Breast augmentation (breast enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty, boob job) is one of the most widely performed cosmetic procedures and it is associated with very high satisfaction rates. Enhancing the bust can have a profound effect on your confidence and self-esteem. Whilst it is not without potential complications (no surgery is), they are fortunately rare and the psychological benefits can be immense.
Most patients come for breast augmentation after a lot of thought and research. There is no substitute for a detailed discussion with your VIP surgeon, but you
may find the following information of interest….
Submuscular vs Subglandular Placement of Implants?
The breast is a modified sweat gland that sits on the pectoralis major muscle (the so called ‘pecs’). Implants can be placed underneath the breast itself (subglandular), or in a deeper plane beneath the pectoralis muscle (submuscular). The subglandular plane is an easier dissection and so causes less bleeding and pain post-operatively. For most patients with a modest size breast, the subglandular plane is preferable.
For patients with very little breast tissue, it can be difficult to ‘hide’ the implant if it is put beneath the gland. The edges of the implant may be palpable and there
may be rippling of the implant felt underneath the skin. For these reasons, the submuscular plane is often more appropriate. By having the extra covering of the pectoralis muscle, the implant is less easy to see or feel and the incidence of capsular contracture is less.
Round vs Anatomical Shaped Implants?
Round implants are dome-shaped in cross-section, while anatomical implants are tear-drop or pear-shaped (with a flat back).
Anatomically shaped implants have the advantage of giving a more natural contour to the breast particularly in patients with little breast tissue.
However, they have the disadvantage of being more expensive and they have the potential to rotate, producing an odd appearance which cannot happen with round implants.
For patients with some breast tissue to cover the implant, the benefits of an anatomical implant are less and in fact, a round implant can give a more pleasing effect. A round implant gives more fullness in the upper pole which some patients desire.
What Volume Implant Should I Have?
Patients tend to compare their implants by the volume of the implant. Whilst this is obviously important, it is not the whole story.
The main determinant when it comes to choosing an implant, is the base diameter of the breast. Once the diameter is measured, then the specific implant is chosen depending on its projection, and for anatomical implants, its height. Hence a 300cc implant with a low height and low projection, will look different from a 300cc implant with a full height and projection (this implant will necessarily have a smaller base diameter).
Whilst it is useful to have an idea of what volume implant you would like and there are various ways to estimate this, such as adding a certain volume of rice or water to a bag and putting it in your bra. These do not take into account the different shapes implants of the same volume may have. The final choice is often made by the surgeon to take in to account the other factors such as the base diameter and projection.