If you are considering breast augmentation what should you be aware of when consulting a surgeon?
You should be aware that the size of the implant and the post-operative size of your breasts will be based on your tissue characteristics. Placing a much higher volume implant than your tissues can handle will cause unnatural results. Bigger is not always better, and you should find a surgeon who can take a detailed measurement of your tissue characteristics prior to committing to a size for the most natural and soft results.
What can be done to ensure your augmentation provides a more natural look and feel?
Pre-operative evaluation and planning is the most important aspect of breast augmentation. Thoroughly examining the tissue characteristics of the breasts and the skin of the chest wall will determine how much volume the person can accommodate. Putting a higher volume implant than the tissues can handle will not only cause increased scarring in the deep tissues (capsularcontracture), but also expedite the sagginess due to heavy weight. The proper tissue coverage where theimplant is placed is another important aspect. Traditionally, the implants are placed either behind the breast tissue or underneath the muscle. Each of these implant locations has advantages and disadvantages. I use the “dual plane” technique to place the implants, which utilizes the benefits of both locations and minimizes any disadvantages. With this technique, a wide pocket is created for the implant to settle and give a more natural “tear-drop” shape to the breasts.
How do you decide between silicone or saline implants?
Silicone has just recently regained popularity after a new FDA approval.The claim is that silicone implants offer a softer and more natural looking result. However, with my technique, I get as soft and natural results with saline implants, so this is not a determining factor for me. If the breasts are significantly asymmetrical and different in size, a saline implant is a better option to overcome the size discrepancies. '
Are there ways to minimize the appearance of surgical scars?
A meticulous technique and tissue handling is the key to minimizing surgical scars. In addition to my medical training, I have completed a Masters degree in wound healing, and realized that there is no such thing as “scarless surgery.” The art is to be able to hide the scars, and minimize the skin trauma by gentle tissue handling. Incisions for breast augmentation can be made around the nipple-areola complex, in the armpit, and below the breasts. My preference is to make an incision around the nipple-areola, since the scar will blend well with the color difference of the areola, and this incision will be hidden. The armpit incision is not ideal in a coastal area, where many people like to wear sleeveless attire, since the incision will be obvious when lifting the arm. A below-the-breast incision is good,but may leave a more obvious scar.
What is the recovery time from this type of surgery? And how long before you can expect to see the true results of the procedure?
The recovery time is typically two orthree days. However, as long as the strenuous activities are limited, most patients should be able to return to daily activities the next day with minor soreness. The results are apparent right away. However in a few weeks, the breasts will settle into their more natural looking shape.