American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Enhancing breast augmentation results

enhancing breast augmentation results

According to the 2018 statistics report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation has again been the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States with over 313,000 surgeries last year.

Elective cosmetic surgery is just that – elective. To minimize your chances of having postoperative complications and redo surgery, it's important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform a breast augmentation.

What makes a good patient for breast augmentation?

A good candidate for the breast augmentation is someone who is healthy with good tissue quality and the appropriate anatomy for the surgery. However, each patient is different and your surgery should be planned specifically for your goals and your body. For example, postpartum breast tissue often is atrophic and weak, so a lift or skin tightening procedure in conjunction with the augmentation may be necessary for a good result.

During the consultation, your plastic surgeon should recommend the appropriate surgical plan, such as the addition of a breast lift, which may differ from what you originally anticipated. As there can be a number of "right" answers in this conversation, an informed and thoughtful discussion will often lead to the best outcomes.

How do you pick the right breast implant for you?

The most challenging decision is choosing the proper implant based on your specific goals and your anatomy. The width of the breast and the diameter of the implant will impact your final result, so it's important to discuss sizing with your plastic surgeon to find out your best options.

The implant "volume," or CCs, is an important consideration. Some patients may be influenced by friends who have implants without knowing the specific profile, fill, shell, preoperative anatomy or other simultaneous procedures that may have been performed. That is why the consultation with your plastic surgeon is so important in making an appropriate choice, based on your goals ("natural" or "showy") and your anatomy.

The development of 3D imaging can be helpful in making your decision, but it is not perfect, as the software is not sensitive enough to account for asymmetries. Your plastic surgeon can discuss how different sized implants affect the breasts over time. Larger implants tend to stretch the skin and tissues. Sizing in the operating room can be done so if there are chest wall irregularities or asymmetries, a choice of two different sizes may look best.

When performing a breast augmentation, your plastic surgeon will create a pocket for each implant through a small, inconspicuous incision and then carry out sufficient muscle release. Each case varies, and in some specific situations, the implants may be placed above the muscle.

What precautions are taken to avoid complications?

Sterile handling of the implant and incision choices have been shown to reduce the incidence of capsular contracture. The inframammary crease minimizes the risk of implant contamination from breast ducts or the armpit. Using Betadine, an iodine solution or a triple antibiotic solution in the breast pocket helps reduce the chance of bacterial contamination and capsular contracture. Implant funnels also help reduce the bacterial contamination on the implant in comparison to manual insertion techniques. Proper postoperative management and regularly scheduled follow-up appointments help promote optimal healing.

Is breast augmentation right for you?

If you are thinking about breast augmentation, start by finding a board-certified plastic surgeon that you feel comfortable with. Good communication is key in providing excellent results and minimizing the risk of complications. Ready to get started? Check out the ASPS Plastic Surgery Connect referral service to find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area, and remember to discuss all of the topics above when you go to your consultation.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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