Breast augmentation remains the top cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. More than 280,000 procedures were performed last year. However, with so many options and techniques available today, choices in breast augmentation can be confusing and intimidating. To simplify the process, Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery has broken down the breast augmentation choices into five essential options:
While you may have a ‘perfect’ breast size in mind, the ideal implant will depend on your anatomy, physique, and desired results. Remember, implant size is not measured in cup size. Implants are measured in ccs, and normally range from 200cc to 600cc. During the consultation, you will try on implant sizers to determine the volume implant that looks best on your frame. You will also look at a variety of before and after photos, of patients with a similar physique, to help you to visualize the final results.
#2 Saline or Silicone:
Both saline and silicone implants are safe and long-lasting. The best choice should be based on your desired results. Today, the most popular implant is silicone, however these normally cost about $1,000 more than their saline cousins.
- Saline implants are created with a silicone shell, filled with a sterile saltwater solution (saline) after being positioned on the chest. This allows the surgeon to use a smaller incision. Saline implants result in firm, round breasts that may look slightly less organic than silicone.
- Silicone implants are created from a smooth silicone gel. These are placed in the breast prefilled, meaning a longer incision. Silicone implants look organic and feel soft, like natural breasts. Newest on the market, the ‘gummy bear’ implant is made with even thicker silicone for a natural shape.
#3 Incision Location:
Location of the incision will depend on your anatomy, amount of existing breast tissue, desired scar position, and the choice of implant. The most common incision types are the inframammary and the peri-areolar, while the transaxillary and trans-umbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) are reserved for specific situations.
- Inframammary: The inframammary approach utilizes a small incision along the breast crease, providing the best access to breast tissue and the pectoralis muscle. It is ideal for silicone implants. The number one choice in the United States, inframammary incisions are good for girls with defined breast crease and no history of hypertrophic scarring.
- Peri-areolar: The peri-areolar incision runs around the lower portion of the areola. The incision is good for both saline and silicone implants. Peri-areolar incisions are good for patients with less breast crease or those prone to thick scarring, as it will be well-hidden along the areola’s edge.
- Transaxillary: Less common, as only used with saline implants, the transaxillary method involves a small incision in the armpit. No visible scarring results, but there is a higher chance of asymmetry and poor placement.
- TUBA: Only for saline implants, TUBA involves an incision by the navel, from which the surgeon will tunnel the implant. While the scar is well-hidden, TUBA can be difficult for obtaining desired results.
Implants will have a smooth or textured surface. The most natural-looking option is smooth, and it is the least expensive choice. Although textured implants were first designed to reduce the chance of capsular contracture, this is not the case. Placed in the submuscular position, smooth and textured implants have an equal chance for capsular contracture to occur.
- Recommended for most patients, the smooth implant lasts longer than the textured variety and holds a lower incidence of ruptures. They move about easily in the breast pocket, although have a higher chance of shifting.
- The thicker shell of textured implants gives breasts a firmer feel. Textured implants do not move well in the breast pocket, occasionally looking unnatural, and have a higher chance of rippling.
Both round and anatomical implants have the ability to look natural, depending on the individual patient. Round implants are, as their name implies, round. Anatomical are an oval or tear drop shape.
- Round breast implants move easily in breast pocket without causing any malformation. They are also less expensive than the anatomical variety. When upright, they create a natural tear drop shape, but when a woman lays flat, the implant’s ‘roundness’ may be noticeable.
- Anatomical implants were initially created for breast reconstruction, although are now an option in breast augmentation. Their oval shape gives breasts a bottom heavy appearance. Anatomical implants have a higher tendency to shift, causing asymmetrical breasts. A surgeon may recommend textured implants to diminish their chance of moving.
Dr. Paul Vitenas has been performing breast augmentation procedures for 25 years; he can help you determine the best shape and size implant for your desired results. Contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.407.7428 for more information on the procedure, or to arrange for your free breast augmentation consultation.