Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation

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Breast Enhancement Overview

Breasts play a key role in a woman’s self image.  Size, shape, position and other characteristics are outward signals of good health, vitality and femininity.  That is one reason thousands of patients across the country as well as right here in Chicago choose breast augmentation surgery each year.

Another reason breast enhancement is so popular is the procedure is safe and straightforward, especially in the hands of Dr. Vincent Makhlouf.  Most patients experience a smooth recovery and head back to work and other activities in about a week.  What is more, the need for revision surgery with Dr. Makhlouf is extremely rare.

Ready to explore how you would look with more generous, youthful curves?  Request a consultation with Dr. Makhlouf and find out what breast augmentation in Chicago or Des Plaines could do for you.

Candidates and Options

Women seek breast augmentation to enhance small breasts, restore volume lost due to childbearing, correct asymmetry or address other issues.  Breast augmentation can be performed as part of a mommy makeover—usually coupled with a tummy tuck and sometimes a buttocks lift—and it can also be combined with other procedures for the right patient.

Silicone breast implants are available as well as saline implants.   Read more about the advantages of each type and about the various measurements we consider in finding just the right fit.  For general questions about breast enlargement surgery, browse our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

The Procedure

Dr. Makhlouf uses a “no touch” approach to breast augmentation, helping avoid any possible contamination.  The procedure begins with incisions in the mammary fold, around the areola or near the armpit.  Dr. Makhlouf then creates pockets for your implants, most often under the chest muscle.  The next step is to insert temporary sizers to mimic the implants you have chosen.  The surgical team evaluates your appearance, makes any necessary adjustments and places sutures ready to be tied.

At that point, your breast pockets are rinsed and your implants are soaked in antiseptic solution.  After changing gloves, Dr. Makhlouf gently inserts your implants, checks their integrity, ties the sutures, completes the closure and dresses the incisions with surgical tape.

After Surgery

When your breast augmentation is complete, the team will put on a soft, supportive bra and take you to the recovery room.  You will be monitored closely, then sent home to rest when you are ready.

Light to moderate swelling and bruising are typical during the initial recovery.  You will have prescription medication to take if you need it, but most patients report just minimal discomfort.  You can plan to return to daily life in a few days to a week, gradually adding more strenuous activities.

If you have been considering breast augmentation for months or even years, perhaps it is time to take the next step and schedule an appointment with Dr. Makhlouf in our Des Plaines or Chicago office.  He and his team will give you all the information you need—and leave the decisions to you.

Incision and Implant Location

As you plan your breast augmentation in Chicago or Des Plaines with Dr. Makhlouf, you will consider several different aspects of surgery that can fine-tune the procedure to your unique needs.  Some of the decisions you and Dr. Makhlouf will make together include placement of your implants—above or below the chest muscle—and incision location.

You will be making these choices as you select your implants, as all these decisions are interdependent.  Read more about implant type and size here (below)


Dr. Makhlouf performs breast enlargement surgery using one of three incision locations:

- Periareolar: Saline implants as well as smaller silicone implants can be placed through an incision around the lower portion of the areolas for many patients.

- Trans axillary: Incisions located just inside the armpit, or axilla, can be a good choice for some women, but not for everyone.

- Inframammary: This incision is placed in or near the fold under the breast, giving Dr. Makhlouf full access to the tissues while hiding the eventual scar.

Implant Location

You probably know that breast implants can be placed above or below the pectoral (chest) muscle.  When implants are placed above the muscle, they are covered with breast gland and fat.  Therefore, this option is best for women with a fair amount of natural tissue.  It also tends to be best for silicone gel implants rather than saline implants, as placement of a saline prosthesis above the muscle allows the implants to be more easily felt.

Placement below the muscle can work for either silicone or saline implants. The pectoral muscle covers the implants well, meaning this placement can be a good choice for women with little breast tissue.  Some women whose goal is to look as natural as possible choose sub-muscular placement to create a gentle slope from the upper pole of the breast downward.  Discomfort is a bit greater in the immediate post-op period for sub-muscular placement, but not dramatically so.

There are other nuances relating to breast implant placement Dr. Makhlouf will discuss with you during your consultation.  These include the way your implants and chest muscles will interact and the position of your implants over the years as the natural aging process takes place.

Dr. Makhlouf will take all the time needed to make sure you understand all these details, and he will help you make sound decisions.  Why not schedule a consultation with him now?

Implant Type and Size

If you are like most women, choosing the right type and size of breast implant is probably top of mind as you plan breast augmentation in Chicago.  When you come in for a consultation, you will have ample time to discuss your options with Dr. Makhlouf.  Here is some basic information to help you prepare.

Silicone Breast Implants

The new generation of silicone breast implants was approved by the FDA in 2006.  This type of implant is filled with a thick gel-like material that will not leak even if the implant’s outer shell is ruptured.

When women choose silicone over saline, it is most often due to aesthetic advantages.  Silicone gel tends to feel soft and pliable—more like natural breast tissue—to many patients, making them a good choice for placement above the chest muscle.  Silicone implants cost a bit more than saline implants.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants do have advantages beyond a lower cost.  Since they are filled after insertion, incisions can be smaller than those required for silicone implants.  Also, patients usually have more flexibility in the choice of the incision location with saline implants.

If the outer shell of a saline breast implant should rupture, it will be obvious as the implant deflates.  The body will absorb the fluid harmlessly and the implant will need replacement.

Size Matters

When it comes to breast augmentation, “size” is a complex topic.  The size of your breasts after surgery, as well as how they harmonize with the rest of your features, will result from careful selection of your implants’ base width (or diameter), projection (the amount they “stick out” from your chest) and fill (cc’s of saline or silicone).

When you share your goals with Dr. Makhlouf, you can trust him to create the results you have in mind.  He have you try on sizers in the office, listen carefully to your input and share photos to aid in the discussion.  He will take all the information into account and recommend implants that are just right. Dr Makhlouf has rarely if ever replaced an implant solely because the wrong size was selected.

The final surgical plan Dr. Makhlouf creates for you will encompass a variety of details that go hand-in-hand.  For instance, your choice of implant will influence the location and size of your incisions.

Dr. Makhlouf is ready to meet with you, show you sample breast implants and walk you through all the choices in front of you during this exciting time.  Call 847-297-8124 to arrange an appointment, or contact us online.

Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

These are some of the questions we field most often in our Des Plaines and Chicago breast augmentation consultations.  Read through our list, then come to your appointment prepared with a list of your own.

Will I be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation?

Most women are able to breastfeed after surgery.  There is no guarantee, however.

Will I lose nipple sensation?

If you and Dr. Makhlouf decide to place your incisions around the areolas, you will likely lose sensation for a time.  Full sensation returns after surgery for most women, but a few lose some or even all sensation.

How can I be sure I will look natural after surgery?

Discuss the importance of achieving a natural look with Dr. Makhlouf.  Your surgical plan can be created with this in mind, and may involve implants placed under the chest muscle as well as careful consideration of the various implant dimensions related to your body type.

What if I want extra large implants?

Dr. Makhlouf will help you determine how large you can go and still look normal.  He will also walk you through some of the changes you can expect over time and help you with this important decision.

Are silicone implants really safe?

The FDA-approved silicone implants in use today are filled with a form-stable silicone gel.  Unlike older, liquid-filled models, they will not leak out of the shell or out of the breast capsule if the implant cover should rupture.  Silicone is a material used in many medical devices placed inside the body; yes, silicone implants are safe.

Why do many women get implants when having a breast lift?

When breasts sag over the years, they often lose volume as well.  This is particularly the case after pregnancy and nursing.  Therefore, many breast lift procedures include a small implant to restore curves in the upper portion of the breast, or a larger implant for overall fullness.

Breast Augmentation: Videos in 3D