For many women, their breasts are a source of their femininity. Beautiful and miraculous, many women find that, through time, disease, pregnancy, nursing, or simply genetics, they become disenchanted with their breasts. Fortunately, new advancements in breast surgery have given women more options than ever to enhance their appearance and restore their confidence.
There are more choices for safe, long-lasting, natural-looking breast implants now than there have ever been. From saline to silicone to highly cohesive “gummy bear” implants, the sizes, shapes, and types of implant options are seemingly endless. The only way to select the right implant for you is to discuss your breast augmentation wish list with Dr. Vela. Using Vectra 3D imaging, an advanced photo imaging technology, you can visualize your surgical results long before going under the knife. You will even have an opportunity to “try on” a variety of implant sizes and shapes in effect, previewing what your body will look like with the finished result.
Fat Transfer Breast Enhancement
If you would rather use your body’s natural fat instead of implants to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, fat transfer breast enhancement may be right for you. Using liposuction, excess fat is removed from another location in the body, usually the tummy, thighs, back, or flank. The fat is then purified and injected into the breasts to enhance their shape. Just as fat normally would, fat that is injected into the breasts remains in the breasts. Fat transfer breast enhancement is ideal for patients who have visible edges around their existing implants, patients who have had a lumpectomy and need a small amount of reconstruction, patients who have small amounts of asymmetry or who want a subtle enhacement without an implant.
For women whose breasts appear deflated, saggy, or droopy due to pregnancy, weight loss, genetics, or gravity, breast lift surgery offers a firmer, more youthful appearance. Using small, inconspicuous incisions, Dr. Vela removes excess skin around the nipple bringing the breasts to a more youthful position with a firmer feel. Most patient return to work within a week and return to full activity four to six weeks after surgery. Breast lift surgery is commonly performed in conjunction with breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, and breast revision procedures.
Breast Augmentation & Lift
Imagine being able to lift your entire lower body to your ideal shape. Diet and exercise alone cannot restore the sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits left behind after weight loss or pregnancy nor can it restore your thighs, buttocks, abdomen, flank, and back to the way it was in your youth. Fortunately, a body lift safely removes excess skin and unwanted fat, reconstructs the skin in your lower body leaving you with a tighter, more toned look.
Even though many patients seek either a breast augmentation or a breast lift, the best results can be achieved with a combination of both procedures. While a breast lift will restore the breast to a more youthful position and symmetry, it will not increase a breast’s volume. Likewise, breast augmentation will increase fullness, but not necessarily address the positioning of the breasts on the body. The combination breast augmentation and breast lift surgery typically lasts two to four hours, depending on the type of procedure performed. Recovery time varies, but most people return to work within a week and resume normal activities within four to six weeks.
Much in the same way that smaller breasts affect a woman’s perception of herself, women with breasts they perceive as being too large are affected by their appearance. From back pain to ill-fitting clothes, large-breasted women often seek out a breast reduction to achieve a more proportional shape in their body. After a breast reduction, many women report being able to exercise without pain in their shoulders, back, chest, and neck. They also report feeling more comfortable in their bras, their clothing, and their lives as they navigate the world. Rather than simply focusing on breast reduction, Dr. Vela addresses shape, symmetry, and any excess skin that keeps you from feeling your best in your body.
Women seek out breast revision surgery for a variety of reasons including:
- Capsular Contraction – The number one complication for women who have had breast augmentation, this is caused when the capsule that contains the breast becomes overly hard or firm, distorting the appearance of the breast.
- Symmastia – This occurs when the implant is placed below the muscle and travels toward the sternum instead of remaining where it was intended to be.
- Bottoming Out – The nipple looks overly high, or the breast fold is abnormally low.
- Ruptured Implants – Underfilling or overfilling an implant may lead to its rupture necessitating a breast revision to restore the appearance of the breast.
- Double Bubble – The implant falls below the natural breast fold (inframammary fold).
In every case, revision surgery can restore the appearance of the breast using a new implant, skin and tissue removal, or additional reconstructive procedures.
For many women who have experienced the ravages of cancer and the emotional trauma of a mastetcomy, breast reconstruction does more than restore their appearance. It is the final step to recovery that signifies the restoration of their self-confidence. Options for breast reconstruction that include a tissue expander and breast implant are available as are new techniques that use natural tissue to reconstruct one or more breasts. Just like individual circumstances brought you to breast reconstruction, Dr. Vela addresses your individual needs in order to achieve the most natural-looking results possible.
Breast Implant Options
Dr. Vela only uses FDA-approved implants from trusted manufacturers, Mentor and Allergan. There are four basic factors to consider when choosing a breast implant.
1. Filling – Saline implants have an outer silicone rubber shell that is filled with sterile saline solution. This allows the implant to be adjusted during the procedure to achieve the desired result. Silicone gel implants have an outer silicone rubber shell but are filled with a more gelatin-like substance that looks and feels more like natural breast tissue.
2. Projection – Implant profile is a measurement of the width of the base of the implant versus the implant’s forward projection. A higher profile implant projects more prominently than a lower profile. The best projection for you is based on the circumference of your chest wall. A narrow chest generally benefits from a higher implant profile since the implant needs a smaller base to achieve a naturally looking result.
3. Shape – In the past, round implants were the only shape available. Today, anatomically shaped highly cohesive silicone gel implants are available that give the breast a more natural appearance and feeling. Patients who are looking for a more youthful appearance and prominent cleavage will generally opt for round implants.
4. Surface – Most round implants are smooth-shelled allowing you to have more natural movement. Textured implants, like the popular “gummy bear” implants, have a textured surface that keeps it in place in the body.
The decision to have breast surgery is a personal one but is not one that you have to navigate on your own. For more information about the breast surgery option that is right for you, contact Dr. Vela for a consultation.