In my experience, women who come to see me regarding breast augmentation have typically been considering it for some time. It is rarely a decision they take lightly considering the risks, recovery time, and, yes, the cost among several other factors. Even after making the decision to move forward, a whole new series of options awaits. Each option will have pros and cons that are determined by the unique goals as well as the physical anatomy of the patient. I understand that this process can be overwhelming, and I truly enjoy guiding my patients through the decision-making process during the consultation. Until then, this list can help you familiarize yourself with some of the choices and, in some cases, how I navigate them.
In general, I ask my patients to focus on the look they want to achieve rather than a specific cup size as there is no reliable correlation between a specific volume and cup size. Nonetheless, one study suggested that although the satisfaction rates for breast augmentation exceeded 95 percent, nearly 80 percent of women said if they could go back and change anything, it would have been to go bigger. Just the same, for some patients, a small increase in volume is enough to help them reach their goals and avoid certain risks associated with a large implant and small frame combination. After your physical assessment, I will have you try on specially-made sizers to get a sense of what size implant is the ideal option for you.
NATURAL VS. ROUND
You may want your breasts to appear very natural, or you may want more fullness toward the top of the breasts for added cleavage. For the most natural look and feel, many patients choose anatomically shaped “teardrop” implants. These are shaped like the natural breasts and taper toward the top. They have several advantages over other implant types, including a lower rate of rupture, capsular contracture, and implant rippling. I think they are an excellent choice for thin patients with minimal breast tissue who want a subtle, natural result.
For women who would like a rounder, more voluptuous look, round silicone or saline implants will provide more fullness in the upper pole of the breasts. Choosing implants with a higher projection or a wider base can also affect cleavage and overall appearance.
Although scars will result from breast augmentation, they are well-hidden within the natural folds and pigmentation lines of the breasts. The most common incision locations are around the areolas (periareolar incision) and beneath the breasts following the natural crease (inframammary incision). If you have a darkly pigmented and larger areola, the periareolar incision is certainly an excellent option. However, since the periareolar incision runs near more milk ducts and sweat glands, it has been associated with a slightly higher rate of infection than the inframammary incision although still less than 2 percent. When using the inframammary incision, I take careful measurements so that the incision ends up virtually hidden in the crease.
Some breast augmentation choices can influence the length of recovery time or the level of discomfort during recovery. For a faster, easier recovery, a minimal increase in size along with implant placement above the muscle may be the best choice. However, implant placement below the muscles will appear more natural and reduces the risk of implant rippling. Although it may make recovery slightly more difficult, submuscular placement is usually recommended. The best choice, again, depends mostly on the patient’s preferences and body type.
Dr. Galanis will help guide you through the decision-making process so that you can get the breast augmentation results that are right for you. To schedule your consultation, please call our Beverly Hills office at (310) 858-8930, our Chicago office at (844) GALANIS, or fill out our online contact form today.