Last year breast augmentation was once again the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the U.S. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 300,000 women received implants nationwide, surpassing liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and facelift.
Contributing to breast augmentation’s enduring popularity is the steady pace of advances in implant technology and surgical technique. Here, experienced St. Louis plastic surgeon C.B. Boswell reviews the latest product choices and procedural innovations.
Patients have more implant choices than ever, with various sizes, shapes and textures available. Round implants are the most common implants, and tend to provide more fullness to the upper pole of the breast.
Silicone and saline are the basic types of implants. Each of these fillings is contained within a silicone shell. In the past, some women opted for saline filling out of health concerns. However, today’s silicone implants are a much different product than the one marketed years ago.
Patients often report that silicone feels more natural. One type of silicone implant, the popular “gummy bear” variety, has an especially lithe and supple feel. Silicone gel implants do require a larger incision to place the implant, and there are additional costs associated with the monitoring of silicone gel-filled breast implants.
With saline implants, Dr. Boswell may achieve a similar consistency and feel by inserting them behind the chest muscle and stretching the implant shell by filling after insertion. This has the added advantage of allowing a surgeon to place the implant through a much smaller incision.
Surgery is performed with general anesthesia, and can range from one to three hours. For most breast augmentation procedures, Dr. Boswell makes an incision in the crease of the natural fold under the breast and inserts the implant under the pectoralis major muscle, or in some cases above this chest muscle.
Depending on your preference and the type of enhancement you are seeking, there are additional surgical techniques available, including endoscopic options that minimize permanent marks. In a transumbilical breast augmentation procedure, implants are inserted via the belly button; a transaxillary technique begins with incisions that are made under the armpits. With a periareolar procedure, the incision is made around the nipple.
To learn more about advanced breast augmentation choices and techniques, call or email BodyAesthetic Plastic Surgery & Skincare Center today.