Implant augmentation can enhance a smaller bust, restore breast volume that was lost after weight loss or pregnancy to create a more rounded breast shape, or improve natural breast asymmetry. It is one of the most common cosmetic procedures the plastic surgeons at NYBRA perform.
Weight loss and pregnancy alter the balance between breast tissue and skin. This often makes breasts appear deflated, as though there is too much skin and not enough tissue. This may also lead sagging, or ptosis, of the nipple and areola.
Implant breast augmentation provides the additional breast volume needed to address these changes. This procedure will increase the size of the breast, enhance cleavage, create a rounder breast shape, and provide additional volume to the upper breast. For patients with laxity in their breast skin that leads to mild sagging (ptosis) of the nipple and areola, placement of an implant can reduce their skin laxity and allow the nipple and areola to rise into a more youthful position.
Types of procedures
- Saline breast augmentation: This type of augmentation involves placing a saline implant, made up of a silicone shell filled with saline, on top of or below the chest (pectoralis) muscle.
- Silicone breast augmentation: This option involves placing a silicone implant, made up of a silicone shell filled with a silicone gel, on top of or below the chest (pectoralis) muscle.
- Subglandular (pre-prectoral) breast augmentation: This technique involves placing an implant under the breast gland and on top of the chest (pectoralis) muscle.
- Submuscular (dual plane) breast augmentation: This approach involves placing the implant under the muscle. The top of the implant is covered by the muscle and the bottom of the implant is covered by the breast tissue (dual plane).
- An incision is made most commonly along the fold underneath the breast or around the areola
- The pocket is created to securely hold the implant, either above or below the chest muscle
- The pocket is carefully inspected to ensure there is no bleeding
- The implant is inserted and the incisions closed
Risks & Benefits
Although not common, the two risks that are most concerning for implant breast reconstruction are infection and capsular contracture (excess scar tissue that forms around the implant). Other risks include visible implant wrinkles, rupture, change in implant position, and the need for revisions in the future.
Implant breast augmentation can provide the immediate and long lasting results that many patients’ seek in their breast size and shape. This procedure can safely address deflation seen after weight loss or pregnancy, asymmetries between breasts, or help to improve the proportion of breast size to the hips and lower body.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do breast implants last?
Implants do not have an expiration date. The current recommendation by the FDA and implant manufacturers is to evaluate silicone breast implants with a breast MRI 3 years after implantation, and then every two years for the life of the implant. For example, if your implants are 11 years old and your MRI this past year showed an intact implant, we can continue to monitor that implant.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of silicone vs. saline implants?
Silicone implants feel more natural and have been shown to ripple or visibly wrinkle less than saline implants. Silicone implants do require breast MRI’s to monitor the implant integrity. Saline implants are less expensive and do not require MRI’s to monitor for rupture, which also may be an out of pocket expense. The downside of a saline implant is increased implant rippling.
How do I decide which implant to use, where to place the implant and what size to choose?
During your consultation all of these questions will be answered. A careful history and physical will be performed and we will review what your specific goals are for your breast size and shape. You will have the opportunity to hold different implants, try on implant sizers and review preoperative and postoperative photos to decide which type of implant, implant position and implant size is right for you.