Breast Augmentation

Actual patient of Dr. Lowenstein

Actual patient of Dr. Lowenstein

Breast augmentation is a highly popular plastic surgery procedure in Santa Barbara and throughout the world.  With the largest selection of breast implants available in Santa Barbara, our breast enhancement facility allows a highly individualized approach to breast augmentation surgery.

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Our Selection of Breast Implants

The purpose of such a wide selection of breast implants is to allow each patient to choose the right fit for her.  There is no right or wrong, no “best” breast implant.  But for every woman, there is a “best” option for her.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of implant, and more information about each implant can be found on their individual page.

For more information download our free E-Book, Your Guide to Breast Augmentation

The Breast Implant Pocket

The “pocket” or “placement” of the breast implant refers to the position that the implant is placed in relative to the breast tissue and the muscle.  The pocket has a lot to do with the shape of the breast after surgery, and Dr. Lowenstein’s refinement of the “Dual Plane” pocket allows him to create the natural, tear drop shape that he is known for.  While breast implants have classically been placed in front of the muscle or behind the muscle, each of these positions has disadvantages of appearance or feel.  By combining the best aspects of each of these “older” styles of breast implant pockets and adding nuance techniques to address different breast types, Dr. Lowenstein’s dual plane approach allows optimal shaping and feel to your breast augmentation result.

The Breast Augmentation Incision

Several different types of incisions have been used for breast implant surgery.  Dr. Lowenstein’s preference is to use an incision below the breast in the natural crease, called the infra-mammary fold, or IMF.  This incision carries the lowest rates of breast implant hardening (capsular contracture) and the highest rates of symmetry, allowing both the right and left breasts to appear as close to each other in shape and size as possible.  Other incisions such as those in the belly button or armpit are very far from the area requiring the most detailed surgical work.  These incisions tend to create difficulty in optimizing a natural breast outcome.  The incision next to the nipple can be used, but this incision has a higher risk of problematic scarring, can often be seen in a standing or sitting position, and can cause the nipple itself to become deformed.  The infra-mammary incision preferred by Dr. Lowenstein allows for precise implant placement and because it is in the fold under the breast, it is well camouflaged and more difficult to detect.

Reasons that patients get breast implants…

I Have Small Breasts

Enlarging Small Breasts

Breast size is a very personal preference, and many patients with smaller breasts feel self-conscious about that fact.  Interestingly, this is also an issue in many women with large breasts as well.  Because the breast is a focal point for many women, using a breast implant to augment breast size allows many patients to feel more confident with themselves.  They can often find clothes fit better and enjoy shopping for fashion that previously would not have fit as well.

I Don't Like My Breast Shape

Improving Breast Shape

No two breasts are the same in size or shape.  Just as some women look for breast enhancement to make their breasts larger, some women want to change the shape of their breast to appear more attractive, or more tear-drop shaped.  Dr. Lowenstein’s advanced techniques of breast re-shaping use breast implants as well as particular maneuvers in surgery to create an aesthetic breast appearance.  Sometimes this requires a shaped implant, while other times a round breast implant can produce the best shape.  Changing the look of the upper breast or the lower breast are both options that you can discuss with Dr. Lowenstein during your consultation.

My Breasts Changed After Pregnancy

Rejuvenating Breasts After Pregnancy

Many patients describe having very nice breasts before they had children, but the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy often take a toll on the breast with or without breast feeding.  Enhancing breasts that have deflated or become smaller is a frequent reason for plastic surgery.  (Alternatively, some women have breast enlargement associated with pregnancy and they require a reduction in size.)  Breasts that deflate with children may require both a breast augmentation and a lift- this can be discussed during your consultation to plan an individualized plan to rejuvenate your specific situation.

My Breast Surgery Needs to be Revised

Breast Augmentation Revision

Because of Dr. Lowenstein’s reputation, many women come to consult for revision of previous breast surgery performed elsewhere.  Breast implant malposition, asymmetry, capsular contracture, and implant rupture are all reasons that patients operated on elsewhere my seek Dr. Lowenstein’s help for secondary breast surgery.  Improvement in these cases may require different implants, scar excision, pocket changes, or tissue release to achieve an optimal outcome. 

Dr. Lowenstein’s Breast Implant Guarantee

Dr. Lowenstein uses two brands of implants- the simple saline implants and all of the silicone gel breast implants at our practice come from the Mentor corporation.  Manufactured in the United States, this company provides the highest quality implants available.  The Ideal Implant Corporation in California has created the structured saline implant.  Also made in the USA, these implants are recently introduced but thoroughly studied and of course, FDA approved.

Included in the price of your surgery are the guarantees that these manufacturers place on these implants.

  •   Ideal Implant guarantees their breast implants for 10 years against rupture.
  •   Mentor guarantees their breast implants for 10 years agains rupture.
  •   Mentor guarantees their breast implants against capsular contracture for 10 years for your first implant surgery.

For our patients, this means that if this is your first breast augmentation and your Mentor implant ruptures or has a significant contracture issue, or your Ideal implant ruptures, the corresponding company will replace your implants for free.  Each company will also give you some money for the cost of the surgery to replace the implants.  If you return to Dr. Lowenstein during the guarantee period, your charges will be no more than the money given to you by the breast implant company.   In other words, there will be no money out of your pocket (except for medications and pre-operative testing) if you return to our practice in these cases.

Dr. Lowenstein Discusses Breast Augmentation

 

FAQS: BREAST AUGMENTATION

Does Breast Augmentation Hurt?

Breast implant surgery is performed under general anesthesia, meaning that you are completely asleep during the procedure.  While there will likely be some discomfort after surgery, patients are given medications to help manage any pain that only usually lasts for a few days.  Because pain is very subjective, it is hard to say how each patient will perceive the discomfort.  Plenty of Dr. Lowenstein’s patients don’t take any pain medication at all, but we want you to be comfortable and will always supply a prescription for pain control.

What is capsular contracture?

Normal scar tissue that naturally surrounds the implant is called a capsule, and is usually soft and supple.  In some instances, this scar tissue can become thick and hard and contract around the implant, and this is called capsular contracture.  Capsular contracture can happen to anyone, and it is not very predictable.  We know that there are certain things that can be done to lessen the risk of contracture, and Dr. Lowenstein uses tools and techniques to achieve a very low contracture rate- much lower than the national average.

Can my implants leak or rupture?

Very few things in the world last forever, and your breast implants are no different.  Given enough time, your implants will likely leak and need to be replaced.  This is a fact that should be considered by every breast implant patient.  Both simple and structured saline implants will get smaller when leaking, and so daily examination can assure you that your implants are intact.  If you notice one breast smaller than the other, saline may be leaking out of the implant and safely being absorbed by your body.  If you have silicone filled implants, a leakage cannot be detected by examination.  The FDA asks all patients with silicone implants to get an MRI after three years and every other year after that to detect these “silent ruptures”.  In either case, a leaking implant should be replaced.

What is recovery from breast implant surgery like?

Dr. Lowenstein will see you the day following your operation, and therefore patients who are not from the immediate area will overnight at a local hotel.  He will then want to see you the following week, and periodically after that.  While Dr. Lowenstein likes his patients to avoid strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks after surgery, most women get back to their usual routine, and back to work after a week or so.  Patients with small children will need some extra help to avoid having the little ones accidentally hit or kick their new breasts.

How do we determine what size is best for me?

During your consultation, Dr. Lowenstein will take detailed measurements of your breasts to determine the best base width of the implant to be used.  We will also be asking some very particular questions about the size that you want to be.  Based on these points of information, Dr. Lowenstein will provide several different breast implant sizers that you can use in a sizing bra to show your desired outcome.  Your breast augmentation will be based on this desired outcome and the implant choice that you have made.  Dr. Lowenstein will be most focused on how you want to look rather than the number of milliliters in the implant that you have picked, as sometimes a given implant looks different inside the breast pocket as opposed to on top of the breast in a sizing bra.  His goal is to provide you with an outcome commensurate with what you show us in the office, and we are very very good at achieving results that match your goals.

Can I estimate the best breast implant size for me from what a friend has gotten?

Because every patient is different in body form, comparing your friend’s implants to yours can be less than helpful.  For example, if you have a friend who is six feet tall and you are five feet tall, a 300cc implant is going to look very different in each of your bodies, relative to the rest of you.  It is important that during your consult you have the opportunity to find a breast implant size that is right for you individually, as your breast augmentation is performed to fit your body specifically.

 

Learn a Little more with Our Procedure Video: