David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

Breast Augmentation FAQ

  • How do I know if I should have my implants placed over or under the muscle?
    Good question. Choose the submuscular (under the muscle) placement if you have saline implants, a small amount of natural breast tissue, or a strong family history of breast cancer. Choose the subglandular (over the muscle) placement if you want silicone implants, have a large amount of natural tissue with saline implants, or require a breast lift. Also, keep in mind in some breast augmentation patients either placement is a good option. Learn more in our blog:

    Best Breast Implant Placement: Over vs. Under the Muscle

    When considering breast augmentation, whether at our Knoxville, TN, practice or elsewhere, you and your plastic surgeon have four main decisions to make: The size of the breast implant The choice of saline vs. silicone breast implants Whether to place the implants over vs. under the muscle. The location of the incision We give “7 … Read more »
  • How long will it take me to recover from my breast augmentation surgery?
    Whether you choose to have your implants over or under the muscle may impact your recovery by a day or so. Either way, most of the women we see for breast augmentation, who come to our practice from the Knoxville area, Johnson City, Cookeville, Cleveland, and beyond, are able to return to normal activities in 7 to 10 days and usually need no more than a week off from work. One idea that typically works well is to have your surgery on a Thursday and take the next week off work. That way, you can easily go back early if you’re feeling up to it, but you don’t feel pressured to go back before you’re ready. Another thing to keep in mind is how physical your job and normal activities are. A good guideline is not to lift anything, and certainly nothing heavier than a gallon of milk, for the first week after surgery. If you have small children running around or your work involves heavy lifting, you may need to have more help during your recovery or more time off. Our eBook “The Plastic Surgery Planner” is a wealth of information on recovering from surgery. You can download it here.
  • When can I get back to my exercise routine?
    A good general guideline is that you can start slowly (walking) after a week and work up to more aerobic activity as you feel comfortable. For chest presses and weight lifting, you should give it at least two weeks (you won’t feel like doing it anyway!) It will be longer if your implants are placed under the muscle.
  • Should I be concerned about the brand of implant my plastic surgeon uses?
    There are three companies that produce breast implants in the United States. Mentor, which is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, Sientra and Allergan. Most doctors choose implant companies based on their service, which is why Dr. Reath and Dr. Walker use Allergan implants. Although implant brands may matter a lot to your surgeon, they probably won’t mean that much to you unless you need to replace implants under warranty. That’s why most surgeons will have a good relationship with all three breast implant companies in order to best take care of their patients.
  • What are “Soft Touch” silicone implants?
    All of the silicone implants plastic surgeons work with are cohesive gel implants, but some are more cohesive than others. Breast implant manufacturers have been using cross-linking technology to create more implant options that may work well in different circumstances. Recently, Allergan has introduced round implants with greater cohesivity. Our favorite of these is the Soft Touch implants. The advantage of this increased cohesivity is to have greater fullness in the upper breast (referred to in medicalese as “upper pole fullness.”) In breast lift patients, maintaining this upper pole fullness is always a challenge depending upon the amount of natural breast tissue present. These newer implants may well help with this desired fullness, which is why he has started using them in most breast lift patients.
  • Why don’t you use teardrop-shaped implants?
    Round implants are totally symmetric so that their orientation, when placed, is never a problem. Anatomic or teardrop implants, on the other hand, are asymmetric. There is greater projection at the bottom of the implants than at the top. They have a tendency to rotate causing problems. So, round implants are definitely the most commonly used implants. They look more natural when you are standing up and lying down. Plus they are less expensive.

    Shaped vs Round Breast Implants: Can You Tell The Difference?

    Highly cohesive breast implants are getting a lot of play in the media and at the meetings I attend. I’ve also noticed a real push from the breast implant manufacturers to persuade us to use these in our practice. They even have a cute, catchy nickname: gummy bear implants. But the question in the minds … Read more »
  • How do I know if I need a breast lift?
    Here’s a good way you can tell. Standing in front of a mirror, look at your nipples in relation to the natural crease beneath your breasts. If your nipples are lower than your breast crease before surgery, adding implants without removing excess skin will make them more saggy. And it will just get worse with gravity over time. Sad, but true. You will probably need a lift. If your surgeon tells you to just use bigger implants, don’t go there girlfriend!
  • What about cup size?
    As women, we tend to think in cup sizes because that is how we buy our bras. The most common comment we hear from women is, “I’d like to be a C-cup?”. When we hear that we translate it to mean, “She wants her breasts to look like they fit the rest of her body.” This is because cup size is a very subjective measurement. Everyone wears their bras differently and every bra manufacturer makes them differently. You may be a 36C in one bra and a 34D in another. And when you check out all the different styles at your local Victoria’s Secret, you can understand why we say think proportion and shape, not cup size.

    Breast Augmentation 101: Why Shape Is More Important Than Size

     As most of you probably know, one of the top plastic surgery operations is breast augmentation.  And, like all things that are consistently popular, the reason for this is that the operation is very effective, it speaks to a need or desire of many women, and the recovery is pretty straight forward. But one of … Read more »
  • Can I get cleavage from a breast augmentation?
    Maybe, but it’s important to understand before your surgery that increasing the size of your breasts is not what gives you cleavage. Cleavage is a function of the shape and width of your chest and how close your breasts are together. Remember when you were little a little girl and you would cross your arms to pretend you had cleavage? It’s the same principle here. If your breasts are set wide on your chest, you will have more fullness after your augmentation, but not more cleavage. Conversely, if your body is narrow below your shoulders and your breasts are close together, you’ll have great cleavage even with a small implant.

    Cleavage 101: Implants, Bras, and the Uniboob

    In recent news coverage about patients having plastic surgery by non-plastic surgeons the term “uniboob” came up. So, just what is a uniboob and is this something that you want? To answer the second question first, no — this is definitely NOT something that you want. This all has to do with cleavage. And cleavage … Read more »
  • Do you use smooth or textured implants?
    Dr. Reath always uses smooth implants. He explains, “I definitely prefer smooth implants. It was originally thought that texturing implants would lead to a softer result with less capsular formation. However, this has not been borne out clinically. Textured implants adhere to the surrounding tissues and do not move as well with massage. Additionally, rippling is much more common with implant texturing.”

    Breast Augmentation: Helpful Pages On Our Site


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