Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammaplasty, is a procedure designed to help increase the fullness of your breasts, improve the balance of hip and breast contours, and help enhance your self-image.


A breast Augmentation typically requires the use of breast implants, although augmentation using a method of fat transfer may be an option. At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, several implant options are employed based on your individual findings. The major difference, of course, is the implant material. The most common are saline implants (inserted while empty and filled with sterile salt water once in place) and silicone implants ( implants pre-filled with silicone gel before insertion) In addition to the material choices, implant manufacturers offer several styles of implants. Smooth, fully round or tear-drop shaped are just a few of the options available. It is important to note that Dr. Kuhlman-Wood does not use textured implants.

Additional implant options surround the placement of the implants in the body. The two options most often employed at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ are Subglandular and Dual-Plane placement.

It is important to note that a Breast Augmentation will not correct severe droopiness of the breast unless it is combined with a Mastopexy, commonly known as a breast lift. Both procedures are often performed at the same time.

Women consider breast augmentation for a number of different reasons. At Coeur d'Alene Plastic Surgery™, our patients are often looking to boost their confidence and self-image. Although trained in breast reconstruction, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood's practice does not offer breast reconstruction procedures. In order to be considered an ideal candidate, you must be healthy, fully developed, not pregnant or breastfeeding.

The decision is yours and yours alone to make. Many women seek out augmentation to correct shape or volume after pregnancy, counteract changes that come naturally with age, or to make their breasts the same size or shape for the first time. Others simply feel that their breasts are too small the way they are. Any of these reasons would make you an ideal candidate for this procedure. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kuhlman-Wood to learn what options are available.

If you are a smoker, you will be required to quit for at least four (4) weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free until your surgical results have been fully achieved. Smoking has been proven to interfere with the body’s naturally healing process. For your safety and to achieve the desired surgical outcome, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood screens for Nicotine prior to surgery.

During your initial consultation with Dr. Kuhlman-Wood, be prepared to discuss the following:
  • Why you want a Breast Augmentation
  • What are your expectations
  • What are your desired outcomes. Please be aware that desired outcomes beyond the physical quality of your breast may also be discussed.
  • Your previous Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments.
  • Your current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
  • Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will ask about your family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies.
  • Any dramatic changes in weight, if it applies.
  • Any major social changes, such as divorces, deaths in your family, or new relationships.

Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation

In addition to a meaningful discussion, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will more than likely discuss and do the following:
  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
  • Depending on your age and medical history, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood may recommend a mammogram prior to surgery.
  • If applicable, and with your written consent, take photographs for "Before & After" comparisons.
  • Discuss your plastic surgery options and recommend a course of treatment, including non-surgical options that may be available.
  • Discuss likely outcomes as-well-as any risks or potential complications.

At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, our entire staff is committed to providing a frictionless surgical experience. It begins with listening to your needs and continues through appropriate education and care across your entire surgical experience. This includes providing you the care you need while you recover.

Where will my Breast Augmentation be performed?

Dr. Kuhlman-Wood performs all Breast Augmentation Procedures at either Northwest Specialty Hospital or PleasantView Surgery Center. Both facilities are Doctor-owned facilities and have impeccable records of patient success and satisfaction. Factors such as schedule availability, procedural complexity and your individual needs will determine the location of your procedure.

What should I expect on the day of Surgery?

On the day of your Breast Augmentation procedure, you will check in at the front desk and be placed in the pre-operative section of the surgical center. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will meet you prior to surgery to answer any questions you may have, calm your nerves and verify you are ready for the procedure. During this time, an IV will be placed to delivery the necessary Anesthesia (Anesthesia types vary depending on patient and procedure.). Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will have determined an individualized technique for your procedure depending upon several factors including the shape, size, and material selected for your implants. Using a special marker, she will place marks on your body to serve as her surgical guides.

In surgery, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will make incisions appropriate to your individual findings. If you have chosen to have your implants placed subglandular, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will then separate the tissue from the muscle, insert and center the implant into the pocket, and stitch the incision closed. This option is the least complicated, and will yield the fastest recovery period. The other option is called a "Dual-Plane" Placement. During a dual plane augmentation, the implant is placed under the pectoral muscle at the upper, and sometimes mid, part of the breast, but the lower part of the implant is not covered by the muscle. The varying different degrees of muscle coverage over the implant depends on the patient’s current breast shape and desired result. After one of these placement techniques are complete, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will tighten the remaining skin and close the incisions with sutures, stitches, skin adhesives, surgical tape, or some combination of these materials. It is important to note that incision lines can sometimes be hidden by natural breast contours, but ones that are visible on the surface of the breast will fade over time.

Recovering after your Breast Augmentation

Dressings and/or bandages will be placed over the incisions after the procedure is complete. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood and her staff will provide you with individualized instructions detailing your post-operative care. These instructions will detail information about your dressings, how long you’ll need to wear them, how to change them, and how to keep your incisions clean and free of infection. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood may have you wear a support bra or elastic bandage in order to minimize post-operative swelling as-well-as support your breast’s new shape and size – especially as they begin to heal.

Small tubes called drains may need to be placed underneath your skin in order to collect any fluid or blood that may result as a natural part of the body’s healing process. The staff at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ will schedule your necessary follow-up visits to have any drains or non-dissolving stitches removed. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will prescribe and council you on the appropriate medications to take to prevent infection, aid in your healing, and reduce pain. She will also provide guidance on when it is appropriate to resume your normal daily activities, like exercise and work.

There are many factors that can determine the cost of a Breast Augmentation. However, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes Dr. Kuhlman-Wood’s surgical fee, the cost of anesthesia, facility fees for the hospital and/or surgical center, medical tests, clothing and bandages required after the procedure, and prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. It also includes 90 days of post-operative care.

Health insurance plans typically do not cover a Breast Augmentation Procedure for purely cosmetic purposes; however, Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery does offer financing to help break up the cost over time. Although monetary cost is important, it is only one of several factors to consider. It is equally important to find a surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS, trustworthy, and close enough to reduce travel time between visits – especially after your procedure. Perhaps most importantly, choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable to share in your surgical journey.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of Kate Kuhlman-Wood, MD