortunate result of the expenditure the implant companies were forced to make by the FDA, to ensure durability and safety of the new generation of (gel) implants, as that cost is passed on to the consumer (but, Dr. Scheu feels that this is a cost well worth the advantages that a “more natural” implant provides to his patients).

The Breast Augmentation Procedure

For the patient with significant weight loss, not only is the breast smaller, but the skin “envelope” of the breast no longer “fits” the size of the breast, making it “saggy” (because once our bodies makes a certain amount of skin to fit a body area, reduction in the content of the body area is not matched by skin “shrinkage” i.e., we get to keep what is now the extra skin that was created to cover the body area in the first place). And for an area of skin “sag”, the only answer is generally to have a “lift”. For the breast, this procedure is termed a “mastopexy”; this procedure can be done with a variety of surgical techniques and with scars which differ a little one from the other; it can also be combined with the placement of an implant for augmentation and, sometimes, just placing an implant will “raise” up the breast a little on its own.

However, if the nipple is really pointing downward (or if the areolar disc is really dilated, and the woman wants this made smaller, to look a bit more youthful), then the breast lift will be needed; as with the augmentation, the “mastopexy” procedure is usually done under a general anesthesia, as an outpatient. Dr. Scheu has been doing breast augmentation, as well as full breast reductions, and even breast reconstructions for the whole of his career, and is very willing to perform both a breast lift and implant placement at the same time (some surgeons are reluctant to do this), as long as the patient is in good health (and not a smoker, for example); all the risks and recovery factors are covered in the breast augmentation consultation, so every patient knows what to expect, and how to manage her recovery for the surgery she chooses.

Have additional questions about Breast Augmentation? Contact us today.