Breast Augmentation

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Breast Augmentation with breast implants is the most popular procedure performed by Dr. Szczerba!  We at CASI (Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute) routinely perform three to nine breast augmentation surgeries per week for cosmetic indications giving our doctor and staff more experience than most surgeons in the country.  Dr. Szczerba (pronounced “Sherba”) has been in practice in Chicago since 2005 and has performed thousands of breast implant cases.  He also performs breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients; so we at CASI tell our patients that if you have choice of plastic surgeons for breast implants, choose the surgeon who can rebuild a pretty breast when everything has been removed!

Read on to learn more about the breast augmentation experience at CASI or contact our practice to set up a personal consultation.  Feel free to look at our photo gallery.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Szczerba and his staff will spend as much time as you need choosing your breast implant with you and not for you!   We attribute our success with breast implant surgery to precise measurements- which is why we spend as much time as it takes to get it right!

Once we have your measured, we’ll have you try on the recommended implants in our office during the initial visit.  We have hundreds of implants to sample so bring a plain comfortable shirt to your appointment!  You’ll get a good look in the mirror as to how your implants will look on your frame.  To get even more precise, we can also put you on the computer and virtually “try on” implants in 3D with our VECTRA camera system.

During breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Szczerba makes small incision in the skin, gently opens the area for the implant (either under or over the muscle) and then places the implant in the space created.  The minimal size of the incision, the meticulous attention to surgical details and the “no touch” technique is what Dr. Szczerba is well known for, not just from his patients, but also from his own staff that works with him every week!

The recovery from surgery is surprisingly easier than patients expect.  Most patients, particularly those who make wise choices for implant size, need just a few days off from work after the procedure; taking off a week is usually more than enough for just about everyone.  With smart choices of breast implants combined with meticulous surgical techniques, recovery can be very predictable and, just as we mentioned before, can be surprisingly easier than expected!

To ensure your peace of mind after surgery, you will have direct contact with Dr. Szczerba and his staff.  The follow up schedule is also very organized.  With purposeful, timed follow up visits, we make sure that we get you through not just the critical days after surgery, but also to keep you on track during the important weeks and months after your implant placement.

Procedure Candidates

Ideal breast augmentation patients are women with naturally small, even breasts without much droop to their breast tissue.  We also see many patients who simply want to optimize the ratios between their breast area to their shoulders, waist and hips.  Those ideal patients, however, are not the only patients who choose to get breast implants.  Women with uneven (asymmetric) breasts, breast deformities (like tubular or tuberous breast deformity), chest wall or rib deformities, volume loss after pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss are commonly seen in our office.

Those more challenging patients may also be candidates for breast implants.  Aging changes such as breast droop know as breast ptosis, massive weight loss (over 100lbs), traumatic injuries, changes from cancer treatments and finally deformities noted from birth known as congenital deformities such as Tuberous breast deformity or Poland syndrome can be improved with breast implants.   Breast augmentation with implants may need to be combined with additional techniques such as breast lift, fat grafting or internal scar releases for optimal outcome.

Every patient is unique and with all these possible variables in how patients present, consulting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the recommended place to start.  Dr. Szczerba is definitely certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has additional accredited fellowship training in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery.  However, if the three offices that Dr. Szczerba sees patients in is not a possibility for you, please call him; he’ll refer you to another Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area.

The decision to augment your breasts is a personal one.  Have realistic expectations!  Don’t choose an implant that is too big or too small, instead use your own body as a guide to safe choices in breast implants.  Women who are being influenced by a spouse or a significant other should carefully think over their motivation to undergo surgery; do this procedure for yourself and not to please someone else.

Experience definitely matters!  The goal is to get you the perfect breast augmentation that you’re happy with for life!  Since breast augmentation with implants is so routinely performed in our practice, narcotic pain medications are not always required. Experience with the operation combined with meticulous technique and wise choices in implant options can minimize the recovery period.

Making Decisions about Breast Augmentation

Breast Implant options:  Saline & Silicone

Currently, both saline and silicone gel implants are approved by the FDA. Saline implants arrive from the company filled with air.  During your surgery, the air in the implant is completely deflated and the implant is then inserted through a small incision into the empty  space created by Dr. Szczerba.  With a filling tube, the implant is then filled with a sterile physiologic saltwater solution that is used routinely in health care.  Saline is used to rinse everyday items like contacts for your eyes; it is also the actual sterile fluid that goes directly into a vein to hydrate the body during surgery.

The advantage of saline implants is that they are easily monitored.  Although the implant is designed to last a very long time, if the implant deflates, your body will absorb the sterile physiologic fluid and your breast will appear smaller within a few hours.  The process is not harmful because the sterile liquid is simply absorbed by the body.  Once the patient notices the deflation, the implant can be replaced with a new implant.  The exchange surgery is usually extremely easy on the patient as the pocket for the implant is well healed from the initial surgery.  The ease of knowing when to call your plastic surgeon for an exchange makes saline implant a wise choice for young, healthy patients who do not see doctors on a regular schedule.   When the surgery is properly performed and the patient choses an implant that fits their body, saline implants can be fantastic choice!

Silicone implants have many other advantages and are routinely used by patients who are 22 years old or older.  Many patients find that silicone feel very natural and that is definitely an advantage over saline implants.  Silicone breast implants have many more choices for the patient than saline implants.  You can make custom choices in implant size, shape and feel based on your body’s measurements and your artistic goals.

Once the silicone implant has been decided upon, the meticulous surgical procedure performed by Dr. Szczerba to create the space for the implant is identical to the procedure for saline breast implants.  The difference for silicone implant surgery is that Dr. Szczerba uses a protective funnel called a Keller Funnel to insert silicone implant.  The Keller funnel allows him to insert your implant through a very small incision similar to the incision for saline breast implants.  The Keller funnel also allows Dr. Szczerba to insert your implant without actually touching it; this has been called a “no touch” technique by Dr. Szczerba for years.  The lack of direct contact with the implant combined with meticulous technique is considered by Dr. Szczerba a huge advantage in terms of keeping your surgery as sterile as possible thereby minimizing risks of infection and risk of long term issues like capsular contracture (“hardening” of the scar tissue around the implant).  Dr. Szczerba is well known by his patients and his staff of considering breast implant surgery, not just a sterile procedure, but a “super sterile” procedure!

Besides the incision size and the “no touch technique” the silicone implant is easily inserted with the Keller funnel into the space created by Dr. Szczerba.  This less traumatic technique produces less strain on the implant shell during the insertion process and theoretically may contribute to how long silicone implants last.  The implant companies Dr. Szczerba has partnered with are all very stable companies that are based in the United States and offer extremely good warranties to the patient.  We at CASI have seen the warranties for silicone breast implants get better and better over the years and very comfortable recommending silicone breast implants to the appropriate patient.

Since the silicone breast implant is designed to last a very long time and the insertion technique is easier on the implant shell using a Keller funnel, it can be difficult to detect if your implant needs to be exchanged.  Although wear and tear on the implant shell does occur as the years go on, rupture of the implant is rare and very well warrantied by the implant companies. Women are encouraged to have an imaging study to monitor the breast implant, such as an ultrasound or an MRI, on year three after surgery and every two years to follow.  With the older style implants used years ago, we at CASI have taken care of patients that a standard screening mammogram determined that the implant was due for an exchange.

The modern, cohesive silicone inside the implant shell is designed to be thicker than liquid silicone implant from years ago.  The amount of “cohesivity” of the silicone correlates to the firmness of the implant with the most cohesive implant being called a “gummy bear implant.”  Currently there are three choices in thickness of the silicone gel from one company we at CASI partner with the other company offering essentially the same warranty.  If a leak or rupture actually occurs, the cohesive silicone acts more like the center of a gummy bear candy and does not want to leak out of the shell like older liquid silicone implants.  Thankfully rupture of the implant is rare, the implant has a great warranty from the company and the modern silicone acts like a gel and does not want to leak out of the implant even if the shell of the implant has worn down.

Implant Size

Implants also come in different sizes and shapes.  Once Dr. Szczerba measures you, we at CASI spend a lot of time carefully reviewing your implant options with you.  Although the size of the implant is a very important decision, the width of your breast helps us the most to determine which implants will work best for your body type.  Once that has been measured we want you to try on all the profile options that fit you.  The profile of the implant is simply the height of the implant.  The artistic interplay of the width of your breast to the height of the implant helps us determine how to best achieve your goals.  We at CASI encourage fitting your implant in your clothes with a trial bra in our office as many times as it takes until are extremely confident in your implant choice.

Incision Location

Dr. Szczerba has been performing breast implant surgery since 2005 has performed thousands of breast implant surgeries since then.  There are three commonly used approaches to insert the implants through: transaxillary (through an armpit crease), periareolar (an incision at the edge of the nipple areola complex) or under the crease of the breast (inframammary).   Some scarring is inevitable, but generally it is very well-hidden in these locations and when well healed, the scar can be barely noticeable! Since 2005, there has been significant research studying which incision approach is recommended. We at CASI and Dr. Szczerba can guide you through the decision of incision location based on your body type, your breast shape and your goals!

Implant Placement

Breast Implants may be placed above or beneath the chest muscle (called the pectoralis muscle).  Once Dr. Szczerba has your breast measured, we at CASI can guide you through this decision.  Both locations look amazing and should definitely be customized to your goals!

Typically the recovery for breast implants placed beneath the muscle is slightly longer compared to the above-the-muscle placement. However, many women feel the submuscular placement produces a more natural appearance and better long-term results. We at CASI encourage saline implants to be placed under the muscle while silicone implants can comfortably be placed under or over the muscle depending on your breast shape.

The Procedure

Prior to breast augmentation surgery, a licensed professional administers anesthesia; we employ both board-certified anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists. We really try to use a consistent anesthesia provider who performs anesthesia for outpatient procedures like breast augmentation regularly.  Those anesthesia providers who work with regularly strive to make sure you are comfortable, without feeling nauseated and awake enough to be heading home within an hour of finishing the breast augmentation procedure.  During surgery, Dr. Szczerba will make small surgical incisions in the predetermined locations. The pocket will then be created in the meticulous method Dr. Szczerba is known for and numbing medicine is then injected into the surgical area.  Make sure you ask Dr. Szczerba about longer acting numbing medications that can be added to your procedure!

Once the surgical pocket is created and the numbing medicine is injected, the implants will be inserted and positioned within in the pockets. Prior to closing the incisions, you will be sat up and the implant position will be carefully inspected for optimal implant position and outcome.  The incisions will be closed with multiple layers of stitches and a small adhesive called a steristrip is applied.  This is covered by a small gauze dressing on each side which is held in place by a small piece of tape.  The recovery team will help you get dressed into comfortable clothing with shirts that button in the front being the easiest.  We’ll help you get into your ride and make sure your family or friends get you home safely.

Recovery

With wise choices for breast implants combined with meticulous technique, recovery is surprisingly easier than patients expect.  Patients are sent home within an hour of the procedure and can resume most activities within 48 hours.  Many breast augmentation patients have gone back to work in 48 hours with less than a week being more than enough to recover from surgery.

Patients may note mild soreness or discomfort for several days after surgery, but this can be made very tolerable with prescribed pain medications and muscle relaxants.  You can shower usually within 48 hours.  We want you to avoid heavy lifting and activities that raise your heart rate for about two weeks.  You can resume careful exercise at two weeks with only a few exercises restricted for about three months.   Wound healing after any surgery takes the body approximately 6 weeks, so we can coach you at each visit or by phone through the early phases after surgery.  As previously mentioned, only a few exercises are restricted for 3 months.   Your follow office visit schedule is regimented but customized to your particular case.  The most important visits being 1 week, 3 weeks and 3 months after surgery.

Bra and Brassiere Options after surgery

Over the years, we have found which breast support garments work best.  The initial garment is just gentle support while later in the healing process we will guide you to more appropriate bra choices that support your implant in proper position.   Depending on the implant choice, your final outcome for implants can take up to 3-6 months.  After that, you can go “fancy” bra shopping to get your accurate new breast size.  We can’t wait to see how good you look!

Benefits and Risks of Breast Augmentation

With enhanced cleavage and a fuller cup, many patients have more confidence in social situations and feel more feminine in their everyday lives. Dr. Szczerba has been performing Breast augmentation since 2005 and has performed thousands of breast implant surgeries since then.  We at CASI routinely perform 3-9 breast augmentations per week allowing us to be confident that the risk of complications is very, very low.

As with all surgeries, the risks cannot be eliminated altogether. Breast augmentation risks can include the possibility for revisions, asymmetry, wound healing problems resulting in a scar that requires revision, bleeding, infections, damage to structures in the area such as the nerve that gives most (but not all) of the sensation to the nipple and hardening of the scar tissue around the implant known as capsular contracture.

Thankfully we at CASI know that these risks are very, very low with Dr. Szczerba as your surgeon.  Additionally we partner only with reputable and reliable breast implant companies that are based in the United States; should the very rare implant complication such as shell disruption known as rupture actually occur, you are covered with a great warranty.  Recent warranty updates by these companies also cover capsular contracture for certain implants.

All revisionary surgery is managed in a very agreeable manner at CASI and is based on prior experience of Dr. Szczerba as a patient.  Dr. Szczerba carefully monitors his patients during the recovery period to timely diagnose and address any possible complications. As a result, the vast majority of our patients achieve excellent aesthetic results in a quick, comfortable manner.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

If you are interested in talking with our team about breast augmentation surgery, please contact our office any time. We can answer many initial questions over the phone and schedule an in person consultation with Dr. Szczerba within a week or so.

We recommend reviewing our breast augmentation photo gallery.

We are aware you as a patient have choices in who performs your breast augmentation surgery.  We alway strive to keep our prices competitive and transparent usually listing our current price or seasonal specials on the internet.

We do not however recommend choosing your plastic surgeon solely on price; doctors who are not board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery may offer breast augmentation and other procedures at slightly lower costs but please be careful.  You can easily check to see if your surgeon is board certified by calling the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at 847-228-9900 or checking the website by clicking on the following link:  https://find.plasticsurgery.org.

We don’t recommend traveling outside of the United States for your surgery and always encourage looking carefully at the credentials of your doctor.  Board Certified Plastic Surgeons can easily be identified by looking for the ASPS logo.

Even though our three locations are located to be easily accessed by most patients, if you can’t make it to see us we can refer you to other board certified plastic surgeons.  We at CASI like to think we are worth the drive and worth occasional wait was we take care of other patients.

As we mentioned before proper training and experience really do matter!  Dr. Szczerba has taken no “shortcuts” in training: he went to Rush Medical College in Chicago, graduated in the Medical Honor Society known as Alpha Omega Alpha (an honor given to those in the top  5% of their class),  trained at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago in General Surgery, obtained Board Certification in General Surgery, trained at an elite plastic surgery program Emory University in Atlanta Georgia then went on the advanced cosmetic surgery training in New York at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.  Dr. Szczerba was then an Assistant Professor at University of Illinois Medical Center and Stroger Hospital of Cook County and trained the next generation of plastic surgery residents, surgery residents and students before focusing exclusively on private practice.  All throughout his youth and during all his years of training listed above, Dr. Szczerba has always maintained an intense interest in art and art history!  He brings that interest in art with him to surgery every day!

As we have mentioned at the beginning, Breast Augmentation is the most popular procedure performed by Dr. Szczerba!  We at CASI (Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute) routinely perform three to nine breast augmentation surgeries per week for cosmetic indications giving our doctor and staff more experience than most surgeons in the country.

In addition to helping Chicago area patients with breast implants achieve fuller bustlines, Dr. Szczerba also performs breast lift, breast reduction fat grafting to the breast and breast reconstruction in Chicago. For our male patients we can enhance the appearance of the chest area for issues like gynecomastia through such procedures as male breast reduction in Chicago.

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We look forward to meeting you and taking great care of you as we have for thousands of other patients!