Breast Augmentation, commonly referred to as a “breast aug” or “boob job”, is a procedure that increases the size of your breasts by means of breast implants or fat transfer. Results of the surgery can provide a fuller shape, improve natural size asymmetry, as well as restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Who is a good candidate?
Although breast augmentation is an elected surgery, it is important that you are doing it for yourself , and not someone else, who may have offered to pay for it. The procedure is deeply personal, therefore patient satisfaction is the highest when the candidate has realistic expectations, and wants the procedure specifically for themselves.
Other factors that may make you a candidate
for breast augmentation include:
- If you are in good physical health and or not pregnant or breastfeeding
- If your breasts are fully developed
- If you are dissatisfied with the smaller size or shape of your breasts
- If you have lost volume or youthful shape with pregnancy, weight loss or aging
- If your breasts are asymmetrical (different sizes)
- If one or both of your breasts have an elongated shape and/or did not undergo normal development
What are the different types of breast implants?
Saline breast implants
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water and provide a uniform shape, firmness, and feel. Many candidates choose saline implants due to the security that if the silicone shell leaks, it will be noticed right away. In the chance of a rupture the implant will collapse and the saline is absorbed by the body.
Round breast implants
Round breast implants tend to make breast appear fuller and with more projection. This is due to the uniform shape and higher profile options available. Alternatively, form-stable implants will have less upper projection due to the tear drop shape, but will have more concerns with rotation.
Structured saline breast implants
Structured saline implants, better known as the Ideal Implant, are the newest alternative to saline implants. Filled with the sterile water, the implant contains an inner structure to provide a more natural look and feel then the traditional saline implants.
Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years or older.
Smooth breast implants
Smooth breast implants feel the softest and have the most natural movement, since they can move with the breast implant pocket. However, sometimes rippling can visibly occur under the skin
Silicone breast implants
Silicone breast implants are filled with a silicone gel that is slightly more comparable to the feel of natural breast tissue. If there is a leak in the implant, gel either remains in the implant shell or is dispelled into the breast implant pocket. Silicone implants will not collapse even if there is a leak, so it is important to ensure their condition with regular ultrasounds or MRI screening.
Textured breast implants
Textured breast implants are less likely to become repositioned or move around while inside the breast due to the scar tissue that sticks to the implant. The texturing can also decrease the chances of a tight or hard scar capsule.
Gummy bear breast implants
Gummy bear breast implants, or form-stable implants, are filled with a silicone gel that is thicker than traditional silicone implants. Even if the shell is broken, gummy bear implants will maintain their form. This type of implant is often chosen due to the desirable shape; tapered towards the top, with more projection at the bottom. Unlike saline implants, or traditional silicone implants , the gummy bear implant requires a slightly longer incision and could lead to an unusual appearance if the implant rotates.
Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years or older.
What are the steps of the procedure?
While no two breast augmentations will look the same, the procedure is performed in relatively the same steps.
Step 1. Anesthesia
Your doctor wil administer medication by means of intravenous sedation and general anesthesia to maintain comfort during the procedure.
Step 2. The incision
Incisions can either be made around the areolar edge (peri-areolar incision), in the breast fold (inframammary fold) or in the armpit (axillary incision), and will result in minimal visible scarring. The incison site will be decided by your doctor and you based on implant size and type, your anatomy, and your desired outcome.
Step 3. Inserting and placing the breast implant
Once the incision is made, breast implants can either be inserted under the pectoral muscle (submuscular placement), or above the pectoral muscle and under the breast gland/tissue (submammary/subglandular placement). Insertion methods are decided based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement, and your anatomy.
Step 4. Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed by layered sutures in the breast tissue, followed by sutures, and skin adhesive or surgical tape on the outermost layer of skin. While all incision lines will faded, the prominence of the scar depends on genetics, as well as external factors like infection.
Step 5. The Results
The results of a breast augmentation are immediate and visible, however the final look and feel will take time due to the healing process. In the months, post-surgery, the swelling will subside, and the skin of the breasts will stretch to fit the implant. It is important to note, over time, your will still change due to a variety of factors such as aging or weight fluctuations. With this in mind, patients must realize that breast implants are not lifetime devices. You may need to, or want to exchange and/or restore your breast implants at a later time.