Summary: Women considering breast augmentation sometimes think that implant size is the primary consideration for achieving the best results. While implant size is important in attaining your goal figure, it’s only one of several considerations that are equally critical for creating the most flattering profile. Before planning your breast augmentation, it always helps to do a little homework in regards to the most important factors when it comes to breast implants.
The best implant type for you depends upon several factors. Saline implants are round and smooth, and are filled with a sterile saline solution within a silicone shell. These implants can be manually filled after insertion, which means they may require a slightly smaller incision.
Silicone implants can be round or anatomically shaped. Round versions are filled with a silicone gel, which many women find has a more natural texture than saline. “Gummy bear” silicone implants are filled with a more highly cohesive gel designed to mimic the texture of natural breast tissue. Because this gel is firmer in consistency, gummy bear implants are anatomically shaped. They can be a good choice for women with very little breast tissue.
Implant profile refers to the degree of projection from the chest wall in relation to the implant base width. The profile is chosen to create the desired “look” or degree of fullness. When looking at implants of the same volume:
- Low profile implants have the widest base and the lowest degree of projection from the chest wall. These implants are best suited for women with wider rib cages seeking a subtly augmented appearance.
- Moderate profile implants have a slightly smaller base and a greater degree of projection, while moderate plus implants push the breast tissue forward slightly more.
- High and ultra high profile implants have the smallest base width and the greatest degrees of projection. Women seeking a significant boost to their profile can benefit most from these implants.
When most women consider their ideal breast size, they think in terms of cup sizes. However, breast implants are actually measured by cubic centimeters of volume. Remember that cup sizes can vary depending on bra styles and brands, so it’s best to show your surgeon photos of women with your ideal look so that he or she can gain a better understanding of your goals rather than discussing cup sizes.
There are three common incision placements for breast augmentation.
- The inframammary incision is placed in the natural fold just beneath the breast, and is the one that’s used most frequently in breast augmentation. I only use this technique because research has shown that less scar tissue forms around the implants when inserted with an inframammary incision.
- The periareolar incision traces around the areola. After your breast enlargement, the pigmented skin of the areola typically camouflages the scar as it heals, which can eventually fade to a point of being barely detectable.
- The transaxillary incision allows your surgeon to access the breast pocket through the armpit, so the breasts themselves remain completely scar-free after surgery.
Breast implants can either be placed above the pectoral muscles but below the glandular breast tissue (subglandular placement), or beneath the muscles and glandular tissue both (subpectoral placement). I only place breast implants subpectorally, which I believe helps to conceal the implant and provide a more natural appearance after surgery.