William Callaghan. MD (Breast-Augmentation Surgery)
Breast Augmentation Surgery 1
Breast augmentation is a type of plastic surgery performed to improve the appearance of a woman's bustline. It involves the placement of breast implants under the breast mounds to add volume and enhanced shapeliness.
Women choose breast augmentation for a variety of reasons. For example, some wish to increase the size of naturally small breasts, while others seek to correct disproportionate breasts or following mastectomy for breast cancer or trauma to the chest.
If you are considering breast enhancement surgery, be sure to do some research and learn more about breast augmentation.
Next, consult a Board certified plastic surgeon and ask him or her whether you area a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery. During this consultation, the surgeon will perform an exam and listen carefully to your goals for surgery. It is important to be as clear as possible about what you want to achieve with the surgery and the exact look you desire.
The surgeon will then tell you what you need to know about breast augmentation, including information about risks and benefits.
Choices of Breast Implants
If you decide to go ahead with surgery, one of the first questions you will have to ask yourself is what is the right type of implants. However, you will not make this decision on your own. Your surgeon will help you decide the best implant type for you based on your body type and goals.
Breast implants come in two basic types: saline and silicone. Both types are composed of a rubbery silicone shell. Saline implants are filled with a saltwater solution, whereas silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. There are two types of silicone gel: cohesive gel and highly cohesive, form-stable gel. The latter is found in "gummy bear" implants, so named because they have the consistency of gummy bear candies.
Saline breast implants are less costly than silicone implants. The implants also differ in the way they feel to the touch. Silicone breast implants feel more natural than saline implants. Both types of implants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Another important decision you will need to make involves the size and shape (round vs. “teardrop”) of the implant. This requires careful thought. Your surgeon may ask you to "try on" different sizes and test them out using special devices and bras. One of the most common reasons women undergo revision breast augmentation is to receive larger implants, so take your time and be sure you are making the right choice the first time through.
Placement of Breast Implants
When performing breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon will create a pocket within each breast in which he or she will place your implants. The location of placement depends on many factors and your surgeon will review these during your consultation.
There are several options for the placement of these pockets in relation to your breast tissue and chest muscles. The three main breast implant placement choices are:
• Subglandular, or above the pectoral muscles – With this placement, the implants are situated behind the breast tissue but in front of the chest muscles.
• Partial submuscular, or partially behind the muscles – When performing this placement, the surgeon inserts the implants behind the breast tissue and partly beneath the chest muscles.
• Complete submuscular, or completely behind the muscles – In this case, the implants are fully beneath both the breast tissues and chest muscles.
To perform breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon must make incisions in your skin. These incisions can be quite small and carefully placed, making them nearly undetectable. Breast implant incisions can be placed in one of the following four locations:
• Under the breast (inframammary incision) – These incisions are located along the natural skin folds where the bottoms of your breasts meet your chest.
• Around the nipple (periareolar incision) – Carefully placed along the edges of the areolas, these incisions are largely unnoticeable after healing.
• In the arm pit (transaxillary incision) – Using this placement option, the surgeon maneuvers the implants beneath the skin from the armpits to the breasts.
• In the navel area (transumbilical, or TUBA, incision) – Reserved for saline implants, which can be inflated following insertion, this placement allows the surgeon to place the implants with virtually no visible scarring.
The best incision location for you will depend on several factors, including the type of implants you have chosen.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, infection and hematoma are possible complication risks, though are considered rare. Another possible risk is loss of sensation to the nipple, but again, this is also rare. The most common “complication” is related to the implant placement itself: either placed incorrectly, or a movement occurred post-operatively, or, more commonly, the size was NOT the right one.