Summer is around the corner, and this is a good time to do your research if you are interested in breast augmentation. Breast augmentation surgery is popular this time of year to get women ready for bathing suit weather. Dr. Solomon has thousands of happy patients who have had breast augmentation. When you choose a surgeon for breast augmentation, you should find one who has experience with each of the types of augmentation. Why is this important? Because there are many ways to perform this surgery, and the best results occur when the procedure is individualized for your needs. Some women have very little breast tissue while others have changes after breast-feeding or weight changes. The procedure for each of these women is different, but the goals are similar: to increase the volume of their breasts and restore fullness to the upper portion of the breast. In addition, there are women who have uneven breasts, and they would like to achieve some symmetry. Each of these situations requires a thoughtful, different approach. Women are not made from a cookie cutter, so a cookie cutter approach will not be helpful.
What are the variables in breast augmentation? There are 3 main considerations in planning the surgery:
- Implant type
- Pocket location
- Incision location
Let’s look at each of these. The two main types of implants are saline filled implants and silicone gel filled implants. In general, silicone implants have a more natural feel, which is the major advantage. Another advantage is that the gel used is cohesive. Patients often hear the term gummy bear, but another way to think of the gel is that it is like peanut butter in that it is cohesive and won’t disperse, even if there is a hole in the shell of the implant. Saline implants are filled with a salt solution that is similar to your body’s own plasma. Because it is similar to water, a small pinhole is all that is needed for the device to deflate. If it leaks, there is no harm. If this is your concern, then saline implants are your best option. It is important to remember that no breast implant (or heart valve, or joint replacement) lasts forever. With a saline implant, when leakage occurs, your breast becomes smaller, and you will need surgery to replace it. There are also implants with a round shape and tear drop shaped implants. Data demonstrates that there is no difference in the appearance of the breast over time regardless of the shape of the implant. There are other reasons that tear drop shaped implants are not always useful for primary breast augmentation. Dr. Solomon has experience with tear drop shaped implants for both primary augmentation and revision augmentation. If this is something that is of interest to you, he can help you make a decision about what is best for you.
What is pocket location? The implant can be placed over your pectoral muscle, under your pectoral muscle, under your pectoral fascia or in what is known as a dual plane pocket. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. In general, if your tissues are thin, then placing the implant under muscle makes sense. This provides more cover over the implant so it looks more natural. However, this is a decision you should make with your surgeon, who can explain the pros and cons of pocket location.
Incision placement is another consideration. For saline implants, there are four potential incisions that can be used: beneath the breast, in the nipple, in the armpit or in the belly button. For silicone implants, all of these incisions are available except the belly button approach. Again, each of these has their pros and cons. Dr. Solomon has experience with each of these and can help you determine what is best for you.
Some women ask about breast augmentation with their own fat. This is possible if you have enough fat to “donate.” The amount of augmentation varies with the amount of fat used. In addition, not all fat will survive the transfer, so the procedure may need to be repeated. Often, Dr. Solomon will advise the use of a device to help prepare the breast for the fat grafts. Unlike implant augmentation, fat graft augmentation is a process that takes time. If you want a one-step solution, then fat grafting is probably not for you. In general, the results from fat grafting are less dramatic than from implants.
Choosing a surgeon for breast augmentation can be confusing. But there are several things you should do in making your choice. You should ask where the surgery is performed. Surgery can be performed in a hospital or outpatient facility. You should be sure that your surgeon has the proper credentials to perform the surgery and that the facility is credentialed as well. Both facilities and surgeons are licensed by the state, so you can always ask to see a state license. Plastic surgeons, like Dr. Solomon, are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is the only recognized board for credentialing of plastic surgeons. Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have demonstrated their proficiency in breast augmentation to their peers and they practice at the highest level. They maintain their knowledge with additional training and provide the highest level of care for their patients. You should choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Cost is always a factor for patients seeking breast augmentation. But cost should not be your only criteria. Often the lowest price does not allow for personalization of the technique for your needs. A less qualified surgeon may use price to attract patients. Surgery performed in a licensed, accredited facility with an anesthesiologist providing care in the operating room may cost a bit more, but your safety is always worth the extra cost. Dr. Solomon can help with financing your procedure. Just let his staff know that is something you need and they will be sure to help. There are several companies that provide financing for breast augmentation to help make it affordable.
Now is the time to arrange a consultation if you want to be ready for summer. It takes about 4 weeks to be back to your fullest life after surgery, so contact us now by calling 610-667-7070 in Philadelphia or 310-299-3553 in Beverly Hills to make an appointment. Dr. Solomon can also perform a virtual consultation for those patients who live a distance from either location. For more information, or to see examples of patients, go to www.marksolomonmd.com. Thanks for reading.