Breast Augmentation Surgery With Implants or Natural Tissue – Which Approach Is Right for You?
Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that utilizes implants (silicone gel or saline) or natural tissue (body fat) to add volume to the breasts. In addition to increasing the size of the breasts, the goal of breast augmentation surgery is to enhance a patient’s natural proportions by creating a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing breast profile.
The importance of working with a Board-certified plastic surgeon
To help ensure the best possible outcome from breast augmentation surgery, it is important to work with a highly experienced and artistically gifted surgeon. Dr. Daniel Greenwald, a Board-certified plastic surgeon who practices at Bayshore Plastic Surgery in Tampa, Florida, has been performing breast augmentation and other cosmetic procedures for more than two decades. A skillful listener, Dr. Greenwald takes the time to get to know his patients, learn about their concerns, and assess what he can do to help them look as good as they would realistically like while accentuating the positive physical features they already have.
If you’re interested in breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Greenwald can help you determine whether it is right for you and, if so, choose the optimal approach – implants or natural tissue – based on your anatomy, preferences, and goals. When making this determination, it can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of both implants and natural tissue when used for breast augmentation.
The pros of breast augmentation surgery with silicone gel implants
The safety of silicone gel implants, which are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is well established. Filled with a gelatin-like silicone polymer that is soft and resistant to wrinkling and folding, silicone gel implants can produce a more predictable change in breast size with a more natural look and feel than either saline implants or fat transfers. In contrast, saline implants are filled with liquid, which means they are more likely to show ripples and wrinkles, and can also deflate over time.
Unlike a breast augmentation with fat transfers, in which fatty tissue must be harvested from another area of the patient’s body, a breast augmentation with implants does not require an additional surgical procedure. Also, if necessary, breast implants can be removed more easily than injected fat.
The cons of breast augmentation surgery with silicone gel implants
Modern silicone gel (gummy bear) implants are safe and carry a lifetime warranty. Because the filling material is a gel, as opposed to a liquid, there is almost no risk of rupture or leakage. As with any foreign body, however, a capsule will form around a gummy bear implant. In rare cases, capsular contracture may develop as the body attempts to protect itself against a perceived foreign object. In essence, the body walls off the “foreign object” by forming a capsule of scar tissue around the implant. In most cases, the capsule remains soft and pliable and does not cause any problems. In some cases, however, the capsule may contract and can potentially change the shape and position of the breast. Dr. Greenwald recommends Accolate for three months after augmentation for all of his patients. This anti-inflammatory significantly decreases the risk of capsular contracture.
The pros of breast augmentation surgery with natural tissue
A breast augmentation with fat transfers utilizes a patient’s own fatty tissue, which is the most natural filling material available. Therefore, unlike a breast augmentation with implants, there is no risk of capsular contracture, rippling, wrinkling, or allergic reaction, and there is virtually no scarring associated with fat injections. Additionally, due to the need to harvest fatty tissue for this procedure, many patients benefit from the effects of another body contouring procedure, such as liposuction on the buttocks, hips, or thighs.
The cons of breast augmentation surgery with natural tissue
Transplanted body fat can potentially “melt away,” sometimes leaving as little as 30 percent of the amount initially placed. For this reason, the fat transfer process may need to be repeated several times in order to achieve the targeted breast volume and symmetry, and a significant change may not be possible.
Fat injections can sometimes produce calcifications in the breasts, which can potentially interfere with breast cancer screenings. Finally, because more than one surgical procedure is involved, the cost of a breast augmentation with natural tissue is typically higher than the cost of a breast augmentation with implants.
If you’d like to learn more about breast augmentation surgery with natural tissue or gummy bear implants, contact Bayshore Plastic Surgery at 877-873-7522 to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Greenwald at his office in Tampa, FL.