A breast augmentation increases the size of the breasts through insertion of saline or silicone implants. Also known as “augmentation mammaplasty,” it is the most commonly performed procedure in plastic surgery as stated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Timothy Alexander frequently performs breast augmentation for patients from all over at his South Florida practice.
Ideal candidates for breast augmentation are in good overall health. Patients cannot be pregnant or nursing and should have realistic expectations about the outcome of their surgery. Generally, a breast augmentation is performed to improve one or more of the following conditions:
- Naturally undersized breasts
- Breasts have lost volume due to pregnancy or breast-feeding
- Asymmetrical breasts
Types of Implants
When choosing the type of implant for your breast augmentation, there are different aspects to consider, including the substance (saline or silicone), shape, texture, and profile of the implants.
Saline vs. Silicone
There two main types of implants used during breast augmentation surgery: saline and silicone.
Saline implants are composed of a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saltwater solution after they are inserted into the breasts. Although saline implants are not commonly used in other parts of the world, they remain a popular option in the United States.
Silicone implants consist of a silicone shell that is pre filled with cohesive silicone gel. They are also called “Gummy Bear”. Studies on silicone implants show significant improvement regarding safety and lower rupture rates over older implants.
Implants come in two different shapes: round and anatomic (teardrop).
Round implants are the most commonly used implant shape for breast augmentation in the United States. This shape allows the implant to move freely within the breast pocket without causing any distortion to the appearance of the breast. There is a decreased risk for rippling or wrinkling with round shaped implants.
Teardrop implants are more susceptible to rippling and may cause the breasts to sag over time. With anatomically shaped implants, the shell is textured to minimize rotation of the implant within the breast. If the implant were to rotate, this could cause asymmetry and require revision surgery for correction.
The shell of the implant may be either smooth or textured. Although round implants may be either smooth or textured, teardrop implants are only textured to prevent the implant from rotating within the breast pocket. Although some believe textured implants lower the risk of capsular contracture, there is no solid evidence to supports this claim. Smooth implants may be less noticeable to the eye and touch, and they may cause less rippling compared to the textured implant.
Profile (Side View)
Breast implants come in three different profile projections: low, medium, and high. Medium profile implants tend to be the most popular size used, while high profile implants have a smaller diameter and are commonly used on women with smaller chests.
Breast augmentation is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Generally, incisions are made under the areolas (dark skin around the nipple) because of the natural line that exists in that location. Once the incisions are made, the implants are usually placed under the muscle to reduce rippling and give the breasts a more natural appearance. Even though the nipples may feel numb for a couple of weeks, this method will not affect the overall sensitivity of the nipples.
When the procedure is finished, the incisions will be bandaged, and the breast area will be wrapped with a specialized compression garment to reduce swelling. Prescribed medication will be administered to ease any pain or discomfort that may exist. Even though many patients feel good enough to return to work after about a week, they should avoid sleeping on their stomach for the first few days. All exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided for at least four weeks to give the body enough time to heal.
If you want to add fullness to your breasts or wish to restore volume that was lost during pregnancy, please contact our private office. Our surgeon, Dr. Timothy Alexander, has over three decades of experience performing plastic surgery and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. To schedule your personalized consultation, call (954) 589-0722 or fill out our online contact form today. We look forward to seeing you soon.