Different Types of Breast Augmentation Surgery

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For many women feeling confident goes along with looking their best.  Thousands of women have achieved such confidence with breast enhancement surgery of which breast augmentation is the most common procedure.  Amongst the most common reasons for choosing breast augmentation are a desire to increase breast size, re-shaping and restoring breast size after breast feeding or weight loss, and to correct disparity in breast shape or size.

Who is the typical breast augmentation patient?  She is in her thirties and over 60% have had children.  She is well educated and has considered breast augmentation surgery for at least one year.  The incidence of teenage augmentation is very small and silicone gel implants are not approved in women under  22 years of age for primary breast augmentation.  It should be noted that breast augmentation in younger patients is often done as part of the correction of congenital disparity in breast size and shape such as in tuberous breast syndrome.

Questions are often asked about the safety of breast implants.  Saline-filled breast implants have been used for over fifty years and have never been removed from availability.  In the early 1990’s questions arose about the safety of silicone gel-filled implants and in 1992, they were removed from general use for primary breast augmentation in the United States.  After years of investigation, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences found that “Evidence suggests diseases or conditions such as connective tissue disease, cancer, neurological disease, or other systemic complaints or conditions are no more common in women with breast implants than in women without implants”.  The FDA approved the release of the current cohesive gel implants in November 2006.

The operation of breast augmentation is most commonly done as an outpatient procedure in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or a certified surgeon’s office operating room.  It usually is done under general anesthesia with a certified anesthesia provider present to deliver and monitor the anesthesia.  Implants can be placed in front of or behind the muscle and can be either saline-filled or silicone gel –filled implants.  Each type of implant has its own benefits.  The type that you choose depends on personal desire, amount of breast tissue, size of incision, and amount of disparity between the breasts as well as other reasons.  It is my personal belief that breast implants should be placed behind the muscle which gives a more natural look and feel, a decreased risk of hardening capsular contractures and most importantly, interferes less with evaluating mammograms.  Post operative recovery usually requires a period of limitation of physical activity and driving.  Most plastic surgeons include all postoperative visits in their surgical fee. No surgical procedures are without risks or complication.  With current implant technology and low leakage rates, the need to replace implants for leakage or rupture is markedly decreased and indeed some breast augmentations may last a lifetime. However, there are other reasons beside leakage that my require re-operation.

There are many other questions that are often asked in regard to this operation such as breast feeding with implants, need for mammograms, need for MRI’s after augmentation with silicone gel implants, breast feel, nipple sensation and others.  These can and should be discussed during your consultation with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.


-Dr. Barry Schwartz is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for over 30 years.  Appointments for complimentary  consultation  can be made by calling (954)384-8300 or visit  plasticsurgeryweston.com

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Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz, MD

Plastic Surgeon

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