Breast augmentation is one the most commonly performed cosmetic operations in the United States. Although the goal may seem simple (enlarging the breasts), there are many nuances to the operation. Many women have asymmetries between their breasts and this can be addressed with implant selection and/or by performing a breast lift, or mastopexy. Implants can be placed through a variety of incisions, most commonly through the lower fold of the breast (also known as an IMF incision). In select circumstances, the surgeon and/or patient may choose an incision around the boarder of the areola or in the axilla, or arm pit. The implant can be placed above or below the pectoralis major muscle. This is known as the implant plane. Again, selection is determined by patient anatomy and the surgeon’s professional judgement.
There are many different implants used throughout the world to increase breast volume. We are fortunate in the United States to have safe, high-quality implants to choose from. Whether they are filled with saline or silicone, all breast implants are encased in a silicone shell.
Choosing the right implant is an important decision for our patients. We help this process by carefully measuring the patient. This is followed by a sizing process to help the patient visualize what she will look like after surgery.
In some cases, it may be possible to increase breast volume and enhance shape by injecting the patient’s own fat carefully into the breast. Fat injection is a complex technique, mixing art and science to sculpt the breast. It may also be used in conjunction with breast implant placement and/or breast lift to maximize the aesthetic outcomes.