Breast augmentation is the most common form of cosmetic plastic surgery performed today and over the years women have become increasingly well-informed about what this particular procedure can accomplish. Most women who come into my office seeking breast augmentation surgery have already done a great deal of research and know what they are looking for, but many fail to realize that there are several different decisions that go into planning for a breast augmentation procedure. Specifically, considerations about the type of implants to be used, their placement, and even where the surgical incisions will be made can each have a major effect on final breast augmentation results.
Breast implants are generally filled with either liquid saline or a fluid silicone gel, although the most advanced “gummy bear implants” are filled with a highly cohesive silicone gel that maintains its form even if the outer shell is damaged. Implants come in a wide array of sizes, in either round (spherical) or tear-drop shapes, and with both smooth and textured surfaces. The configuration of breast implants that is appropriate for an individual patient depends on their aesthetic goals, body type, specific needs, and personal preference.
Breast implants can be placed either underneath the pectoralis muscles (the main muscles on the chest) or on top of the pectoralis muscles, directly behind the breast tissue itself. An individual patient’s body type and chest anatomy largely determine which approach is used, although placement underneath the muscle is most common. In very general terms, a subglandular placement (on top of the muscle) is typically appropriate when a patient already has sufficient breast tissue and fat to adequately cover the implant, but seeks additional lift and volume to correct mild to moderate sagging. In either case, the final look of the implant can often be softened and made to appear more natural through the use of advanced fat transfer techniques.
Breast implants can be introduced into the body through several different types of surgical incisions: either through a crease directly underneath the breast, through an incision around the circumference of the areola, through small incisions in the armpits, or even through a small incision in the rim of the naval. Some incision types are only suitable for use with specific types of implants, and the final choice about where to make the incisions will naturally play a major role in determining the appearance of post-surgical scars. As in all cases, the patient’s desired results and natural body type all need to be considered when making a determination about incision placement.
Every patient is different, and the optimal method for inserting and positioning breast implants can vary significantly. During consultations, I often use advanced Vectra ® M3 imaging technology in order to help give patients a simulated look at what different approaches and breast implant sizes will look like, and even allow patients to try on different sizes of implants in order to help them make choices that will achieve their goals. If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation or any of the body contouring cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, contact me, Dr. Jim Namnoum to schedule a consultation today or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.