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This complete guide to Breast Augmentation Surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions
  • Before and after gallery
  • Learn more about Breast Augmentation

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What is Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation?

At Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz specializes in Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation, also known as the “no-touch technique.” This innovative approach uses special instruments and techniques to minimize tissue damage and avoid rib contact during the breast augmentation procedure (hence the term “no-touch”), causing far less trauma to the surrounding tissue when compared to traditional approaches. Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation can dramatically reduce patients’ discomfort following the procedure, as well as their recovery time. After our plastic surgeon began using this technique, his team interviewed each patient post-operatively to assess the results. They discovered that 95 percent of women returned to normal daily activities within 24 hours. In his decades of experience as a plastic surgeon, there is an unequivocally significant difference in the recovery times of breast augmentation patients using this approach. Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz now recommends this technique for almost all of his patients interested in breast augmentation.

At Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery, we seek to use only the safest and most effective techniques. So, it goes without saying that we use only the very latest implant delivery system called STINGRAY BREAST AUGMENTATION for all of our breast implant patients. This cutting-edge, newly released system helps prevent biofilm (think hard, painful implant capsules). STINGRAY incorporates a new sheet technology to help prevent future problems so you can enjoy the natural softness of your implants over the years.

Dr. Gryskiewicz has written extensively about this cutting-edge procedure in various national academic publications, such as the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Learn more about Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation by following the links below:


Learn about Breast Augmentation with Dr. Joe: Play Video

What Can Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation Accomplish?

Breast augmentation is a very popular enhancement surgery. It is certainly the most common surgical procedure performed at our Minneapolis practice. Nationally, the average age of a woman seeking breast augmentation is around 32 years old; however, patients range in age from 18 years old to women in their 60s. Many individuals consider breast augmentation to combat the loss of breast volume that naturally occurs after pregnancy and nursing.

From our doctors’ experience, the average breast augmentation patient has had two or more children and has breastfed at least one of them. Breastfeeding typically causes the skin and breast tissue to lose elasticity, resulting in breast sag and a smaller breast appearance. In fact, most women’s breasts become smaller after bearing children even if they don’t breastfeed.

Depending on your cosmetic goals, breast augmentation can alleviate these concerns by:

  • Enhancing breast size and shape
  • Restoring breast volume or shape lost through pregnancy
  • Achieving a pre-pregnancy breast appearance
  • Helping clothes and swimwear fit better
  • Correcting asymmetries or differences in breast size
  • Reconstructing the breasts after a mastectomy procedure (from cancer or premalignant conditions)

Many women choose breast augmentation as a component of a comprehensive Mommy Makeover for a full restoration of their pre-pregnancy figure. While this enhancement surgery can increase breast volume and fullness, breast augmentation is not designed to improve substantial breast sag. For patients who wish to increase their breast size in conjunction with restoring the breasts’ youthful positioning on the chest wall, a breast lift with implants generally yields benefits of both a breast augmentation and a breast lift.

Surgery is done on a same-day basis and typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

What are My Breast Implant Options?

Types of Breast Implants

At our practice, Dr. Joe uses both silicone and saline implants. Silicone gel implants look more natural and feel softer when compared to saline implants, with less of a chance of visible wrinkling. Studies have shown that silicone implants do not increase the incidence of disease, or the chances of developing breast and other cancers.

Saline implants are typically less expensive. A saline implant can be inserted through a smaller incision and is more easily adjusted for minor size discrepancies between each breast during surgery. Implants also come in various shapes. About 99 percent of the time, a standard round implant is inserted. During a consultation, you and your plastic surgeon can thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of each implant and determine the most ideal shape, type, and size to fulfill your unique needs and aesthetic goals.

Implant Placement

Dr. Joe is an expert at placing implants under the muscle. The alternative is to place the implant on top of the muscle, but under the breast tissue. The incidence of irregularities may be higher when the implant is placed on top of the muscle, especially if a patient has little overlying breast tissue to cover the edges of the implant.


Incision Location

Potential approaches to implant insertion include placing incisions in the armpit, around the areola, or in the crease at the base of the breast. Patients will be able to decide the location of their incision. Some women opt for the armpit incision because they prefer to avoid a cut on their breasts. The incision is the entry point used to create a pocket for the implant. Once the implant is in position, the incision is closed.


Choosing an Implant Size

Typically, our plastic surgeon measures a patient’s rib cage, breast fold, tissue thickness, breast width, and even the distance to the belly button and shoulders during their examination to better ascertain how she will carry a certain size implant. Many patients are reluctant to obtain a substantially larger breast size because of worries that the change will be too obvious. Our plastic surgeon advises going home, stuffing your bra with silk stockings or handkerchiefs, and wearing loose clothing — that way the change won’t be as noticeable. If a patient suddenly appears larger overnight, an acutely aware person (usually her mother!) may put it all together.

So how do you decide which size to pick? Terms like “bigger,” “not too big,” and “just enough,” don’t communicate your desires very clearly. Placing implants of various sizes or plastic bags filled with rice in your bra may be slightly more helpful. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of breast augmentation, it’s worth ten times more. Our doctor asks patients to bring in wish pictures from a website or magazine to help them understand what breast size and shape they want.

Dr. Joe also encourages patients to review his before-and-after photos and to choose from our office pre-op and post-op photo gallery. He advises individuals to look for patients with your body proportions, age, height, weight, and cup size, both pre-op and post-op. Printing these photos and bringing them in can help clearly communicate patient desires. Don’t hesitate to rank these photos in terms of size and implant position and write notes on the picture. It’s always encouraged to be frank about expectations. One to three pictures that communicate your aesthetic ideal is sufficient. Our plastic surgeon refers frequently to these pictures in the operating room as he performs the procedure.

How is Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation Performed?

Patients take three Hibiclens (chlorhexidene) showers the night before surgery. Washing the chest and armpits helps prevent infection. During surgery, patients are given a specific intravenous antibiotic, which kills the exact germ implicated in the formation of breast implant capsules (firmness). Surgery is done on a same-day basis and typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete. With modern techniques, many patients have surgery on a Friday and are back to work on Monday. Pain medication is prescribed to alleviate any discomfort. A muscle relaxer and anti-nausea medication are also prescribed. Patients may not have to take antibiotic pills after surgery.

Before surgery, our plastic surgeon uses a marker to draw the incisions and mark the entire surgical plan on a patient’s chest. The plan includes the type of incision (the patient chooses one of three incisions), the implant size on each side (equal amounts on each side, or more on one side if a breast is smaller), the placement of the implant (high, middle, or low), and finally, the placement toward the inside or outside of the breastbone. While looking in a mirror, patients will verify whether the demarcated plan is exactly what they have in mind. Crystal-clear communication is essential to ensuring each patient achieves the results she desires.

After the implants are inserted, the patient is placed in a sitting position while she is still asleep. Then the enhancement is observed from every angle and the implants’ position is adjusted to attain the desired outcome. Size may be adjusted for saline implants.

Many of St. Paul and Minneapolis patients want cleavage from breast enlargement, but often this is not possible. The muscle attachments are released as far towards the middle of the breastbone as possible. If you have a wide space between your breasts because of a broad sternum, you may never be as close together as you want you to be, but your plastic surgeon will release you as far as safely possible.

What Should I Do After Breast Augmentation?

For many patients, waking up in the recovery room and seeing their new breasts for the first time is one of the most exciting parts of surgery. The implants may be swollen for a few days and are naturally tight. The breasts typically soften gradually and take on a more natural shape over the next six months.
After your surgery, there are three very important things to do. The first is elevating your arms over your head. You should begin to do this six to eight hours after surgery. Do a set of three arm raises every hour before going to bed. The worst thing a marathoner can do after a race is lie around and do nothing. Instead, stretching and walking help the muscles recover more rapidly. The same principle holds true for the Quick Recovery™ method. You may lift objects that weigh less than 30 pounds and drive a car if you’re not taking prescription pain medication.

The second is actually a “don’t.” Don’t baby your breasts. You can’t hurt or rupture your implants or rip open your stitches—a common but unnecessary fear—by going about your daily routine. Look at your breasts in a mirror. They’re not the same as what you’ve been used to all these years and they are going to feel strange for a while, so it’s important to become familiar with them.

Finally, massage your breasts from each side pushing inward toward the sternum with your hands. Massage twice daily for two years. This helps prevent a buildup of scar tissue around the implant that would make the breasts feel too firm.

What is Recovery for Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation Like?

Patients can and should go about their normal activities after the procedure. Guidelines will be provided regarding aerobic activities, dressings, and other issues at discharge time. Most individuals are able to return to work within a few days, depending on the level of activity required for your job. The breasts will likely be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so patients should avoid physical contact during that time. Scars will be firm and pink for at least six weeks. They may remain the same size, or may appear to widen, for several months. They will never disappear completely, but will typically fade and flatten over time.

It’s common to feel a little depressed in the week or so following surgery. This is a normal reaction to the anesthesia and the changes the body has undergone. The best course of action is to simply ride it out, and try not to worry about it too much. Patients affected should feel better soon.

When having mammography, it’s important to notify the technician about the implants so additional views can be taken to examine the breast tissue more effectively. An implant will impair the accuracy of a mammogram to some extent. Choose a radiologist who is familiar with the special techniques that can enhance the results of the exam.

Patients performing arm exercises the day after surgery was performed:
Before and After Images

*Individual Results May Vary

What are the Risks and Limitations of a Breast Augmentation?

Implants can rupture. A rupture is usually a small, pinpoint leak that can develop on the implant’s edge. It’s like an old sweater that has worn through the elbow, while the buttons are holding just fine. The implant’s valve would be like the buttons—still working—while friction on the implant shell day in and day out can cause an area to spring a leak.

There is usually no need to replace a saline implant unless it ruptures. There are patients at our practice who have implants that have been fine for almost 20 years. A small percentage of patients experience implants that have ruptured and require replacement.

Rarely, implants can become infected. It is extremely important to have surgery at an approved facility with flawless and sterile techniques. The most common complication of breast implants is excessive firmness, in which the breast feels harder than the patient or surgeon would like. This happens in about three to five percent of women following surgery in our doctor’s experience. Nipple numbness occurs in about three percent of cases. Patients sign an extremely long consent form, which lists virtually every known complication or adverse outcome.

What are the Results of Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation?

Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation is not a gimmick. These specialized techniques—which speed recovery and allow patients to return to their daily routine, kids, and work faster than traditional approaches—are published in the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Aesthetic Surgery Journal. These plastic surgery journals are “peer-reviewed” and edited, so they are the gold standard in our field as proving valid. Therefore, these are sound techniques, not marketing hype.  These journals also prove that the armpit approach area does not have an increased incidence of infection.

Complications are generally rare. Your surgeon can answer any questions you may have about the risks and can put them in perspective to ease your mind or help you decide not to proceed with surgery.

What Will My Breast Augmentation Scars Look Like?

The shape and size of your scar after breast surgery depends on which incision was used to create the implant pocket. While all incisions are placed discreetly—either within a fold of the armpit, along the borders of the areola, or in the natural fold of the breast crease—all surgeries will leave behind some degree of visible scarring. However, once the incision heals properly, the resulting scar is often virtually undetectable and can be well-hidden underneath a bra or bikini top. Plus, scars from breast augmentation usually fade to some extent over time, especially if post-operative instructions on proper incision care are adhered to.

How Long Will My Breast Implants Last?

In most cases, breast implants can last over ten years. Implants typically do not need to be replaced unless a complication arises, such as implant rippling, rupture, or capsular contracture. If this occurs, or if you simply would like an updated implant, you can remove or exchange your implants for another size or type in a breast revision surgery.

It’s important to remain proactive about the condition of your implants as the years go by. While a leak or rupture can be immediately noticeable in saline implants, detecting a potential issue in silicone or form-stable implants is often less explicit. Unlike a saline implant, which can deflate and cause an asymmetrical breast appearance upon rupture, silicone and cohesive gel implants usually keep their shape during a leak. You may never even know if you have a leak in a gel implant. If you have any concerns about a change in the way your implants look or feel, always schedule an evaluation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.


How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

Each patient will have a different cost estimate for their breast augmentation procedure, with the price generally calculated according to:

  • The surgical technique used
  • The type of implants chosen
  • The overall complexity of the procedure

Once your needs and aesthetic goals are evaluated in a consultation, our patient care coordinator will be able to provide a personalized quote of your breast augmentation expenses as well as your payment options. Qualified patients can make the cost of their breast augmentation more affordable through plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® or Alphaeon™ Credit, two highly reputable healthcare lending companies that offer the option of paying for your treatment over a short or long-term payment plan. With each of these financing institutions, you can select the most ideal payment plan for your budgetary concerns once approved through a simple application process. Best of all, there are a number of low- to no-interest options to suit a wide range of patient needs. If you have any questions, please reach out to Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery for more information.

Can I Breastfeed with Breast Implants?

Breast implants typically do not affect the ability to nurse; however, it’s important to note that not all women are able to breastfeed in the first place. If you have breastfed prior to surgery without issues, breast augmentation shouldn’t deter milk production as long as the areolas are kept intact. Always be sure to discuss your desires to breastfeed after breast augmentation with your plastic surgeon so he or she can utilize the appropriate techniques to preserve nursing function. Avoiding harm to the areolas by placing incisions within the breast crease or underarms can also strengthen the likelihood of successful breastfeeding after surgery.

Breast Augmentation FAQs

How much do breast implants weigh?

Saline breast implants weigh roughly 0.21 pounds per 100 cc’s, while silicone implants are slightly heavier at 0.23 pounds per 100 cc’s. Upgrading the volume of your breasts one cup size will typically require a 200 cc implant and most patients opt to add approximately 300 to 400 cc’s per breast (two cup sizes), equating to around 1.5 pounds of weight. We looked at roughly 7,000 breast implants placed in our practice over a period of ten years, and the average size was a 350 cc implant. That said, the best implant size for your cosmetic goals depends on your body frame, anatomical indicators, and desired aesthetic result.

What do breast implants feel like?

Each type of breast implant will feel differently, depending on whether saline or silicone implants are placed. Silicone implants are typically softer than saline implants, and feel more natural to the touch. No type of breast implant will feel exactly like natural breast tissue, but placing it under the muscle can decrease the likelihood of implant detection.

How should I sleep after breast augmentation?

Patients should sleep on their back while healing from breast surgery, avoiding spending long stretches of time laying on the sides or stomach for at least a few weeks.

How painful is breast augmentation?

Since breast augmentation is performed under general anesthesia, patients are unconscious and feel no pain during surgery. After the procedure, pain is manageable with oral medication and subsides within a few days. The majority of discomfort and/or tightness should dissipate within two weeks of recovery.

What type of bra should I wear after breast augmentation?

If a surgical bra is not provided, it’s generally best to wear a supportive bra that opens in the front. Sometimes Dr. Joe recommends an underwire bra to help shape the breast fold. A shoestring can be used in some cases to help tighten the fold. Our team will customize your individual plan because each patient is unique.

What is implant rippling and how can it be fixed?

Rippling refers to the ability to see or feel the edges of an implant underneath the skin. While this is one of the most common complications associated with breast augmentation, there are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of implant rippling and ensure your enhancement looks and feels natural. In certain cases, our plastic surgeon may use fat transfer to soften the edges of an implant and provide a smoother, more supple outcome. This involves taking excess fat from another part of the body and transferring it to the breast contours, thereby allowing a greater degree of coverage. If you have a petite body frame or thin breast skin, your implants may also be placed underneath the chest muscle rather than directly behind the breast tissue. This can significantly decrease the chances of rippling and give your implants more protection than an over-the-muscle approach.

When can I exercise after breast augmentation?

It’s very important to avoid aerobic exercise and strenuous activities until you’re fully healed from your breast augmentation. The Quick Recovery™ Breast Augmentation technique at our practice often allows patients to experience an accelerated recovery period when compared to more traditional approaches to the procedure. We have placed thousands of implants and typically allow our patients to exercise fully and vigorously at three weeks. This includes jogging, lifting weights, gym workouts, horseback riding, or physical intimacy. Rest assured that your plastic surgeon will give you personalized medical advice regarding when it’s safe to resume exercise after breast augmentation.

What is fat transfer breast augmentation?

Fat transfer breast augmentation, sometimes known as “natural breast augmentation,” is a technique designed to subtly enhance the breasts using a patient’s own tissue instead of implants. This approach cannot produce a significant increase in one’s breast size or breast volume, but fat transfer is often utilized to correct contour irregularities, soften the contours, and provide a very mild breast enhancement. The average size increase after two sessions of fat grafting is 170 cc, which is slightly less than one cup size. If you’re interested in lightly augmenting the breasts but prefer to avoid using implants, fat transfer breast augmentation may be an ideal treatment option. This possibility can be discussed in your consultation.

How long after breast augmentation can I swim?

As mentioned above, patients can swim three weeks after their breast augmentation procedure. Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you further insight into activity restrictions after your surgery.

Is breast augmentation safe?

Yes, the safety and predictability of breast augmentation has been extensively researched for decades and the procedure is considered very low-risk for patients who are good candidates for surgery. The best way to maximize your safety is to ensure you’re under the care of a highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who has a proven record of excellent breast augmentation results.

Your decision to have breast augmentation is a personal one. If the surgery has met your expectations, that’s all that matters. If you have any additional questions, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.