There are a lot of women out there who are unhappy with their breast size, and curious about breast augmentation. We know this because breast augmentation surgery is the second most performed cosmetic procedure in the US.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands who’ve decided to do something about it this year, then you know that deciding to have breast augmentation surgery is just the first step. Next, you have to choose the right implant. Researching all of your options is a little bit like going back to school which is why board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Dustin Reid and Dr. Ashley Gordon of Austin, TX, have broken it down for you. Read on to find out more about the ABCs of breast augmentation.
The Number One Concern for Breast Augmentation Patients
Implant size is “always the number one concern for almost every patient,” explains Dr. Reid. What a lot of patients don’t understand is that not every woman’s anatomy can sustain every size implant. Expert breast surgeons always strive to give their patients the size implant that they want, but it has to be within the confines of their anatomy. “That’s the tricky part,” says Reid.
It’s a balancing act between delivering the goal that the patient wants to achieve, but doing so in “a safe manner”. We’ve all seen photos of women like Pixee Fox who push their implant size to the extreme. And yes, they may have gotten the look that they want, but at what price? When an implant is too big for a patient’s body, it can lead to the following problems:
- If the implant is too wide for a patient’ chest, there’s a risk of nerve damage.
- If an implant is too big for a woman’s breast tissue to support, it will eventually sag and/or become malpositioned, which is the second most common reason for breast augmentation revision surgery.
- A too-large implant can put pressure on a patient’s incisions lines, resulting in a more prominent scar.
An experienced surgeon will work closely with their breast augmentation patients, educating them on the right options for their specific body because finding the right size implant – the one that will balance out and work with their anatomy – is what will give you the most successful outcome long term.
A Breast Augmentation Isn’t Just About Volume
Another important consideration when choosing an implant isn’t just the implant volume, but “the dimensions of the shell that that volume is in,” says Dr. Gordon. Today, there are many different profiles of implants from low profile to extra high profile.
For example, a 300cc size implant in a low profile is going to be a very wide, flat implant while a 300 cc size implant in an extra high profile is going to give you a very different look. The base will be narrow, and all the volume will stick out in front, giving you increased projection.“So, really it’s not just about volume. It’s about the profile of the implant and the volume within it,” explains Gordon. That is what will determine what the ultimate look is going to be: a natural look, an augmented look, or something in between.
Choosing the Right Fill for Your Breast Augmentation
The last hard decision when choosing your implant is going to be fill, or what’s inside the implant. There are two choices: saline and silicone. Each has its pros and cons, but most surgeons prefer silicone because it’s “what’s going to give you the most natural look and natural feel,” says Reid. The new 4th and 5th generation silicone gel implants are perfectly safe. In fact, they’re one of the most tested medical devices in the world.
It’s the job of your breast surgeon to really listen to your desires and guide you towards the best implant options for achieving your goals. It’s also about helping you to think long term.
Since implants today last much longer than they did in the past, “we really encourage our patients to not just think about today, but to think about 10 years from now, 20 years from now because sometimes, what’s a great idea when you’re in your 20’s, isn’t so great when you’re in your 40’s.”
Expert breast surgeons’ goal with every breast augmentation that they perform is for these medical devices to serve the patient for a very long time without needing a revision. And since implant size is the number one reason for breast augmentation revision surgery, getting it right the first time is the name of the game.