Breast Augmentation Overview
Every year, thousands of women undergo cosmetic breast augmentation in Houston and around the world. Breast augmentation is a very popular and common procedure that women seek for a variety of different reasons. Over time, the breasts undergo changes due to many life factors, including weight loss, pregnancy and the natural aging process. Change in breast shape and loss of volume often cause many women to become dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts. Breast augmentation helps to restore volume and perkiness to the breasts, reestablishing a more youthful body contour.
Other women seek breast augmentation due to dissatisfaction with their original breast size. Having underdeveloped breasts may cause feelings of low self-esteem and diminished femininity for some women. These individuals have typically been concerned about their breast size since adolescence and feel self-aware and uncomfortable wearing certain clothing such as a swimsuit. The impact here isn’t just psychological though. It can be very frustrating to continually try on dresses that fit well around your hips, only to find that there is too much extra room at the bust line, or having to forgo wearing certain tops that require a hefty bust to fill out.
For these women, breast augmentation is an effective solution for creating fuller breasts, enhancing body proportions and improving self-confidence. Cosmetic breast augmentation is most commonly accomplished by inserting an implant behind the breast tissue on the surface of the chest muscles, or beneath the chest muscles. To ensure scars are minimally noticeable, incisions can be made in the underarm area, the crease under the breasts or in the lower half of the areola. Surgical approaches vary depending on the patients’ anatomy and her choice of scar location.
General Breast Implant Information
The type and size of implant used for breast augmentation is determined based on the patients’ goals, preferences, anatomical features and the recommendations made by her plastic surgeon.
All breast implants include a silicone elastomer shell that comprises the translucent outer layer of both saline and silicone implants:
- Saline Breast Implants – these types of implants are filled with sterile salt water and are pre-filled to an agreed size. Saline implants can also be filled at the time of surgery to make any minor adjustments that are necessary.
- Silicone filled Breast Implants – these implants are comprised of a “cohesive” silicone gel, giving them a more natural appearance and feel than saline. Silicone implants are filled prior to surgery and require a longer incision for proper placement.
As new scientific data is collected and advancements take place, it is possible that additional types of filler materials may become available for breast augmentation in the future. Scientists have recently developed a cohesive silicone gel implant, termed “gummy bear” implants. Unlike liquid-filled implants, gummy bear implants have a distinct shape, as the filling is mostly solid. Just like the gummy bear candy, if you were to cut this implant, no material would leak out. Since the fill does not shift, it is possible that gummy bear implants will hold their original shape for much longer than silicone or saline implants, which are subject to gravity and the patients’ own breast shape. Gummy bear implants have been available in Europe for several years already but were only recently (FDA) approved for use in the United States.