Breast Augmentation FAQ
Dr. Farzaneh takes the mystery out of this popular procedure and answers frequently asked questions about Breast Augmentation:
Breast augmentation is among the top procedures performed by cosmetic surgeons nationally. Patients request this procedure for multiple reasons. Some have never developed natural breast tissue of the size or shape that is proportional to their body type. In others, contributing events such as pregnancy, breastfeeding or even weight loss have caused their breasts to flatten or droop. Even cases of asymmetry where there are noticeable unevenness in breast size or shape can be helped with breast augmentation.
The procedure can be simplified in a few surgical steps, however, it requires special planning, as each patient is built differently and has unique desires regarding the shape and size they find appealing. Therefore there are many questions that need to be discussed with your surgeon to help ensure that you are happy with your results.
What are the different ways
to place an implant?
The implants can be placed through several incision sites including the inframammary (fold below the breast), peri-areolar (at the border of the areola), the axilla (arm pit), or the umbilicus (belly button).
Dr. Farzaneh performs all above approaches and chooses the most appropriate option based on the patient’s choice and their anatomy.
Although about 80% of the saline implants are performed through the belly button, there are times when combining a breast lift with augmentation makes other incision sites more desirable. Silicone implants are primarily placed through an inframammary or peri-areolar incision.
What are the advantages of the belly button approach?
There are many advantages to this approach in the appropriate candidate. The procedure is virtually scarless. There is only one incision needed and is well hidden deep in the depth of the belly button. Additionally, there is minimal sharp cutting involved which lessens the risk of bleeding and numbness to the nipple. The procedure is not routinely performed by many surgeons as there is a steep learning curve, but when mastered it offers a great alternative to the traditional ways.
What is the difference between the silicone and saline implants?
Both saline and silicone implants are made of a silicone shell. The saline implants are inflated after placement with saline (salt water), and the silicone implants come pre-filled with silicone gel.
Which is better? Silicone or saline?
It really depends on your desires, priorities and your natural breast anatomy. The main advantage of silicone implants is their natural feel and less likelihood of visible rippling secondary to the foldings in the implant shell. The disadvantages include need for a longer incision, and difficulty in evaluating possible leakage. It is now recommended for patients with silicone implants to have an imaging study called M.R.I to check for possible deflation of the implant. Additionally, there is an extra cost placed by the manufacturer for these implants.
How are the new FDA approved silicone implants different?
These implants are of the cohesive gel technology, with consistency similar to a very soft gummy bear candy. This allows the implant to maintain their shape and for the silicone gel to be confined to the proximity of the implant in case of a leak.
Below or above the muscle?
The majority of breast implants are placed under the pectoralis major muscle.
Placing an implant below the chest muscle can offer an added padding to the implant on the top and towards the middle of the chest. This added benefit can vary depending on the shape and the level of drooping of the breast. It may also make the mammogram a bit easier to evaluate. This being said, there are times that placing an implant above the muscle is preferable. This decision should be made after an examination during your consultation.
Do breast implants cause breast cancer?
There is absolutely no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer. There are reports that at times implants may even make the self breast exam easier by providing a platform to feel any potential worrisome areas. We recommend a routine screening mammogram before surgery for all patients and require it for those over 35 years old.
Breast augmentation is a popular procedure with significantly high satisfaction rates among patients. The added level of confidence, femininity and proportionality that this procedure offers cannot be simplified as just having larger breasts. As with any other procedure, I encourage patients to come in for a complementary consultation to evaluate their options, review some of the before and after photos and together make the best choice. All of our surgeries are performed at an accredited surgery center or the hospital operating room under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. My patients have 24-hour access to me, so they can be at ease and know that we are always there for them.