Breast Implant Options

Breast implants are more popular than ever in San Diego. Also known as breast enhancement or augmentation, implants can enhance your breast size and shape, creating beautiful curves, balancing asymmetrical breasts, reshaping breasts post-pregnancy, and giving you a stunning silhouette.

Following are several items to think about if you’re considering breast implants:

Breast Implant Size

Breast implants give you more control over the size of your breasts. In fact, size is the most common reason women elect breast augmentation. Some women worry that their breasts will be too large and some that they won’t be large enough after the procedure.

The choice is yours! In general, it’s important to have realistic expectations about breast implants (the same size implant will look different on different women based on their body type and height) and to discuss size in detail with your cosmetic surgeon – bring pictures of your ideal size and ask to see before and after photos of your doctor’s work. Before the surgery, try wearing a bra of your potential new size with temporary fillers and see how it looks and feels.

Breast Implant Placement

When discussing placement of your implants with your doctor, you have options: The implants can be placed directly under your natural breast tissue (sub-glandular placement) or under your pectoral or chest muscles (sub-muscular).

The main benefit of sub-glandular breast implants is that they look high and 'perky' and allow for natural movement; this option can also be a simple fix for mildly sagging breasts, and it is less painful. On the other hand, the edges of the implants are sometimes somewhat visible, particularly if you have low body fat, thin skin, and little natural breast tissue.

Sub-pectoral breast implants can produce a more natural look, however, this surgery requires more recovery time since the pectoral muscles are separated to allow for the implants. This option also makes future mammograms more difficult since it allows for fewer views of the breast. Again, discuss your priorities with your doctor to determine the best option for you.

Types of Incisions

San Diego women also have some options regarding incisions, which you can discuss with Dr. Shumway. Following are details on various incision types:

  • Armpit: Also known as an axillary incision site, this incision is probably the most visible but generally allows women to breastfeed successfully.
  • Nipple or areola: Also known as periareolar, this site is the most easily concealed but also creates the most difficulty with breastfeeding.
  • Below the breast: An inframammary incision falls in between the armpit and nipple incisions – moderate visibility and moderate success with breastfeeding.
  • Belly button: This most popular incision site is used with Transumbilical Breast Augmentation, or TUBA; it is a very small, barely visible incision. No noted difficulty with breastfeeding since there are no incisions on the breast.

Types of Breast Implants

In essence, a breast implant is a silicone shell filled with either saline or silicone gel; the type you choose depends on your personal goals, history, and breast tissue. There are currently three types of implants available to women considering breast augmentation in San Diego – saline, silicone, and cohesive gel.

Filled with a saline or salt water solution, this type of implant sometimes has a more rippled look, but saline can be readily and safely absorbed by the body in case of a rupture or tear. Another advantage of saline implants is that they can be filled to more specific amounts sterile saline to better correct asymmetry should one breast be smaller than the other preoperatively.

Simply put, silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel. Removed from the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1992 due to concerns over leakage and other health issues, silicone implants were reapproved for safe use in 2005. Silicone implants feel smoother and softer than saline to some women and have a more natural look. The minimum recommended age for this type of implants is 22; in addition, MRIs, which can detect leakage, are encouraged every two years post-surgery.

Cohesive Gel:
Also known as “gummy bear implants,” cohesive gel implants, also silicone-based, are currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They hold shape better than saline and traditional silicone implants and provide a more natural look and feel. The more solid or gummy consistency is said to be safer since, even if ruptured, the silicone generally stays in its shell.