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Which type of Breast Augmentation is Right For You?

The decision to have a breast augmentation is a momentous one.  This is often a life-changing event in a woman’s life, in many cases leading to improved self-esteem and happiness with one’s body.  If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, there are a few things you should know.

Your doctor will discuss with you your options, based on your anatomy, previous health and surgery history and your desired look.  But, although every augmentation is different, each patient should be aware of some basic facts.

The Implant

Regarding the implant itself, there are several factors to consider.  Implants are filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone.  They are either round or teardrop-shaped (also called anatomical).

1. Saline implants — These can be filled to the desired volume by your doctor after they are inserted into the pocket created for it.

A saline augmentation is done in several ways.  These implants can be inserted at the nipple, through the armpit and at the crease of the breast.  They can also be inserted using an incision in the belly button.  This is called a transumbilical breast augmentation, but is associated with a higher complication rate.

2. Silicone implants — These are the preferred implant for patients wanting a breast augmentation and are looking for a natural result. Silicone is also often used in under the muscle placement, but can also be placed over the muscle.  Silicone implants cannot be filled after placement, and come in predetermined sizes.

Silicone implants are also placed using incisions at the nipple, the armpit and at the crease of the breast.  They cannot be placed transumbilically.


In a breast augmentation, placement of the implant is determined by the patient’s anatomy, previous history, type of implant and desired look.

1. Under the muscle (submuscular) —In an under the muscle breast augmentation, the doctor places the implant underneath the pectoral muscle.  This usually gives a more natural look; however, your doctor should discuss with you if this is the right option for you.

2. Above the muscle (subglandular) —In this type of placement, the doctor will place the implant above the muscle, just behind the breast tissue.  This involves less recovery time and a more rounded look.  Some research indicates that incidence of capsular contracture (the formation of scar tissue around the implant) is higher in women with this type of placement.  However, other factors are involved with this condition, as well.

What type of breast augmentation is right for you?  That depends on the sum of many factors.  Each patient is unique and individual, with her own particular anatomy and prior history.  You should be very open with your doctor about the look you desire, and make sure that you understand all of the risks involved.  With your doctor as your partner, you’re sure to get the look that’s just right for you!

This article was written by Beth Hrusch, an expert

in the Plastic Surgery category at