Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the U.S. If you had decided that your own breasts could use a bit of a boost or are still in the process of deciding whether the surgery is the right option for you, there are several things to think about beforehand. Breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all surgery. Several factors, from the size of the implant to the material used, play a part in determining how natural your results will look.
During your consultation for the procedure, your plastic surgeon will discuss the following four factors with you. Think carefully about what you want and be prepared to ask any questions that you might have.
While it’s natural to assume that the larger the implant, the more bang you’re getting for your augmentation buck, the truth is some women are better suited to smaller implants and some might be better suited to larger ones. Larger implants can actually cause a number of problems for many women. They can look unnatural, particularly on smaller framed women. They can also get in the way of everyday activities or make it more difficult to find tops or dresses that fit.
It’s worth thinking about the activities you enjoy when thinking about the size of implant that would be most appropriate. If you’re a runner or participate in other sports, large implants can make being physically active more of a challenge, even if you are able to find a good sports bra. Implants that are too large can also make the skin around them look pulled or stretched out.
Usually, you’ll be given a few ways to visualize or experience what a variety of different sized implants would feel or look like. It’s often recommended that you bring a fitted top
to the consultation. Your plastic surgeon will give you implants to place in your bra with the shirt over top, so that you can see how your form will look with a variety of different sizes. Your surgeon may also use computer imaging and a photograph of your to help you determine the best size.
In some cases, the size of the implant plays a part when it comes to the shape of the breasts after the augmentation surgery. For example, an implant can make the breasts look very round, even on the underside, or can make the side of the breasts appear to bulge out. While many patients want their implants to look as natural as possible and to maintain the natural shape of the breast, it is possible for a person to want a rounded look. Generally, breasts that do not have a slope downwards or that touching each other, even when a woman isn’t wearing a push-up bra will look as though they have been operated on.
The Material of the Implant
While silicone implants are usually the more popular option, the one that’s right for you depends on a number of factors. Silicone typically offers a number of benefits over saline. It usually feels more natural, particularly when “gummy bear” implants are used. It is also less likely to create a rippled or bumpy appearance on the breasts, particularly when used in women are who are naturally very thin. There’s also less of a risk of rupture or deflation of the breast when a silicone implant is used, compared to a saline implant.
Saline implants do have some advantages, though. They are typically less expensive than silicone. They are also FDA approved for women over the age of 18, while silicone implants are only FDA approved for women over the age of 22. While the chance of either type of implant rupturing is very low, when a saline implant ruptures, the body naturally absorbs the saline. A saline rupture is also more noticeable right away, meaning a patient can take quick action to have the issue corrected and the implant either removed or replaced.
The incision made during breast augmentation surgery determines the size and location of any scarring that occurs afterwards, as well as the amount of tissue that is cut into. The location of the incision can also play a part when it comes to whether or not there are any changes in feeling in the nipples afterwards or whether or not a woman is able to breastfeed after augmentation. Two of the more common incision locations are under the breast or in the armpit. Another option is around the nipple, but that location is very visible, and can interfere with feeling in and function of the breasts.
Whether you want breasts that are slightly larger, want to make your breasts more even in size, or want a more dramatic change, Washington, DC-area plastic surgeon Dr. George Bitar can assist you in choosing the size and materials for your implants and help you get a better sense of how you will look after the surgery. To schedule a consultation, call (703) 206-0506 today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.