Overview of Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation, also known as 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 breasts. It is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure currently performed in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, approximately 286,000 of these procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2012 alone. Breast enhancement can be used to treat a number of conditions, including:
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. Placing implants beneath the muscle also helps the breasts resist sagging in the long run. Future mammograms are easier to perform with this type of placement.
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. These incisions allow for a higher degree of control when placing the implants. The scars are usually easy to conceal as well.
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. Although breast implants are measured in terms of volume, it is important to remember that the final size of your breasts will depend on both the size of the implant and the current size of your breasts. For instance, a 350cc implant may give one woman a C cup and another woman a D cup, depending on the size of their breasts prior to surgery.
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 outer shell made from silicone, but one contains a silicone gel while the other contains sterile 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. Choosing the right implant type for you will depend on a number of factors, including the desired look and feel of your new breasts, your expectations for recovery, and your budget.
Ultimately, you and your surgeon will work through all of these variables and determine what is best for you based on your individual circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is breast augmentation right for me?
A. The decision to undergo breast augmentation is a highly personal one. You should have realistic expectations about what can be achieved using this type of procedure. However, if you are currently unhappy with the size or appearance of your breasts, breast enhancement may be able to help you. During your consultation with Dr. Elyassnia, he can go over the details of your procedure to help you determine if breast augmentation is right for you.
Q. Which placement / implant type is best for me?
A. The best procedure for you will depend on what you hope to achieve through your breast augmentation. Many women prefer a more natural appearance, in which case a silicone implant placed behind the muscle would probably achieve the best results. However, each woman’s body is different and presents its own unique challenges for the surgeon. Only during a consultation with Dr. Elyassnia can these types of decisions be made.
Q. What conditions can breast augmentation be used to correct?
A. If you are currently unhappy with the size, shape, or volume of your breasts, breast enhancement may be right for you. It can also be combined with other surgeries, such as a breast lift or liposuction, to give your body better balance overall and help you achieve the figure you want.
You can see before-and-after photos to learn more about the results our breast augmentation patients have achieved.
I highly recommend him, I have had 2 procedures done by him, Rhinoplasty and breast augmentation and the results were fantastic. I couldn’t be any more happier. The staff were wonderful as well and helped me through every step.
-breast augmentation and rhinoplasty patient
Request your consultation today to learn more about breast augmentation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon San Francisco, Dr. Dino Elyassnia.