Breast Augmentation: A common procedure, YES! One-size-fits-all, NO!

While breast surgery is a common procedure, it is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of surgery. There are many decisions that Dr. Jerry Guanciale’s cosmetic plastic surgery patients need to consider when undergoing a breast augmentation. Implant shape, size and type are all important and while patients would like to make all of the choices, the patient’s body habitus and type of skin also play a role in the final selections to aid in the best outcome. So, which is best for you? Silicone or Saline?

Both silicone and saline implants can result in a natural look; however, silicone breast implants tend to provide a more natural feel. Today’s silicone implants are made of a cohesive gel material that more closely mimics the weight and suppleness of natural breast tissue.

Thin patients or those that have only a small amount of natural breast tissue to cover their implants are often prime candidates for silicone gel implants because silicone are softer and less prone to rippling, allowing for a more natural result.

Patients with pronounced asymmetry in the size of their natural breasts may be good candidates for saline implants. The volume of saline solution in each implant can be adjusted to even out breast size.

Incision size is a common patient question. Because the saline solution in saline implants can be added after the implant shells are placed in the chest wall, the incisions to place saline implants are slightly smaller than silicone implants.

If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, breast size is a key decision. Women often return for a second augmentation because they want to be larger than the first surgery result. Picking the right size includes taking into account your body type, frame and height, rather than just picking a cup size.

Cup size is rather arbitrary when talking about implants because sizes are not consistent between bra manufacturers and there is really no universal size measurement. It is important to educate patients on how to choose the right size for them based on volume and fullness of the implants selected. Finding an implant that fits the patient’s body habitus and size will allow for optimum results.

In choosing a breast implant size, it is important to remember that the skin must stretch to accommodate the implants. This is why the health of the patient’s skin is another consideration. If you have poor skin elasticity or are prone to stretch marks, it is best to choose an implant of a size and shape that will not put undue stress on the skin.

In addition to volume, breast implants area also available in four (4) profiles: low, moderate, moderate plus, and high profile. The implant profile affects the projection of the breast implants and will alter the look of the natural your breasts. For example, many patients who desire more upper fullness, or cleavage, and are less concerned with a natural looking implant will choose high profile.

Nearly six years ago, the FDA reinstated the approval for use of silicone implants; however, the law still limits the use of silicone implants to patients 22 years or older. Both silicone and saline implants are FDA approved and are safe.

Because of the variances between silicone and saline implants, there is a difference in price point that many consider. Breast implant manufacturers charge more for silicone breast implants than saline breast implants. That increased expense is passed on to the patient so a breast augmentation with silicone implants is slightly more expensive than an augmentation with saline implants.

The thoughts above are just brief highlights of some considerations when deciding between saline or silicone breast implants. It is easy to get overwhelmed reviewing the pros and cons of each implant type. A consultation with Dr. Jerry Guanciale is best to discuss the best breast implants to meet your unique needs.

Dr. Jerry Guanciale is Board Certified in General Cosmetic Surgery and General Surgery with a fellowship in Cosmetic Surgery trained in Beverly Hills, California.

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