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Wilfred R. Ehrmantraut, Jr., MD, PA
Breast Augmentation Considerations
Plastic Surgery Center of Southern Maryland, P.A.
. http://www.plasticsurgeryofsomd.com

Breast Augmentation Considerations

A womans breasts are a very personal and defining feature of her body, and of her self-image. While some women are happy with their breasts, others are dissatisfied and desire to make them better. Today women have more options than ever when exploring breast enhancement.

Selecting a Qualified Plastic Surgeon

It is extremely important to be sure your surgeon is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You verify this by going to their website at www.abplsurg.org. It is also very important that the surgery be performed in the main OR of a hospital or a fully accredited surgery center.

Goals of Breast Augmentation

Women explore breast enhancement for many reasons. Usually they have concerns about the size and shape of their breasts. They may desire more proportioned or fuller breasts. Loss of breast volume may be due to weight loss after dieting or exercise, decrease in breast size after having children, or inadequate breast development in relation to body shape and size. Some individuals may have one breast that is noticeably smaller than the other. Other patients would like to improve drooping, pendulous breasts.
To be a good surgical candidate for breast augmentation a patient must desire a size and style of breast implant that is best for her body type and physical characteristics. Also, a patient must have an internal motivation to have the surgery for themselvesnot be driven by a loved one or other outside influencesand have realistic expectations of the outcome.

Choosing the Breast Implant

When choosing a breast implant there are many items to consider, including the symmetry of your breasts, the width of your breasts, your skin and tissue characteristics, and the location of the incision and the implant. Breast implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. The shape may be round (most common) or anatomic (shaped like a breast). Choosing the right size is critical and must take into consideration the patients physique, lifestyle and goals. The texture of implants may be smooth or textured. Texturing is designed to help keep the implant from shifting in place and to reduce the rate of capsular contracture in the long term.
Another critical consideration today is the choice of implant filler. In November 2006 the FDA approved the return of silicone breast implants. A patient may now choose to have implants filled with sterile salt water, saline, or an elastic gel, silicone. Saline implants may feel somewhat firmer than natural breast tissue. If they leak, a saline implant will deflate and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. Silicone gel implants have a softness that feels and moves more like natural breast tissue. If they leak, elastic silicone gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast capsule. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not deflate. It is recommended patients with silicone gel filled implants undergo a MRI every 3 years to assess their condition. Additional considerations of silicone gel filled implants is they require a larger incision size for insertion and some health insurance plans may not cover patients who choose to have them.

Risks and Benefits of Augmentation

For many women, breast enhancement surgery brings great rewards, both physically and emotionally. However, it is important to consider the risks, as well as the benefits when making your decision. Breast implants are not lifetime devices, and breast augmentation is not necessarily a one-time surgery. Patients may need additional surgeries on their breasts due to complications or unacceptable cosmetic results. Overall, breast augmentation is a safe and effective surgery. Most women are extremely pleased with their results and increase their self-image and confidence.

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