Today, I would like to discuss one of the most popular and common female procedures: Breast augmentation, the enlargement of the female breast.
It is considered a “cure” to female breast hypoplasia or the underdevelopment of breast tissues in some females. This procedure is performed using two methods: implants or autogenous tissue (such as the transfer of one’s own fat from other areas of the body). I hope that the following blog article will clarify some general questions about this topic. Some women undergo this procedure for medical reasons while others for beauty and self-satisfaction. Whatever your reason may be, I would be happy to meet with you in a private consultation for more detailed and specific information related to your body.
Breast augmentation is most commonly performed using prosthetic implants. Autogenous tissue (such as fat) is not as commonly practiced due to the fear that the injected fat can interfere with mammogram results thus affecting the detection of breast cancer. Although expertly trained radiologist have shown that they can determine the differences. It’s always best to consult your physician or plastic surgeon regarding such matters.
There are two different types of breast implant prosthetic fillings, either silicone or saline (salt water). While the internal content may differ, both types of implants have a silicone external shell or cover.
In 1990, the FDA had a moratorium on silicone breast implants in suspicion of harm to the patient’s health. As a result, from 1990 to 2000, the most common breast augmentation procedures had been performed using saline implants. However, no study has shown concrete evidence that silicone implants are associated with autoimmune disease. Therefore, both silicone and saline-filled implants are currently approved by the FDA and Health Canada respectively.
Presently, the newest and latest silicone implant technology includes cohesive gel implants. Essentially, they are gummy bear type implants that are filled with a solid-like gel as opposed to a liquid.
Historically, silicone implants have been associated with more capsular contracture (change of shape of the augmented breast) complication rates when compared to saline implants. On the other hand, saline implants have been associated to rippling (visible waves that can be seen under the patient’s skin caused by the implant). However, technological advancements in modern day plastic surgery and the development of the most recent silicone cohesive gel implants have shown a drastic decrease in complication rates.
Breast implants can be placed either under the breast tissue or under the muscle. Placement under the muscle can be associated with a little more pain in the first week after surgery, but has been shown to decrease complications including rippling and capsular contractures thus giving you an overall more natural look.
On the other hand, placement under the breast tissue can be associated with changes to nipple areolar sensations and the probability of a less natural-looking outcome. There are several factors to consider when making such a decision such as the nature of your body, work (ex. athletes) or, simply, personal preferences. In the end, the choice is yours and is made based on an informed decision following examination and consultation with your surgeon.
1- Inframammary fold: this is the most common incision technique, which is placed directly under the breast. It allows for bigger implants, both saline and silicone, in addition to a more controlled shape of the breast. Furthermore, the scar is hidden under the breast and is usually not visible when standing in a natural posture.
2- Areola: this incision is placed around the colored part of the nipple. It could result in one of the least visible types of scars. Should the patient decide to undergo a breast lift in the future, an incision in the same place could be used to avoid further scarring (or a new one), which is the advantage of this technique.
3- Axilla: this incision takes place through the armpits. This technique leaves no incision scars on the breasts whatsoever. However, the final outcome of the breast shape could be less predictable. In addition, larger implants cannot be used either.
Many female patients, mothers and/or mothers-to-be, are concerned about whether breast augmentation affects breast-feeding. The answer is: NO.
As long as the surgeon did not incise the breast ducts, which he/she should never do (under normal circumstances), patients can feel safe about future plans of breast-feeding.
For all other questions or personal concerns, do not hesitate to come and see me in person for a consultation and a closer examination. I work very closely with my patients to determine their best options and help them make an informed-decision. I would be delighted to help you achieve your goals.