Which breast implant shapes, sizes and types are best for you?
Breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all surgical enhancement. There are different types of breast implants, as well as different shapes and sizes. But how do you know which breast implants are best for you? In this article, I explain how I guide you in each of these areas so you can make an informed decision.
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Which breast implant size is best for you?
If you have decided on getting breast implants, size does matter. If it didn’t, you would not be considering a breast augmentation.
Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and you can choose from as little as 80cc to 800cc. The higher the number, the larger the implant.
Sizing is done in the consultation rooms after measurements of the chest wall and breastplate width and height (that is the surface area that the breast occupies on the chest wall).
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Bigger isn’t always better. For example, a 350cc implant may be considered a large implant for a petite patient with a smaller breastplate width. One of the most common misconceptions about breast enhancement surgery is that a woman needs to have large breast implants in order to achieve the full, voluptuous look she desires.
Different types of breast implant shapes
There are two main breast implant shapes:
- Anatomical or tear-drop.
Both designs create a different look.
Characteristics of round breast implants:
- Provide excellent augmentation of the breast envelope
- Allow for rotation or malposition given the 360 symmetry of the implant.
Round breast implants are some of the most commonly used implants.
Characteristics of anatomical breast implants:
Anatomical or tear-drop implants have a natural shaping to them to provide a sloped gradient across the implant. This is useful in cases where patients with low breast volume want a more natural proportioned appearance.
Best type of breast implants
Different types of breast implants
At my plastic surgery practice, we use TGA*-approved, medical-grade sillicone breast implants. There are a few brands available for use.
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Previously, it was believed that implants would need a form of correction after 10 years. However, we are finding much greater longevity with newer generation implants. There is no need to replace any implant unless there are clinical concerns or patient preference.
You may have heard about the risk of BIA-ALCL (implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma). It is a condition which occurs most frequently in women who underwent breast augmentation after receiving particular textured breast implants. The TGA now has removed the highest risk implants from the market. The implants I use are safe and TGA-approved, however, the risk of BIA-ALCL will be discussed at your consultation.
Given the complexity of this topic, it is best we discuss it in person during your consultation. If you are a GP and you have questions related to this topic, I can provide clinical guidelines. Further detailed information can be found at the TGA’s website.
*TGA: Therapeutic Goods Administration
Best placement for breast implants
Breast implant placements
You may have come across terms like “under the muscle” or “over the muscle” and “dual plane”.
Submuscular breast implant placement means an implant is placed under your chest muscle and under the glandular tissue. As a result, the implant is well covered and well protected.
Subglandular breast implant placement means the implant is placed under your breast tissue and over your chest muscle.
Dual plane refers to partially locating the implant underneath the muscle as well as some glandular tissue. The concept is that it allows some significant muscle coverage of the implant with the benefits of shaping that the glandular tissue allows.
So which placement technique is best for you? The main factors that will play a role in the implant placement decision making are:
- patient safety
- whether the case is a primary augmentation or revision
- the type of breast surgery (reconstructive versus cosmetic)
- the various patient characteristics (skin quality, breast volume, previous surgery or trauma to the site).
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Recovery after breast augmentation surgery
The recovery process for breast augmentation is comfortable and guided by the team at Plastic Surgery Queensland.
Usually after the first 1 to 5 days, some swelling and bruising will settle over the breast. The breasts can often look tight and squared off. This is very normal and will settle over the course of 6-12 weeks.
‘Drop’ and ‘fluff’ refer to the natural course of descent the implants will take over time whilst they settle into the new position. The ‘squared’ look will naturally subside giving you a new softer more natural appearance.
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About Dr Andrew Hadj, Plastic surgeon Brisbane
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