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Breast Augmentation in 2018: What to Expect
Posted by Laurence Weider, MD on December 28, 2017
Almost 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery in the U.S. during 2016 according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, making it the most popular cosmetic surgery in the nation – a spot the procedure has held for many years. While the surgery has been around for decades, it has undergone numerous changes during the past two decades. Improvements in technology and surgical technique have made the surgical outcomes more pleasing, more natural-looking and more predictable.
At the same time, shifting perceptions of plastic surgery in general have provided many more women with the confidence they need to feel comfortable having breast augmentation surgery. Reductions in both recovery time and cost mean the surgery is more accessible to women from all walks of life. If you are thinking about breast augmentation surgery, here is a quick review of those recent changes.
There was a time when breast augmentation was primarily relegated to women who wanted significantly larger breasts, with little regard to how their new larger breasts affected the overall ratio or symmetry of their bodies. But in the past couple of decades, this “bigger-is-better” approach to augmentation has given way to a preference for smaller, more proportionate implants that help women feel more confident without looking unnatural or obviously “altered.” While women of the 1980’s might have asked to move from an average B cup to a much larger double D, today women are far more likely to increase their breast size by one or two cups. Instead of aiming only for larger, more voluptuous breasts, many patients today are looking to achieve a natural look and a more balanced figure or restore a more youthful profile that helps them look and feel more confident without feeling uncomfortable and burdensome.
In addition, women are more likely to rely on their plastic surgeon’s advice regarding the size of their implants. Experienced surgeons have long recommended smaller implants that enhance a woman’s appearance rather than drastically altering it. As women shift toward smaller implants, surgeons are able to provide them with results that match their overall body shape for more attractive results and greater satisfaction overall.
Along with implant size changes, patient demographics have also shifted during the past couple of decades. In the past, breast augmentation patients were more likely to be women in their 20’s who were looking to transform their figures. But today, many breast augmentation patients are mothers in their 30’s and 40’s looking for a way to reverse some of the most noticeable physical effects of childbirth and breastfeeding.
Pregnancy and lactation cause significant changes in breast size, shape and texture, including an undesirable loss of firmness. While some pregnancy-related changes resolve, at least in part, in the months and years immediately following pregnancy, it is common for breasts to lose at least some of their natural buoyancy, resulting in a sagging, drooping profile that can add years to a woman’s appearance.
Today, women are more likely to recognize the benefits of breast augmentation in addressing these issues by restoring fullness and firmness to their breasts. As a result, they are far more likely to have breast enhancement surgery, either alone or as part of a more comprehensive “mommy makeover,” helping them feel better about the way they look.
Both incision size and location have changed over the years, and today, incisions are smaller and more discreet. Both silicone and saline implants can be inserted through very small incisions that can be placed in areas not normally visible. Using these innovative techniques, surgical scars are easily hidden by even the tiniest bikinis and most revealing fashions. In addition, advanced surgical technique means less discomfort, so women can return to their normal lifestyles more quickly.
Over the last ten years, major advances have been made in implant technology leading to more options for women as well as better and safer choices. Currently, silicone gel filled implants come in a wide range of sizes, profiles and gel types in order to meet the specific needs of each individual. The various sizes and profiles mean that an implant can be custom fit to each woman’s body and goals. The different gel types range from softer to more cohesive (gummy bear) leading to less chance of visible rippling and more fullness in the upper part of the breast. Saline (salt water) filled implants have also seen major advancements. Ideal Implant structured saline implants mimic many of the best qualities of silicone gel implants without the need for screening MRIs to detect leakage. All of the current available implants are more durable and resistant to rupture. The “gummy bear” implants specifically are designed not to leak should the implant shell be compromised.
Given these advances and options, every breast augmentation procedure can be customized based on the unique anatomy and goals of the patient for optimal satisfaction. Your goals as well as all of the various options will be reviewed with you during your consultation with Dr. Weider.
Although breast augmentation surgery has seen a lot of changes during the past couple of decades, one factor that has remained the same is the importance of surgeon selection. Having a board certified plastic surgeon perform your surgery means you can feel confident in your care and your results. Why? Because a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) has received advanced education and training far beyond that required by medical school and licensure. Board certification indicates that a surgeon has several additional years of surgical training, as well as rigorous testing and ongoing coursework and evaluations to ensure that he or she remains up to date on advances in surgical technique and patient safety protocols. Look for certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and check out the requirements for certification on the ABPS website.
If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, the first step in learning more about the procedure and whether it is a good choice for you is to speak with an experienced plastic surgeon about all your options. As a top-ranked, board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Dr. Laurence Weider is skilled in breast augmentation surgery, using the most advanced techniques to help each woman achieve her goals. Ready to find out more? Call the office at 972-566-9444 or use our online form to request your personal consultation appointment today.