Breast augmentation can enhance a woman’s figure and her self-esteem. To be content with her choice to have breast implants, however, she must know the facts and be realistic.
Fact: You, the patient, need to be involved in the process.
It is very important for women considering breast enlargement to know as much as they can about the procedure. You need to be involved in the choice of implant most suitable for you. The type of implant and how it is inserted can affect not only the size and shape, but also projection, cleavage and movement.BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 1Fact: You need to be realistic. This is surgery – it is an important decision which, if made responsibly, can enhance a patient’s appearance and confidence.
All surgery carries risks and patients need to be informed. Patients need to be prepared to cooperate with their surgeon both pre and post-operatively to ensure the best result possible from their surgery.
Fact: No single type of implant will solve every problem
Every human body is a unique shape and size. No two women have the same sized chest wall, the same volume of muscle, projection and shape of chest-wall bone structure or skin elasticity. These components and more make up the basis for the surgeon’s evaluation of how to achieve the look the patient wants. A 350 cubic centimetre textured round gel on one woman will not look the same on another. The expertise of the surgeon and his team in assessing the patient and their desires leads to a choice from a myriad implant types and sizes.
Fact: The incision site can affect the position, cleavage and look of the result. No single incision site is correct for every woman or every type of implant.
Incisions can be made under the breast (in the inframammary fold), around the nipple, under the armpit or in the belly button to insert implants. Again, the woman’s actual chest wall in conjunction with her desired result can affect the decision of where to make the incision. As in all things with surgery, the experience of the surgeon is paramount in deciding not only which implant to use but how to insert it. Incision sizes also differ. The incisions for saline implants are smaller than for silicone and only saline implants can be inserted endoscopically through the navel.
BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 3Fact: No implant will last forever.
The average life of breast implants is between 10 and 15 years. Some patients are fortunate to have their implants last a long time and others a short time, but no implant will last a lifetime. It is also important for women to realise that their bodies change throughout their lives with the influence of hormones, pregnancies, menopause and weight gain, so the size of your original implants may be inappropriate for your changed shape. All surgeons should inform their patients that this is a procedure that will need to be repeated in the patient’s lifetime if the patient wants to retain the enhanced look achieved through surgery.
BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 4Fact: Breast, bra and implant sizes cannot be directly compared.
Correct sizing of patients is important because no two women are the same, no woman has the same sized breasts on both sides and no two bras are the same – but two implants by the same manufacturer will be the same size. We pride ourselves for our ability to also size a patient accurately for breast implants, not only by measurements but also by different ways of trialling different sized and shaped implants.Latest Memory Gel implants prove their worth. There has been a big improvement in silicone gel technology. From the unfortunate experience of the old gel implants in the 1980s and their subsequent withdrawal from the market because of their 50 percent rate of capsular contraction or hardening of the breasts, a study by United States surgeon Dr Mark Jule has shown that the new Memory Gel implant has not only a very low rate of capsular contracture and an extremely high satisfaction rate, but also a very low rupture rate.
While silicone and saline implants may both rupture, it is much easier to tell if a saline implant has broken because the implant deflates. It is a simpler procedure to replace a saline implant than a gel implant.
Newer gel implants such as Memory Gel are cohesive, which means that if they break, the gel cannot migrate too far into your tissues. The problem with the gel that if it is does migrate into the tissues, it is akin to chewing gum getting stuck in carpet and is difficult to remove.
Saline implants remain popular for women who like a more subtle A or B to C cup result, usually in the 250 to 330cc range. These are often health conscious women who because of the silicone gel scare are not interested in having anything other than the most natural product (saline) in their body.
Saline implants are often chosen by models and dancers because of the ‘shimmy’ effect of the implant. The implant moves in a very natural way, going flat when you lie down and into a teardrop shape when you stand up. Cohesive gel implants, on the other hand, tend to have a fixed ‘headlight’ appearance. Most of the time, the implants are put in a partial subpectoral position or dual plane position, meaning that the implant is partly under the muscle at the top and is so completely covered by tissue, not giving the obvious subglandular appearance of Victoria Beckham.
In the hands of an expert surgeon, women can have breast enhancement surgery and correct aesthetic issues of droop, asymmetry or chest wall deformities at the same time.
BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 6The most common problem seen by women seeking breast augmentation is droopy breasts. While many surgeons are tempted to simply place an implant in the breast, this will not correct the droop but draw attention to the compromised elasticity of the skin and position of the breast.In this scenario a breast lift is performed at the same time the implant is inserted. The incision is made around the nipple to prevent scarring on the breast itself. Minimalincision breast lifting should only be performed by plastic cosmetic surgeons with specific experience and training in this procedure.
BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 7Breast asymmetry can be corrected at the same time breast enhancement takes place.
The harsh truth is that no woman is perfectly symmetrical. Many women, however, do not realise how common asymmetry is. As with all breast surgery, no one procedure suits every patient and this is also true for asymmetry as each breast must be treated individually to bring it into balance and harmony with its neighbour. It may be necessary to lift or reduce one breast while augmenting the other or lifting one and augmenting both – the solution depends on the individual’s situation and desired outcome.
BEFORE and AFTER breast augmentation of patient 8Chest wall deformities such as Poland’s syndrome, pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum and even scoliosis can affect the way breasts appear. It is important to address the issue of the chest wall if there is deformity at the same time as considering breast enhancement.For more information on breast enhancement, or correction, please arrange a no obligation consultation at one of our clinics.