Options on Breast Implants
Image credit: ersler / 123RF Stock Photo
Like many women, I’ve wondered over the years if breast augmentation would be a viable option for me. Being an active, athletic person my entire life, breast augmentation isn’t something I’ve considered due to my body image, but like many other women, it’s something I’ve considered just to do for myself (because let’s face it, after having kids and turning 40, our breast often take on a new life of their own).
While doing research on sites, I’ve discovered that there is far more to the process than simply deciding on a size.
Lift or Augmentation
The first part of the process is actually to decide what procedure will best suit your needs. There are three basic options to consider: a breast lift, a breast augmentation or a breast lift with augmentation.
A breast lift doesn’t involve changing the size of the breast, whereas an augmentation focuses on either increasing or decreasing your cup size. The third option is a combination of the two and often comes into play for women who have had multiple children and are looking to lift and decrease their breasts.
Saline, Silicone or Fat
There are three implant/augmentation options to choose from: saline, silicone and fat. That’s right, fat!
The most commonly known options are saline and silicon. Saline is the newest option on the augmentation stage and comes with the fewest disadvantages. This option doesn’t cause danger should they rupture, unlike their silicon counterparts. They also come in a variety of sizes and provide a very natural appearance. Their ability to be filled once placed also allows them to be implanted with smaller scars. They do, however, cost more than their silicone counterparts.
Silicon is available in a variety of sizes and textures and provides the most nature look and feel of the synthetic options. However, unlike saline, they cannot be filled after being implanted so larger incisions are often required. There is a known risk for ruptures and they can impact your options on breast feeding later.
The newest option on the block is fat augmentation. The basics here are fat is removed from one area of your body and injected into your breasts. There are several benefits to this option such as providing a more natural look and preventing any foreign or synthetic additions into your body.
As with the positives, theirs is almost always a negative. With this option, the requirements of multiple sessions and significant cell damage are draw backs that need to be considered. Significant weight gain or loss after the surgery can also have an impact on the lasting results. Furthermore, this isn’t an option for anyone wanting to move up by more than one cup size.
It’s true, not only do you need to settle on the type of surgery and product you want; you also need to consider the type of incision you wish for your plastic surgeon to use. There are three basic incision types to choose from:
- Inframammary – underneath the breast, along the crease
- Periareolar – directly above or below the nipple
- Axillary – along the rib cage within the armpit
All three options come with their own pros and cons to consider. The inframammary, made underneath the breast along the ribcage, is the most popular type of incision. The scar from this option is typically the most easily noticed; however, this option gives the surgeon the most control over where the implant will be placed.
Periareolar incisions are made directly above or below the nipple, making these scars the least noticeable as they typically blend in with the dark tissue around the areola. One drawback to keep in mind though is that this incision comes with the greatest risk of infection in the breast.
Axillary incisions cut underneath the armpit. Although these aren’t the faintest or most blended of the three types, the location makes it less-noticeable than the other two options and is a scar that is rarely associated with breast augmentation by most people. The main drawback of this option is greater possibility of the implant being misplaced or malpositioned.
Understand All Your Options
Regardless of the option you choose, make sure to do your due diligence on all options and procedures before discussing them with your plastic surgeon. You should also review forums, online support groups and site such as breastimplants.org to hear what other women have to say about their experience.
Making sure you have all the facts will ensure you’ll make the most educated decision that’s best for you.