Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States today, and its popularity continues to rise. Many women opt for this surgery because they are unhappy with their small breasts, and others choose breast augmentation to correct asymmetrical breasts. Breast implants may also be combined with a breast lift because they can add volume in the right place once the breasts are re-positioned. No matter what the reason that a woman wants to have breast augmentation, there are several very important things to consider regarding the implants.

Saline vs. Silicone

One of the first choices that a breast implant patient will make is the material type. Patterson Plastic Surgery offers both saline and silicone implants.

Saline Implants feel firmer than silicone implants. One of the advantages of saline is that the implant can be adjusted to the ideal volume during surgery.

Silicone Implants at Patterson Plastic Surgery, MemoryGel, are FDA approved. MemoryGel implants are made from a special gel that feels very much like natural breast tissue. Silicone implants are prefilled, and thus they can’t be adjusted during surgery. However, there are sizes available to suit virtually any woman’s needs. Silicone implants are more costly than saline implants, but the majority of patients opt for silicone due to its highly natural feel.

Round vs. Shaped

Another important choice that women will need to make is whether to opt for the round or shaped implants. Round implants are still the most common, but the use of teardrop implants has been growing in recent years. This choice all depends on the look that a woman wants: Either very rounded breasts or a more natural breast shape that has more fullness at the bottom than at the top.

Implant Placement

There are three different choices in implant placement. In the sub glandular placement, the implants are placed atop the chest muscles, just behind the breast tissue. In the partial submuscular placement, the implants are partially covered by the chest muscles. In the complete submuscular placement, the implants are completely behind the breast tissue and the chest muscles. The two types of submuscular placement are usually more stable than the sub glandular placement since the muscles help hold the implant in place. Dr. Patterson and the patient can work together to determine which type of placement is best based on the patient’s implant size, the amount of existing breast tissue, and body type.

Surgical Incision Type

There are four different incision types that can be used in a breast augmentation surgery.

  • The Inframammary Incision is the best incision type for the majority of breast implant patients, as it allows for the best positioning. The incisions are created in the area just under the breasts. This type of incision can help prevent muscle hardening, visible scarring, and damage to the nerves.
  • The Periareolar Incision is made around the nipple. This incision can carry risks like loss of sensation in the areola or implant contamination and is usually not recommended.
  • The Transaxillary Incision is created in the armpit area. This type of incision is viewed as suboptimal by leading cosmetic surgeons like Dr. Patterson. The trans-axillary incision requires specialized equipment and carries a greater risk than the dependable inframammary incision.
  • The Transumbilical (TUBA) Incision is created in the navel, and the implant is then moved up to the chest for placement. This type of incision isn’t used often today because there is a far safer and more effective choice, the inframammary incision.

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