Breast augmentation, commonly known as breast enlargement, is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure performed in the U.S. each year. Due to the high demand of this surgery, I have committed myself and my practice to breast augmentation as a primary focus. In this surgery, as in all surgeries I perform, my goal is to obtain the best outcomes for each patient.
Breast augmentation surgery uses implants to make your breasts fuller or to restore breast volume lost after losing weight or having babies.
This procedure can:
- Increase breast fullness
- Bring balance to your figure
- Improve your confidence and self-image
This procedure will not:
- Correct breasts that are severely drooping. If you want fuller breasts that are lifted (due to sagging), a breast lift may be performed in conjunction with an augmentation.
Implants are also used during breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury to
reconstruct the breasts. You may find it helpful to review our before and after photos and view my breast augmentation consultation video. (Visit our technical support page if you have problems)
Current implant options include saline (salt water) filled implants, silicone gel filled
implants and cohesive gel filled implants. A recent option that we are commonly
performing is the use of fat grafting - using a patient's own fat tissue obtained through liposuction - to enlarge breasts. Please schedule a consultation to find out more about the types of breast implants that we provide.
Breast Augmentation Rapid Recovery Video
One of the most exciting things about my approach to breast augmentation is the Rapid Recovery program. This approach allows our patients to go home after surgery and after a brief rest period, take a shower, get dressed, go shopping and out to eat, only taking ibuprofen - no narcotics! Please review the details of our Rapid Recovery program and watch this video journal of an actual patient as she goes through the early recovery of breast augmentation.
Which Breast Implant Is Best For You?
Patients often ask us about the types of breast implants we use and why we use them. Here is the short answer. Implants are not one-size-fits-all. Every patient’s body is different. Therefore, we use the implant that is most appropriate and will provide the best outcome for each individual. I will discuss these options during the consultation. I use both silicone gel implants and the new Ideal saline implant.
Silicone Gel Implants
After years of rigorous medical studies, silicone gel implants were approved by the FDA for breast enlargement surgery in 2006. I was an active investigator on all FDA clinical trials leading up to the re-release of these implants and enrolled over 1000 patients in various silicone gel studies. I can tell you they are an absolutely safe and effective long-term option for women who want breast implants. They are the most studied medical devices ever. The data is overwhelming. There is no evidence that silicone gel implants cause connective tissue diseases. As a board certified plastic surgeon who has regularly utilized these implants for almost 30 years, I am completely comfortable recommending them to the women in my own family.
The Ideal Implant was approved by the FDA in 2014 and gives women another great choice for breast implants. The safety profile for the Ideal Implant is outstanding – which is precisely why they received FDA approval. It is a dual-chambered saline implant that feels remarkably similar to a silicone gel-filled implant. And, it’s completely different from the standard saline implants, which have often been compared to a “water balloon”. While it’s filled with only saline, the implant has a natural feel because of its internal supporting structure that controls movement of the saline.
With the Ideal Implant, women can have the peace of mind of getting a saline implant without compromising the natural feel that was previously available only with silicone gel-filled implants.
Our practice exclusively has initial access to this Ideal Implant for our patients in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. This is due to my long association with the inventor of the device, Dr. Robert Hamas of Dallas, TX – and support of the company during its development.
Illustration, courtesy of Ideal Implant.
Breast augmentation has the highest re-operation rates nationally of any cosmetic
surgery. Despite such high numbers, I personally have one of the lowest re-operation rates in the country. I strive for natural results, which coincidentally, have a lower complication and re-operation rate. My approach is to fill your breast tissue to its ideal fullness but not to overfill it. While placing breast implants that are too large is commonly done elsewhere by other surgeons (often combined with poor surgical technique), this results in overstretching of tissues, a bad outcome, the need for additional surgery, discomfort, down time and expense.
Since my priority is to obtain the best outcome for you, it is very important to match your "wishes and wants" to the reality of your natural breast tissue. I certainly don't have an agenda not to give someone a particular breast cup size if it won't lead to problems and complications. But, if we don't respect the limitations of your body's tissues to support a particular size implant, then you risk complications, re-operations, downtime and additional expense. As you can see in our before and after breast augmentation pictures my patients get natural-looking, full and youthful breasts. When a woman feels more feminine, attractive and confident as a result of our approach, I feel a special satisfaction in helping her to achieve that outcome - while at the same time minimizing risks.
Preparing For Surgery
After researching the basics, many patients want to know what to expect before surgery.
Prior to breast surgery, I may ask you to:
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Stop smoking well in advance of your surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, as they
can increase bleeding
Special Instructions You Receive Will Cover:
- What to do the day of surgery (you will need someone to drive you)
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your breast augmentation surgery will be performed at the Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, an AAAHC accredited facility utilizing highly-experienced anesthesiologists from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Implants May Need to Be Replaced or Revised
It's important to know that after receiving breast implants, results are long-lasting, but they are not permanent and may require replacement at some point. Over time, your breasts can change due to aging, weight gain or loss, hormonal fluctuations and the effects of gravity. If, after a period of time, you become dissatisfied with the way your breasts look, you may choose to undergo a breast lift or implant exchange to restore a more youthful-looking contour. Be sure to follow my instructions to ensure the best results for your breast enlargement, and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
As an elective surgery, the cost of breast augmentation is a consideration for many patients. A plastic surgeon's cost for this surgery may vary based on any additional procedures being done at the same time and the type and cost of breast implants used. Our practice offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask us about this option.
Cost Can Include:
- Dr. Van Natta's surgeon's fee
- Surgical facility fee
- Anesthesia fee
- Breast implant cost
- Garments needed post-surgery
- Medical testing
Typically, health insurance does not cover the cost of breast enhancement (unless it is due to breast cancer reconstruction). Most health insurance plans will not cover related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts. Some health insurance carriers may exclude breast diseases in patients who have breast implants. You should review your health insurance policy for more details.
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a plastic surgeon for breast enlargement, remember that the surgeon's experience with breast implants, their personal re-operation rate and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
It is important to be an active participant in the process, so we've developed the following list of questions to ask during your breast augmentation consultation.
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Is the office-based surgical facility where you perform surgery accredited by a
nationally - or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me in order to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- Is there a specific surgical technique recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need
during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect my breasts to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my breast augmentation?
- Do you have before and after photos I can look at for this procedure, and what
results are reasonable for me?
Use This Checklist As a Guide During Your Consultation.
The following points are important regarding Dr. Van Natta:
- He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- He was trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery and had 5 years of
general surgery training as well as 2 1/2 years of plastic surgery training.
- He has been in practice for 25 years.
- His surgical facility, Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, is accredited by a
nationally recognized accrediting agency, and it is state-licensed and Medicare-certified.
- He also has hospital privileges to perform this procedure at St. Vincent Hospital.
- He performs more than 200 breast augmentation surgeries each year.
- He is known both locally and nationally as an expert in breast surgery.
How are complications handled? If you experience a rare complication requiring
re-operation, Dr. Van Natta often won't charge for his services, but you may well have additional expenses for the operating room as well as anesthesia.
Blog Articles About Breast Augmentation
I have written a couple of blog posts on additional breast augmentation topics including:
To learn more details about this procedure, check out these posts.