Summary: With a dizzying array of breast implant options available to women today, plastic surgeons are adapting and offering a wider range of ways for women to customize their breast augmentation. An increase in options also means that Dr. Meade is careful to match his technique to each implant.
Working with Your Anatomy
Before Dr. Meade determines the right surgical technique, he’ll work with you to find the right implant for you. There are hundreds of implant options that can be considered but picking the right implant starts with an assessment of your natural breasts.
Dr. Meade will consider the width of the breast at the base to select an implant that is slightly smaller in diameter than your natural breast, which ensures that the implant is covered and results appear natural. The amount of existing breast tissue is also a factor. Women who have more natural tissue may want a smaller implant (which could mean a smaller incision) than women with less natural tissue.
Today, increasing numbers of surgeons recommend that women combine their breast augmentation with a breast lift for a more youthful profile. If Dr. Meade suggests this option for you, then combining procedures will mean taking a different approach during your breast enhancement surgery.
Incision Length for Different Implant Types
Saline implants are inserted into the breast pocket empty and filled once they are already inside the body. Because of this, saline implants generally require smaller incisions than silicone implants.
Silicone implants are inserted fully formed, so they typically require a slightly longer incision to accommodate the size of the implant. A longer incision may also be needed to insert a high profile implant rather than a low profile one.
Many women are becoming interested in the newest generation of silicone breast implants, often referred to as “gummy bear” implants. Gummy bear implants are form stable implants, meaning they are anatomically shaped instead of round. They may also feel a bit firmer than traditional implants. When accounting for their size and shape, Dr. Meade may need to use a longer incision if performing augmentation with gummy bear implants.
Once Dr. Meade has helped you select an implant, he can inform you of your optimal incision placement:
- A periareolar incision runs in a half-circle along the areola. Because this incision tends to be smaller, Dr. Meade will consider the diameter of your areola and the size and type of implant. Silicone and saline implants can both be inserted through this incision. However, some surgeons prefer to use an inframammary incision for silicone implants.
- The inframammary incision is tucked into the natural crease beneath the breast and is usually longer than a periareolar incision. It can be used to insert either saline, silicone or gummy bear implants. This is the most common incision choice because it provides Dr. Meade with optimal access to the breast pocket.
Less common incision options include the transaxillary (through the armpit) and transumbilical (through the navel). Both of these options limit surgical visibility to the breast pocket. However, Dr. Meade is able to provide exceptional outcomes using the axillary “no breast scar” technique through a tiny incision in the armpit. The umbilical approach is not recommended by most board certified plastic surgeons.
Rely on Your Surgeon’s Expertise
As implants have changed, Dr. Meade has adapted his surgical techniques accordingly to continue creating the best augmentation results. Finding a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation is the best way to ensure that you benefit from the latest advances in breast implants.