Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgery performed in the United States according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It is estimated that over two million American women have breast implants. Since the “implant crisis” of the early 90’s, studies have long been completed which show that there is in fact no associated between breast implants and autoimmune or other diseases. There were over 286,000 breast augmentations performed in the U.S. during 2014 according to ASPS. Dr. Gregory Stagnone, an expert in the field of breast enhancement surgery will help separate myths & truths. Dr. Stagnone has performed over 4,000 breast surgeries since he started practicing.

Why do women get breast implants?

Surprisingly, it is usually not to attract men or primarily for the appearance of the exposed breast. Most women want breast implants to create a better body proportion and look good in their outfits. A lot of my patients answer that question by saying they just want to look “normal”. Very few outfits off the rack will properly fit a woman with very minimal breast tissue. An equal number want implants to restore the breast volume and shape they lost following pregnancy. Interestingly, husbands and boyfriends sometimes put up resistance because they completely misunderstand and assume their mate wants to be more attractive to other men. For many women, this is not even an issue. As a rule, breast implants are chosen for proportional and relatively natural looking results in the vast majority of my patients.

Can a woman choose any size or shape she wants?

Every woman has her own unique starting point. Occasionally someone comes in with goals that simply are not possible with their tissues. I spend a lot of time with my patient teaching them about their own anatomy and their own range of possible results. The compliance (or elasticity) of each woman’s skin and the size of her rib cage establish the limits in the size of implants she can accommodate. When you try to exceed those limits the results is often a tight, unnaturally round breast, which I think is a poor trade-off for greater size. We have a really effective system of sizing in which I precisely measure each patient’s ideal breast diameter and match it up with a range of appropriate implants, using the implant company’s reference chart. Implants come in a myriad of different sizes and several different profiles. Usually two or three different sizes are available to most women to offer a range of possibilities that will look right on their body. We then help the patient try on each of the choices with pre-filled silicone sizing implants and she can then choose the size she likes best. This step is done by one of my staff members (who have all had breast augmentations themselves). This is usually a lot of fun for the patient. She can try the sizers with different outfits. Patients often bring their husband or boyfriend for their “vote”!

Why are there so many different breast implants?

In an attempt to create the ideal breast a number of different implants have been developed. Anatomically shaped or “teardrop” implants were devised to try to create a more naturally shaped breast but many plastic surgeons don’t consider this successful. Anatomically shaped implants have a rough textured surface which keeps them from shifting positions by adhering to the adjacent tissues but the texturing process requires a thicker implant which can feel stiffer and move less naturally. Many plastic surgeons have abandoned these completely. I have found that a naturally shaped and softer feeling breast can usually be created using smooth surfaced round implants which are thinner and more pliable. The FDA removed the restrictions on silicone gel implants in November 2006 for all patients age 22 and above. Since then over 90% of my patient have chosen silicone gel implants because they often appear to be more natural in their feel, shape and movement. We are very happy to help answer questions about which implant is right for you. Sometimes the best way to know is coming in and seeing and feeling for yourself.

If you are considering a breast augmentation please call the office and we will be delighted to assist you.