Women who want to improve the size, shape and symmetry of their breasts, including those who have lost volume after weight loss or pregnancy, can benefit from breast augmentation surgery.
This procedure uses saline or silicone gel implants placed above or beneath the pectoral muscle for fuller, firmer breasts that look and feel natural.
Common reasons to consider this surgery include:
Many women can benefit from this procedure, which is a solution for women who are unhappy with the shape, size or symmetry of their breasts. Most women in good physical health with realistic expectations are good candidates for this surgery, although some women may need a breast lift as well to produce beautiful results.
You can determine if you will need a breast lift as well by viewing your profile in a mirror. Note the position of the nipple compared to the crease of the breast, also known as the inframammary crease.
If the nipple is higher than the crease, implants alone will achieve beautiful results. If the nipple is level with the crease, it is still probable that implants alone will produce great results, but a lift may be necessary. If your nipple is lower than the crease, a breast lift will be combined with the augmentation to produce the best possible results.
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Once you have chosen a breast enhancement procedure, there are many important decisions to make, including the implant type, placement, size and more. This information will guide you in these decisions. Dr. Shapiro will also walk you through the choices that must be made and help you attain your desired results during the consultation.
A concern with any breast implant surgery is some degree of uncertainty over what happens in the case of implant rupture. With saline implants, you can enjoy peace of mind. While it is very rare for a saline implant to leak or rupture, if it does, the fluid is safely absorbed by the body with no negative health consequences.
While saline is more affordable than silicone implants, they do have downsides as well. These implants typically feel firmer and look less natural than silicone. Patients with little body fat sometimes experience rippling along the sides of the breasts as well, which can be treated by switching to silicone gel.
Some patients are still hesitant to choose silicone due to the controversy over its safety, although this has been largely put to rest over the last few decades. Many studies have proven that silicone implants are safe and do not play a role in health problems like lupus or autoimmune diseases, as was alleged. Both silicone and saline breast implants have been connected to some localized complications, although they are proven safe and effective and they have been FDA approved as such.
Silicone offers several advantages over saline counterparts. This type of implant produces a more natural shape and feel, although this comes with a higher cost and a longer incision.
The size of the implants is another major decision. Dr. Shapiro will help you make this decision. He has decades of experience performing this procedure and will help you decide on an implant size by communicating with you what you want to achieve with your surgery. Keep in mind the same size of implant can look very different on different people, and the size range that will look natural on you will depend on many factors, such as the size of your ribcage, the size of your chest, your weight and the width of your sternum. Size also depends on the amount of breast tissue you have, volume, base dimension and more.
During your consultation, Dr. Shapiro will have you wear a bra with a temporary implant inside to help you get an idea of the best volume. You will need to add about 10-20% more volume to the size you liked, particularly if it will be placed under the pectoral muscle.
Implants may be placed beneath the breast tissue and over the pectoral muscle (subglandular placement), or under the breast tissue and pectoral muscle (submuscular placement). Most patients choose to have the implant placed beneath the muscle, and Dr. Shapiro prefers this placement because more natural tissue will cover the implant for a more natural feeling and appearance. This decreases the chance of rippling, and implants placed under the muscle have a lower rate of complications, including capsular contraction, in which hard scar tissue forms a capsule around the implant.
While the submuscular placement is typically the best choice, Dr. Shapiro finds there are some cases in which the subglandular placement is a better option. This includes women with adequate natural tissue that will sufficiently hide the implant shape, or patients with very developed pectoral muscles.
Implant projection affects the profile of the breasts and the fullness at the top of the breast. An implant that has a high profile will make the breast seem spherical with equal fullness at the top and bottom, while a low or medium profile implant will create a teardrop shape with more fullness at the bottom. Both silicone and saline implants are available in a wide array of profiles and shapes.
The incision to place the implants may be made in several ways. The choice of incision depends on the type of implant, the amount of enlargement, the patient’s anatomy, and the choice the surgeon and patient make together.
Incisions may be made around the areolas (periareolar incision), in the underarm (transaxillary incision), or under the breast at the fold (inframammary incision). Dr. Shapiro prefers placing the incision at the crease for greater control of the breast volume and shape. This results in a scar that is well hidden as well. Dr. Shapiro will happily discuss any preference you have during the consultation.
The cost of your breast augmentation will depend on your type of implants and incision location. Dr. Shapiro will discuss your options and surgery cost during your consultation.
Breast augmentation complications are uncommon, but may include inflection, bleeding, rupture, scarring, loss of nipple sensation, asymmetry and capsular contracture, or the formation of hard scar tissue around the implant. Dr. Shapiro will discuss these risks during your consultation, as well as ways in which they may be mitigated. Quitting smoking before and after surgery can reduce the risk of complications.
About 20% of women who receive breast implants have them replaced during the first decade, although saline and silicone implants are made to last for a very long time. There are many reasons women choose to have implants replaced, including visible rippling, capsular contracture, rupture, implant displacement or the decision to change the size.
Dr. Shapiro is an award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon with over 26 years of experience in his field. With impressive technical skill and a talent for creating natural-looking results, his practice has become a leading destination for discerning patients throughout the country.
Known for his compassion and honesty, Dr. Shapiro strives to educate his patients so that they are empowered about their care. He carefully explains the procedures, expected results, and techniques in a way that anyone can understand. Additionally, he personally guides his clients every step of the way – from the initial consultation to their post-operative care – to ensure an enjoyable experience and the best possible results.