Breast Augmentation Overview
Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States, and one of the most commonly performed in our practice as well. Our goal is to give you the fuller breasts you’ve always wanted.
Breast augmentation patients should be generally healthy and have small to moderate-sized breasts. If there is a significant of drooping in your breasts, you may need a lift as well. Try this test: if your nipple hangs lower than the fold where the lower part of your breast meets the chest, you will probably require a lift as well as an implant to correct your appearance.
Breast augmentation is one of the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures- it has remained in the top 5 since 2006.
Types of Implants
- Silicone – For the majority of our patients, we utilize round, smooth-walled silicone gel implants. For most patients, we find that the silicone implants have a softer, more natural feel than the saline implants. The silicone implants now available are superior to those used many years ago that were prone to leakage and rupture, as the gel that fills the implant is thicker and the outer shell is more durable than the early styles.
- Saline – In the early years of our practice, before silicone implants were available for routine use in cosmetic patients, we had many patients with great results using saline implants. In terms of appearance, the difference between a saline and silicone implant is seldom visible. Although they don’t feel quite as soft as a silicone implant, there are some advantages. In addition to being a less expensive implant, they can generally be placed through a smaller incision as they are filled to their final volume once they are inside the breast. Minor size adjustments can be made on the operating table to correct asymmetry by putting different amounts of saline (salt water) in each implant. Although long-term studies have shown they are more prone to leak after many years than a silicone implant, they are easier to replace should a leak occur.
- Round versus teardrop-shaped – We use round implants for cosmetic augmentation. as do all plastic surgeons at this time. Teardrop-shaped implants required a textured surface and these have currently been withdrawn from the market in the U.S. because of safety concerns. We had placed the anatomic (teardrop) shaped implants in some patients when they were first introduced but stopped around 20 years ago. While we had no real problems with the anatomic implants, they were more expensive, somewhat more difficult to place, and we really couldn’t see much difference in the final appearance compared to a round implant.
- Smooth Versus Textured – All patients receive smooth walled implants. Textured implants are not available at this time.
- Low, Medium, or High Profile – The “profile” of an implant essentially refers to how tall it is relative to the size of the base. A low profile implant has a broad base but is relatively flat compared to a high profile implant. For most patients, we use a moderate profile implant, but we may suggest a high profile implant if you have a narrow chest but need a lot of volumes.