For your breast augmentation surgery, silicone implants may be a good option. Today’s silicone implants are much improved than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. The silicone shell is better with less gel bleed and the silicone gel is more cohesive rather than being more liquid. Dr. Lo uses the best cohesive silicone gel implants available, often referred to as “gummy bear” implants. The main advantage of silicone implants is that they can have a softer feel than saline implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Almost any woman may consider silicone breast implants as an option for breast augmentation. Depending on a woman’s’ situation, health history or anatomy, silicone implants may offer an excellent choice to achieve a soft, natural beautiful result. Silicone implants can be ideal for a woman who may not have much of her own breast tissue.
Silicone breast implants feel softer and are often described as more natural looking with a more natural slope. This is the main reason why women choose silicone implants. Although saline implants feel soft, silicone implants feel softer and more like natural breast tissue. Silicone implants tend to have less wrinkling and rippling around the edges, and this is an important consideration. After breast augmentation with saline implants, when you touch the breasts, you may occasionally feel the edge of the implant or crinkling, which is called wrinkling and rippling. In severe cases, you may sometimes see skin wrinkling and rippling on the side of the breasts, on top or in the cleavage area. Women who are very thin or have very little breast tissue to cover the breast implant are at higher risk for wrinkling and rippling. Women who are concerned about wrinkling or rippling or at higher risk for wrinkling and rippling should consider silicone breast implants as the better choice.
Dr. Lo has developed a special technique to place silicone implants through a transaxillary or armpit incision. This is a safe technique that hides the scar in the armpit, so you do not have any scars on the breast.
The inframammary or crease incision may also be used to place your silicone implants. Usually, Dr. Lo places the incision, or cut, slightly above the crease to avoid your bra’s underwire from rubbing on your scar. The scar is still hidden with the natural droop of your breasts. The incision, or scar, is kept as short as possible but usually is about 1½ inches long. The silicone implants come prefilled and if you request a larger size, then a larger incision or cut is necessary to place the implant. Saline implants come deflated and are filled with saline once inside the breasts, thus a smaller scar or cut is used.
In some patients, a periareolar or below the nipple scar may be used to place the silicone implants. In patients with a larger areolar, this may be a very good choice.
Placing silicone breast implants underneath the muscle, or submuscular, can allow better mammogram interpretation and decreased risk of capsular contraction or hardening of the breast. Occasionally, the silicone breast implants may be placed subglandular, or above the muscle.
The smooth round silicone implant is the most commonly used silicone implant. Silicone breast implants also come in different projections called low profile, moderate profile, moderate plus profile or high profile. Depending on your individual situation, breast and chest measurements, goals and wishes, Dr. Lo will recommend different choices that will be best for you and give you the natural beautiful result that you desire.
The silicone breast implants that are being used are the new 5th generation silicone breast implants called cohesive gel sometimes called gummy bear implants. The advantage is that they are safer if there is leakage or rupture. If leakage happens, the gel stays in one spot and does not move around.
During your consultation, your goals and wishes will be discussed. Your particular situation and anatomy will be analyzed and measurements taken. Based on all this information, a range of possible breast sizes will be discussed whether it be B, C, D or DD or higher. You will have a chance to try silicone sizers in your bra to see your new look. Dr. Lo also uses state of the art 3D imaging to see how different implant sizes would look on you and you can decide the best look for you.
Dr. Lo believes that a natural look is always better, whether you ultimately want to be a B cup, C cup, D cup, DD cup or higher. During the surgery, Dr. Lo performs intraoperative sizing with a saline sizers using different volumes (cc) to determine what looks natural and will meet your desires and goals. Once this is decided, the saline sizer is removed and replace with the silicone breast implant.
Everyone knows that at some time, the silicone breast implants will need to be replaced but they can last 20+ years. Silicone implants last a little longer than saline implants, and also the leakage or rupture rate is slightly less.
As long as your breasts continue to look good and feel soft and natural, there is obviously no need to replace or change your silicone breast implants.
You may not notice if your silicone breast implants leak or rupture, as with the new cohesive gel implants, the gel leakage stays in the area and does not move around. Thus the size or volume of your breasts stays the same. You may not notice a change in the shape of your breasts. The new FDA recommendation is to have regular mammograms every 2-3 years. A MRI exam is no longer recommended (unless further examination is needed). With silicone breast implants, imaging exams are recommended on a regular basis and whenever an evaluation is desired.
Dr. Lo has extensive experience with breast augmentation with silicone implants and was an investigator with the clinical trials of silicone breast implants. If you considering breast augmentation with silicone or saline implants, call Dr. Lo at (215) 829-6900 for an immediate consultation to discuss your goals and determine what is best for you.
Before choosing your plastic surgeon for breast augmentation, you should consider the following:
- Is your surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
- How often does your surgeon perform breast augmentation?
- Does your plastic surgeon offer multiple incision and implant options?
- Does your plastic surgeon listen to and understand your goals and objectives?
- Do the surgeon’s before and after photos show the results you want for yourself?
- Do you feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon?
Dr. Adrian Lo is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a top breast specialist in Philadelphia, PA, Marlton and Cherry Hill, NJ, and the surrounding suburbs. Dr. Lo is highly accomplished in all breast augmentation techniques, including the periareolar and inframammary approaches, and he has expertise in transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation.
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