Overview of Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty is a procedure that involves placing either a saline or silicone implant behind each breast to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast. The implant can be placed either behind just the breast tissue or behind both the breast and the deeper chest muscle. The latter option provides more tissue to cover the implant so it is better concealed. This is especially important for the upper half of the breast where there is less tissue and in thin women. Currently there are 4 possible locations where an incision can be made to insert the implant: in the armpit, around the areola, in the fold under the breast, and around the belly button. The most commonly used incisions by most surgeons are around the areola and under the breast. The size of the implant is a decision you and your surgeon will make together. The biggest factor involved here is the current width of your breast and chest wall. Based on measurements that your surgeon will do, you will be given an estimated size that is right for you which can be adjusted to some degree according to your wishes. Deciding whether to use a saline or silicone implant is also an individualized decision with advantages and disadvantages to both. Both implants are very safe and have the same shell made from silicone but one contains a silicone gel while the other salt water. Silicone implants look and feel more natural but are more expensive, require a slightly longer incision for placement, and when they rupture it is harder to detect. Saline implants can be placed through smaller incisions, are cheaper, and deflation is easily seen by the patient; however they are not as natural. Ultimately you and your surgeon will work through all of these variables and determine what is best for you based on your individual circumstances.