Breast Implants

Breast Implants Overview

Breast implant surgery, more commonly as breast augmentation or breast enhancement surgery, is a surgical procedure in which silicone gel or saline-filled implants are inserted into a pocket in the breast to increase its size.

There are a number of important factors to consider when you decide to undergo breast implant surgery, including the selection of implants. Implants are available in different materials, sizes, and textures, all of which will affect the look and feel of your breasts. Dr. Vallecillos will help you determine which options are best for you.

Procedure Walk-Through

  1. Preparation

    To prepare for a breast implant surgery, you should avoid blood-thinning herbs, vitamins, and medications (such as aspirin) during the two weeks before your procedure. Smoking should be ceased for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Women aged 45 and older will need to obtain medical clearance by an independent physician before undergoing surgery.

  2. Anesthesia

    General anesthesia will be administered.

  3. There are several methods a surgeon may utilize when performing breast augmentation with implants, differentiated by the placement and pattern of the incisions.Inframammary Incision:An incision at the base of the breast.Transaxillary Incision:An incision in the armpit.Periareolar Incision:An incision around the areola.After the incisions are made, the surgeon will create a pocket in the breast and insert the implant. The placement of the implant (either below of above the pectoral muscle) and the type of implant used will be discussed with you beforehand.

    Saline vs. Silicone

    It is important to consider the type of material from which the implant is made. While the outer shell of all implants are made of a solid silicone material, the material contained within varies. You may choose either a silicone gel-filled implant or a saline-filled implant. Currently the FDA approves the use of silicone gel-filled implants for breast augmentation in women of at least 22 years of age, and saline-filled implants for women of at least 18 years of age.

    Fixed vs. Adjustable Volume

    Both saline and silicone gel implants come in fixed volume and adjustable volume options. Fixed volume implants are provided by the manufacturer in certain fixed sizes and are not adjustable. Saline or combined silicone and saline implants are available in adjustable volume options, which allow the surgeon to adjust the size of the implant during the procedure (and potentially later in a follow-up procedure), which provides the patient with more flexibility.

    Smooth vs. Textured

    Finally, implants can have either a smooth or textured outer shell. There are pros and cons to both, though smooth implants are used in the majority of breast augmentation cases. Smooth implants move freely within the pocket of the breast and tend to have a thinner shell than textured, which lowers the risk of rippling. Textured implants can feel firmer but also tend to reduce the risk of implant displacement within the breast. Dr. Vallecillos will help you determine which option is right for you.

Breast Implant FAQs


Who is a candidate for breast implants?

You should consider breast implant surgery with silicone or saline implants if you wish to obtain a moderate to significant increase in the size of your breasts. Saline-filled implants are FDA-approved for women of at least 18 years of age, while silicone gel-filled implants are FDA-approved for women of at least 22 years of age.

What is the recovery time with breast implants?

Recovery time varies, but most patients will need to give themselves at least two days of post-operative recovery time and an additional week of rest and limited activity. Discomfort and swelling may persist for several weeks after the surgery, and heavy lifting, sex, and strenuous exercise should be avoided until healing is complete.

A breast massage regimen is an important part of the recovery process after undergoing breast augmentation with implants. The body may recognize implants as foreign structures, and in an immune response can attempt to form a wall of firm scar tissue around the implant. This is a condition known as capsular contracture, which causes the breast to become hard and necessitates the removal and replacement of the implant. You can reduce your risk of developing capsular contracture by carefully following the directions for your breast massage regimen and the rest of your post-operative care as provided by Dr. Vallecillos.

Are there risks or side effects with breast implants?

All surgery carries some risk, which can include excessive scarring, bleeding, and infection. Although less common, risks of breast augmentation surgery with implants can include changes in breast and/or nipple sensation, capsular contracture (the formation of firm internal scar tissue around the implant), and implant leakage or rupture.

How long do the results last?

Results from breast augmentation surgery with implants are intended to be permanent, but are subject to the longevity of the implants themselves. If the implant becomes compromised or if you develop capsular contracture, additional procedures may be needed to correct these conditions.

Dr. Vallecillos - American College of Surgeons
Dr. Vallecillos - American Board of Plastic Surgery
Dr. Vallecillos - Top Rated Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Vallecillos - Better Business Bureau
Dr. Vallecillos - University of California Los Angeles

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