Women who have sought breast enlargement have been offered saline and silicone implants for years, but recently the types of implants and alternatives for breast augmentation have increased significantly. Traditionally, breast implants were only available with a round contour, silicone polymer shell and either saline or silicone gel fill. There was a wide spectrum of sizes, and the outer shell could be either smooth or textured. Currently, there are a number of style differences in addition to size alone. These include projection, or degree to which the implants protrude in front of the chest, and shape, as anatomically shaped implants offer a variety of tear drop shapes. Silicone breast implants are now also available with different forms of gel fill, ranging from the original, softer kind which most closely emulates normal breast tissue, to the highly cohesive or “gummy bear” type gel that retains its shape and contours the overlying breast.

In addition to breast implants alone, autologous fat grafts, fat injections or fat transfers, where the fat is obtained from the patient’s own fat deposits and inserted into her breasts, may be used to complement breast augmentation. Fat grafting has been used for decades in plastic surgery to correct contour deformities in many parts of the body, and the technique may be applied to correct breast asymmetry or to increase the size of the breasts. This method of breast enhancement may be performed subsequent to non-surgical breast augmentation by expansion of the breasts with the BRAVA system. There is increasing evidence of the safety of using fat in the breasts and longer term follow up on results after this type of breast augmentation.

Final outcome of breast augmentation surgery depends on ultimate patient appearance and satisfaction. The varying shapes and sizes offer a wide range of possible aesthetic results, and surgery can be designed to meet each patient’s unique individual characteristics and wishes. For the most part, patients who have undergone breast augmentation with either saline or silicone implants are happy with their results, and many benefit from increased self-confidence in addition to improved physical appearance. As with any surgical procedure, there are potential complications from breast augmentation, and you should discuss these with your surgeon prior to undergoing any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a female board certified plastic surgeon in New York City with specialized training in aesthetic plastic surgery. She performs the full spectrum of plastic surgery procedures including breast augmentation in the safety, privacy and comfort of her AAAASF certified Operating Room off Park Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.

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