FEMALE IMPLANTS

Frequently Asked Questions

We always ask that patients are placed under anesthesia for augmentation procedures as we are working in very sensitive regions and manipulating tissues that can cause discomfort even with the best numbing medicines and nerve blocks. To keep our patients comfortable, we feel that having an anesthesia provider present for the procedure is a must.

Each implant surgery takes between 2-3 hours to complete. When adding more than one muscle implant, the surgery can extend to 4-5 hours depending on the muscle groups augmented.  For female breast augmentation, the procedure typically takes 1.5-2hours.

All augmentation procedures are outpatient surgical procedures. We typically perform the surgery in the morning and by afternoon you are set to go home in the care of a friend or family member. For those patients that are coming from out of town, we offer suggestions of various hotels in the area as options for your stay. Also, we do work with Cambrian Care, a home health agency, to provide post-operative nursing care for those patients seeking a professional care for them after their surgery.

Within approximately 1 week, most augmentation patients are able to get back to daily activities and light work duty. To return to full activity, including exercise and vigorous activity we recommend waiting 1 month. Patients having hip or buttock augmentation procedures typically have a longer recovery period initially, requiring almost 2-3 weeks before returning to daily activities and closer to 6 weeks before returning to vigorous exercise.

We do see all our patients after surgery to ensure proper healing and lack of complications. For patients coming in from out of town, we typically will see you the day after surgery and at one week, prior to being cleared for travel again. Again, with buttock and hip implant patients we recommend staying locally for closer to 2 weeks prior to being cleared for travel.

Each patient is evaluated not only for suitability for the surgery but also being of sufficient health to undergo a major surgical procedure under anesthesia. We do perform a basic physical examination and review of medical history along with basic lab work and electrocardiogram. For those patients that may have other major health concerns, a medical clearance from your primary physician may be required.

We ask that all patients be at least 18 years of age to undergo surgery. For those under 21, we do ask for a parental/guardian consent to proceed with surgery. As for the other end of the spectrum, there is no restriction per se, but we want to make sure that you are of sufficient health to undergo the procedure with minimal risk to you.

Yes, you can have more than one augmentation procedure at the same time or even other procedures added. However, this decision is at the discretion of the surgeon.

Sensory loss is a real risk in ANY implant surgery as you are cutting through nerves that are not always visible to the naked eye. We do our best to minimize sharp dissection to avoid cutting through nerves. Most of our implant procedures are dissected using blunt instruments to spread and separate tissues rather than cutting through them, thereby preserving the natural anatomy. Despite this, however, there is a risk of temporary sensory loss in the immediate post-operative period. Within 6-8 months, the vast majority of patients have a return of normal sensation either by recovery of the nerves or re-connection of nerve segments. In a very rare percentage (Less than 1%), there is a risk of permanent sensory loss to areas into which implants were placed.

Patients who are overweight can still have implants placed. However, we typically recommend weight loss or body contouring procedures to minimize the amount of fat in treatment areas to enhance the appearance of the implant.

We ask all patients to avoid vigorous activity for 4-6 weeks after a muscle augmentation procedure. Assuming that all is going well, and healing is going according to plan, patients are able to return to FULL/UNRESTRICTED ACTIVITY at the 4-6-week mark. Patients are asked to start slow in their return to exercise regiments. Walking and daily activities can typically be resumed one week after most surgeries. Buttock augmentation, however, does require a longer recovery period closer to 2-3 weeks.

We do offer financing through care credit. Click to view our financing options.

Patients wishing to book a surgery have to pay a deposit of $1500 to lock in their surgical date. Payment of the balance of the surgical fees is due one week prior to surgery.

Dr. Chugay is frequently asked about the need to replace implants after 10 years. While it is not mandatory, he highly recommends replacing implants after 10 years rather than waiting for 15+ years as there is an increased risk of implant rupture with time.

The breast implants tend to be softer as they are filled with salt water (saline) or a cohesive gel silicone.  The muscle implants tend to be a bit firmer but still have some pliability. We encourage all patients to feel the implants that will be used for their proposed augmentation at the time of consultation to ensure that you understand what to expect in the way of “feel” post op.

Implants should not affect activity per se.  However, we have had thinner active patients note that implants may be more visible with certain activities such as yoga or pilates positions which can sometimes accentuate the position of certain implants and make them more noticeable.  With respect to breast implants, we encourage patients to choose smaller implants if they have a very active lifestyle as larger implants can at times limit range of motion and may be more cumbersome for someone that is engaging in more vigorous aerobic activity.

Implants can be used to help shape the body, adding volume in areas that are devoid of volume or providing curvature in areas that are a bit straighter.  While they are generally felt to be safe, there are risks associated with any implant procedure and the choice to use implants should be thoroughly discussed with your surgeon.

There are multiple thoughts and papers on the topic of “the right size implant” for each person.  During the consultation process, measurements may be employed to help recommend an implant size.  The surgeon’s discretion and experience will also help to guide implant selection.  Ultimately, the size of implant used is a discussion had between the patient and surgeon, weighing the benefits and risks of varying sizes/shapes of implants.

The implants used for muscle augmentation procedures are made from a semi solid silicone.  Thus, there is NO risk of rupture.  These implants, however, can tear if significant force is applied to them.  The manufacturer’s data states that this risk of tearing/fracturing is low (stated to be less than 2%); however, it is definitely a risk and may be higher if engaging in more aggressive/traumatic activity to the area operated on.

As for silicone and saline breast implants, there is always a risk of rupture.  The literature has well defined this rupture/leak rate to be about 1% per year that you have the implants.  Therefore, there is a 10% risk of leak/rupture at the 10 year mark.  If a saline implant leaks, it will be apparent within days as the salt water that leaks out is absorbed by the body.  The breast on the affected side will go flat much like a flat tire.  A silicone leak may not be as evident and may require imaging to better determine its presence.  Modern silicone implants are much safer than the implants of 20-30 years ago as they are made of a cohesive gel (gummy bear consistency).  If these implants leak or rupture, the silicone tends to stay in position and does not leak elsewhere as with the previously implanted liquid silicone implants.  For this reason, we feel that these cohesive gel implants are quite safe for augmentation.

Despite our best efforts, there will always be a scar with surgery.  We try to place these scars in hidden places such as the armpit for biceps and triceps augmentation or within the gluteal crease for buttock augmentation.  Breast implants can be placed through areolar incisions or with an incision in the breast crease.  Hip implants, however, have a scar that can be noticeable despite our effort to hide it within the panty line.  With time, scars will definitely fade but they will never completely disappear.  We encourage all of our surgical patients to use silicone based scar gels on their incision sites beginning at 1 month to improve the quality of the scar.

We ask all patients to avoid vigorous activity for 4-6 weeks after a muscle augmentation procedure. Assuming that all is going well, and healing is going according to plan, patients are able to return to FULL/UNRESTRICTED ACTIVITY at the 4-6-week mark. Patients are asked to start slow in their return to exercise regiments. Walking and daily activities can typically be resumed one week after most surgeries. Buttock augmentation, however, does require a longer recovery period closer to 2-3 weeks.

While we try to camouflage the implants as best, we can in every patient, there is always the risk of implant visibility, particularly in those that have less fatty tissue or thinner muscle or fascia. This fact will be discussed with you by your surgeon if there is a concern of muscle implant visibility.

Breast implants can be placed through areolar incisions or with an incision in the breast crease.  In rare occasions, when patients are electing to use saline implants, an armpit incision may be used.

To a large degree, the implant location is determined by the surgeon.  Pre-operatively, the size and location of the incision will be discussed with the patient.  Patients undergoing breast augmentation may have a particular incision recommended, based on anatomic variables, but there is greater flexibility in incision selection for breast augmentation patients.

Patients can choose either silicone or saline implants.  Based on multiple variables, we will work with you to determine the best implant for your augmentation procedure.

Thin patients can have augmentation procedures; however, there is a risk of implant visibility in patients that are thinner as there is less tissue to cover the implant.

The largest standard implants that are made are 800cc silicone implants and 800cc saline implants that can be filled to 1000cc.  We typically discourage overly large implants as there are increased risks of complications that may occur, especially as time progresses.  Moreover, large implants can cause problems with back and neck pain and may be more prone to drooping faster, necessitating intervention such as a breast lift.

Obviously every person is different and to promise everyone the “ideal hourglass shape” is not realistic.  To have a better chance of achieving a curvy shape, patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight as well as engaging in exercise before and after surgery (once directed by the physician).  Implants and body contouring procedures can help to shape the body but no guarantee can be made as to the curviness of the end result.

While we do everything possible to minimize implant mobility (precise dissection in areas confirmed with patient discussion preop), there is nothing holding the implant in a certain position as they are not anchored to any surrounding structure.

Buttock implants can’t rupture per se as implants available here in the United States are made of a solid silicone.  Implants made out of gel silicone, however, have been approved for use for implantation, outside the US.  Implants can obviously fracture (less than 2% risk according to manufacturer data) but this is typically associated with more significant forces.  Buttock implants can definitely move within the pocket of scar tissue that forms around the implant.  While we do everything possible to minimize implant mobility, there is nothing holding the implant in a certain position as they are not anchored to any surrounding structure.

There is constantly a discussion among surgeons as to the best way to augment a specific body site.  In some cases fat augmentation may be appropriate and associated with less risks/complications.  However, in other cases silicone implants or prostheses may be a better fit.  Your surgeon will discuss your options with you to help you in making the best decision for your individual case.

Studies have looked at the ability to breast feed with/without implants. Those studies have determined that not every woman can breast feed to begin with.  Approximately 60-70% of women are capable of breast feeding while the remaining 30-40% may not be able to.  While a female that previously was able to breast feed will likely still have the ability to do so after surgery, there is the risk that your ability to breast feed may be affected by breast augmentation procedures and breast augmentation with lift procedures.

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