The goal of any successful breast augmentation procedure is a fuller looking bust that not only fits your frame, but one that delivers your desired outcome. With all the options available today in terms of types of implant, size, shape, and placement, how do you know which choice is right for you?
The truth is, you don’t! It’s the job of your plastic surgeon to offer the implants that will work best with your body. It’s why it’s critical that you see someone who is board certified and who has extensive experience in breast surgery. Dr. Stafford Broumand of New York City has been performing breast augmentation procedures for over 20 years, and, in his words, he has “done it all and seen it all.” He discusses the three steps that he takes with any potential breast augmentation patient to ensure that she receives the exact right implant for her body, goals and lifestyle.
Choices for Your Breast Augmentation
“Breast augmentation has been a learning experience,” says Dr. Broumand. Over the last two decades, he has witnessed an explosion of options with how to increase breast volume. Breast implants, both saline and silicone, come in a wide (and growing) range of differing sizes, shapes and textures. The latest generation of silicone gel breast implants are also available in varying degrees of cohesiveness, or thickness of the gel itself.
And for patients who don’t want a breast implant but still desire more breast volume, there is the “natural breast enhancement.” In this procedure, the surgeon uses the patient’s own fat to pump up the volume.
Listen, Examine, Discuss
First of all, you want to find a plastic surgeon who really listens to what it is that you are looking to achieve with your breast augmentation. Dr. Broumand begins every breast augmentation consultation with an in-depth discussion of your hopes, dreams and desires. This procedure is “not really about us,” he explains. It’s about trying to give you, the patient, the outcome that you are looking for whether that is with fat or with breast implants. A physical exam follows to determine if there is any sagging in your breasts, as well as the condition and location of your breast envelope.
The critical feature of the consultation is a need for the patient and the surgeon to work in tandem. The patient needs to explain where she wants to go, while the surgeon needs to be honest about whether he or she can deliver. Some patients want their breasts to sit full and high, and some want them to look low slung and more natural. The positioning of the implants is dependent on your anatomy. Sometimes what a patient wants may not be achievable with her individual body. This is why it’s so important to see an experienced surgeon who will be straight about what can and can not be achieved.
Breast Augmentation Surgery, Incisions, Recovery
Breast augmentation surgery itself is fairly straight forward. The surgeon will make a series of incisions dependent one what was discussed during the planning stage. There is no standard when it comes to the placement of the incisions as “everyone’s a little different,” explains Dr. Broumand.
He evaluates incision placement on case-by-case basis. They can be placed:
- along the lower edge of the breast or inframammary fold
- around the areolar
- through the armpit
Although patients are typically nervous about scars on the breasts, they actually heal extremely well. The recuperation from a breast augmentation is really just a week, sometimes two. However, Dr. Broumand does ask his breast augmentation patients to avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks and no upper body or “pec” work for about 6 weeks..
3D Imaging is a Game Changer
One of the most difficult things about the breast augmentation decision making process is that it’s hard for most patients to visualize what an implant will look like on their body. This is why 3D imaging is such a game changer. It allows Dr. Broumand to take a 3D image of your chest, then plug in every different type, shape, size, etc. implant that you two are considering so that you can get a “preview” of what each will look like on your actual body. This allows you to compare one option against another and make a truly informed decision.
Breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits all. Seeing a surgeon who knows all of the different options when it comes to implants, and, more importantly, has used all of these options, means that he or she has the wisdom to recommend the best augmentation for your body.