I cannot believe it has been over a year since my breast augmentation surgery. I want to say this journey was nothing but a roller coaster, but I would be lying – haha. Getting my breast augmentation was, by far, one of the best things I have ever done. My only regret was not getting the procedure sooner.
One Year Anniversary of My Breast Augmentation
I sat down with Dr. Carlos Mata in Scottsdale last month to give you all the tips and tricks of getting a breast augmentation. Before we get started with the interview, I wanted to address some quick frequently asked questions about my breast augmentation.
Quick FAQS About My Implants
What is your breast implant incision?
My breast implant incision was under the fold.
What is your breast implant type?
I got Silicone High Profile!
What is your breast implant size?
I got 415 cc on both sides.
Did you get your breast implant under or over the muscle?
I got them done under the muscle.
I am here with Dr. Carlos Mata, who is my plastic surgeon. He did my breast augmentation a year ago. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been a year. Dr. Mata, can you introduce yourself?
I am Carlos Mata, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon here in northern Scottsdale, Arizona. On social media, I go by @DrScottsdale – super easy to find. I truly don’t believe that it has been a year. It feels like we just did it a month ago, but here we are a year later, and I’m like, “Wow, I can’t believe the time has flown that fast.”
I get asked lots of questions about my breast augmentation. One of the most frequently asked questions is what type of implants are there?
Well, there are two kinds of implants, but there’s actually a newer third category. The first type is saline – that’s the first thing that ever came out on the market. It’s silicone on the outside and water on the inside. Anytime it’s outside of the body, the water evaporates. That’s why you can hear it slush. The other type is silicone – both the outside and the inside are silicone. These feel softer and more natural, have more ripples, and are firmer.
Can you hear the swish-swish in the silicone when it’s in the body?
That’s actually a good question. Most people don’t because the reality is when we use saline implants, we take the air out and put the water in so it’s solid and you won’t hear anything. But older plastic surgeons, back 30 – 40 years when they first started doing this, the implants came with a little bit of air and they wouldn’t take it out – they added water. There was always a little bit of air stuck in there, so when people ran, they might have heard a little sloshing. But that hasn’t been an issue for a really long time.
What would you say is the best and safest incision for breast augmentation?
The best incision is the one that makes the most sense for the patient. So, while probably 70% of plastic surgeons put it under the breast fold – because it is the easiest operation for the surgeon – that doesn’t mean that it’s the best incision for the patient.
What I mean by that is if you have no breast fold and you’re guessing where you think that implant’s going to be, sometimes people end up with a scar that’s really visible, because that incision should be right at the crease of where the breast drops and the ribs start. That’s where you want that incision to be. Sometimes, people have a large areola (the colored part of the nipple) and so if you hide it there, there’s no color change, or because there is a color change, you don’t see a scar.
The other incision is in the armpit, which hides really well, but one out of eight or nine patients gets breast cancer. When you go through this incision, you cut through something called lymphatics, and that’s basically where they test for cancer. If you use this incision, you’re eliminating some of the possibility of screening for it later in life. The last incision is around your belly button. That’s the one that I personally don’t do because I think it is too traumatizing to put implants in there.
They all have their pros and cons. For me personally, the best incision is the one that patient’s happiest with. I’ll tell you a funny story because I practiced in Florida, Texas, and now in Arizona. In Texas, 90% of my patients wanted their implants through the armpit – they didn’t want any scars on the breast, they didn’t care about any kind of risks, they just wanted it through the armpit. In Florida, more than 90% of my patients wanted it around the nipple. Now in Arizona, probably 70% – 80% of patients want it under the breast fold.
Would you recommend breast implants underneath the muscle or on top?
That’s a great question and probably one of the most challenging to answer. The reason I say that is because if you look globally at breast augmentation, over 90% of people put implants above the muscle. The U.S. is the only country that still puts implants under the muscle. If you think about it from an anatomy standpoint, there is no fat under your muscle. There’s zero. I mean maybe if you’re a little heavy, you might have some fat there, but there’s no fat there, and breast tissue is above the muscle.
In the U.S., in 1992, they actually banned silicone implants. Because they did that, and all we could use was saline, surgeons in the US said, “Well, how do I make it look more natural?” Somebody started putting it under the muscle so it would help look softer and not so firm. You would see less rippling. It wouldn’t look so much like a coconut shell on your chest. They started doing the procedure that way, but when the FDA reapproved silicone implants back in 2006, placing the implant underneath the muscle was the only placement that most people knew; however, the rest of the world always had silicone. Silicone was never taken off the market in any other country other than the US, so every other country kept placing their implants above the muscle.
Now to answer the question of why above or why below? If you have very little breast tissue, there’s nothing. All you see is ribs, you need to camouflage the implant, so you put it under the muscle. If your breasts are a little bit more droopy, but you have more breast tissue, then you put the implants above the muscle so they look more natural and they fill the tissue. Because sometimes what happens is if your muscles are here and you put an implant here, but your nipple is down there, it doesn’t look very good.
The implant needs to be centered around that nipple. If it’s here, great. If it’s down there, then you probably need above the muscle so it looks better.
What breast implants do you recommend for someone who wants a more natural look but still perky?
That’s a hard question, and the reason I say that is because it depends on the person. If they have no breast tissue, I would pick silicone, because it is softer, has fewer ripples and looks more natural. If someone has a lot of breast tissue, then it doesn’t really matter. You can pick saline or you can pick silicone because there’s a lot of camouflage.
There is a new implant – it’s maybe about five years old – that is a combination of both saline and silicone. What I mean by that, it’s actually made out of saline, but it’s an implant within an implant, within an implant, within an implant, within an implant. It has five little baby implants in it, full of water. It has less rippling and it feels more firm, but it’s made out of water, so people feel better about it.
Let’s talk about cost. How much does a breast implant cost?
Since breast augmentation is elective, no insurance covers it, unless you have breast cancer, at which point it is totally covered, but the cost varies. The hardest thing for me is to explain the cost when the patient says, “Well, doctor, X, Y, Z is charging this. Doctor X, Y, Z is charging this plus more,” and you’re like, “Well why is this guy or this lady more or whatever the cost is?”
Compare the different costs of going to college: why is community college less than a four-year college? Why is ASU or U of A more expensive? Because you feel you’re going to get a better education, that’s why they’re charging more. But when it comes to surgery, it’s not like buying a car. If you want a BMW, you’re trying to find the exact model and the exact features for less everywhere because it’s all the same.
When it comes to surgery, nobody’s exactly the same. I am very different than someone else. Maybe someone else does a better job or maybe I do, but it’s all about the expectation. It’s all about feeling comfortable with the doctor in terms of what it is that you feel you want to get and can that doctor do it and are there before and after photos that say, “Hey, yeah, he kind of does that or she kind of does that.”
That’s the hard part. So, all of that together determines the cost. Let’s say you’re in Beverly Hills – it might cost more. Let’s say you’re in the middle of nowhere, Timbuktu, it might be less because there’s just not a high demand for it. Cost always varies.
Typically here in the Scottsdale area, the cost ranges from as low as $4,000 to as high as $9,000 for the same breast augmentation. I’m somewhere in the middle, not too high, not too low. If it’s really that inexpensive, do you think that’s probably the best choice for you? Probably not. If it’s the most expensive, does that make it the best possible surgery? Not necessarily. I think it’s finding somewhere where you’re comfortable that you feel you’re going to get what you’re looking for.
Do you have any tips when looking for a plastic surgeon?
Well, the tips are pretty simple. Find someone that you’re comfortable with and make sure he/she is a board-certified plastic surgeon. If you search the Internet for “board-certified plastic surgeons” there is a website where you can type a doctor’s name and do a search. If they don’t show up, they’re not a board-certified plastic surgeon – they’re not certified.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who aren’t plastic surgeons that can’t do a good job. It just means that at least the plastic surgeons that are certified had to do a minimum number of procedures, is constantly scrutinized by society, making sure that we’re doing things the right way, and if there’s a problem, we can take you to the hospital and take care of you. Some of these non-certified doctors that do it in their offices, if they have a problem, they’ll send you to the ER, but they can’t take care of you. Now it’s some other doctor going in there asking, “Why am I cleaning up someone else’s mess who shouldn’t have done this in the first place?” So, those are the two biggest things.
Another thing is always to look at reviews because, again, it’s one of those things that it’s unbiased opinions. The thing is if all the reviews are five stars, then you know it’s probably not real, because as much as I’d love to think that everybody loves me, not everybody loves me, but it’s one of those things that you weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes you look at their reviews and you’re like, “Gosh, did he really mess up that person that bad?” Again, sometimes people just don’t like you. It doesn’t matter how hard we try for everyone to like us, not everyone likes us, and some people are like, “Mmm.”
I would also make sure the surgeon has before and after photos. Make sure that you know what you’re walking into, because somebody says, “Oh wow, the price is great. I like the person,” and you look at their before and afters and there’s only one photo. That’s probably not a good sign that the surgeon is doing a ton of the procedures.
There are exceptions to that rule because sometimes people don’t want their faces out there forever. I get that question a lot because I personally don’t have a lot of before and afters of faces because people want to have procedures done but they’re like, “Yeah, I don’t want anyone to know I had it done.”
Same thing with breasts, but breasts are a little bit more camouflaged so it’s kind of hard to know what you look like under your clothes versus on your face. You kind of can’t hide that. That’s what I would say is the exception.
Okay. Thank you so much, Dr. Carlos Mata, for coming on here and talking to us about breast augmentation. Where can we find you?
You can go online and type in DrScottsdale and I pretty much show up. Carlos Mata is my name, and you can type that in. I’m the only one that shows up from that standpoint, and our office is Natural Results. If you type in Natural Results Plastic Surgery, you will find me, or on Instagram @DrScottsdale. We’re on Snapchat at Dr.Scottsdale. We’re on Facebook and a little bit on TikTok, but not quite yet.
Thank you so much, Dr. Carlos Mata!
Because it’s my one year anniversary, also happy birthday to my boobs! I will give everyone what they’ve been waiting for since my procedure: before and after photos! I debated and debated for a year whether or not I should be sharing these. While I was doing my research, showing photos of my wish boobs was the best way to portray my goals to my plastic surgeon.
My before and after photo including my three months and one-year post-op.
Where to find Dr. Carlos Mata, also known as Dr. Scottsdale: Instagram | Facebook
Natural Results Plastic Surgery
7930 E Thompson Peak Pkwy #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
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