If a woman feels as if her breast size or shape is insufficient, she can turn to breast augmentation surgery. With this procedure, Houston cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Sumpter, will place saline or silicone implants into a woman’s natural breasts to her desired size. Why do women choose implants? Some of the most popular reasons are for breasts that have lost volume due to aging, weight loss, or breastfeeding, to improve asymmetrical breasts or underdeveloped breasts or following breast cancer surgery. While implants can be placed in several locations, Dr. Sumpter prefers to place them underneath the pectoralis muscle for a more natural look and to minimize scarring.
WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE?
Good candidates for breast augmentation are women who demonstrate:
- Small breast size for body shape
- Size discrepancy of breasts
- Breasts that have become smaller and lost their firmness after having children
- Non-smokers or those who have ceased smoking two months prior to the procedure
- Overall good health
SALINE OR SILICONE IMPLANTS?
Both saline and silicone breast implants remain popular choices among women today. The type chosen depends on a few different factors. Saline implants are filled with saltwater during surgery and this amount can be adjusted during the procedure. These implants can feel a bit firmer than silicone implants. Silicone implants have a pre-filled amount of cohesive gel when placed during surgery and they have a more natural feel. The surgeon typically uses silicone implants for patients who have lower body weight and less breast tissue.
Saline implants do offer the advantage of multiple surgical approaches including per-areolar, trans-umbilical, axillary or inframammary as silicone gel implants are surgically placed. Dr. Sumpter can discuss these options with you.
A couple of distinct differences between saline and silicone breast implants are that patients must be 18 years of age in order to receive saline implants, and 21 years of age for silicone. In addition, silicone implants usually cost about $1,000 more than saline. We will assess the current breast tissue, as well as discuss the patient’s goals for surgery and together make a determination as to the best implant to use to attain the best result.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The patient’s overall health, along with the current breast size and breast shape will be discussed during the initial consultation. Additionally, we will evaluate the underlying bone anatomy of the chest, the presence of breast masses (if any), the looseness of the skin of the breasts (if any) and the patient’s overall body shape in proportion to the breasts. Finally, measurements will be taken of the breasts to help determine the best implant size. This evaluation will help to develop a customized and individual breast augmentation plan.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
When choosing the right breast implant, the surgeon will discuss several aspects of the various implants that are offered today. Each implant is produced with varying profiles, which is the amount of projection the implant will offer. This is taken into consideration along with the chest wall and the breast base width. The goal is to find an implant that will fill the base width naturally, while at the same time offering a projection the patient will be happy with. Breast implants also come in various shapes (round or tear-shaped), and different textures (smooth or a textured surface). The incision type and the implant placement will also be addressed. Our surgeon typically places the implant under the pectoralis major muscle with a pre-made pocket that is created surgically. A common approach for the incision is either within the natural crease of the breast or along the nipple. Both of these techniques hide scarring and offer a natural result.