|Q: Are more people having breast enlargement today?
A: Yes, over the last 5 years breast augmentation has increased 275%!
Q: I'm planning on having breast enlargement. I've tried to be a responsible consumer and educate myself about breast implant surgery, but the more I research, the more conflicting information I find and the more confused I feel. Why is this?
A: Today there are differing opinions in the medical community regarding breast implant surgery, such as: location of the incision, placement of the implant (under the muscle versus on top of the muscle) and the type of implant used. Since there is little consensus among plastic surgeons regarding the best approach, many surgeons perform it differently. Often times this leads to criticism of one approach versus another and therefore conflicting information. Because of this I recommend talking to your doctor about what their personal preference is. Surgeons can have good consistent results using different techniques based on their training and experience. So how do you know what to do? Here are some suggestions I give to my patients:
1. Be sure you receive thorough information from your doctor.
2. Be sure you are completely comfortable with your surgeon and their personal preferences.
3. Be sure your physician's opinion is consistent with your desired appearance and what they want for your body is what you want.
In my opinion, I feel that breast augmentation can be performed successfully in a variety of ways. I customize the procedure according to the uniqueness of the breast and the look the patient would like to achieve.
Q: Do you place breast implants under or on top of the muscle?
A: Today, I usually place implants under the muscle. I believe having the muscle over the implant can give some added padding to the implant and may contribute to a more natural look and feel.
Q: How do I know what shaped breast implant I want?
A: There are different shaped implants: round, tear-dropped or contoured. Most surgeons have a preference and that is the shape they will use the majority of the time. I try to customize it primarily to the current breast shape, body size and the patient's desired look. Example #1: A woman who has had one or more children frequently has a breast shape that appears flat on the superior part of the breast down to the nipple. Whatever breast tissue they have left is usually at or below the nipple. The patient is usually not only unhappy with her small breast size, but also the flatness of the superior breast. The round shaped implant will fill out the superior breast the most, therefore these patients usually prefer the look of the round implant. Example #2: A woman with a very small breast size and very thin rib cage can look artificial or like she has a "stuck-on" implant appearance. In these patients, a contour or tear-dropped implant may give a more natural shape. However, if this patient wants the maximum superior fullness, then the round shape would be better.
Q: Will I be able to go home after breast enlargement surgery?
A: Yes. Breast augmentation is done on an outpatient basis. You are able to go home about an hour after it is finished.
Q: Do I have to wait until I'm finished having children to have a breast enlargement?
A: No. Breast enlargement can be done before or after you have children.
Q: I have barely an A-cup breast size. How do I know what size would be appropriate for me if I had breast enlargement?
A: When I examine a woman for breast enlargement, I take into consideration several factors including: her height and weight, the size of her frame including shoulder width and rib cage circumference, her current breast size, as well as many other factors. I use this information combined with the patients desired wishes to determine the appropriate new breast size. There are ranges for what is considered normal breast size and most patients just want to be at the top of the normal range. Many patients want to have a full, natural look, what I refer to as a "sexy normal." They have a nice change in their shape, without crossing the natural line and looking obvious or artificial. This way, no one knows you have breast implants.
Q: Can I still have a mammogram after I have breast implants?
A: Yes, and you should. Simply follow the same mammogram schedule and inform the mammogram technician that you have breast implants so they can modify the technique.
Q: I understand saline implants are the implants most commonly used. What is saline?
A: Saline is a dilute salt water that is very natural to your body. Saline is a common fluid that has been used for many years and is found in such things as contact lens solutions, eye drops, and even IV fluids that you receive when you are in the hospital.
Q: I've always wanted breast enlargement, but I'm afraid I'll wake up looking too big like one of the "Baywatch girls." How can I be sure this won't happen to me?
A: Many women I meet have this exact same fear about being made too large. It's important to communicate to your doctor your fears and what kind of look you want to achieve. It's equally important that you feel comfortable and that your surgeon understands you.
Q: I've heard a lot of controversy about silicone implants. Are they still being used?
A: Currently the majority of breast implants utilized are saline filled.
Q: Do the implants used today have any silicone in them? I've heard so much controversy about silicone.
A: Saline implants are encased in a durable silicone shell. This makes them strong, but very soft and flexible. If you compared a saline breast implant to a water balloon, the saline is the water and the silicone shell is the balloon. The prior controversy was about the silicone gel filling used in silicone implants and not the solid silicone used in the outer casing.
Q: After breast augmentation, what type of bra would I wear?
A: For the first 3 weeks it is important to wear a snug, supportive bra. Usually patients are most comfortable in a sports bra. It is important to wear a supportive bra during the healing phase to minimize swelling. After the healing period, you can wear any bra you wish. Many patients return excited about the different swimsuits, bras and clothing they can now wear and feel great in!
Q: What is a breast lift and how do I know if I need this or a breast enlargement?
A: A breast lift, or mastopexy is performed when you have too much loose skin on the breast and the breasts sag significantly. The size of the breast will stay the same, but the result will be a more youthful shape. An enlargement would be performed for a woman who desires a more youthful breast shape, as well as a larger size.
Q: I'm a very active person and I love to play sports. Would having implants restrict me from doing the activities I love?
A: No. Once you are fully recovered, you are free to enjoy any activity you like.
Q: What happens if one of my saline breast implants develops a leak?
A: The leaking implant is simply removed and replaced with a new implant. Your body will absorb the saline that leaked, just like any other water that's put into your body.
Q: Would I be able to breast feed if I had breast implants? I'm not planning any children now, but I may in the future.
A: Yes. Breast feeding should not be a problem after breast enlargement.
Q: How will I know what size implant I need for the look I want?
A: Implants do not come in cup sizes like a bra does. Therefore, you need to communicate to your doctor how you would like to look and be sure that he/she understands. The physician then uses this information to determine and select the appropriate implant.
Q: I'm thinking about having my breasts enlarged, but I am worried they will feel or look artificial. Should I be concerned?
A: Patients, as well as their partners, are obviously happy with both the look and feel of the new breasts. If this were not the usual outcome, there would not be a 275% increase in breast augmentation over the last 5 years.