Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery that enhances the size and shape of the breasts via the placement of breast implants. There are many types of breast implants available, incision placements, and implant placements. The most important factor when considering breast augmentation is choosing a board-certified surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation and who offers a gallery where you can see their work (and patient satisfaction) for yourself. If you’ve been thinking about breast augmentation, consider the following common questions:

What kind of breast implants are available?

In terms of the material, the most common types of breast implants are saline, structured saline, silicone, and gummy bear. Saline implants are filled with saline solution so that should an implant rupture (which is not common), the solution can be safely absorbed by the body. Saline implants have an organic-feeling firmness. Structured saline implants are also filled with saline, but the inner structure is designed in a way that makes some women say it feels more natural. Silicone breast implants are full of a silicone gel. Some women think silicone feels more natural, and should there be a rupture (again, uncommon) the gel stays in the implant shell. Silicone implants do not collapse, which means it’s important to see your surgeon periodically to check on the implant’s integrity. Gummy bear implants are also known as form-stable implants. They are made of a thicker silicone gel and are preferred by women who want a fuller projection at the bottom of the breast, which more closely resembles a natural breast’s teardrop shape.

What are the different shapes?

Breast implants are typically round in shape. This helps breasts look fuller compared to the gummy bear implants. One benefit of round implants is that they are the same shape everywhere, so there is little risk of them rotating into an undesirable shape. Whether you prefer round or gummy bear breast implants depends on the aesthetic you wish to pursue.

What are the textures of breast implants?

You can choose from two textures: smooth or textured. Smooth breast implants are the softest and their surface allows them to move more easily against the natural tissue. Some women think this characteristic offers a more natural-looking movement. However, there is a small risk of smooth implants “rippling” below the skin’s surface. Textured breast implants are designed to create scar tissue inside the breast to help them “stick” to the body’s tissue. This decreases the risk of them moving to an undesirable position.

Where are the incisions made?

The incisions for a breast implant will depend on many factors including the type and size of your implant as well as the current condition of your breasts. For example, a gummy bear implant requires a longer incision compared to other types of implants. Some women combine a breast lift (the removal of excess breast tissue) with breast augmentation, which will also dictate the type of incision necessary. In many cases, two incisions at the crease of the breast are all that’s required for a breast augmentation. This makes the incision very easy to hide. In cases where a breast lift is also necessary, the nipple might need to be repositioned. This can result in a “lollipop” or anchor incision that extends vertically from the nipple to the breast crease followed by two horizontal incisions. There are even instances where incisions are recommended in the armpit or navel. Incisions are highly customized based on the patient.

How big or small should I go when choosing my breast implants?

Breast implant sizes are measured in cc’s. Your surgeon will talk to you regarding your goals and lifestyle to help determine the best breast size for you. Most women’s breasts are asymmetrical, and part of your reason for wanting breast implants may be to address this asymmetry. It’s common for breast implants to vary in size to some degree in order to achieve symmetry.

A good candidate for breast augmentation is any woman who wants to enhance the size and shape of her breasts, who is healthy, and who has realistic expectations. The FDA requires women to be at least 18 years old if they are getting saline implants and 22 for silicone breast implants. Patients who are smokers need to quit prior to their surgery, and you may need to temporarily stop certain medications (such as blood thinners) under the guidance of your primary physician.

Breast augmentation is a means of instantly enhancing not only your aesthetic and breast profile, but also your self-confidence. To learn more or schedule your breast augmentation consultation, contact Spectrum Plastic Surgery at (480) 579-2090.