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Breast Augmentation: Cosmetic and Medical Insights

We receive many questions from women considering breast augmentation in New York, so I’d like to share an overview to help answer some of those questions here. Please also feel free to call for an in-office consultation and we can personalize recommendations just for you:

Breast augmentation, or enlargement, is the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the U.S. Some of the reasons women seek augmentation are to:

  •      Increase breast size and enhance shape
  •      Restore fullness lost due to childbearing or weight loss
  •      Achieve more proportionate body shape
  •      Balance asymmetrical (uneven) breasts

Breast augmentation can actually be a medical need for women born with conditions that result in undeveloped or very asymmetrical breasts, such as congenital Poland Syndrome or tuberous breasts. These conditions can be emotionally devastating for an affected woman. Usually we can perform corrective surgery using breast implants, and the results have a profound effect on a woman’s physical appearance and self-esteem.

Cosmetic breast augmentation is typically accomplished by inserting an implant into the breast through a small incision. A new way to augment breasts without using implants is a “fat transfer” procedure. Fat is taken from your buttocks or abdomen using liposuction — many women consider this an added benefit! — then processed for immediate insertion into your breasts for augmentation. Another option is to insert implants and also use fat transfer to fill in and further perfect results.

There are two main categories of breast implants — silicone and saline. We recommend silicone for most women because they look and feel more natural than saline, which is a firmer, rounder implant.
The incision for a breast augmentation is very small, about 3—4 cm. The scar is usually very thin and fades with time. However, patients with a history of poor scarring such as keloiding or hyperpigmentation are at risk for similar experiences with their breast augmentation incision.

Most women want breasts that are enhanced but still natural looking, but are initially unsure of the breast size that will help them achieve this goal. Advanced 3D imaging technology enables us to take pictures from different angles and feed them into a computer so a woman can see how her figure will actually look with varying degrees of volume and profiles.

Breast augmentation results can be expected to last indefinitely, though various factors may eventually lead to some drooping. These include:

  •      Pregnancy and nursing
  •      Substantial weight gain and/or loss
  •      Gravity, which pulls the breasts down

Implants today remain in good shape for many years, so over time we can perform a relatively simple “fix” with a breast lift procedure if needed, leaving the implants in place. But if the implants have been in for well more than a decade and need replacing, that is done at the same time

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