Breast augmentation also known as getting breast implants or breast enlargement is the number one most commonly performed plastic surgery procedure. While there have been many advances in the types of implants available as well as the surgical procedure to perform breast augmentation, choosing the perfect breast implant for you can still be challenging and nerve racking.
Below is the simplest and most reliable way that I have found to make sure that you choose the ideal breast implant for what you are trying to accomplish with your breast augmentation.
I have found it helpful to limit focus on only four things when choosing the ideal breast implant and those are:
- Size of implant (volume in cc or ml)
- Type of implant (saline, round silicone, shaped silicone)
- Whether the implant goes above or below the muscle
- The incision used to place the implant
The most important part of the implant selection process is choosing the right size of implant. There are basic mathematical equations that can be used to determine how big the implant is based on how tall you are and how many cups sizes you would like to increase your breast size. More importantly, however, is trying on sizers. Most plastic surgery offices will have sizers available. During your pre-op appointment, bring a non-padded sports bra that fits the basic final cup size that you think you want to be. How you look with the sizers that you prefer is how you’re going to look with the final implants after surgery.
Once volume is selected, your plastic surgeon will measure your breast width and breast height. Based on these measurements and the volume of the implant that you selected, the projection of the implant can be determined. It’s algebra: height x width x unknown projection = volume.
The type of implant will depend in large part on what you are trying to accomplish. The shaped (tear drop or gummy bear) implant is ideal of thin patients that want to achieve a natural result or for anyone that wants the most natural shape possible. The round silicone is the most versatile and most patients can use that implant. It may not be as natural looking as the shaped implant for thin patients but it will be more natural looking than the saline implant. The saline implant is the least expensive option of implants. It may be a good choice for patients that want a “fake” look since the boundries or borders of the implant tend to be more visible with saline implants compared to the other types of implants.
Going under or over the muscle depends on how much breast tissue you have as well as your lifestyle and what type of result that you want to accomplish. The thinner you are and the more natural appearing you want your breast augmentation to be the more you should consider going under the muscle. Patients with good breast tissue thickness that are considering medium sized implants can certainly consider going on top of the muscle. Recovery for going on top of the muscle tends to be a little easier and quicker than going under the muscle.
The incision that can be used to place the implant is based on patient and surgeon preference as well as the type of implant selected. I prefer placing the implant via a breast fold incision. This allows me the greatest control over the pocket and avoids dissection through the breast tissue. If you decide on a shaped silicone implant, using a breast fold incision is almost required, as you will want it positioned perfectly. An areola incision is another option for placing the implant especially if you have large areolas and are planning an areola reduction at the same time. Saline and round silicone implants are better suited for going through an areola incision.
It may still be a little daunting to consider all of the above information to choose an ideal breast implant. Make sure you define what you are trying to achieve and what is most important to you for a breast augmentation and then give the above information some thought. You and your plastic surgeon can make quick work of the above information once you know what you are trying to accomplish.
Good luck with your breast augmentation journey.
Dr. Remus Repta