Breast Augmentation and Body Type
By Danielle Briones
Published on June 02, 2008
Breast augmentation is performed on women of all ages and sizes. And while the decision to undergo breast enlargement surgery, the selection of the size of the implant, and some of the other choices patients make about breast augmentation are based on their personal cosmetic goals, the patient's body type is also an important factor to consider during the breast augmentation planning stage.
Women who are on the thinner side and who lack significant breast tissue are often better candidates for silicone implants, according to Dr. Trevisani.
"People who are very thin, whatever you put in those people, that is going to be their breast," he explains. "So the silicone really is a big benefit to people who really have no breast tissue, who are very, very thin. Those people will get the most bang for their buck from the silicone."
As for implant placement, Dr. Trevisani generally prefers to place implants under the chest muscle in small-framed women. This approach provides more coverage of the implant, prevents it from looking too rounded on top, and results in a more natural appearance.
The incisional approach used on thinner women depends on their aesthetic goals.
Because silicone implants come pre-filled, the incision will need to be large enough for placement of the implants. While both the inframammary (breast crease) and areolar (nipple) approaches leave scars, the areolar incision may be less noticeable.
"The nipple incision is good because it has a nice light-dark junction. That crease, that scar just kind of blends in over time," Dr. Trevisani says.
Best Breast Augmentation Approaches for Thin Women
- Implant Type: Silicone
- Placement: Under the muscle
- Incisional Approach: Areolar or inframammary
Women who already have a good amount of breast tissue are good candidates for either saline or silicone breast implants, under- or over-the-muscle placement, and the areolar or inframammary approach. Because larger-framed women have more choices available to them, the breast augmentation technique largely depends on the patient’s individual goals.
"People who already have breast tissue, they just want to go larger and they have good, thick skin, those people would do well either way – [with] the saline and the silicone."
According to Dr. Trevisani, some of his patients prefer saline implants because they are concerned that there are risks associated with silicone implants. While he respects whichever decision a patient makes regarding implant type, he makes a point of educating each patient on the safety of silicone implants.
"As of November of '06, [silicone implants have] been back on the market," he confirms. "Silicone now is becoming the implant of choice, more and more, in the United States. It's already the implant of choice overseas. It was never taken off the market anywhere but the United States."
Dr. Trevisani refers to years of research conducted by the FDA; in study after study, silicone implants were not linked to a higher risk of disease or other health problems.
"People can feel comfortable now," Dr. Trevisani stresses. "Silicone is safe. The science behind that is very solid."
Best Breast Augmentation Approaches for Fuller Women
- Implant Type: Silicone or saline
- Placement: Under or over the muscle
- Incisional Approach: Areolar and/or inframammary
Sagging of the Breasts
Women who are experiencing excessive sagging of the breasts, with down-turned nipples, may think that simply getting breast implants will give the breasts a lift and improve the location of their nipples. However, according to Dr. Trevisani, breast augmentation surgery is not enough for these patients.
"Sometimes the skin has really descended too far for just an implant; then, we have to do some kind of lift and an implant to move the nipple position and give you more volume at the same time."
Breast lift techniques allow plastic surgeons to reposition the areolar and skin of each breast, while placement of breast implants fill out the chest area.
The surgical approach the surgeon employs during the augmentation portion of the procedure has significant impact on the results of the surgery as well, Dr. Trevisani cautions.
"People who have some sag to the skin, those people aren't really going to be good candidates to go under the muscle because the muscle will make the implant ride high," Dr. Trevisani explains.
In other words, the implants will set in the upper chest area, while the sagging skin and breast tissue will remain hanging below the breast implant, resulting in what Dr. Trevisani calls a "double-bubble" effect.
Best Breast Augmentation Approaches for Women with Deflated Breasts
- Implant Type: Silicone or saline
- Placement:Over the muscle
- Incisional Approach: Areolar and/or inframammary with breast lift
Always Consult a Qualified Surgeon
Before making the decision to undergo breast augmentation, it is important to make sure that your surgeon is board certified to perform plastic surgery and trained in the surgical techniques that are right for your body type.
"There are a lot of choices," Dr. Trevisani concludes. "I go over all of the options with my patients during their consultation."