What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is the third most popular surgical procedure in the world1.It is a surgical procedure that increases the size of breast with implants. In most cases, women chose this procedure to achieve a larger breast size. In other instances, women choose this surgery to regain volume in their breast after losing weight or after giving birth.
If you feel that having more voluptuous breasts would help you gain confidence, feel more feminine and improve your quality of life overall, you have come to the right place.
At VIDA Wellness and Beauty, our board-certified plastic surgeons have extensive experience performing breast augmentation surgery. We can give you the gorgeous, natural-looking aesthetic results you desire while providing exceptional care. We also have a team of specialists on site, including dermatologists, dental, mental health physicians, nutritionists, internal medicine specialists and more.
What we’ll cover
- Before and after photos of breast implants
- Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation
- Which Type of Breast Implants Is Right for You?
- Breast augmentation FAQ (video)
- Pros and Cons of Each Type of Breast Implants
- Breast Implant Placement Options
- Breast Implant Incision Option
- How Breast Augmentation Surgery is Performed
- Male Breast Augmentation
- Transgender Breast Augmentation
- Breast Augmentation Scars: What to Expect
- Breast Augmentation / Implants Costs in Tijuana
- Natural Breast Augmentation and Fat Transfer
- Is Natural Breast Augmentation Safe?
- Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline
- Exercise after Breast Augmentation
- Should I Take off of Work for My Procedure?
- Breast Augmentation Cost/ Breast Implant Prices
- Love Your Breasts. Love Yourself
- Breast Augmentation Infographic
Before and after photos of breast implants
See more breast augmentation before and after pictures of real VIDA patients.
Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation
Essentially, the main difference between the two procedures is that breast augmentation is designed to increase breast volume via silicone or saline implants, while the breast lift is designed to lift and restore perkiness to the bust. Many women may not understand which procedure is right for them; however, here’s a basic outline:
- If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your breasts because they’re drooping or have lost considerable volume since breastfeeding and/or aging, you might be a good candidate for a breast lift.
- If you’re interested in increasing the size of your bust or want to correct any asymmetrical issues, you may be a good candidate for a breast augmentation procedure.
Which Type of Breast Implants Is Right for You?
VIDA Wellness and Beauty offers various types of breast implants: saline; traditional silicone gel; highly cohesive, form-stable silicone gel (often referred to as “gummy bear” implants due to their gummy-like consistency).
Each type of implant offers specific advantages and disadvantages. During your consultation, your board-certified plastic surgeon reviews each type of implant with you, performs a comprehensive examination of your body type and anatomical requirements, listens to your aesthetic concerns regarding your breasts and recommends an appropriate surgical treatment plan to help you achieve your cosmetic goals through breast augmentation surgery.
In this video, Dr. Castaneda talks about breast augmentation FAQ
How do I know if I should have my implants placed over or under the muscle?
Dr. Castañeda: There are 3 main techniques: subglandular which is pretty much out of use; submuscular technique, recommended for patients with little breast tissue in order to make the implant less obvious; and the subfascial technique, which combines the advantages of the submuscular technique with a less painful recovery.
Should I be concerned about the brand of implant my surgeon uses?
Dr. Castañeda: Definitely! This is something you should always ask your surgeon. There are very good implants in terms of quality and safety, make sure you’re getting one of those.
What about breast implant size?
Dr. Castañeda: The important thing is to come to an agreement with your plastic surgeon. Sometimes the size you desire is not possible or has unnecessary risks, so this is a topic you definitely need to discuss during consultation.
How often should I replace my breast implants?
Dr. Castañeda: Between 15 to 20 years, if there haven’t been any symptoms or complications. Usually, replacement implant surgery has a faster and less uncomfortable recovery.
Pros and Cons of Each Type of Breast Implants
Saline breast implants have a silicone outer shell with a saline-solution filling material. One of the main benefits of saline implants is that the body can safely absorb sterile saltwater fluid in case the implant leaks, or ruptures. One of the disadvantages of saline implants is that they are more prone to rippling or folding within the implant pocket, potentially causing them to be visible underneath the skin’s surface, especially in patients with thin skin or little breast tissue to cover and support the implant. Saline implants also feel less like natural breasts than their silicone counterparts.
Traditional Silicone Implants
In contrast to saline implants, silicone breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue. One possible drawback is that silicone implants require a slightly larger incision than saline implants do, because silicone implants are pre-filled by the manufacturer. (Your breast implant surgeon is able to use a slightly smaller incision with saline implants because he can fill the empty implant shell after it has been inserted.)
The FDA recommends that patients with silicone breast implants undergo a breast imaging exam, such as an MRI, once every three years, starting three years after the initial enhancement surgery.
Highly Cohesive, Form-Stable Silicone Implants
These so-called “gummy bear” implants are similar to their traditional silicone predecessors in many ways. The main difference is that the newest generation of silicone implants has a form-stable filling material. This makes them less prone to rippling within the implant pocket, even when the patient is lying down. This facilitates the removal of the implant in case of a leak or rupture. In addition, highly-cohesive, form-stable silicone implants are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, including an anatomically correct teardrop shape. For these reasons, this type of implant is often well suited for patients undergoing breast reconstruction following mastectomy for the treatment of cancer.
Breast Implant Placement Options
Your skilled breast implant surgeon can place your implants either over or under the chest (pectoral) muscle. Again, there are benefits and drawbacks to each option.
Placing breast implants over the chest muscle typically leads to a quicker and easier recovery period, because the chest muscle is not affected during surgery. However, this may not be an appropriate option for women with thin skin or too little breast and fat tissue to cover the implant properly, as the implant may be visible underneath the skin’s surface.
Placing the breast implants under the chest muscle usually requires a slightly longer and more intense recovery period, because the chest muscle is affected by the surgery. However, this implant placement approach leads to more natural-looking results and is an excellent option for women with thin skin and little breast tissue or body fat.
Breast Implant Incision Option
Your incision pattern options include the transaxillary approach, the inframammary approach and the periareolar approach.
With the transaxillary approach, your Tijuana breast implants expert inserts the breast implant through an incision made under the arm, in the armpit area. Traditionally, this incision pattern is best suited for the insertion of saline implants, given that saline implants can be filled after insertion. However, some plastic surgeons are now using this approach for inserting silicone implants as well.
With the inframammary incision pattern, your breast enhancement surgeon creates a horizontal incision underneath the natural fold of the breast. With this incision approach, there is very little risk of negatively impacting the nerves or milk ducts around the nipple, decreasing the chance of experiencing a change in nipple sensation (either temporary or permanent) or difficulty breastfeeding after surgery.
The periareolar incision pattern involves making an incision around the circumference of the areola (the darker-pigmented skin surrounding the nipple). This incision pattern generally leaves the least visible scar due to its placement on the darker areola skin. However, in rare cases, it can interfere with nipple sensation or breastfeeding ability following surgery.
During your consultation, your CosMed plastic surgeon reviews these options with you, answers any questions you may have and makes recommendations for your treatment based on your surgical objectives and anatomical needs.
How Breast Augmentation Surgery is Performed
You may want to know how Breast Augmentation surgery is performed, so let’s go over the basic steps and components of this procedure.
First, keep in mind that regardless of the type of breast implant you choose, this procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. You’ll be able to talk with your surgeon and anesthesiologist prior to the big day in order to decide the sedation or anesthetics for you.
- Marking and incisions. Breast augmentation surgery begins with the surgeon selecting the most discreet incision sites, usually along the areolar edge (peri-areolar incision), the fold under the breast (infra-mammary fold) and in the armpit (axillary incision). He or she will mark the sites and make the incisions in the skin and underlying tissue, preparing your breasts to receive the implants. Keep in mind that the incisions your surgeon will use depend on the material and size of your implant, as well as your anatomy.
- Implant insertion and placement. Your surgeon creates a pocket in the underlying tissue of your breast, where your surgeon will insert and if needed, fill the implant. Discuss with your doctor the placement for your breast implants, these can be:
- Placed under the pectoral muscle, also called a submuscular placement.
- Placed directly behind the breast tissue, but above the muscle. This is called subglandular or subfascial placement.
- Remember that the placement of your implants will be determined by the size, position and material you want as well as your body type.
- Closing the incisions. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the placement,symmetry and alignment of your implants, he or she will close the incisions. Depending on how big your incions are, your surgeon may choose to use sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape.
- Recovery and results. Once incisions are closed and the effects of the anesthesia have passed, you are officially in recovery. It’s important to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions for recovery, including caring for your incision lines. Over time, these will fade or disappear. You’ll notice the results immediately, however, remember that recovery is vital to help your body heal and let swelling disappear.
Male Breast Augmentation
If you are a guy trying to get a bigger, more toned and masculine chest, you’ll be happy to learn that we also specialize in Breast Augmentation for men, also referred to as pectoral implants. Some men are born with a thin or flat chest that resists muscle growth, regardless of the amount of exercise they do. With Male Breast Augmentation, the surgeon places an implant, usually made from silicone, beneath the pectoral muscles. The shape, size, and texture of these implants are specific for the male figure, resulting in a stronger and more masculine-looking chest.
The procedure is similar to breast augmentation for women, but the surgeon works with the male aesthetic goals in mind.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a male breast reduction, you’ll be more interested in learning about Gynecomastia surgery.
Gynecomastia is when men develop enlarged breasts with a somewhat feminine shape. This condition can be the result of weight gain, genetic predisposition, medications or hormonal imbalances. For many patients, exercise and diet will do nothing to decrease gynecomastia.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery can help: your surgeon will remove excess tissue and contour your chest, resulting in a defined and masculine shape. Visit our Male Breast Reduction page for additional information and resources.
Transgender Breast Augmentation
Transgender women and transfeminine spectrum non-binary patients will find a team of experts at VIDA that perform this procedure, tailoring every step of the surgery to their specific needs. Also referred to as feminizing augmentation mammoplasty, Transgender Breast Augmentation surgery is a process that complements hormone replacement therapy in enhancing the feminine shape of transwomen and non-binary patients. While hormone replacement therapy can help patients gain volume in their breasts, this may not be enough.
Here is where plastic surgery comes in. Our team of VIDA surgeons will give your chest a female contour through the use of implants, either silicone or saline-filled that will complement your desired shape. In order to achieve the best results, your surgeon may also combine implants with fat transfer from your belly, hips or thighs, therefore achieving a rounder breast shape that looks and feels natural.
Transgender Breast Augmentation is performed as an outpatient procedure, under general anesthesia. Following a consultation and a planning process that will involve constant communication with your surgeon and any other physician that is working with you in your transition, the result is a breast profile you are satisfied with.
Breast Augmentation Scars: What to Expect
When considering breast augmentation surgery, you should always talk to your surgeon about scars. The first thing you should know is that Breast Augmentation Scars are generally small and inconspicuous. Some of the most important things you should know about Breast Augmentation scars are:
- Scars can only develop in the incision sites, so ask your surgeon to work with you in finding the best place for your incisions. Expert surgeons always do incisions in a way that are naturally hidden, such as the fold of the breast or the armpit. If this is not possible, due to the nature of your Breast Augmentation surgery, scars can also be concealed in the darker skin of your areola.
- Scars can take 12 to 18 months to fully heal and fade. They may be red and raised at first, but these will improve with proper care and patience.
- The scars you end up having are influenced by factors such as your age, skin tone, sun exposure, general health, and the size and material of the implant.
There are steps you can take to help during your recovery! Since the breast augmentation scar healing process is long, a lot of what you do or don’t do after being discharged can have an impact on the final result. Some of the simplest things you can do to help minimize scarring are:
- Refrain from smoking. If you quit smoking a couple of months prior to the surgery you’ll see the best results.
- Include hydrating and nutrient-rich foods.
- Do not exfoliate, pick or scratch the incisions.
- Protect the area from sun exposure while it heals. Once scars are fully healed, apply sunscreen regularly.
- Wear your special bra for as long as your surgeon instructs you to.
- Ask your surgeon for a list of approved OTC remedies and how to use them, such as silicone sheets, scar gels, bandages, and even scar massages.
Breast Augmentation / Implants Costs in Tijuana
The average price for a breast augmentation surgery is $4,800 including surgeon fees, anesthesia, facility and medication during surgery. Prices may vary due to implant size or particular needs of each patient.
The cost for a Breast Augmentation in Mexico is much more affordable than in the US or Canada. In fact, it is so affordable that a lot of patients often wonder what is the catch, how can a breast augmentation be so cheap. The average cost of a Breast Augmentation in the US is $6,500 USD, without considering large cities, celebrity surgeons and surprise charges. On the other hand, the average cost for implants in Mexico is $4,800 USD. This cost considers getting your Breast Augmentation surgery in an internationally accredited clinic with a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience in breast surgeries.
Another thing to consider is that at VIDA Wellness and Beauty, a breast augmentation cost is very comprehensive, since it includes the following: transfers across the border from the San Diego International Airport, free planning consultation, the use of Vectra 3D to decide on the size and shape of implants, surgeon fees, anesthesia and anesthesiologist fees, facility fee, implants, and medications.
Breast Augmentation in Mexico has such a low cost because in general, overhead expenses, medical supplies, and healthcare are more affordable. In particular,the affordability of the country is what allows us to provide you with a medical experience that will surpass all expectations. We are also transparent when it comes to pricing, and always remind patients about the following additional costs that they need to factor in when planning a Breast Augmentation surgery in Mexico:
Overnight stays. A night at our state of the art Recovery Boutique costs $150 USD, which includes all of the comforts of home plus 24/7 nurse care and catered meals. Pain medications. Compression garments and specialty/sports bra.
Natural Breast Augmentation and Fat Transfer
Thanks to advancements in the fat-purification techniques used in fat grafting (aka fat transfer), natural breast augmentation or fat transfer breast augmentation is now a viable option. This procedure enhances your breasts by harvesting fat from another area of your body.
During natural breast augmentation, your experienced cosmetic surgeon uses liposuction techniques to harvest donor fat cells from an area of the body that has an ample amount of excess fat (e.g., the abdomen, thighs or hips). After purifying the harvested fat cells, they are re-injected into another part of your body requiring enhancement; in this case, your breasts.
One possible drawback to natural breast augmentation is that you must have a sufficient amount of excess fat in other parts of your body to harvest, so women with little body fat may not be suitable candidates. In addition, this method typically only allows women to augment the size of their breasts by about one bra-cup size. For more dramatic results, breast implants are generally required.
Is Natural Breast Augmentation Safe?
The short and simple answer is yes, natural breast augmentations can be safe. However, they are still a major surgery and we believe patients should not be deceived by the name.
Natural Breast Augmentations have become very popular because, as the name indicates, they are natural: there won’t be a foreign material in your body. Although natural breast augmentations are safe, they are still a major surgery.
When our patients ask if natural breast augmentation is safe or safer than breast augmentation with implants, we always emphasize the above mentioned point: it is safe, but it is a surgery. As such, natural breast augmentation can be a great option for women looking for a small increase in size, who have enough fat in another part of their body and who are aware that they’ll still need to go through the recovery process.
The best thing you can do is talk to a board-certified surgeon with experience in natural breast augmentation so you understand the benefits and risks of this approach. Breast implants and natural breast augmentations can be equally safe if performed by the right person: a plastic surgeon.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline
At VIDA Wellness and Beauty, we are committed to your safety and satisfaction. With this in mind, we perform our cosmetic surgery procedures in an American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilitates (AAAASF)-accredited surgical center. We also have leading board-certified anesthesiologists — not simply nurses or anesthesia technicians — on staff to assist during surgery. Breast augmentation is typically performed on an outpatient basis, but we also offer a comfortable recovery boutique for patients who would like to recover onsite and in style.
Immediately following your breast enhancement surgical procedure, the treated area may be tender, sore, painful or numb for the first few days. Again, those with implants placed under the chest muscle may have a more intense recovery period, especially in the first four to five days after surgery. Changes in breast sensation are normal; they are usually temporary and should subside with time. Taking the oral pain medication prescribed by your surgeon will help alleviate any discomfort you may feel during the initial phase of recovery.
Exercise after Breast Augmentation
During the initial recovery period, you should rest as much as possible, follow all your surgeon’s care instructions closely and abstain from any strenuous activity, including exercise and heavy lifting. However, to promote good blood circulation and reduce the risk of developing blood clots — especially in the legs — you should periodically take short walks around your home or the recovery boutique as soon as you feel capable.
Most patients go back to feeling “like themselves” 7 to 14 days after their Breast Augmentation surgery, however, it is best to wait before going back to a full exercise routine. While the final say is up to your plastic surgeon, here is an idea of what exercise after a breast augmentation will look like:
- 1-2 weeks after surgery: You’ll be feeling so good at this point, and in order to maintain that, you should not do any type of intense exercise during this time. Stick to walking and resuming your normal household activities, as your body heals and swelling continues to improve. Exercising too soon after surgery may increase the risk of complications.
- 2-3 weeks after surgery: Your surgeon will asses if you are ready to return to some moderate activity, such as low-impact cardio.
- 4 weeks after surgery: For patients wondering how long after breast augmentation surgery do they have to wait before working out, this is it. At 4 weeks post-op, you can usually resume all exercises with the exception of heavy lifting and contact sports. However, running, doing yoga, doing pilates and going for a bike ride are usually ok at this point.
- 6 weeks after surgery and beyond: Unless there are any complications, your surgeon will assess how your breasts are healing. If things are looking good, you will have no restrictions for exercising.
Should I Take off of Work for My Procedure?
You should be able to resume your work or daily schedule within one week after surgery, especially if your job or usual activities do not include heavy lifting or vigorous activity.
One of the most important things you need to consider when planning breast augmentation surgery is how long to take off work. Knowing how much time off you need after Breast Augmentation will help you ensure you give your body time to heal and decrease unnecessary anxiety from having to take some vacations.
As a general rule, you can return to work 1 to 2 weeks after your Breast Augmentation. This time off will give your body time to rest and recover. Don’t forget that during this period it’s crucial to take things easy, you don’t want to over-exercise yourself and feel uncomfortable again.
During your follow-up visits, your VIDA plastic surgeon will let you know when you can safely resume your normal activities, including your exercise routine.
Breast Augmentation Cost/ Breast Implant Prices
The full cost of breast augmentation varies by patient, based on several factors, including the certifications of the doctors, the type and size of breast implants and whether any other surgical procedures (e.g., breast lift) are being performed at the same time. Regardless of the type of implant you choose, the cost of breast implants is considerably lower at our Tijuana practice than in the States. At CosMed, the cost of breast augmentation is 50 to 60-percent less than it is in the USA, and we only use highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons, along with board-certified anesthesiologists.
Love Your Breasts. Love Yourself.
If you are ready to love not only your breasts but your entire self, it is time to contact VIDA Wellness and Beauty to schedule an appointment with CosMed). We have the tools, skills and knowledgeable, friendly staff to provide you with a holistic experience, rather than simply treating a single body part. We can offer nutritional advice, specialized medical advice, a full range of noninvasive cosmetic treatments and assistance in other areas, so you leave our center feeling overjoyed about your look — and your life.
To schedule a personal consultation with one of our CosMed board-certified plastic surgeons to find out more about your breast augmentation treatment options, please contact VIDA Wellness and Beauty by calling 1 (619)738-2144 (toll-free) now.
1. International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)