What are your goals when it comes to breast augmentation? “Larger breasts” is an obvious response, but for many women, the desired result is more nuanced. Most breast augmentatioon patients want larger breasts that both look and feel natural. In the past, it was often obvious that a woman had breast augmentation surgery, but today it’s possible to get very natural-looking results with synthetic implants.
Dr. Paul Vitenas, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, works with each of his patients to help them get the customized results they want from breast surgery. Here’s what he recommends to help ensure your results look as natural and as “you” as possible.
Choose the Right Size
When it comes to breast implants, bigger isn’t always better, particularly if the goal is to get results that look realistic. Bigger implants can look artificial, especially on a woman with a small frame.
When picking out the implant size that’s best for your body and your desired results, it helps to think beyond cup or bra size. A D-cup will look a lot different on a petite woman then it will on a woman who is nearly 6 feet tall or who has a larger bone structure.
A few factors determine the size of a breast implant and how it will look on a patient after surgery:
- Volume: Implants are measured in cubic centimeters, which refers to how much material, either saline or silicone, is needed to fill them. Because every woman is different, implants with the same volume measurement can look wildly different on different patients. For example, 350 cc implants will look smaller on a taller, large-framed woman than they will on a short, thin woman.
- Projection: Implant projection refers to how much the implants protrude from the chest wall. Sometimes called the implant profile, projection is essentially the height of the implant. A 350 cc implant with a narrow base will project from the chest wall more than a 350 cc implant with a wider base. Implants that have too much projection can look artificial. The projection also affects how full the implant looks. Generally, more fullness, particularly at the top of the implant, creates a more natural look.
- Width: The width of the implants determines how they fit on your chest wall, creating a natural look (or not!). Often, smaller women need narrower implants, as they don’t have enough chest width to support wider implants. Since narrower implants tend to have a greater projection than wider implants, a small-framed woman might need to choose implants with a reduced volume to get the natural look she wants.
Consider the Implant Placement
The placement of your implants, meaning their location either below or above the chest muscle, can also affect how the final results look. For many patients, Dr. Vitenas will place the implants beneath the muscle. A submuscular placement usually creates natural-looking results, even in women who don’t have a lot of existing breast tissue.
Dr. Vitenas’ preferred method is the dual plane technique, which divides the chest muscle so the implant can fill out the lower portion of the breast sub-glandularly while the upper portion of the implant is positioned under the muscle.
For women who have a lot of existing breast tissue, a sub-glandular placement, which puts the implant on top of the muscle, might be an appropriate choice. If a woman doesn’t have a lot of existing breast tissue, however, it’s possible for the edges of a sub-glandular implant to be visible beneath the skin, causing a more artificial look.
Pick the Right Material and Texture
Breast implants can either be filled with saline (aka saltwater) or with a silicone gel. Generally, silicone implants create a look and feel that is more like natural breast tissue than saline implants. Saline implants tend to feel firmer to the touch and have less “give” than silicone.
In women who have little natural breast tissue, it can be possible to see the edges of a saline implant beneath the skin. The edges might also create a wrinkled or puckered look on the breasts.
Although silicone implants tend to be the more popular option because of their more natural look and feel, there are cases when saline implants are the best choice for a patient. Dr. Vitenas will review the pros and cons of each type of material with you to help you choose the option that will work best.
Another thing to consider when choosing implants is the texture of the implant itself. Some implants have a textured outer wall. The slightly uneven surface is meant to keep the implant in place and to reduce the likelihood of shifting. But the texture also creates a surface that’s easy for bacteria to cling to, which is one major reason Dr. Vitenas chooses smooth implants for his patients.
Implants with a smooth texture also tend to look and feel more natural. Since they move within the pocket created in the breast tissue, they look more natural overall.
Schedule a Consultation
Choosing the right implants is just one part of ensuring that you get natural-looking breast augmentation results. You also want to make sure you choose the right surgeon. Dr. Vitenas is a top-rated breast surgeon with more than three decades of experience. To learn more about his practice, the techniques he uses, and breast augmentation in general, call 281-484-0088 or book a virtual consultation today.