Breast Augmentation

San Francisco Bay Area women considering breast augmentation have a range of highly personal reasons for wanting to enhance the size of their breasts, but they all share a desire to find a plastic surgeon who can translate their cosmetic goals into reality. Dr. Barbara Persons’ reputation for creating beautiful, natural-looking results is one of the reasons women travel for breast augmentation to her practice in Lafayette and Brentwood, CA, near Walnut Creek.

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast enlargement is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S., and the degree of patient satisfaction is extremely high. That’s especially true at our practice, where Dr. Persons ensures during the consultation that you completely understand the details of the operation. That includes the different types of implants, the different incision locations available, and the possible complications associated with breast augmentation.

Patients with a thorough understanding of the procedure are confident in their choice to undergo the surgery. Common reasons women choose to get breast implants include:

  • They’ve always had small breasts and want to feel more confident in their bodies.
  • Their breasts lost volume after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • They want to correct asymmetric (unevenly sized) breasts.
  • They want to expand their fashion options.

Knowing why a patient wants breast augmentation, along with understanding her cosmetic goals, enables Dr. Persons to create a customized surgical plan designed to best achieve the desired outcome.

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon whose personal connection to plastic surgery inspired her to pursue this career as a lifelong calling, Dr. Persons engages with each of her patients on a very personal level. She's known for creating results that look natural and brings a woman's perspective that patients appreciate.

Meet Dr. Persons Dr. Persons credentials

Breast Augmentation Options

Patients are involved in making a number of choices before the procedure. These include where Dr. Persons will make incisions, the placement of the implants, and the size and type of breast implants used.

Breast Implant Options

Besides choosing the size of your breast implants, you also can choose implants filled with either saline or cohesive silicone gel.

Breast Implant Material

  • Saline implants: Implants filled with a saltwater solution. They are less expensive than silicone gel implants, and a smaller incision is needed because they are filled after being inserted. They tend to feel less like natural breast tissue than silicone gel and are prone to visible rippling.
  • Cohesive silicone gel implants: The latest generation of silicone gel implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue and are chosen by about 80% of breast augmentation patients in the U.S. They create less rippling than saline implants.

Breast Implant Shape

Patients can choose either round breast implants or implants that have a teardrop shape, with more fullness in the lower portion of the implants. The majority of breast augmentation patients select round implants because teardrop-shaped implants may move within the implant pocket and appear asymmetrical. 

Breast Implant Profile

How much implants project from the chest wall when a woman is standing is known as the implant profile. This is different than size. The same sized implants (having equal cc volume) with different widths have different levels of projection. Implants with a smaller base width provide greater projection as compared to implants with a wider base width.

The most common categories of breast implant profiles include:

  • Low-profile implants: These implants have a relatively flat appearance and minimally project from the chest. Women with wider chests often choose low-profile implants.
  • Moderate-profile implants: These implants tend to produce the most natural-looking results. Moderate implants are typically ideal for women with smaller or narrower chests.
  • High-profile implants: Extremely narrow at the base to provide maximum projection, high-profile implants create fuller, more rounded breasts. This may appear less natural on some patients. For petite patients with narrow chest walls, however, high-profile implants can be an ideal choice. 

Incision Locations

Dr. Persons offers 3 options for incision locations, depending on the size and type of implants used. They include:

Inframammary fold: This is a small, horizontal incision made at the base of the breast where it connects to the chest wall.

Periareolar: An incision is made along the lower edge of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple).

Transaxillary: An incision is made in the area of the armpit.

Breast Implant Placement

The breast enlargement operation involves creating a pocket either under the breast tissue (subglandular) or under the pectoralis muscle (submuscular) where Dr. Persons places the implant. 

Behind the muscle (submuscular): This placement is best for women who have little existing breast tissue.  can often choose the subglandular placement because the tissue camouflages the edges of the implants. Dr. Persons typically recommends this placement for most patients because placing the implants under the muscle helps maintain the breasts’ shape for a longer period of time. 

In front of the muscle (subglandular): Women with adequate breast tissue can often choose the subglandular placement because the tissue camouflages the edges of the implants.


Dr. Persons performs the operation using a local anesthetic and light sleep sedation for all patients, which enhances the post-surgical experience. Even though each patient heals at her own pace, there are some general recovery guidelines that can help you know what to expect after breast augmentation surgery. Closely following detailed post-op instructions provided by our office can help you recover with minimal discomfort in a shorter amount of time.

First 3 Weeks After Surgery

Days 1-3

Expect to experience mild to moderate bruising, mild to moderate swelling, and some drainage decreasing on day 2 or day 3. Patients who have their implants placed under the muscle will have more drainage and more discomfort. You should ice continuously for 48 to 72 hours. Take 3 Arnica tablets under the tongue every 3 hours. On the third day after surgery, the second bra may be removed, and the Ace wrap may be loosened. Activity: Sitting and minimal walking. You should not be doing any bending, lifting, straining, or exercising during this time.

Day 4

The discomfort is minimal but present (under the muscle placement may still have moderate discomfort). The swelling continues to go down but is still present (more swelling with under the muscle placement). Activity: Sitting and minimal walking, and still no bending, lifting, straining, or exercising.

Day 5

The discomfort is still decreasing but present. The swelling continues to go down but is still present. The breasts are slightly swollen, more so if implants are under the muscle. Activity: Sitting and minimal walking, and still no bending, lifting, straining, or exercising.

Day 6-21

The discomfort in the breast is going away, but there are still sore spots. The swelling goes down daily. As activity increases, the breasts may become more swollen and discomfort may increase. Activity remains restricted, and if swelling and discomfort increase, you are doing too much. Activity: Sitting and minimal walking, and still no bending, lifting, straining, or exercising.

Get Started

If you’re looking for a breast augmentation specialist in Walnut Creek, Concord, or the surrounding area, you can request an appointment with Dr. Persons using the online form, or call our office at (925) 283-4012 to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is it important to place breast implants behind the muscle?

In most instances, the submuscular placement yields a better look over many years. For this reason, well over 90% of our patients over the past 20 years have had implants placed in the submuscular position. Specific reasons for submuscular placement include:

  • When the patient is a “B” cup or smaller, the muscle is needed to help cover the implant.
  • If a patient wants to go to a large size (a full “C” “D” or larger), has little breast tissue, and thin skin and subcutaneous tissue, then behind the muscle is best.
  • When the patient desires a more natural look, submuscular placement is recommended.

How long do breast implants last?

Most estimates say saline and silicone implants last for 10 to 15 years, but some may last longer. Implants do not need to be changed unless there are complications. The implants are guaranteed by the manufacturer for life and against defect for up to 10 years.

Can a woman breastfeed after breast augmentation?

Breastfeeding after getting breast implants is possible, and many, many women do it successfully. If you know that you plan to have children in the future, tell your surgeon because it can influence the incision location. Specifically, surgeons will avoid making incisions at the base of the areolae so they don’t risk disrupting the milk ducts.

Are there drawbacks to having larger breasts?

The benefits of breast enlargement are well known and easy to understand. Most of them relate to greater ease of finding clothing that fits well, without the need for internal padding or special lingerie. Women contemplating enlargement, however, should consider certain issues associated with having larger breasts:

  • Bras should be worn most of the day.
  • They can interfere with physical activities such as running.
  • They attract more attention.
  • Breasts may sag earlier.

Can breast implants achieve some lifting of sagging breasts?

Although implants do not lift up sagging breasts, they do help mildly sagging breasts to appear less saggy by taking up some of the slack in loosened skin. For moderate or severe sagging, Dr. Persons may recommend a breast lift or a lift with implants.

If you’re interested in learning more about breast augmentation and if you’re a good candidate for the surgery, request an appointment with Dr. Persons using the online form or call our office at (925) 283-4012 to schedule an appointment.

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