Understanding Breast Augmentation Decisions

The Four S’s of Breast Implants

The decision to pursue breast augmentation is a highly personal, and sensitive choice that requires an informed and full understanding of the procedure. While there is a lot of information available online about the treatment, the desire to have fuller, larger breasts isn’t the only guiding factor that you’ll need to consider. To help you prepare for the choices ahead of you, we’ve compiled a list of the four S’s of breast implants.

These factors will help determine which implant is best for you, and which techniques will be used during your surgery.

A woman reviewing breast implant options with her surgeon

What Is Breast Augmentation & Why Seek It?  

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic, surgical procedure that enhances the size of your breasts to make them look larger and fuller. While the desire to have them look this way is one of the main reasons to pursue breast augmentation, other reasons include correcting an uneven bosom, or dealing with the aftermath of trauma (such as the loss of one breast).

While the terms breast augmentation and breast implants are often used interchangeably, they refer to different things, which can be confusing. Breast augmentation is simply the category of available procedures used to enlarge breasts, while breast implants are the synthetic inserts that support and complete the breast augmentation process.  

When it comes time for your breast augmentation consultation, you’ll be required to make decisions based on the four S’s of breast implants.

The Four S’s: Implant Type, Incisions, Size, and Selection

  1. Silicone vs. Saline Implants.  The first decision you’ll make will be centered around the implant type. Each implant will come with benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to consider each choice carefully.
    • Silicone: this kind of implant is most commonly used as they mimic both the look, feel, and movement of natural breast tissue. These are composed of a silicone shell filled with a silicone gel. The drawback with these are that leaks or ruptures are harder to detect, and they tend to be more costly. 
      1. A sub-type of silicone implants is the “gummy bear” implant, which is a silicone-based implant. It is teardrop in shape, and made from a thicker, gel-like silicone.  These are less likely to shift once they are in place.
    • Saline:  this kind of implant is filled with a sterile saline solution. The amount of saline within the insert is what determines the feel, the firmness, and the shape of your breast. It is a popular option among individuals who have concerns over implants rupturing, as the saline solution will be safely absorbed by the body if it ruptures or leaks.

  2. Surgical Incision.  While breast augmentation surgery is widely accepted, many patients prefer to keep their choice under wraps. This leads to many patients asking about the incision scars and their length. There are three standard incision approaches that a plastic surgeon can take: inframammary (under the breast fold), periareolar (around the areolar), or transaxillary which is under the armpit.  The approach used for your breast augmentation will be determined by your body type, the implant type you choose, and lifestyle factors. Inframammary is what we use the most. It promotes the least amount of bacteria and prevents capsular contracture.

  3. Size. Another major factor is the size of breast you would like. It’s very easy to select a size based on aesthetics without considering your own body’s frame. If you choose a size that is too large for your frame, you’ll end up looking disproportionate.  To help with this, our plastic surgeons will take measurements to see which implant size would be most appropriate for your anatomy and then discuss the size selection with you. Visualizers will be used to help you see what the approximate end result will look like.

  4. Selection. Lastly, choosing a plastic surgeon that has the training, experience, and surgical skill required to achieve the result you are looking for is critical. In terms of credentials, you’ll want to select a surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, and has numerous years of experience in breast augmentation procedures. You may want to look for surgeons that offer up “before and after” photographs, and have a plethora of testimonies to their name. If you are planning on getting more than one breast augmentation surgery done at the same time (breast lift + breast implants), make sure the surgeon can perform both procedures and has the expertise to back up their training. 

Wrapping It Up  

Breast augmentation is an excellent way to enhance your body image, correct uneven symmetry or rejuvenate your shape after weight loss or pregnancy.

If you’d like to learn more about our breast augmentation services, please give us a call at 407-629-5555, or book an appointment today. 

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