Breast augmentation has been the first or second most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for the past few years in the U.S. That’s as true in South Bend as it is in South Florida. It’s a life-changing procedure that merits a good deal of research both before making the choice to go ahead, and then for the decisions you’ll need to make that are a part of the procedure.
We want all potential breast augmentation patients to know that they will have a host of other decisions/choices involved beyond the big decision of opting for augmentation. Dr. Cheung and Dr. Low will walk you through each one, making sure you feel comfortable with your choices.
What kind of implants?
Of course, you’ll decide on the implant type. This is really a personal preference. All shells are made of silicone, but what they are filled with is decidedly different. Silicone implants are generally thought to feel more like natural breast tissue. Saline implants require smaller incisions, as they are filled once in place. Silicone implants are filled and inserted full. They will usually involve a somewhat larger incision scar.
There are two options with implants that don’t quite fit the saline/silicone parameters. Gummy bear implants are made of highly cohesive silicone gel (think the consistency of gummy bears) and they are made in a teardrop shape that is more in line with the natural contours of the breast. Ideal Implants (we covered these in detail in last October’s blog) are saline implants, but they are fabricated in an entirely different way. They are made with a series of nested shells. This gives them a feeling more like silicone, without the inherent uncertainty some women have with silicone.
What size and shape?
How large do you want to go? This is measured by the amount of filling inserted into the implants, denoted in cubic centimeters. You’ll also choose the shape, usually either round or teardrop, and the projection. Projection is how much the upper portion of the implant projects outward.
Sometimes, patients are surprised by their options on incision locations. You’ll decide where you want our surgeons to place your implants. They can be placed through incisions made around the areola (periareolar), through the crease on the underside of the breast (inframammary), or through the armpit (transaxillary). There is scarring on the breasts with periareolar and inframammary incisions, but not with transaxillary, as they are made in the armpit.
Above or below the muscle?
This choice also surprises those patients who aren’t that familiar with augmentation, but you will decide if you want your implants placed atop the pectoral muscle or beneath it. Generally, it’s felt that implants placed beneath the pectoral muscle look the most natural, but this is all personal preference. This placement also leads to a lower risk of capsular contracture, where scar tissue forms around the implant, tightening over time. Implants placed atop the muscle involve a somewhat easier recovery, but also can lead to rippling (with saline implants) if there isn’t sufficient tissue between the implant and the surface skin.
All these decisions can seem daunting, but our team at Cosmetic and Reconstructive Specialists of Florida will help you will them all. Call us at (954) 533-8029 if you’d like to set up a consultation with Dr. Cheung or Dr. Low for breast augmentation.