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Individualized Enhancement

Breast Augmentation Surgery is an area of expertise for Chicago plastic surgeon John Q. Cook.





John Q. Cook, M.D.

Chicago 312-751-2112
Winnetka 847-446-7562

Breast Augmentation Options

Video: Form Stable Implants


Dr. Cook’s Artistic Differentiation

Breast Augmentation Surgery, also known as breast enhancement or enlargement surgery, is an area of expertise for Chicago plastic surgeon John Q. Cook.   He has extensive experience in breast reconstruction surgery due to his work at Rush University Medical Center, a major center for the treatment of breast cancer.   Because Dr. Cook has addressed a number of challenging cases in breast reconstruction, it has provided him  with a depth of experience and judgment that might not be available in a more routine practice. With the knowledge that he has gained from breast reconstruction surgery he has developed several techniques of the breast augmentation operation to help with particular breast shapes. Just like any plastic surgery, this operation should not be performed in a routine manner. There are many nuances of breast shape and position which require a highly skilled surgeon in order to produce a natural result.

Dr. Cook has the artistic vision and extensive experience to produce consistent high quality results for breast augmentation patients at his Chicago centers. “My goal is to produce a natural breast, not a cartoon of a breast.”

Below is a brief overview of breast augmentation surgeries.  As an educational service, we also offer the sections 10 Questions You Should Ask and 10 Things You Should Know about breast augmentation surgery.

Breast Augmentation

BA before-after

Breast Augmentation before and after. Click on image to view the complete gallery.

Dr. John Q. Cook has made breast surgery a primary focus of his career. Breast augmentation, or enlargement, at our Chicago and Winnetka-area centers uses breast implants to add volume and contour to the bust. Dr. Cook prides himself on the successful outcomes of the many women he has helped attain larger, more youthful-appearing breasts that look natural and not as though they have even had plastic surgery. “My goal is to produce a natural breast, not a cartoon of a breast.”

Breast Implants

Patients have options when choosing their preferred breast implant.

Patients can choose between breast implants filled with silicone gel and implants filled with saline solution (salt water).  These implants are available in a wide variety of shapes, volumes, and projections.  Patients in our practice are well-served by Dr. Cook’s extensive experience with both types of implants.  Dr. Cook was selected as a clinical investigator for national studies conducted using saline implants designed by the Food and Drug Administration. He also has served as the principal investigator for saline and silicone gel implant studies involving breast reconstruction at Rush University Medical Center.  Because he has been in practice for twenty years Dr. Cook has a long term perspective on the behavior of different types of breast implants that is very much to his patients’ advantage.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants come in a wide range of shapes and volumes.  The outer shell of the implant, which is made of silicone polymer, contains a valve that allows the surgeon to fill the implant with saline (salt water) solution.   The surgeon makes a short incision, creates a space for the implant, then fills the device to its optimum volume.  In general, saline implants can be inserted through a shorter incision than would be required for a silicone gel implant of similar volume.

Silicone Gel Implants

Like saline implants, silicone gel implants have an outer shell of silicone polymer.  There is no valve, since the implant is filled by the manufacturer with silicone gel.  Particularly in thin patients, silicone gel implants have artistic advantages, since the overall feel of the breast is more natural, and there is a lesser likelihood of rippling or irregularity.  In some cases, a rupture of the implant shell is difficult to detect and may require an MRI study for definitive diagnosis.

For over a decade the Food and Drug Administration restricted the use of silicone gel implants to three groups of patients: breast reconstruction, augmentation combined with mastopexy (breast lift) and replacement of existing gel implants.  Only surgeons who participated in the implant studies designed by the FDA were allowed to use these devices.  Many plastic surgeons did not participate in the studies and did not provide their patients with the option of using silicone gel devices during the greater than ten year period when silicone gel implants were restricted devices. When silicone gel implants were re-approved by the FDA for use in breast augmentation surgery, many plastic surgeons had little or no experience with the devices.

Dr. Cook provides patients at his Chicago and Winnetka centers with a greater than 20-year experience in the use of silicone gel breast implants.  The experience he has acquired in the use of these devices to solve complex problems of breast reconstruction works to the advantage of all patients who come to him for breast surgery.

Since silicone gel implants have been released by the FDA for general use in breast augmentation, a large majority of patients prefer these devices to the saline implants.

Breast Augmentation Procedure

The specific plan for your breast enlargement is determined during the breast augmentation consultation at our Chicago or Winnetka center. Dr. Cook will obtain a sense of your goals and personal observations about breast shape, volume, and visual balance.  During the physical examination Dr. Cook will obtain detailed measurements of your breast and share with you his observations regarding possible surgical strategies.  Whether your goal is simply to increase volume by a cup size or to obtain a more significant enhancement, Dr. Cook will make recommendations with an eye to obtaining an artistically pleasing and naturally balanced result.

Dr. Cook will carry out your surgery in a fully-accredited outpatient surgical center that is near his Chicago office.  The anesthesia team and the staff of the operating and recovery room are highly experienced and meet Dr. Cook’s extremely high standards.  Prior to your surgery you will review the surgical plan with Dr. Cook and he will mark key reference lines in the breast area.

Many of our patients comment on the quality of the anesthetic experience.  You will typically have no recollection of the surgery itself or the events immediately before or after surgery.  Because of the agents chosen for your anesthetic, most of our patients are able to avoid the “hangover” effect during the recovery period.

The surgical incision is chosen based on your preference, Dr. Cook’s experience, and the specific structural requirements of your breast.  The incision will lie either in the fold beneath the breast, at the lower border of the areola, or in the armpit area.  The implant is positioned either directly beneath the breast or, more commonly, beneath the breast and the pectoral muscle.  Dr. Cook has a range of techniques that allow him to address issues of breast shape and structural balance and he will apply these as needed to optimize your outcome.

Dr. Cook makes generous use of a long-acting local anesthetic, which aids your comfort during the early recovery period.  Patients typically make a quick recovery and are able to leave the surgery center 30 to 45 minutes after the completion of the surgery.

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Many patients come to see Dr. Cook from a considerable distance.  We are able to provide accommodations at a boutique hotel near our office or at a hotel of your preference.  We can provide an experienced caregiver who will optimize your recovery experience.  Some patients from the Chicago area who have young active children find that a first night at the hotel is a good idea.

If you recover at home, a friend or family member should be available to help you during the afternoon and evening of your recovery.  For the first few days after surgery, it is prudent to have a friend available to help with meals and light activities.

It is normal to experience some degree of pain after breast augmentation surgery.  Our goal is to minimize the pain with a combination of long-acting local anesthetic, pain medications, and medications that help to relax the pectoral muscle.

Most patients are able to return to normal light activity 3 to 5 days after the surgery.  Friends and co-workers may notice that you appear a little stiff, similar to someone who has pulled a muscle.  We encourage our patients to return to gentle exercise such as walking as soon as comfort permits, but you should avoid heavy or jarring exercise for a month.

As with all surgery there will be zones of swelling, bruising, and numbness, and these will take a number of weeks to fully settle in.  Many patients experience a period during which the nipples are oversensitive; it may take several months for this to return to normal.

Our highly-experienced staff will guide you through the recovery process.  We will do our best to anticipate your needs and provide suggestions to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Contact Plastic Surgeon, John Q. Cook, M.D.

With breast augmentation from our Chicago plastic surgeon, women can fulfill their wishes of having a larger, more sensual bustline. Breast enhancement can also be combined with other procedures, such as liposuction or facelift, for a more complete aesthetic makeover. Contact our breast enlargement surgeon, serving greater Chicago, Winnetka, and surrounding areas, for information on breast implants and other procedures designed to bring out your natural beauty and provide a boost to your self-esteem.