Making the choice to commit to breast augmentation may feel like a final decision, but it’s really just the first of several you’ll have to make along the way. Here are four of the main conversations you’ll need to discuss with your plastic surgeon before undergoing breast augmentation.
1. Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants
The choice of breast implant type is the first decision most women make. There are three different options: saline, silicone gel or “gummy bear” implants. Silicone gel implants are currently the most popular, but anatomically-shaped gummy bear implants have a slightly firmer feel that some women prefer. Saline implants offer a less expensive choice that can deliver very nice results in the right candidate. In some instances and under the right conditions, women may also consider the option of fat transfer for breast augmentation.
2. Breast Implant Size
Picking the perfect breast implant size is probably the hardest choice to feel confident about during your breast augmentation. While most women think of breasts in terms of cup size, implants are actually measured by volume. Your surgeon will help you understand the right amount of ccs that will help you achieve your ideal look. Potential donor sites for fat transfer will be discussed if this is a preferred option.
3. Submuscular or Subglandular Placement
Breast implants can be placed below the natural breast tissue only (subglandular placement) or below both breast tissue and muscle (submuscular placement). There are pros and cons to each. Subglandular placement can mean more cleavage after surgery, but submuscular placement may mean longer-lasting results because the implants have more support.
4. Incision Location
Other choices made during the breast augmentation process, such as implant type, can influence options for incision placement. For example, saline implants can be inserted empty and filled after placement, allowing for smaller incisions compared to silicone implants. Incision location can be determined through a combination of factors, including your personal preference, your anatomy and the recommendation of your surgeon. When undergoing fat transfer breast augmentation, incisions are not typically required and the fat is placed via the use of a specialized needle.
Otto J. Placik, M.D. received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery. He completed a fellowship in the aesthetic reconstruction of complex nasal and facial deformities at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago and an additional fellowship in microvascular and hand surgery at Davies Medical Center, an affiliate of the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Placik is certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is an active member of several local and national professional organizations. Dr. Placik is a member of the Northwestern University Division of Plastic Surgery Teaching Staff. He holds an academic appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic) at Northwestern University Medical School.