The decision to seek breast augmentation is a very personal choice many women make to attain an appearance that makes them feel more confident and empowered. Each woman has her own vision of how she wants to look, but most of my breast enhancement patients have one request in common: they want to look natural. Much of this depends on the decisions you make about your surgery, and below are several of the factors which affect how natural your results will look and feel.
Type of Implant
One of the major differences between various types of implants is the material they’re made from, and there are two general categories: silicone and saline. While both are surrounded by a silicone shell, the saline implants are filled with a liquid saline (saltwater) solution, while the silicone implants are filled with a thicker silicone gel. Between the two, many patients find the silicone to have a more natural look and feel, although it is a matter of patient preference, and there are a variety of other pros and cons to weigh as well.
Another customizable aspect of your breast surgery is whether the implant is placed in front of or behind the pectoral muscle. In many cases, placing the implant below the muscle will achieve more natural-looking breast augmentation results.
Part of looking natural after plastic surgery is keeping scars as minimal as possible, and there are many ways this can be achieved for breast augmentation patients. First, there are multiple choices for where to place the incision. The most common location is along the natural crease at the bottom of the breast, but women who choose saline implants may instead be able to have their incisions placed around the areola, because the saline implants are filled after they are placed in the breast, allowing them to use a smaller incision than silicone implants. In some cases, the incision can also be made within the underarm area instead. Another way to minimize scarring is by ensuring that the incisions and sutures are as clean and well-aligned as possible. This depends largely on the skill of the surgeon you choose, so be sure to select a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast surgery. However, certain technology can also have an impact on the quality of the incisions and sutures, like the Quill™ Knotless Tissue Closure Device I use.
Size of Implant
Part of keeping your breasts looking natural is ensuring that your new size is appropriate and proportional to the rest of your body. While implant size comes down to each patient’s personal opinion, my experience allows me to offer guidance based on your height, current breast size, shoulder width, body shape, and desired results. During your consultation with me, you’ll have the opportunity to try various sizes and shapes of implant to help you determine which feels the most comfortable.
Use of Natural Tissue
In some cases, breast implants can be substituted for or supplemented with your own natural tissue for breast enhancement. For instance, if you’re seeking a more subtle size increase, you may be a candidate for fat transfer to the breast, in which I can use liposuction to remove excess fat from another area of your body before processing the fat and injecting it into your breasts. Or, for patients who are using breast implants for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, a flap of tissue from their back can be used to secure the implant in place, resulting in a more natural look and feel.
While all this information can help in your decision-making process before breast augmentation, it’s important to remember to use the guidance and experience of a qualified plastic surgeon who has conducted an exam and is familiar with your specific needs. To start discussing your breast enhancement surgery, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Or, to stay up-to-date on the latest plastic surgery news, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.