Breast Augmentation Options
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica
Your decision to have breast augmentation is a very personal one, and your procedure can be performed in many ways to help address the uniqueness of your anatomy and your cosmetic goals. Some of the different choices you can make about your breast augmentation procedure include:
- Type of breast implants
- Incision location
- Breast implant placement
There are pros and cons to each option you must choose from. Dr. Kim encourages you to ask any questions you may have during your breast augmentation consultation so that you can make a fully informed decision about which options will work best for you.
Types of Breast Implants
There are two types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Saline breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a sterile saline (salt water) solution. They are approved by the FDA for use with women age 18 and older. Since saline implants are filled after being inserted into your body, you will have more flexibility when choosing your incision location.
Silicone breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a cohesive silicone gel material. They are FDA approved for use with women age 22 and older. Silicone implants tend to look and feel more natural than saline implants. As a result, they are a popular choice among many of our Beverly Hills breast augmentation patients.
You will also be able to choose between a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures when picking out your breast implants. Dr. Kim will explain these choices to you in greater detail at your consultation.
Breast Augmentation Incision Options
In breast augmentation, an incision must be made in order to insert the breast implant. The location of the incision determines the location of the surgical scar. With proper care, most scars become very faint, but they never vanish completely. Therefore, it is important to think about your incision location. Dr. Kim utilizes all three common incision sites:
- In the crease where the breast meets the chest (inframammary)
- At the edge of the areola (periareolar)
- In the armpit (transaxillary)
All of these breast augmentation incision sites are concealed to some degree: the inframammary incision by the breast, the periareolar by the change in color from the areola to the surrounding skin, and the transaxillary in the armpit. Which will be best concealed for you depends on your skin, the size of your breasts (before and after surgery), and other factors.
Inframammary is the most popular incision location because it is often well concealed, gives good visibility for the procedure, and is also the most common approach in the event of revision surgery, eliminating the possibility of a second scar. It is also easier to make a longer incision to allow for larger silicone breast implants.
The periareolar incision location works better to conceal the scar for women of certain ethnicities. It is also ideal for women with small breasts that are not being augmented to a size that will easily hide an inframammary incision. Some studies have linked the periareolar incision with increased risk of breastfeeding complications and nipple sensation changes, but others say there is no elevated risk.
The transaxillary incision is made in the armpit and endoscopic surgical tools are used to create the breast pocket and insert the breast implant. This incision is only used with saline implants (which are not filled before insertion) and small silicone implants.
Breast Implant Placement Options
There are three breast implant placement options normally used:
- Under the breast tissue but above the pectoral muscle (subglandular)
- Partially under the pectoral muscle (dual plane, sometimes referred to as submuscular)
- Under the pectoral muscle (submuscular)
Typically, subglandular placement is used to give a more dramatic result from breast augmentation, but dual-plane submuscular placement can give better results for women with little breast tissue who want to conceal the implants and achieve a more natural looking result. Complete submuscular placement of the implant is less common, but can be done if necessary to improve results.