Breast augmentation surgery increases the size and symmetry of a woman’s breasts by using either a saline or silicone gel implant, placed above or beneath the pectoral muscles. The augmentation yields the fuller, firmer breasts a woman has always longed for.
Am I a Candidate For Breast Augmentation Surgery?
A breast augmentation is the perfect solution for women who are disappointed with the size, shape, or symmetry of their breasts. Inserting an implant into the breasts results in a beautiful, shapely breast with restored youthfulness and flawless symmetry. Most women are candidates for breast augmentation surgery; however, some may need a breast lift as well, rather than implants alone to produce a lovely result.
Determining whether you will need a breast lift is simple by looking at your profile in a mirror. Look at the position of your nipple versus the crease beneath the breast, known as the inframammary crease. If the nipple is above the crease, breast implants alone will produce fabulous results by increasing the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts. If the nipple is level with the crease, called psuedoptosis, it is most likely that you will get a beautiful result with only implants; however, occasionally some type of breast lift may be necessary for optimal results. If the nipple is below the crease, a breast lift is generally necessary with the breast augmentation to produce the most beautiful breasts possible.
No matter what the situation, Dr. Shapiro, a Scottsdale breast augmentation surgeon, can help you achieve the most beautiful breasts ever.
A Guide to Breast Implants: Decisions to Make
There are many decisions to make after you have been confirmed as a good candidate and have decided to have a breast augmentation. Will you have saline or silicone-gel implants? Will you have them placed below or above the pectoral muscle? How much larger do you want your breasts? What results are you expecting?
This guide should help you on your way to making those decisions. Dr. Shapiro, a Scottsdale breast augmentation surgeon, will also go through all of these decisions with you during your consultation.
Saline vs. Silicone
One of the most important decisions to make before your augmentation surgery is what type of implant you want.
Saline Breast Implants
A saline breast implant is a silicone shell that is filled with saltwater (saline) after it is inserted into the breast. A smaller incision can be used for these implants because they are filled after being inserted into the breast. This means there will be minimal scarring after you have healed. Saline breast implants are also easy to fix by simply adding or subtracting fluid from the implant if any asymmetries or desires for a change in volume occur.
A major problem with any breast implant procedure is the uncertainty of what will happen if the implant ruptures. Saline implants give their hostess a peace of mind in this arena. In the rare case that a saline implant ruptures or leaks, the fluid will be absorbed back into the body without any negative health repercussions. It will be very obvious if this happens.
Although saline implants are less expensive than silicone, they have a few downsides. Saline implants tend to feel firmer and appear less natural. If a patient has very little body fat, sometimes the implants will ripple along the sides of the breast. This is treated by switching to silicone gel implants.
Silicone Breast Implants
A silicone gel breast implant comes pre-filled with three layers of shell surrounding the filler, reducing the chance of the implant rupturing or leaking. A larger incision must be used to insert a silicone implant because it comes already filled. To alter the size of a silicone implant, the whole thing must be removed and then re-inserted.
The controversy over the safety of silicone implants has been largely quashed over the last few decades. Major scientific studies have proved the innocence of silicone implants in their alleged roles in health problems such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. While there are certainly connections to localized complications with both silicone and saline implants, studies have proven that silicone implants are safe and effective for breast augmentation; however, if you know you will be worried about silicone implants affecting your health, using saline implants is worth your peace of mind.
On the other hand, it has also been proved that silicone gel implants definitely provide a more natural shape and feel to an augmented breast, despite being more expensive and requiring a longer incision to insert. The decision is ultimately yours.
Certainly the next important decision to make is how large you want your implants to be. You will get a lot of help from Dr. Shapiro, a Scottsdale plastic surgeon, when it comes to this decision. It is important that you communicate what you are trying to achieve with your breast augmentation, and often photographs from magazines are a good way to start. The exact size of a breast implant will look different on different people, so do not be frightened by what appears to be a large implant. The way an implant looks varies with different factors such as your chest size, ribcage size, the width of your sternum, and your current weight. It also very much depends on your current breast shape, volume, base dimension, and tissue quality.
To get a general sense of the volume of what could soon be your breast size, Dr. Shapiro will have you try on a bra with the temporary implant inside. You should expect to add 10-20% of the volume of the implant you liked, especially if you are going to have the implant placed under your pectoral muscle, rather than on top of it.
To ensure your peace of mind, Dr. Shapiro will bring a range of implants into consultations at his Scottsdale office and place a range of volumes to visualize the best result possible. This is why it is important that he have a very good idea of what your personal expectations and desires are for the surgery.
Breast implants can be placed either under the breast tissue and over the pectoral muscle, or under both the breast tissue and pectoral muscle. The majority of patients choose to have the implant placed under the muscle where there will be more tissue covering the implant, giving the final result a more natural feeling and appearance. Implants beneath the muscle also have a lower rate of complications and capsular contraction.
An implant’s projection is also an important decision. Projection will affect your breast’s final profile and determines the fullness of the top of the breast. For example, an implant with a high profile would make the breast appear spherical, with equal fullness on top and bottom. A low or medium profile would achieve a teardrop shape, where the breast is more full on the bottom than the top. Both saline and silicone gel implants come in low, medium, and high profiles.
There are a few different places that incisions can be made. The incision can be placed in the underarm, around the areola, or under the breast at the inframammary crease. Dr. Shapiro prefers to place the incision at the breast crease, as it gives the greatest control in achieving the desired breast volume and shape. The scar is also very well hidden in the natural crease of the breast. However, if you have a preference, Dr. Shapiro will gladly discuss the different incisions with you.
Recovery and Complications
As in any surgery, the recovery from breast augmentation is a gradual process. The typical patient will experience some pain and discomfort and use pain medication for the first 2 to 3 days following the breast augmentation surgery. Valium is prescribed for the first few weeks for muscular discomfort, and to aid the implants in dropping to their desired position. Most patients can return to work 4 to 5 days after breast augmentation surgery, and after 1 to 2 weeks, patients can resume non-impact body exercise. Four weeks after breast augmentation surgery, patients can resume impact exercises and after 6 weeks, upper body exercise can be resumed. Fortunately, complications are uncommon after breast augmentation surgery. These include bleeding, infection, capsular contracture, deflation, scarring, and asymmetry not foreseen prior to surgery. Dr. Shapiro will discuss these with you in detail during your consultation.
During recovery and daily living with your implants, you will notice that your breast tissue will begin to stretch to accommodate the implants, swelling will steadily decrease, and your breasts will begin to look more natural. It is common for the areola to stretch along with the rest of the breast. If your areolae are large prior to breast augmentation, you may consider having them reduced during surgery, to prevent an unnaturally large areola from developing over time.
Breast Augmentation and Implant Cost
The cost of your breast augmentation will depend on your type of implants and incision location. Dr. Shapiro, will go through this with you during your consultation.