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Although some women are comfortable with smaller breasts, others rely on padded bras to give the illusion of larger breasts. Breast augmentation offers a permanent solution to increase your cup size instead of relying on your lingerie. Breast augmentation also restores fullness to breasts that have been affected by pregnancy and nursing, weight fluctuation, or age-related changes.

Not feeling comfortable in your own skin can lead to intimacy issues and a lack of self-confidence. Because each woman has unique needs and concerns, Dr. Placik takes a customized approach to each patient’s breast augmentation surgery to deliver the most beautiful outcome. Please schedule a consultation with our exceptional board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your breast augmentation options.

What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular surgical procedures amongst women. This is a procedure wherein various techniques, such as saline implants, silicone implants, or fat grafting, increase your breast size. Breast augmentation primarily aims to increase your cup size or restore symmetry to your breasts.

Some patients opt for breast augmentation to reverse the effects of age, weight changes, or pregnancy, while others do it to enhance the appearance of their natural breasts. You can also combine breast augmentation with a breast lift for better results, especially if you have sagging breasts.

Patient Not a Model

Am I a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Not being happy with the appearance of your breasts can be detrimental to your sense of femininity and self-esteem. Whether your breasts seem too small, not shapely enough, not perky enough, or you want to improve the appearance of asymmetrical breasts, Dr. Placik can help.

Breast augmentation with implants may be ideal for you if you’d like to increase your existing cup size, restore your figure to your pre-pregnancy silhouette, or bring back fullness following massive weight loss. The best candidates for breast augmentation are in good physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about the results.

You’re a suitable candidate for breast augmentation if you:

  • Are in generally good physical and mental health.
  • Are unhappy with the shape, size, or symmetry of your breasts.
  • Have realistic expectations from the procedure.
  • Are willing to stop smoking a few weeks before the procedure.
  • Aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Don’t have underlying health conditions that preclude the surgery.

Benefits of Breast Augmentation

  • Increase the cup size of naturally small breasts.
  • Improve breast symmetry and proportionality.
  • Reverse the effects of age, pregnancy, and other changes.
  • Fill out your clothes better.
  • Look better in dresses.
  • Make your silhouette look curvaceous.
  • Reconstruct your breasts after a mastectomy.
  • Improve overall self-confidence.

Types of Breast Augmentation

Breast Implant Augmentation

Whether you want a modest or dramatic change to your breasts, implants can give you the fullness and volume you desire. During your consultation, Dr. Otto Placik will guide you through the breast implant options, discussing the size, style, texture, and materials of implants available. He’ll also discuss the available sizes and recommend the ideal implants for your specific goals and concerns. Dr. Placik offers the latest breast implant types, including form-stable silicone implants, more commonly known as “gummy bear” breast implants.

Fat Transfer Augmentation

If you’re interested in a natural approach to breast enhancement or want subtle results, you may be a candidate for fat transfer augmentation. In fat transfer augmentation, the fat cells are removed from another area of your body (usually the abdomen) via liposuction and strategically injected into the breasts to enhance the shape and size. Fat transfer is ideal for those who prefer conservative and natural treatments. This technique has no risk of complications because it relies on natural components derived from your body.

Types of Breast Implants

Saline Implants

Saline breast implants are filled with salt water. They come from the manufacturer unfilled and will be filled during the augmentation procedure, making them more flexible during surgery. In fact, saline breast implants also facilitate some of the more discrete incision styles. Since they come unfilled, they can be adjusted to meet your individual aesthetic goals and even to adjust for asymmetrical amounts of natural breast tissue. Furthermore, saline implants are extremely safe because the saline is easily absorbed by the body if there’s a rupture. However, saline implants aren’t as natural-looking as saline implants, and they might produce ripples on the skin’s surface.

Silicone Implants

Silicone breast implants are considered aesthetically superior, both visually and in their feel, to saline implants. They are unlikely to show rippling, and silicone gel is far more like natural breast tissue than saline solution. Because the implants come pre-filled to an optimum level, the implants never have fill-related aesthetic defects. Medical-grade silicone implants are completely safe. The FDA has determined that the lawsuits surrounding silicone breast implants were largely a product of fear and had little basis in medical evidence, and therefore re-approved them for use in November 2006.

However, there are some disadvantages of silicone implants. Silicone isn’t readily absorbed by the body, and the implants don’t deflate when there’s a rupture. As such, you have to go for regular MRIs to make sure that the implant is intact. The lack of rippling provides an aesthetic benefit, but it necessitates regular MRIs, which can be an inconvenience. Research has shown that MRIs can detect ruptures whether the implant is placed in a subglandular or submuscular position. However, it’s worth noting that the risk of silicone implants is remote—most patients have no trouble with silicone implants.

Gummy Bear Implants

A gummy bear implant is a newer type of form-stable implant made of a strong, cohesive gel that offers a teardrop appearance, similar to the natural contour and feel of female breasts. As opposed to other options, a gummy bear implant keeps its place within the breast. Patients can usually avoid implant-replacement surgeries later in their lives because they keep their shape as they age. Currently, gummy bear implants are the most popular implant options amongst women because they accurately resemble the texture, fullness, and volume of actual breasts.

Round Implants

Round breast implants are silicone or saline implants with even corners all around. They have a naturally full and voluminous appearance. The bigger advantage of round implants is that they don’t project out of your skin if they rotate out of place.

Teardrop Implants

Teardrop implants are silicone implants shaped like a teardrop, i.e., heavier bottom and tapered top. This implant shape resembles natural breast tissues most accurately, but it can also protrude out of the skin if it rotates out of place.

Smooth Implants

Smooth implants are extremely soft, and they move with the natural breast tissues. They resemble the natural motion of breasts, but they also ripple easily, making them appear through the skin.

Textured Implants

Textured implants are rough, making them more capable of developing scar tissues to adhere to your body firmly. As such, they don’t move with the implant pocket, and they’re stiffer. However, textured implants don’t ripple or become visible.

What to Expect During Breast Augmentation?

Your breast augmentation journey starts with a detailed consultation with Dr. Placik. During your consultation, Dr. Placik will perform a physical exam, discuss your concerns, and ask questions about the look you hope to achieve with implants. Dr. Placik will discuss all your treatment options, including the implant styles, materials, sizes, etc. He ensures that you have all the information you need to make the right decision. For some patients, Dr. Placik may recommend additional procedures that can complement the results of your Chicago breast augmentation, such as a breast lift. We take the time to answer all of your questions, allowing you to make an informed decision.

The breast augmentation procedure is performed as an in-office and outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The specific surgical technique depends on several factors, including the breast augmentation type (implants or fat grafting), implant material, size, and other factors. For breast implants, the surgeon will make the incision under the breast, on the lower border of the nipple/ areola, or the armpit. The chosen implant is placed behind the mammary gland and over the muscles, between the muscles, or behind the muscles. After the surgery, the incisions are sutured closed and allowed to heal, and you’re taken to the recovery room.

Incision Styles

Inframammary Incision (under the breast)

An incision, one inch (for saline implants) to two inches (for silicone implants) long, is made in the fold in the shadow under the breast (the underwire location). This is the most popular incision style, used in 80 percent of surgeries, for several reasons. Through this incision, a pocket is made behind the breast or behind the pectoral muscle for subglandular or submuscular placement of the breast implant.

The implant is inserted into the pocket. In either instance, the implant is placed under the breast rather than through the breast and is less likely to interfere with the potential for lactation and nursing. This incision is best for silicone breast implants, which come from the manufacturer pre-filled and require a larger incision for insertion. This incision makes for the shortest procedures and the lowest incidence of complications.

Surgeons and scientists believe the inframammary incision results in the lowest incidence of contamination and a biofilm. The only disadvantage is that there may be a noticeable scar under the breast. This would be especially true if there is no defined fold in the breast prior to the operation or there is no hanging of the breasts overlying the fold. In general, ninety percent of these incisions heal with excellent scars.

Periareolar (lower border of the nipple/ areola)

The periareolar incision is made at the margin of the pigmented portion of the areola and the skin of the breast. Pockets for the implant can then be made either behind the breast or behind the pectoral muscle. The implants are inserted and adjusted for symmetry. This incision produces almost universally excellent scars, meaning that healing is quick and scars are minimal. The periareolar approach allows for the placement of the implant either above or below the pectoralis muscle.

This is another potential incision for use with silicone breast implants in patients with average size areola (3.5cm or more) because the incision is large enough to allow the insertion of the full implant. However, some physicians believe it may cause a higher risk of biofilm formation and subsequent capsular contraction. It’s preferred in individuals with a higher risk of hypertrophic or keloid scars. Your surgeon will recommend this incision style if he determines if it’s suitable for you.

Axillary (armpit)

The axillary incision is made through a crease in the armpit. Occasionally, it requires the insertion of an endoscope, a long tube with a camera that allows Dr. Placik to perform the procedure with a very small incision when using saline implants. The pocket for the breast implant is made in front of or behind the pectoral muscle.

The primary advantage of this approach is that there are no scars on the breasts. This approach is slightly more uncomfortable in the immediate postoperative period, and this approach is difficult to perform for silicone breast implants. A bad or hairless scar may be visible in bathing suits or tank tops.

Umbilical (belly button)

The umbilical incision is also known as the TUBA or Trans-Umbilical-Breast-Augmentation approach. A small incision is made in the belly button, and a tunnel is made from the incision to behind each breast. The deflated saline implants are rolled up like cigars and passed up these tunnels. They are inflated, checked for symmetry, and the incision is closed.

The umbilical incision doesn’t lead to scarring of the breast because the tiny umbilical scar is practically unnoticeable. Although there was an initial burst of enthusiasm for this procedure, it has subsided because of the difficulty with achieving symmetry. Dr. Placik has stopped recommending this approach due to the high risk of unwanted or asymmetrical results.

Implant Placement Options

Subglandular Placement

Subglandular placement involves placing the implant behind the mammary gland and in front of the pectoralis muscles. This is the least complicated and fastest surgery, especially suitable for athletic women because it doesn’t interfere with the chest muscles. However, this style also has a higher risk of capsular contracture, visibility, and implant failures. This is because the implant is separated from the outside world by just the flesh. The implant is often seen rippling on the surface.

Subpectoral Placement

Subpectoral placement involves placing the implant between the pectoralis major and minor muscles. This implant is only partially covered by the muscles, and it has a lower chance of visible rippling. However, this is a slightly more complex surgery with a longer recovery period because it involves manipulating the muscles. This implant also takes longer to fall into a natural position, and it’s not suitable for women with sagging breasts because that might lead to a visible bulge.

Submuscular Placement

Submuscular placement involves placing the implant behind the pectoralis major and minor muscles, i.e., behind the chest wall. This implant is behind all the connective tissues and muscles, reducing the chance of visibility. This setting is even better for mammograms. However, this style has a high recovery period because it involves manipulating the muscles. Furthermore, like the subpectoral placement, it’s not suitable for women with sagging breasts or those opting for breast lifts.

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis, so most patients can go home on the day of their surgery. The method of augmentation largely determines the specifics of the recovery process. Dr. Placik will discuss post-operative care instructions with you in detail before your surgery day, so you know exactly what to expect. After your surgery, a light compression bra will be wrapped around your body to support the breasts in the earliest stages of healing.

Although you can expect some swelling, bruising, and soreness in the first few days, you should be able to return to work after about a week. Generally speaking, you should plan on resting and taking it easy for several days after surgery to allow your body to heal properly. You can resume normal, low-intensity work within a week. Although each patient is unique, Dr. Placik will likely advise you to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and exercising for approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

Scarring After Breast Augmentation

The location of the scar will depend on the incision style. It will be under the breast folds, on the lower border of the areola, or on the armpit, depending on the incision style. The periareolar incision is imperceptible because it’s carefully merged with the lining of the areola. The axillary incision is only visible when you lift your arms, revealing the underarms. The inframammary incision is the most visible, but even that’s concealed under the breast fold, hidden by the shadow.

Dr. Placik places extremely fine incisions in strategic locations to minimize their visibility. Furthermore, over time, the scars will heal completely and merge with the surrounding skin, becoming invisible to the naked eye. It takes approximately 18 months for the scars to heal completely—before that, the scars might even darken before they become better. The speed with which your scars heal and fade away depends on various factors, including your lifestyle, aftercare, genetics, etc. You must avoid smoking to ensure optimal healing.

Before & After

Before Implant Before & After

    • Implant Size (L): 590cc
    • Implant Size (R): 590cc
    • Height:
    • Weight: 125lbs
    • Before Bra Size: 34A
    • After Bra Size: 36D


Breast Augmentation Before & After

    • Implant Size (L): 350cc
    • Implant Size (R): 350cc
    • Height:
    • Weight: 106lbs
    • Before Bra Size: 32B
    • After Bra Size: 36C


Breast Augmentation in Chicago

    • Implant Size (L): 550cc
    • Implant Size (R): 550cc
    • Height:
    • Weight: 106lbs
    • Before Bra Size: 34DD
    • After Bra Size: 34DD


View Gallery »

Cost of Breast Augmentation

The cost of each augmentation procedure varies based on many variables, including the method used, whether or not a breast lift is necessary, and, if applicable, the cost of the implants chosen or the amount of fat to be collected using liposuction of donor sites. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

Real Patient Testimonial

Dr. Placik and the staff made me feel very comfortable. I wasn’t anxious at all because they are all so competent and knowledgeable and explain everything thoroughly. Dr Placik and the whole staff are highly experienced and also very welcoming I feel they are like family. My children say I look 20 years younger after my facelift, blepharoplasty, and fat transfer. I am very happy with the result and Dr. Placik is amazing!

Real Patient Testimonial

Dr. Placik and his staff are extremely welcoming and understanding to answer any questions you might have. I absolutely LOVED the doctor and his team, I knew I wanted a breast augmentation but was nervous because I never thought I’d go through with it. Dr. Placik and his staff were not only amazing, but made me feel so comfortable and secure. I went through with the procedure and the outcome was great! I have never been happier and only wished I had found him earlier. I absolutely one hundred percent recommend Dr. Placik to anyone looking to undergo plastic surgery.

Dr. Otto J. Placik, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Not being happy with the appearance of your breasts can be detrimental to your sense of femininity and self-esteem. Whether your breasts seem too small, not shapely enough, not perky enough or you want to improve the appearance of asymmetrical breasts, Dr. Placik can help. Breast augmentation with implants may be ideal for you if you’d like to increase your existing cup size, restore your figure to your pre-pregnancy silhouette, or bring back fullness following massive weight loss.

Dr. Otto Placik is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who performs one of the best breast augmentation Chicago has to offer. Having helped thousands of women accomplish their aesthetic goals, he has become a known leader in the field of breast enhancement and offers a wide array of surgical options.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast augmentation, including prices.

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Visual Guide to Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation FAQs FAQ

Can you breastfeed after a breast augmentation?

Most women can breastfeed after breast augmentation with implants. However, in some cases, the patient’s ability to breastfeed may be compromised. When the implants are placed under the chest wall, the milk supply is left untouched and unaffected. Furthermore, if the incisions are made under the breast folds (inframammary) or on the armpit (axillary), the nipples and milk ducts aren’t affected. However, incisions made around the nipples are more likely to affect the nerves responsible for breastfeeding, affecting your ability to nurse. Please inform Dr. Placik if you’d like to maintain your ability to breastfeed, so he can plan the procedure accordingly.

How do I avoid a fake or overdone look and choose the best size?

This is one of the most commonly expressed concerns during this initial consultation. Dr. Placik and his staff listen carefully to your goals and desires. There is no “one size fits all” approach. While some patients look for a subtle increase in size, others may want to obtain a more pronounced change. Sizing is accomplished with direct input from each patient, and the surgical plan is modified accordingly.

Which incision does Dr. Placik use for breast implants—breast crease, nipple, or armpit?

Dr. Placik can and does insert breast implants via any of these approaches. The only incision he does not recommend is the transumbilical approach (aka TUBA). The choice of the incision will be made after a complete discussion with the patient about their individual situation. Women requiring a lift or breast asymmetry correction may already require an incision around or near the areola, which simultaneously provides convenient access for the implant insertion without a separate incision. Women wanting to maximize the potential for lactation or nursing may be treated with an incision in the crease. Others may prefer an axillary (armpit) incision to minimize visibility and preserve lactation. Patients treated with fat transfer breast augmentation may require minimal or no incisions.

Can I combine breast augmentation with other procedures?

Breast augmentation is often combined with other procedures that further enhance the results of your enlargement. For example, if your breasts are sagging or you’re dissatisfied with the position of your breasts or nipples, incorporating a breast lift with your augmentation can be a wonderful way to dramatically improve the overall appearance of your figure, with only one recovery period. Women also frequently include breast augmentation as part of a mommy makeover or abdominoplasty.

Will I need a breast lift, too?

Very mild ptosis, or sagging, can sometimes be improved with implants because the increase in volume can help “fill out” minor skin and tissue laxity. However, patients with more significant drooping or displacement may not feel satisfied with the results from augmentation. Implants may not help to create a perky breast appearance. For these patients, Dr. Placik typically recommends including a breast lift to increase size while improving placement at the same time.

What are the risks of breast augmentation?

During your consultation, Dr. Placik will cover all the possible risks and side effects associated with breast implants. These may include similar risks to those associated with any surgery, such as infection, bleeding, or changes in sensation. Other potential complications include capsular contracture or breast surgery revision due to a faulty implant, but these are rare. Dr. Placik will discuss all potential side effects with you before the surgery, even if they’re very rare and unlikely to occur.

Can implants correct asymmetry between my breasts?

All women have some degree of asymmetry between their breasts, but a significant amount of unevenness can feel embarrassing. If you’re getting breast implants, Dr. Placik can help correct breast asymmetry by using two implants of different sizes and/or profile or incorporating additional procedures such as a breast lift, breast reduction, or fat transfer augmentation.

Why Choose Dr. Placik?

Dr. Otto Placik is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who performs one of the best breast augmentations Chicago has to offer. He’s one of the country’s leading breast cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons, having completed numerous residencies and fellowships from reputable medical institutions. He’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of several other local and national medical associations.

Dr. Otto Placik provides highly-personalized breast surgeries and augmentations after discussing and considering your specific goals and expectations. Having helped thousands of women accomplish their aesthetic goals, he has become a known leader in the field of breast enhancement and offers a wide array of surgical options. Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast augmentation, including prices.

Otto J. Placik, M.D. Reviews


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