Breast Augmentation (Implants)
Breast augmentation, also known as breast enlargement or “boob job”, refers to the procedure whereby the size of the breasts are increased or the volume of the breasts are restored after weight loss or pregnancy. These changes are produced through the use of breast implants and in some cases by a transfer of fat. In the right patient, breast augmentation will increase the fullness and projection of the breasts. This will help to enhance the patient’s self-image and self-confidence while also improving the balance of the patient’s figure.
A breast augmentation alone will not correct significant ptotic breasts (watch video). If your breasts are sagging and you desire fuller breasts that are lifted, then you may require a breast lift in conjunction with a breast augmentation. This decision is however made by you and your plastic surgeon after an in-person evaluation and a discussion of your goals.
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?
This is a very personal decision and the procedure should be for yourself and not anyone else. Good candidates are healthy individuals with realistic expectations. Candidates have fully developed breasts which they feel are too small. They can also be dissatisfied with how their breasts have lost their shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or just simply from the aging process.
Things to consider in your decision for breast enlargement.
Breast enlargement is a long term solution in obtaining your ideal figure. You will look better in your clothing and swimwear, while having a more youthful figure. However, patients need to be aware that implants will need to be monitored and at some point will need to be replaced. As with all cosmetic procedures normal surgical risks are involved with breast augmentation.
How the implants will be inserted and positioned will be dependent on multiple factors. There are two options available on where to put the implant pocket. The first option is beneath the breast tissue, on top of the Pectoralis Major muscle. The second, beneath the Pectoralis Major muscle. Placement beneath the muscle may interfere less with your future mammograms. This is important to discuss with your plastic surgeon.
Where the incisions for breast augmentation (view diagram) are placed is determined by a discussion between the patient and the plastic surgeon. The options available are:
- Inframammary- This incision is located at the crease just below the breast.
- Transaxillary- This is located in the armpit, where the arm meets the chest wall.
- Periareolar- The incision is created around the areola. It extends from the 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock position, not fully circumferential unless a mastopexy (breast lift) is being performed concurrently.
- Transumbilical- The incision is placed in the navel. It is rarely used by a few board certified plastic surgeons.
While your implants are intended to last a lifetime, it may become necessary to exchange them at some point. It is important to have periodic exams by your plastic surgeon to monitor your implants. After significant research and data collection, silicone gel-filled implants have been shown to be safe. No link has been found between the implants and connective tissue disease, breast cancer or any reproductive problems. Please refer to the FDA breast implant website or Mentor website for more information.
Types of Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water, similar to the fluid found in the human body. This is the same fluid that a patient is given intravenously in hospitals for the purpose of rehydration. Should the implant leak, the implant will simply collapse and the saline will be absorbed by the by, ultimately being expelled by your body. (Watch explainer video.)
Saline breast implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel. These are round implants that can have a smooth or textured shell. They also come in three different projection options: moderate, moderate plus and high profile. They are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 and older.
Silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. The silicone gel is more dense than saline and therefore tends to feel more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks the gel will most likely remain within the implant shell. At times the gel may actually go outside of the shell into the breast implant pocket. These types of implants tend to not collapse, as the gel cannot be absorbed by the body. (Watch explainer video.)
These are also round implants that can have a smooth or textured shell, but unlike the saline implant, come in four different projection options: classic, moderate plus, high profile and ultra-high profile.
If one elects to undergo a breast enlargement with silicone gel implants, you may want to follow up with your plastic surgeon on a regular basis to ensure that the implant integrity has not been compromised. If an implant is suspected of having a leak, they can be evaluated by an MRI. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 and older.
Gummy bear implant
Form stable breast implants, also known as gummy bear breast implants, maintain their shape even after the integrity of the implant’s shell has been compromised. The consistency of the gel inside the implant is thicker than the traditional silicone breast implants. These implants are less likely to rupture and tend to be somewhat firmer than the older silicone implants.
These implants are shaped rather than round. They have more projection on the bottom of the implant and tapered towards the top, giving it a tear dropped shape for a more natural contour and youthful feel of the augmented breast. Gummy bear implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 and older.
Smooth breast implants
Smooth breast implants are the softest feeling. They can move with the implant pocket giving a more natural movement and feel. It is not unusual that, patients who have smooth shell implants, may have some palpable or even visible rippling.
Textured breast implants
Textured breast type of implants tend to not move around in the breast pocket. The textured implant gives a small advantage in avoiding the formation of a tight scar capsule known as a capsular contracture.
In this manner of breast enlargement, liposuction is used to remove fat from unwanted areas of your body. The fat is then processed and injected into your breast. This is an option for women desiring a relatively small increase on breast size with a natural appearing result.
The down side of this procedure can be: Cysts, microcalcifications, death of the fat cells, infection, some of the fat may be reabsorbed causing you to lose some if not all of the added breast volume over time. It is not unusual to need touch-up injections to retain your shape and size.
Fat cells are known to stimulate cell growth, it is therefore a reasonable concern that fat grafting of the breast may stimulate dormant breast cancer cells to grow. More research is needed on this topic in order to ascertain if this is factual.
Learn MoreTo learn more about the Mentor brand implants,
please visit their breast implant website.
Are Breast Implants covered by insurance?
This is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. Any specific suitability and risk of the procedure for you must be discussed at the time of consultation. Even though all surgical procedures carry a slight degree of risk, any major complications are not foreseen in a breast augmentation surgery. Any minor complications that may arise do not hamper the end result of your surgery.
Discreet Cosmetic Surgery Travel
If you plan on travelling into Tampa from 50 or more miles away, we recommend you plan to stay for a few days. The chart below shows how long Dr. Soler recommends you plan to stay based on your procedure. This chart is for both car and air travelers. At your consultation, Dr. Soler can give you a better idea of exactly how many days you would need to plan for post-operatively. If you need additional planning assistance, please contact our helpful office or visit our travel page .
|Breast Augmentation||4-5 days||Dressings will typically be removed 5 days after your surgery.|
Schedule Your Breast Augmentation Consultation Today
If you are considering breast enlargement, give our Tampa office a call for a one on one consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Pedro Soler. Our office serves all of Southwest Florida and is conveniently located just outside of downtown Tampa. Dr. Soler looks forward to discussing your breast enlargement goals during your consultation to discover if breast augmentation is right for you!