WHAT IS BREAST AUGMENTATION AND WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE?
Breast augmentation involves the placement of an implant behind the breast tissue to enhance the shape and enlarge the breast. There are many reasons why women seek breast augmentation. Some women naturally have small breasts and want to feel more feminine and curvy. Other women have diminished breast volume after children and want to restore what has been lost. A third group of women are unhappy with their breast shape or cleavage area and would like their breasts to appear more round or full on top. Good candidates for breast augmentation without a lift are those women who do not have significant skin excess or low nipple position.
WHAT IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR IMPLANT PLACEMENT?
Implants can be placed in one of three locations: submuscular, which is underneath the pectoral muscle, subfascial, which is underneath the muscle covering, or subglandular, which is on top of the muscle and underneath the breast tissue. For most women, submuscular placement has the lowest risk of complications and the best aesthetic outcome. But each approach has advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to discuss the pros and cons with your surgeon to make the best choice for you.
WHICH IMPLANTS ARE THE BEST?
There are many things to consider when choosing an implant: silicone vs. saline, gel cohesivity, textured vs. smooth, the four main manufacturers, size, shape, and profile, etc. Implant choice is a very personal decision, but your surgeon will educate you and help you make the best decision for your goals and body shape.
IMPLANTS BEFORE CHILDREN
Placement of implants through an incision beneath the breast does not interfere with lactation or breast feeding. It is completely safe to place implants before having children. Pregnancy and breast feeding generally lead to breast volume loss and skin laxity. While the implants may remain in good condition and position, the surrounding tissue may fall giving a sagging appearance to the breast. This situation can be corrected with a breast lift or as part of a mommy makeover.
WHY DO SOME IMPLANTS LOOK SO FAR APART?
There are three main factors that contribute to cleavage width. The first is the natural chest anatomy and width of the sternum, which isn’t something we can change. The second is surgical technique, including whether the implant is placed above or below the muscle and the extent of the pocket the surgeon makes for the implant. The third is implant selection, where the implant dimensions and surface can impact the cleavage appearance. A surgeon who understands these factors will be able to give you an idea of what to expect. Sometimes, fat grafting can be used to improve the cleavage area and make the breasts appear closer together.
CAN IMPLANTS FEEL NATURAL?
Yes, implants can feel very soft and natural. Often when women complain of firmness of the implant, it’s because they’ve developed a complication called capsular contracture which is the formation of scar tissue around the implant that squeezes and distorts the implant and can be painful. The development of capsular contracture is multifactorial, and there are many things we can do in the OR to reduce the risk. Meticulous surgical technique is key which is another reason to choose a surgeon with specialized training and proper OR certifications.
HOW LONG WILL MY IMPLANTS LAST?
Breast implants are not a lifetime device. Eventually, the implant shell may rupture, necessitating replacement. While older generation implants have an average lifespan of about 10 years, newer devices with cohesive gel are predicted to have a significantly longer lifespan.