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Breast Augmentation

What Is Breast Augmentation?

breast10Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery. With over 300,000 breast augmentations performed in the United States alone in 2017, more and more women are turning toward this procedure for a fuller and more proportionate bust. Over the past 40 years, breast implant options, surgical techniques, and even the consultation process have continued to advance, allowing our breast augmentation surgeon, Dr. Neil Zemmel, to achieve beautiful and natural breast augmentation results for many of his patients. Full, symmetrical, and proportionate breasts can help clothing fit better, boost self-confidence, and give your body a more youthful appearance.

Why Choose Breast Augmentation?

Our patients at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery choose breast augmentation for a wide variety of reasons. While increasing the size and volume of the breasts is certainly a major goal of many patients, there are a number of other common concerns women wish to address with breast augmentation, including:

  • Creating better symmetry between the breasts
  • Repositioning the nipple and areola
  • Correcting breast abnormalities
  • Restoring lost volume after pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Improving the fit of clothing
  • Increasing self-confidence

Patients seeking breast augmentation should be in relatively good health without significant medical issues.

Breast augmentation surgery has a very high patient satisfaction rate and a low complication rate.

Dr. Zemmel will review your medical history and determine if you are a candidate for breast augmentation surgery. If you are a good candidate for the procedure, Dr. Zemmel will work with you to design a surgical approach that is custom-tailored to address your unique concerns and meet your expectations.

Am I A Candidate For Breast Augmentation?

Women who desire fuller, more symmetrical breasts that are proportionate with their individual body type can be candidates for breast augmentation.

Ideal candidates for this procedure are typically those who are in good health, lead a relatively active lifestyle, and maintain healthy eating habits.

During the consultation process, Dr. Zemmel will perform an examination as well as review your medical history to determine if breast augmentation is the best procedure to achieve your personal aesthetic goals. In some cases, Dr. Zemmel may recommend combining breast augmentation with a breast lift in order to achieve the results you desire. This will depend on your overall size and shape, the quality of your skin, and the position of the nipple.

I had the best experience with Dr Zemmel and his staff. They were very caring and reassuring thru out the whole procedure. Very through and very knowledgeable. They answered questions before I could ask them, which made me very comfortable and assured that I was getting the best care. My Breast Augmentation turned out better than I expected. I am very happy with the outcome. I highly recommend Dr. Zemmel and his caring staff.

Tj P

May 05, 2016


What Can I Expect in the Breast Augmentation Consultation?

Dr. Zemmel believes that each breast augmentation procedure requires a custom-tailored approach to meet the needs and desires of every unique patient. Since he does not believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, Dr. Zemmel will spend time getting to know your goals and expectations regarding your final look. This will guide Dr. Zemmel to determine the best way to approach your individual procedure. Dr. Zemmel’s goal during the breast augmentation consultation is to educate you with regards to the different breast implant types, sizes, and shapes and different surgical approaches available. This will allow you to make the most informed decision for your procedure. In addition to a photo gallery of results from Dr. Zemmel’s previous patients, you will have the benefit of being able to view a 3D computer-generated “preview” of the potential results of your procedure. Using VECTRA® 3D Imaging technology, you can virtually “try on” various implant options to help you decide which type of implant may best fulfill your needs.


What Types of Breast Implants Are Available?

Selecting an implant size and type is one of the most important decisions you will make during your consultation, and Dr. Zemmel is here to help you navigate your breast implant options. In addition to finding the right size and profile for your figure, there are different advantages to consider when choosing between silicone or salinetextured or smooth, and round or anatomically shaped implants.


A complete breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Zemmel lasts approximately one hour. During the consultation, Dr. Zemmel will provide you with a quote for the procedure. This will include all of the fees associated with your procedure. The operating room fees, anesthesia fees, implant costs, and surgeon’s fees will be included. All postoperative care is included. Our practice accepts a number of payment methods and we also offer financing options for cosmetic breast surgery. At the end of your time with Dr. Zemmel, you should feel confident in your decisions regarding the procedure and have all of your remaining questions answered.

If you decide to proceed with surgery you will have another full consultation with Dr. Zemmel. This gives you another opportunity to ask additional questions and to finalize your implant choice. Dr. Zemmel is always available to address your concerns and to make sure you are completely comfortable with the procedure.

How Is the Breast Augmentation Procedure Performed?

To prepare for your breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Zemmel will provide you with a packet of pre-operative instructions. It is particularly important for patients to stop smoking a minimum of two weeks before your scheduled surgery. If you are having a breast lift with your breast augmentation of a body contouring procedure, you will be asked to cease smoking a minimum of 4 weeks in advance. You will also be given a list of medications to avoid before your procedure. This list includes medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others that may increase the risk of bleeding.

The procedure itself typically takes less than an hour to complete and is considered minimally-invasive.

Your comfort and safety during the procedure is Dr. Zemmel’s primary concern. All breast augmentation surgeries performed by Dr. Zemmel take place in a fully accredited operating room, and Board Certified Anesthesiologists as well as Board Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists administer all anesthesia.

By having the surgery performed in a hospital and under the care of highly qualified professionals, patients are in the safest possible environment, and should a rare complication occur, the full resources of the hospital are available.

breast_incisionsConceptually, a breast augmentation is a procedure to create a soft tissue pocket to accommodate a breast implant. There are a number of techniques available to create this pocket, and Dr. Zemmel will tailor your procedure specifically to your shape and body structure. The breast augmentation incision location (Inframammary, Periareolar, or Transaxillary) as well as the pocket location (Submuscular, Subglandular, or Dual Plane) and implant type will play a major role in the appearance of your final results. Dr. Zemmel typically uses the no-touch Keller Funnel system to place implants, which increases patient safety and the efficiency of the procedure. He will discuss the surgical approach he will use for your procedure during the consultation process so that you can choose a technique that will make you feel comfortable, as well as provide you with the cosmetic results you desire.


What Is Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?

Recovery from a breast augmentation comes from your soft tissues (your breast tissue, skin, and pectoralis muscle) stretching to accommodate the implant. The majority of Dr. Zemmel’s patients have mild to moderate discomfort after surgery, which resolves in 5 to 7 days. To alleviate any post-operative discomfort, you will be prescribed muscle relaxants and analgesics that you can fill before the day of your surgery. Many patients liken the feeling after breast augmentation to the muscle soreness you would feel after an intense workout. Dr. Zemmel takes great care while performing the operation and uses a “gentle hand” to reduce any associated downtime as well as the visibility of any scars. With his years of experience and skill, he strives to minimize tissue trauma and allow for a swift recovery. Patients typically feel completely recovered within 5-7 days of their procedure. During this period, you will have a couple of follow-up visits with Dr. Zemmel to monitor your healing.

Although you will notice an immediate change after your breast augmentation, the final results of your procedure will not be visible for several weeks. As the body heals, any swelling of the breasts should dissipate and your implants will settle into their final position.

Following the first week of your recovery, you will also be instructed on how to perform post-operative breast massage. This massage is intended to break up any developing scar tissue and keep your implants looking and feeling natural. Dr. Zemmel recommends that his patients practice this massage technique three times a day for about three months to optimize the results of their procedure.

What Will My Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?

The location of your scarring after breast augmentation surgery will depend upon the technique used for your implant placement. For example, if your implant is placed through a periareolar incision, you will have a scar bordering the areola. Whereas, a transaxillary incision produces a scar in the underarm area, and an inframammary incision leaves a scar in the natural crease beneath the breast fold. Dr. Zemmel takes great care to make incisions as small as possible to ensure minimal scarring after surgery. The incisions should heal quickly, and with the use of topical scar treatments recommended by Dr. Zemmel, any scars should soften and fade during this time. Depending upon your incision type, you may not see many signs of visible scarring after just a few months. Scars are typically completely healed by one year.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

Since each woman chooses to undergo breast augmentation for personal reasons, Dr. Zemmel customizes each procedure based upon the wants and needs of the individual. As a result, there is no set price for breast augmentation. On average, breast augmentation ranges from about $6,000 to $8,000 in the Richmond, Virginia area. Many variables can influence this total cost, including the implant type, implant placement, incision type, and overall complexity of the procedure. In addition, when comparing the cost of breast augmentation surgeons, keep in mind that the experience of the plastic surgeon as well as your geographic location can affect the total price.

At the conclusion of your preliminary consultation, Dr. Zemmel will be able to provide you with a personalized quote for your custom breast augmentation, based upon your physical exam and a discussion of your cosmetic goals. For patients seeking flexible methods of payment, our plastic surgery financing options can offer qualifying patients low monthly installment plans with little to no interest. Our lending partners also offer co-signing options. To learn more about financing the cost of your breast augmentation, please contact a member of our staff today.

Do I Need a Breast Augmentation with a Lift?

A breast augmentation is designed to increase the size of the breasts and restore lost volume. While the shape of the breasts is typically improved with breast augmentation and the breasts may achieve a small “lift” due to increased volume, the procedure does not address excess skin or moderate to severe sagging of the breasts. For patients with skin around the breasts that has lost elasticity due to weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or simply the natural aging process, combining breast augmentation with a breast lift can achieve a more complete rejuvenation. During the consultation process, Dr. Zemmel can recommend which breast surgery technique can best achieve your goals.


Breast Implants vs. Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

While implants are the most popular method of surgically enhancing breast size, advancements in plastic surgery has allowed for fat transfer to become a viable option for many patients. This process involves extracting excess fat from a donor area of the body, such as the hips or abdomen, and then preparing and reintroducing it to the breasts. This “natural” breast augmentation technique can produce an especially natural look and feel to the breasts, though a portion of the transferred fat is absorbed by the body over time. This makes it more difficult to get a significant increase in breast size by only using one’s own fat. However, the technique can provide beautiful results for candidates wanting more subtle results.

Breast implants, on the other hand, can provide a larger breast enhancement that many women desire. Dr. Zemmel offers a variety of implant types, shapes, and sizes to fully customize the breast augmentation procedure according to each patient’s aesthetic goals. Although breast implants come with their own limitations, just like fat transfer, implants have been refined for decades to ensure optimal safety and provide natural-looking outcomes.

Each augmentation method comes with its own pros and cons, and Dr. Zemmel can discuss these with you during your consultation to help you find the most beneficial procedure.


How to Choose a Breast Augmentation Surgeon

Finding a qualified plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation is vital for achieving your desired results and ensuring a safe procedure. When researching and consulting with professionals, try to find plastic surgeon that offers the following qualities:

  • Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Experienced with breast augmentation
  • Can show you before-and-after photos of their patients
  • Is honest about the benefits and limitations of your procedure

In addition, you should always feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon, knowing they have your best interest at heart. If you ever begin to question a surgeon’s skill, that might be a sign you should keep looking for the right one. As you go through your breast augmentation journey, you should be able to develop a relationship with your surgeon, trusting their expertise and being able to openly communicate with them.


Contact Us

To learn more about breast augmentation at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today.

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