Breast Augmentation involves the insertion of an implant under or above the pectoral muscle and behind the breast tissue. Breast implants are by no means a uniform design and can differ greatly. Implants can also be placed in different positions in the breast.
Breast augmentation can also involve the transfer of body fat rather than the use of an implant. This procedure is used if a more modest result is required such as to cosmetically improve the appearace of your breast after reconstruction.
Breast augmentation with lowering of the inframammary fold is a procedure used for women who have a short distance from the areola to the inframammary fold of the breast. The fullness of the breast can be achieved using implants whilst the distance can be increased during surgery. This type of procedure can achieve a fuller, more rounded breast. The final result can be seen between 3 months and a year after surgery.
A breast lift (mastopexy) and a breast augmentation may be recommended by the plastic surgeon to be performed at the same time. This procedure is designed to improve sagging and involves the removal of breast tissue before tightening the skin. The skin is then lifted before the insertion of a breast implant.
Besides shifting the skin and tightening the breast, the nipple and areola may also be lifted to a higher position for a younger appearance. However, the change that a mastopexy brings regarding the shape, position and distribution of tissue is temporary. Aging and gravity effects continue, causing drooping or sagging over time.
As a procedure for breasts that can enhance their size, balance any differences in size that may exist, and reshape their contour, getting breast implants (breast augmentation-boob job) has received significant attention in recent years. For this reason, it is important early on to clarify common misconceptions concerning this procedure: Contrary to popular belief, augmentations cannot correct nipple asymmetry, move breasts closer to one another, or lift breasts that are droopy, the latter of which is treated best through a breast lift (mastopexy).
As you read on, we explain the options for augmenting your breasts with getting breast implants of different shapes, surfaces, and sizes that contain varying amounts of either silicone or saline. We will further discuss how these implants can be inserted either beneath or above the chest wall muscles.
During your initial office visit, you and your surgeon will begin to determine which breast augmentation options suit you best. Amongst the topics we will discuss are the pros and cons of each breast implant option, including those listed below:
Shape: Round or teardrop implants?
Surface: Smooth or textured?
Type of Implant: Saline or silicone implants?
Size and Volume: Desired cup size and implant volume (210-500 mL)?
Placement Location: Above or below the chest wall muscles?
Surgical incision: Along the armpit, areola (i.e., around the nipple), breast, or belly button?
As a patient, choosing between breast implants that are either round or teardrop shaped can seem daunting. In order to demystify and simplify this selection, we would like to highlight for you some of the pros and cons to each option:
Undoubtedly the most popular, round shaped breast implants are in some ways simpler than their teardrop counterpart, because they do not rotate inside the breast, and for this reason, they do not require a textured surface.
Consequently, these implants provide a more affordable option.
For women who desire a more natural appearance, the teardrop implant is ideal. Because some women prioritize having a more natural appearance, they are willing to accept the shortcoming of this implant, namely, that they can rotate. In order to reduce the likelihood of this rotation, teardrop implants are manufactured with a textured surface, and this makes them more costly.
While deciding which option suits you best, consider the following results of a recent investigation comparing patients with each type of breast implant. While standing up, both shapes assume the natural teardrop appearance—including round implants! By contrast, when lying down, only teardrop implants assumed a natural shape.
As noted when comparing breast implants with round and teardrop shapes, implant surfaces are either smooth or textured . Although textured surfaces prevent rotation when used for teardrop implants, there are tradeoffs to this surface that makes it short of ideal.
First, textured implants are firmer than smooth implants and natural breasts alike. Accordingly, if you pick a teardrop shaped implant with a textured surface for your breast augmentation (boob job) procedure, then your augmented breasts will appear natural but may not feel natural. Secondly, textured surfaces are more likely to ripple and deflate. Finally, these surfaces cost an additional $100 per implant.
For patients concerned about breast implants rippling and deflating, or those seeking softer implants, the ideal option may be a smooth surface. While smooth implants do rotate, rotation will not affect the appearance of your breasts.
Smooth breast implants move freely in their pocket and usually have thinner shells than textured implants. This kind of implant provides longer implant life, lower patient cost and less risk of rippling.
This is the most popular option, accounting for 90% of implanted breasts.
For plastic surgeons, there was a long period of uncertainty regarding the safety of silicone implants , as these implants were believed to cause autoimmune diseases and consequently were removed from the implant device market. But thanks to methodologically sophisticated and rigorous epidemiologic studies, the medical community has now determined conclusively that silicone implants do not cause autoimmune or any other types of systemic diseases. Consequently, silicone breast implants were reintroduced to the medical market, following the United States’s safety approval for their use in cosmetic breast augmentation and availability to the general public.
As we will outline, the alternative to a silicone breast implant is a saline breast implant. Both silicone and saline have pros and cons that will be well worth your time to consider while deciding which implant you want.
It is important to find a skilled surgeon with experience in all different types of breast surgery. A board-certified surgeon guarantees such experience for your breast augmentation procedure.
Your surgeon will discuss with you the different types of breast implants, including the size and shape of the implant to be used. At this point a decision will be made about which type of breast implant will be used in your breast augmentation procedure. Your surgeon will talk to you about the positioning of the implant in your breast, as well as where the incision scars will be. To determine the answers to these questions, your surgeon will need to assess your frame and take your measurements.
You will be given the opportunity during your breast surgery consultation to discuss your expectations of surgery. It is also your chance to ask any questions. You might want to make a note of any questions you want to ask so that you feel confident you have all the details.
You will be given a list of instructions to follow before breast surgery, outlining what to eat and drink, and what to avoid. You may also be asked to quit smoking, in which case you may want to ask about what nicotine replacement products are available.
Breast augmentation is usually carried out in an outpatient centre using a local anesthetic with conscious sedation, although some breast surgery is performed in hospital, in which case general anesthesia would be used. The breast augmentation surgery can take up to three hours, although some can take as little as one hour only depending on the type of surgery.
The nature of the procedure will depend on the desired result and your surgeon will discuss this with you in detail. Be sure to ask questions so that you know what to expect in terms of what will happen before, and after surgery.
Your surgeon will talk you through what you can expect after surgery. You might experience bruising and soreness and you can usually expect some discomfort or pain, which can usually be treated with a prescription. You may need to wear a surgical or support bra for some time until the swelling goes down but again, this will be discussed with you both before and after surgery.
You should not expect a prolongued decrease in nipple sensation and your ability to breast feed should not be impaired. This should be discussed during consultation; you should ask your doctor if you have any concerns about this.
You should expect that some permanent scarring will result from breast surgery. These may be on the breast itself or in the fold of the armpit; but these will be small and not very noticeable.
Complications and risks can be minimised if the surgeon’s advice is followed before and after breast augmentation surgery. Ensuring that you inform your doctor of any medical issues before surgery and choosing a surgeon that is board-certified will go further to reduce the potential for anything to go wrong.