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McNemar Cosmetic Surgery Thomas B. McNemar, MD, FACS

Breast Augmentation FAQ

Breast augmentation involves many decisions that can ultimately provide personalized results to fulfill each patient's unique aesthetic goals. A board-certified plastic surgeon and breast augmentation specialist in Tracy and San Ramon, Dr. Thomas McNemar strives to educate his patients about all of their options so they feel confident about their decisions and are pleased with their results. Here are some of the questions he is most frequently asked about breast augmentation and implants by the women who visit him from Stockton and Modesto, CA and around the Bay Area.

If you don't see your question here or want to find out whether breast augmentation is right for you, request your consultation online and receive a complimentary excerpt from Dr. McNemar's book Breast Augmentation & Body Contouring. Or, call him in San Ramon at (925) 967-2804 or Tracy at (209) 834-0626 to make your appointment.

Real Patients, Great Results

Browse our online photo gallery to see the beautiful results for yourself.

Before

After

This patient got saline implants placed under the pectoral muscle. Seen here a month after surgery, she got a beautiful result. See more details about her operation.

What size is best for me?

Size is a personal decision, and Dr. McNemar strives to give all breast augmentation patients fuller breasts that are beautiful and natural-looking. It's helpful to show him photos of women who have the breast size and shape you'd like to attain. Our online patient photo gallery can be a good place to start. When selecting the size for your breast implants, Dr. McNemar will consider several factors such as your current breast size, body frame, and lifestyle. You will also have the opportunity to try on implant sizers to see what you could look like with varying options.

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Where will the incisions be placed?

When deciding on an incision location, think about where you prefer the scars to go, or not go. After breast augmentation, the scars are typically very thin and fade considerably over the first year. If you want to completely avoid a scar on the breast, the underarm incision (transaxillary) is an excellent choice. The scar from this incision is disguised in a natural crease of the underarm. Incisions placed at the bottom of the breast along the breast crease (inframammary fold) are concealed by the breast itself. The periareolar incision (along the edge of the areola) is a good choice for women who are combining a breast lift with augmentation and those who are having their areolas made smaller.

Should my implants be placed under or over the chest muscle?

There are pros and cons to each option, but implant placement under the muscle (submuscular placement) provides the most satisfying results for most women. This is because the muscle covers the upper edge of the implant and provides a natural slope from the chest to the upper breast. Submuscular placement also reduces the risk of capsular contracture (the formation of thick, tight scar tissue around the implant). Advantages of placing the implant under the breast tissue but over the muscle include a quicker, more comfortable recovery because the muscle is not affected by the surgery.

Are silicone implants safe?

The safety of silicone breast implants has been thoroughly studied, and no connection has been found between silicone implants and increased health problems. Silicone breast implants have been approved by the FDA for breast augmentation patients age 22 and older and for breast reconstruction patients of any age. The silicone implants Dr. McNemar uses have strong, elastic outer coverings and thicker filling than implants of the past. Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants but provide results that look and feel more like natural breast tissue. You will be able to hold both implant types during your consultation to help you with your decision process.

I have saline implants right now and would like to get silicone. Can I have my implants exchanged?

Yes. Many women choose to upgrade their implants to silicone to attain a more natural look and feel. Women exchange their implants for other reasons as well, including improving their breast augmentation results, changing the size of their implants, and replacing ruptured saline implants.

Should I wait to have breast augmentation until after I've had children?

It depends. Breast augmentation will not affect your chances of becoming pregnant or successfully breastfeeding. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding will likely affect the size and shape of your breasts. If you have breast surgery before having children, it's likely you will need surgery in the future to restore your breasts to an attractive shape. If you plan to start your family within the next year or so, it may be best to postpone breast surgery. Otherwise, having the breast size and shape you want now may be a good decision.

How do I know if I need a breast lift with breast augmentation?

While breast implants do fill out breasts that have mild ptosis (sagging), most women who have this concern require a combination breast lift and augmentation. If your nipples point forward instead of downward, it's possible that implants alone will provide enough correction.

Will I lose sensitivity in my nipples after breast augmentation?

It is very rare that breast augmentation causes permanent loss of nipple sensation. Often patients have decreased or increased nipple sensitivity after breast surgery, but this change is typically temporary.

Can I combine my breast augmentation with another procedure?

Yes! Breast augmentation can be easily performed at the same time as one or more other procedures. In fact, breast augmentation is often an integral element of a popular, transformative surgery called mommy makeover. A mommy makeover typically combines a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast augmentation or breast lift procedures into a single surgery. It's especially popular at our Stockton-area practice. As its name implies, a mommy makeover is especially popular with women who have had children, as it targets the areas most affected by pregnancy. However, it can be completely customized to suit the needs of most women, whether they are mothers or not. Combining procedures is a safe, effective way to get the results you want without undergoing multiple surgeries. During your consultation, Dr. McNemar will help you determine if this option is right for you.

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