Breast size and shape is an important feature in body image. We all have an image of how we want to look. Sometimes, what we see in the mirror does not agree with that internal view. Often, we employ clothing to fix what we think is inadequate. Sometimes, we want to take that extra step to make our physical image agree with our internal image.
The reasons for breast augmentation are as varied as there are patients seeking the operation. Some patients feel shortchanged as they mature. Their friends start developing breasts and they don’t. Some are very happy with their bodies until time takes its toll, pregnancy occurs, they breast feed their children, and their breasts melt away. Some lose weight and build muscle to get that fit look, only to see that the breasts didn’t keep up.
Breast augmentation involves adding something to the breast to create the volume and shape. Usually, that means breast implants. Breast implants have been available since the 1960s and have undergone tremendous changes and improvements since their introduction. All breast implants have a silicone shell that comes in contact with the body. Despite concerns in the media, silicone is one of the least reactive materials you can place in the body. Saline implants are filled with salt water (saline) either at the time of surgery, or rarely, the implants are pre-filled. Silicone gel implants have a fill of a silicone material with the same feel as fat. They tend to feel more like natural breasts than their saline counterparts. Highly cohesive gel implants (gummy bears) are new to the American market. They have been used in much of the world for over a decade. They are shaped and can be used in new and innovative ways. Fat transfer to the breast can also be performed, taking fat from another part of the body and implanting this living tissue into the breast. This technique works very well, but it has limitations and is best used in patients seeking a modest (half cup size) enlargement.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released procedure data that showed 286,000 patients had breast augmentation surgery in 2012. This operation has remained one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures in America for many years. Risks can occur in any operation. Capsular contracture (hardness) can occur, but can be treated and most often resolves. Infection and bleeding are uncommon, and we take great precautions to lessen their incidence. Sensory loss (numbness) is rare and usually resolves. Breast implant breakage is uncommon but requires a surgical correction.
Incision placement can be made through one of several incisions, under the breast (inframammary), at the edge of the areola (periareolar), through the armpit (transaxillary) and even through the navel (trans-umbilical). Each incision has advantages and disadvantages. Implants can be placed below the breast tissue (sub glandular), or below the breast tissue and the overlying pectoralis major muscle (sub muscular). The decision is made based on the patient’s anatomy and the patient’s activities.
How a breast augmentation is performed for any individual patient is based on the patient’s desires, expectations, and anatomy. No two patients are exactly alike, so no two operations are exactly alike. With Dr. Geldner’s superior skill, 25 years of experience, and his experienced and compassionate staff, we exceed our patient’s expectations.
Preview Your Breast Augmentation in 3D
Want help visualizing your breast augmentation? During your consultation, you’ll be able to create a 3D computer model of your breasts with our VECTRA 3D imaging system. With the computer model, you can change the cup size of your breasts to “preview” your look. Try this demo of the breast simulator for yourself, then request a consultation.