If you’re seeking roundness, fullness, perkiness and cleavage without a specially-padded bra, then you might be a great candidate for breast augmentation. Whether you have always had small breasts or you lost volume during childbirth or weight loss, the most current breast implants provide enhancement while maintaining a natural look and feel. Dr. Donaldson is known for personalized results ranging from subtle to dramatic. He listens well and tries to understand each patient’s unique set of goals and expectations. After surgery, many of his patients describe a certain versatility in their look, so they can “dress up, or dress down” whether it is Friday night or Monday morning. This sought-after combination makes Dr. Donaldson one of the busiest breast surgeons in the Columbus, Ohio area and in the entire Midwest. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice. To learn more about breast surgery, please consider the following information.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast Augmentation is a plastic surgical procedure that is designed to enhance the size, shape and feel of the breasts. It is intensely personal and should be considered with great care. Dr. Donaldson is known for customizing his surgical approach to each individual patient, in order to ensure the most natural and beautiful results. After undergoing this procedure, patients often feel more positive, feminine and “sexy.” These improvements can improve self-confidence and body-image.
Breast surgery requires artistry, precision, taste and clear communication between surgeon and patient to achieve optimal results. Dr. Donaldson has extensive training and experience with many types of breast augmentation. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon, and he is one of the only surgeons in Columbus to offer a minimally invasive option through the armpit.
- Read more about Breast Implants in our blog
Am I a good candidate for Breast Augmentation?
There is no such thing as a “typical” breast augmentation patient. Different ages, sizes, shapes, body types, careers, romantic dynamics, and parental roles are represented among Dr. Donaldson’s happy clientele. The most important requirement is that you are physically and emotionally healthy, and if you suffer from certain medical conditions, they should be optimized in advance. Be sure to announce any health concerns during your consultation.
Dr. Donaldson will review your medical records and may even communicate with your primary care physician to decide whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. You may simply have to stop taking certain medications for a period before and after the surgery. Each individual is different, so it’s vital that you go over your medical history with Dr. Donaldson to ensure that surgery is planned safely.
Augmentation surgery can yield beautiful results for adult women of all ages; however, Dr. Donaldson generally insists upon waiting until after a patient had reached 18 years of age unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Undergoing breast surgery before the breasts are fully matured can impair the long-term results. Similarly, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not candidates for surgery until after the delivery and lactation phase have ended.
Realistic expectations are important for all plastic surgical patients. The breast augmentation procedure amplifies the natural anatomy by bringing each feature forward, but patients should not expect total perfection. If you already have some asymmetry, a wide or narrow cleavage area, widespread nipples, stretch marks, a caved-in or barrel-shaped chest – these features will most likely persist even after surgery. Thoroughly discuss your goals with Dr. Donaldson during your surgical consultation, and he will help assess whether breast augmentation is right for you.
What should I expect during my consultation?
During your consultation, Dr. Donaldson will listen intently to your background, goals, concerns and expectations; then, he will give you the tools that are necessary to become a savvy, sophisticated consumer who is knowledgeable about the important aspects of breast augmentation. He will explain the pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative phases of surgery and answer your questions in detail. He will take measurements and record observations.
Bobbie is Dr. Donaldson’s surgical first assistant, and she will help you choose the perfect implant size at your fitting. After considering your natural shape, your goals and your measurements, she will help you try on sample implants using a specialized sizing bra. Once the appropriate “size spectrum” is determined, then you get to choose what you like best! You can look in the mirror, try on different outfits, take selfies and gather opinions from friends and family, although many patients prefer to make a private, personal choice.
The friendly staff at Donaldson Plastic Surgery makes sure that patients feel comfortable and appreciated during each appointment. They are extremely experienced when it comes to breast implants and can give you sound, expert advice. Dr. Donaldson and his team will also go over the different types of implants available to you and the pros and cons of each. He will let you know what you can expect from your breast surgery, including size, shape, texture, and more.
Dr. Donaldson may recommend additional procedures, depending on your anatomy and circumstances. The Mommy Makeover procedure is a particularly popular option for women looking to reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies with tummy tuck, liposuction and/or labiaplasty. If your breasts are especially droopy (ptotic), a breast lift (mastopexy) or mini-lift may also be beneficial. Dr. Donaldson can show you sample before and after photographs and simulate your lift during consultation.
Before making final decisions, you and Dr. Donaldson will review your medical history to confirm your candidacy and to establish a plan for optimizing your medical conditions and overall health status. If you have reached 40 years of age, he will most likely recommend having a baseline mammogram. Safety is paramount, and Dr. Donaldson often relies on referrals and follow-up appointments with other medical specialists to ensure the best possible outcome.
The final part of your consultation includes a detailed cost estimate and a discussion of scheduling dates and times. Cheryl is Dr. Donaldson’s patient coordinator, and she can help arrange for flexible financing options and payment plans. She’ll be happy to walk you through the payment steps and make sure you’re fully educated about the financial aspects of surgery including manufacturer warranties.
What questions should I ask my surgeon?
Dr. Donaldson is happy to answer any question about surgery, complications, medical issues, and how your specific circumstances may impact your breast augmentation procedure.
Be sure to ask Dr. Donaldson about likely results to make sure you have realistic expectations. The surgeon and patient need to be aligned to achieve ultimate success. As he outlines the surgical options and limitations, and you can interject at any time until you are completely comfortable with the plan.
Some frequently asked questions include:
- When can I go back to work?
- How many follow-up visits will I need?
- What are the risks?
- Are there any activities I won’t be able to do after breast augmentation?
- When can I resume exercise?
- What if I get pregnant?
- How long do the results last?
- How do implants affect breast cancer screening?
Ask Dr. Donaldson what he specifically recommends for your body regarding size, shape and implant style. The staff can also help you make these decisions because they are sizing experts too!
If you are planning on having children in the future, ask Dr. Donaldson how breast surgery will affect your ability to breastfeed. The answer will depend on many factors, including the type of surgery you choose.
How should I prepare for my procedure?
Nutrition will help expedite the healing process. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet, while avoiding tobacco products and nicotine. Smoking can be particularly detrimental to the healing process, so it’s vital that you quit smoking for at least two weeks before the operation and for the duration of your recovery.
Make sure you are off of all medications and supplements that can thin your blood – Dr. Donaldson’s office can provide you with a list of the most common substances.
Prior to your procedure, be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from the surgical center and to stay with you in the first few days of your recovery. Organize your home so you do not need to lift heavy objects or hassle with unnecessary chores.
Purchase supportive recovery bras that snap or zip in front. Pick up your pain prescription, antibiotic and homeopathic products to help minimize bruising and swelling.
Call Dr. Donaldson’s office for any and all questions – you would rather know for sure than to wonder and carry stress.
Are there any risks?
No surgical operation is without risk. While complications are rare, they are real, and they should be discussed with Dr. Donaldson in advance. Possibilities include pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, capsular contracture, changes in nipple sensation, inability to breastfeed and need for revision in the future.
Bleeding and infection are complications inherent to any surgical procedure, and the risk is less than 5% in breast augmentation. Dr. Donaldson almost always avoids both through meticulous surgical techniques, but it still may happen. Minor bleeding may be simply monitored, or released if necessary. Major bleeding could require a second operation. Infection is usually prevented with antibiotics, but could lead to implant removal in extreme cases.
Measurable breast asymmetry is present in the vast majority of adult women, and this will likely persist after augmentation. There are multiple factors including anatomy, surgical technique, implant size/shape/texture, post-operative activity levels, and the variable healing process. Massage and displacement exercises will often improve symmetry, but if the difference is too obvious, then a revision may be considered.
Capsular contracture is a scar tissue phenomenon where the body interprets the implant like a splinter, and attempts to surround it with a thick, firm capsule. The risk is decreased with modern implant materials and skilled technique, but it still exists. Treatment may include a second operation to relax or remove the capsule.
Nipple sensation may increase, decrease, become entirely numb, or fluctuate – but most commonly, it returns to normal after several months.
Breastfeeding is a challenge for many young mothers, but breast augmentation can make it even more difficult. Implants likely cause more back-pressure on the milk glands and ducts, which limits milk production and prevents full engorgement. Infants with augmented mothers can usually suckle and bond, but they often require supplements with synthetic formula to achieve full nutrition.
Breast implants are very durable, but additional operations may be necessary over the course of a lifetime. The most common reason for reoperation is to increase size. Other reasons include changes in shape or position, the desire for subsequent lifting, or the desire to downsize later in life. If you experience deflation, rippling, shifting or other side effects, you may need to replace your breast implants. It’s important to follow up with your surgeon if you suspect a problem or dislike something about the look or feel.
Although they are rare, it’s important that you educate yourself on all of the possible risks of surgery. Dr. Donaldson can explain the extensive measures that are taken to prevent these issues, and he can share various approaches should they arise.
Incisions may be made in one of several locations: in the crease beneath the breast, around the edge of the dark areola surrounding the nipple or through the underarm. The underarm, armpit or “transaxillary” approach is performed with endoscopic equipment designed by one of Dr. Donaldson’s mentors, and it is often appealing because it leaves no scars on the breast. Dr. Donaldson will examine your potential for each type of incision, mark the options if you like and listen to your preference regarding the final location.
Scarring will depend on your incision site and length. Dr. Donaldson works to minimize incisions within three to five centimeters, and to keep them out of sight, so scars aren’t obvious or prominent once they heal. Scars will fade overtime according to your skin type, activity level, immune status, medications and whether you use scar treatments or massage. Some scars will become nearly imperceptible over the years, while others will remain more visible. Dr. Donaldson can give you more specific information at your consultation.
Watch Dr. Donaldson explain “scarless” breast augmentation on NBC 4 News:
Types of Implants
There are two breast implant materials widely available today: saline and silicone. Dr. Donaldson offers both, and he will help you to understand the pros and cons. Most patients in Dr. Donaldson’s practice choose silicone because they tend to look and feel more natural, have less chance of rippling and are more durable. Some patients still prefer saline because if the implant ruptures, the saline (which is just salt water) will simply be absorbed by the body.
There are also several implant shapes, four different “profiles” and two different surface textures for breast implants. Dr. Donaldson prefers round, smooth implants in either moderate or high profile because the results seem to be most natural and consistent. During your personal consultation, you can touch sample implants to feel the difference and even try them on!
Implants may be placed above, below or partially above and below the chest muscles (the “dual-plane” technique). You will learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each technique during your visit to the office.
You should arrive at the surgical center about an hour before your start time. The anesthesia team will place an IV and give you medications to help prevent pain and nausea. They will also give antibiotics to prevent infection, and low-dose heparin to prevent blood clots.
Dr. Donaldson will perform the breast augmentation in approximately 60 to 75 minutes while you are fully asleep under general anesthesia. He always injects numbing medicine even though you are asleep, so that the nerves remain soothed throughout the procedure. Dr. Donaldson is known for being a perfectionist, and he is absolutely meticulous in his surgical techniques. He insists upon efficiency so you are not asleep longer than necessary, he is gentle with tissue to minimize bruising and swelling, and he is the only person in the operating room who ever touches the implants.
More pain medication is given during and after the operation to maximize your comfort. You will be in the recovery area for an hour or so, until you are fully awake, and then you will go home the same day! Recovery nurse experts will give you detailed instructions before you leave the center, and Dr. Donaldson’s staff will answer any questions that remain.
What will recovery be like?
After the operation, you will need assistance from a friend or family member – or Dr. Donaldson’s office can arrange for personnel to support you instead. It’s best to make these arrangements well in advance in order to optimize your safety and comfort during recovery.
While pain should be expected, it is generally not severe. Most patients describe “tightness” or a stretched sensation due to the pressure of the implants on the skin and chest muscles over the first few days. Most patients require a long weekend of relaxation, or three or four days away from normal activities and less physical work.
Light activities and work can be resumed as tolerated; more stressful exercise and athletics must wait for three to six weeks depending upon the healing process.
Two weeks after the operation, Dr. Donaldson recommends vigorous implant massage and displacement exercises. Massaging the implants within the breast pockets encourage a more natural shape, position and feel.
Patient Instructions for Postoperative Care
Dr. Donaldson and the Donaldson Plastic Surgery staff have created several easy-to-follow video tutorials for your breast augmentation postoperative care:
Watch more video tutorials:
Why choose Dr. Donaldson?
A board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Donaldson is known across the Midwest for his skill and experience with breast augmentation. Over the years, he’s mastered the nuances of this procedure so that he consistently produces beautiful, natural-looking results. His patients appreciate his artistry and attention to detail, and rave about his expertise in blogs and testimonials.
Dr. Donaldson and his staff work hard to make sure that patients are comfortable in the office and are fully confident in their choices. Voted one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors, Dr. Donaldson brings his kind bedside manner to every patient encounter.
Dr. Donaldson was named one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons in 2013 and one of Columbus Business First’s “Forty Under 40” individuals in 2014. He is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery as well as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and he is a Diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
Schedule your consultation today to learn more about breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Donaldson and the Donaldson Plastic Surgery staff will walk you through the entire process and address all of your concerns. One visit and you’ll see why many patients insist this is the premier practice in the area!Call 614-442-7610 or contact us through the form at the upper left of this page whenever you are ready…