Bloomfield Hills, MI – Once you decide to undergo a breast augmentation, there are many other questions to consider. What size breast implant is right for you? Should you choose silicone or saline implants? Should the incision be under the arm, underneath the breast or at the bottom of the areola?
Luckily, Dr. Ali, a plastic surgeon in MI, can walk you through everything you need to know to ensure you have the most beautiful and natural looking result.
“Many people assume that when having their breasts done, bigger is better,” says Dr. Ali. “But that isn’t always the case. Most women don’t just want bigger breasts, they want breasts that look in proportion to the rest of their figure and that look and feel natural. And that’s where the experience of the plastic surgeon comes in.”
Your plastic surgeon should be able to walk you through everything you need to know to make the best decision for you. The first decision many women have to make is whether to choose saline or silicone filled implants. Both have advantages, and disadvantages, that will depend on the look you desire.
Silicone implants are made of a durable, elastic silicone shell and filled with a medical grade silicone gel. The consistency is close to that of a natural breast, and these can come in a variety of sizes, shapes and surface textures.
Silicone implants tend to be ideal on women who are very thin, or those who have little to no fat to hide the implant. Silicone implants are softer and often ripple less.
Silicone implants have been safely used for more than 50 years. From 1992-2006, the FDA restricted the use of silicone implants to only mastectomy patients. However, no reliable studies found any cause for concern with the use of silicone, and the FDA lifted their restrictions in 2006. Extensive clinical studies are continually done to ensure the safety of these implants.
Saline implants are also made from a durable, elastic silicone shell, but the shell is filled with a highly sterile saline solution. During a saline breast implant procedure, the implant is placed under the breast pocket while it is still empty, and then filled to the pre-determined size. That means the patient requires a smaller incision to insert the implant in the chest.
Saline implants are adjustable, meaning your surgeon can adjust their volume during surgery to ensure ideal size and symmetry. Each implant has a recommended fill level as determined by the manufacturer. This is to limit the rippling and wrinkling that can occur from an under-filled implant, and the firmness that would occur from an over-filled implant. Saline implants are more prone to rippling because the saline can shift depending on the position of the women.
One disadvantage of saline implants is that they can rupture or deflate. The solution is harmless if it should leak into the body, however, leaks are not common.
When determining the size of the implant, the patient will discuss their goals with the plastic surgeon. There are several factors that go into a surgeon’s recommendation for implant size.
- Current body shape and size
- Natural breast shape and size
- If the patient desires a natural or fake look
- If the breasts currently sag or droop
- The amount and health of natural breast tissue that exists
- Physical activity and lifestyle of the patient.
You’ll then discuss with the surgeon the profile you’d like to achieve following surgery. Do you want a lower profile implant that, while producing a fuller breast, lays flatter to the body? Or would you prefer a higher profile implant that will create a more prominent looking breast?
Many women go back and forth on what size implant they desire. In fact, this is often the most difficult question the patient faces. Your surgeon will allow you plenty of time to make the right decision for you. This will include trying on sizers so you can see firsthand how the different sized implants look on your body.
Determining where the implant should be placed, either under the subcutaneous breast itself or under the chest muscle, will be informed by your desired look and the current anatomy of your breast to determine which placement will be most successful.
Placement under the muscle offers a more natural look, less visible rippling and allows your natural breast tissue to be more easily read in a mammogram.
Placing above the muscle offers a less painful and quicker recovery time, and a more rounded looking result. However, it increases the chances for capsular contraction, makes the implant more visible and easier to feel, and increases the risk of visible rippling.
The placement of your incision will largely depend on the type and size of implant you’ve chosen, as well as the skill of your surgeon. While an incision will be visible, a skilled surgeon will place the incision in an inconspicuous location and ensure it is barely visible.
Undergoing a breast augmentation is a personal decision, and should be informed by the expertise of a well-trained plastic surgeon. Together, patient and doctor can ensure the most beautiful outcome.
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