Breast implants offer women the ability to add curves they were not naturally graced with or to restore their figure after having children. Augmentation using implants continues to be one of the most popular options in plastic surgery today, due to the ability of this procedure to produce natural, satisfying results. If you are considering breast enhancement surgery, there are a few things you should know before you schedule that initial consultation with a plastic surgeon. Jane Weston, M.D. has a few basics on this procedure to help you prepare for a safe and successful surgery.
Reasons to Choose Breast Implants
There is a range of reasons why a woman might consider breast implants. Some of the benefits of this procedure include:
- Breasts that are disproportionately small in comparison to the rest of the body profile
- Breasts that have lost volume due to weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Noticeable differences in the size or shape of the breasts
- Ill-fitting clothing due to smaller upper body contours compared to the lower body
- Lack of self-confidence in one’s appearance due to the size or shape of the breasts
Breast augmentation should be a choice you make for yourself and not to please another person. It tends to be most successful for women in good physical health that have realistic expectations about what the surgery can do for them.
Selecting Your Plastic Surgeon
While there are hundreds of surgeons that offer breast augmentation as one of their services, not all have the experience or expertise to ensure a positive experience and an optimal outcome. It is essential for patients to do their due diligence when selecting a doctor for this procedure. These questions can assist you in determining whether a particular surgeon is the right choice for you:
- For how long have you been performing plastic surgery?
- Are you board-certified by a reputable organization (such as the American Board of Plastic Surgeons)?
- How many breast augmentations do you perform weekly/monthly?
- What types of implants do you work with and do you offer different techniques and placement options?
- What type of implants would you recommend for me?
- Can I see before and after photos of some of the patients you have operated on in the past?
While this list is not necessarily complete, these questions provide a good start in knowing whether a surgeon has the experience, qualifications and expertise necessary to provide you with the best possible results.
Determining the Right Implants for You
Different types of implants are available for augmentation, and each features its list of benefits and drawbacks:
Saline implants come with a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution once the implant is put into place in the breast. These implants are approved for women age 18 and over and tend to be slightly less expensive than other implants. If a saline implant ruptures, it can be almost instantly lead to a visible breast deformity, necessitating quick correction to maintain a natural appearance.
Silicone implants also have a silicone shell but come pre-filled with a silicone gel. There is a spectrum of shapes and sizes in these implants to accommodate the form and desired results of any patient. Silicone is approved for women age 21 and over and requires a slightly longer incision to insert. Many women think the silicone implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue.
Cohesive gel implants or gummy bear implants are also pre-filled silicone implants, but the consistency is a bit firmer. If the implant is cut or torn, it maintains its original shape. These implants are also approved for women age 21 and over and come in different sizes to accommodate the proportions and desires of a variety of patients. Some women find they do not appreciate the firmer consistency because they do not believe it feels quite as natural.
Getting the Right Size for Your Body
Once you have chosen your implant type, you will need to select the right size for you. Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better, as patients that choose a proportionate, natural size in their implant are usually happier with their results. This selection process can be a daunting task since there are many sizes to choose from and it can be challenging to visualize which size will provide you with the optimal outcome. Some surgeons like Dr. Weston offer sizers patients can try on to get a better idea of how their results might look and feel. An experienced plastic surgeon will also provide some input into the selection process, based on your expectations and desires for your new breast size.
Timing is Everything
Another factor to consider when determining whether breast augmentation is right for you is to assess the timing of your procedure. Many surgeons recommend women wait until after they are finished having children before undergoing breast augmentation, since the breasts may change significantly as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, many younger women that have not yet had children are also interested in this procedure. Breast augmentation can also be appropriate for these women, as long as they understand the potential for breast changes once they decide to have children.
Breast augmentation is a plastic surgery that boasts a high success and satisfaction rate among patients. You can take steps to ensure you are happy with the outcome of your procedure by learning about the process and options before you schedule your first appointment. If you are ready to book an initial consultation to learn more about breast augmentation using implants, contact Jane Weston, M.D. at 650-363-0300.