Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a Houston breast augmentation surgeon who has provided countless women in the greater Houston, Katy, and Pearland areas with fuller, shapelier breasts. Breast augmentation surgery, which ranks as the most common and most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S., uses saline or silicone implants to increase the size and shape of the breasts. Dr. Lapuerta will provide a thorough assessment and determine the best surgical technique to use to garner the best results. This includes whether to use saline or silicone implants, where to place the implant, and the best incision approach to take. He will also determine if a lift will be necessary in order to create the best outcome.
Breast implants are an excellent option for any woman who wants to alter the size or shape of her breasts. Breast augmentation can increase breast size, restore any volume lost after losing weight or pregnancy, and improve the symmetry between the left and right breast. This popular outpatient procedure can pay immediate dividends and improve the patient's appearance, as well as provide a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.
While the benefits of breast augmentation are undeniable, it is not for everyone. It is important to take the time to consider whether breast implants are right for you. Good candidates for breast augmentation in Houston, TX, with Dr. Lapuerta will be women who match these criteria:
- Your breasts are fully developed with no possibility of growing further.
- You feel that your breasts are too small for your body, which makes you feel self-conscious about your appearance.
- Your clothing fits perfectly around the hips but is too large and flowing around the chest.
- After pregnancy or losing a lot of weight, you find that your breasts have lost their natural shape and volume.
- As you age you find that your breasts are sagging or misshapen.
- Your breasts are noticeably asymmetrical, with one breast clearly smaller or shaped differently than the other.
- You have realistic expectations about what breast augmentation can provide for you.
Patients have a variety of options when it comes to breast implants. As breast augmentation procedures have continued to develop, breast implants have come to look and feel more realistic. Before undergoing a breast augmentation in Houston, Dr. Lapuerta will work with you to determine whether saline implants or silicone implants will best achieve your cosmetic goals. In terms of which type of breast implant is best, it all depends on your personal medical history, goals for breast augmentation, body type and weight, breast tissue size and structure, and personal preferences.
SALINE BREAST IMPLANTS
Saline breast implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution and offer no risk to the patient in terms of extracapsular spread or silicone leakage. Saline implants are appealing to many because they generally cost less than silicone implants. In some patients, silicone may be a better option due to the rippling that may occur along the edges of the saline implant that can be visible in thin-chested women. Patients considering saline implants must be at least 18 years of age.
SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS
Silicone breast implants are filled with a gel substance that looks and feels similar to natural breast tissue. They are ideal for women who are thin-chested. Silicone implants are specially engineered so that if the shell should become compromised (a surface crack), the silicone will remain intact within the implant (known as cohesive gel implants). Silicone implant defects are rare and can only be found through an MRI, unlike saline implants that can deflate. Patients must be at least 22 years of age to receive silicone implants.
Saline: MENTOR® or Allergan (branded as Natrelle®)
Silicone: Allergan (branded as Natrelle® Gel), Mentor (branded as MemoryGel®) and Sientra, known simply as Silicone Gel Breast Implants
For the majority of his breast augmentation patients, Dr. Lapuerta uses saline or silicone breast implants from Mentor. For some patients, their particular goals are better achieved with a silicone gel breast implant from Sientra. Only surgeons who are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are eligible to offer their patients implants from Sientra.
An implant profile depicts the distance the breast will project forward from the chest wall. Implants are made in low, moderate, high and extra high profiles.
Breast implants come in two shapes. Round implants tend to offer more fullness on the top of the breast, while teardrop implants are touted to mimic the shape and look of natural breasts. Dr. Lapuerta prefers round implants and finds the natural shaped implants can be problematic for some patients while not offering any benefit over a round implant.
Breast implants are made with a smooth or textured surface. Round implants can be chosen with either surface, while teardrop implants are made with a textured surface only. Dr. Lapuerta’s preference is to use smooth surface breast implants.
- Submammary (Retromammary): Under the mammary gland (breast tissue), over the muscle (sometimes called "subglandular")
- Subfascial (Retrofacial): Under the fascia of the muscle
- Dual Plane: Along two planes/layers
- Submuscular (Retromuscular): Partially under the muscle
- Complete Submuscular (Full retromuscular): All the way under the muscle
For the best outcome from breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Lapuerta takes into consideration many factors when deciding where the implant should be placed including, the patient’s desired implant size, the amount of natural breast tissue, the patient’s weight and chest muscle anatomy.
- Inframammary: The incision is made in the breast crease where the breast meets the torso
- Periareolar: The incision is made just under and along the areola
- Transaxillary: The incision is made in the armpit (Not Recommended)
- Transumbilical: The incision is made in the belly button (Not Recommended)
Dr. Lapuerta will take into account the patient’s preference, implant size and the degree of breast ptosis (breast “sagging”) when choosing the incision site. He performs both inframammary and periareolar incisions at the outpatient surgery facility, The Plastic Surgery Institute of Southeast Texas (PSI). Patients who are appropriate candidates and desire transaxillary breast augmentation will have their surgery done in a hospital setting. Dr. Lapuerta does not offer the transumbilical incision site.
Our Houston breast augmentation surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes 1-2 hours to complete. For safety, convenience and privacy reasons, most of Dr. Lapuerta’s patients choose to have their surgery in the accredited outpatient facility, PSI. Regardless of location, breast augmentation surgery is considered an outpatient procedure. Dr. Lapuerta will make a small incision near the breasts, creating a pocket to house the implant. Then, the saline or silicone breast implant will be carefully positioned in the pocket, either underneath the pectoral muscle or on top of the pectoral muscle but beneath the breast tissue. Where the breast implant is positioned will ultimately be determined by Dr. Lapuerta depending on a variety of factors.
During a pre-operative appointment with Dr. Lapuerta’s nurse, patients will be given clear and detailed instructions regarding exactly what they need to do after surgery in order for breast augmentation recovery to go as well as possible. Patients will need to rest for a couple of days after receiving breast implants in Houston, as it is normal to feel some discomfort in the first 1-2 days. However, in order to promote circulation and avoid blood clots, patients will be encouraged to move around. As the skin adjusts to the new breast size, it is normal to feel tightness, a sense of pressure, sensitivity, and itchiness in the chest area. There may also be some initial swelling and discoloration, but it should fade away rather quickly.
Patients may resume their normal exercise routines within 4-6 weeks. Until then, patients should avoid any strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting. It typically takes around 6 months for the breasts to fall into their final position. The result is a softer, natural looking breast appearance.
It can be difficult to estimate the cost of breast augmentation in Houston since each patient brings about a unique set of circumstances. However, breast implants from Dr. Lapuerta generally cost somewhere between $5500 and $7500. The cost for breast augmentation surgery will vary depending on whether saline implants or silicone implants are used. The average cost for breast augmentation using saline implants is about $6000. Silicone implants generally run about $1,000 more. In order to get an accurate estimate for the cost of breast implants, contact Dr. Lapuerta’s office to schedule a consultation today.