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General Breast Surgery Information

Breast augmentation (implants) is one of the most popular elective Plastic surgery procedures. Breast augmentation is considered to be safe and effective, and has a very high satisfaction rate. Patients that get breast augmentation frequently report improved self confidence, and many return for other procedures such as liposuction. There are many options to consider when considering breast augmentation, and Dr. Herring will discuss these options you desire at the time of your complimentary consultation. Dr. Herring has performed over 14,000 Plastic surgery procedures and has over 25 years of experience.

Breast Shape

Breast shape varies widely in patients seeking breast augmentation. As a result, there are many different procedures that are used to get the best breast augmentation result.

There are many types of breast augmentation procedures which are customized to fit a patients specific anatomy and attempt to meet the patients goals. Below are representative “before and after” images of several categories of breast shapes commonly seen in patients seeking breast augmentation. Most patients will fit into one of these categories, and some patients will fit into more than one category.

Small Breasts

This type of patient seeking breast augmentation typically has a goal of being more “in proportion”. The breast gland is very thin and will not “fill out” form fitting clothes and these patients frequently resort to padded bras to achieve proportion. The general goal for these patients is to “fit better” in clothes and swimsuits, and to comfortably wear clothes that are form fitting, such as evening gowns, sweaters, and bathing suits.

Average Size Breasts

This type of patient seeking breast augmentation typically has average size breasts but wishes to have more breast volume. The goal for these patients is to have a very full bust that can be observed in form fitting clothing. In bra cup size (which varies from company to company) these patients usually end up in the “D” range or larger.

Small Breasts with Sagging

Many patients seeking breast augmentation also have breast sagging. In some patients the breast sagging can be partially or completely corrected with breast augmentation alone. In this circumstance a formal breast lift may not be necessary which means a single operation corrects both sagging and volume deficit.

Small Breasts with Asymmetry (breasts do not match)

Breast asymmetry is very common and is a frequently a concern of patients seeking breast implants. Minor breast asymmetry (size) can frequently be partially or completely corrected with breast augmentation. In this circumstance saline breast implants are very helpful because they can be adjusted at the time of surgery.

Constricted Breast

The constricted breast occurs when the diameter of the breast is too small compared to the chest width. The constricted breast can be improved or completely corrected in many patients seeking breast augmentation. Breast augmentation can expand the breast diameter so that it is more in proportion with the chest width.

Breast Sagging (ptosis)

Breast sagging (ptosis) is common in patients seeking breast augmentation. In some patients the sagging is not correctable with breast augmentation alone and in these patients a breast lift is needed for the best result. A breast lift improves the shape and position of the breast and can reduce the size of the breast as well (breast reduction).

A breast lift can be performed in a patient before, during, or after breast augmentation.

Breast Implant Types

Breast augmentation is performed with two types of implant fillers, which are silicone and saline. There are unique advantages to each of these types of breast implants and the patient seeking surgery should be well familiar with this information before choosing an implant type. Differences in individual anatomy may make one implant preferable over the other. Dr. Herring performs breast augmentation with saline and silicone breast implants, and will provide information at your consultation that will assist you in selecting an implant type. Dr. Herring currently uses Mentor brand breast implants, and these implants have a limited lifetime warranty provided by the company.

Breast Implant Size

The size of breast implants used for breast augmentation is left to the patient. A size recommendation is made by Dr. Herring and breast implant sizers are used to get a general idea of the cup size desired. Using bra cup size alone to determine breast implant size is not accurate because bra manufacturers have different standards for each cup size. A good place to begin in choosing implant size is a size that will make the patient “in proportion”, and then adjustments can be made up or down from that volume. Most patients choose a breast implant size that is “in proportion” or slightly larger, which for most patients is in the “C” or “D” cup size. Some patients wish to be larger than “in proportion” which may also be possible for some patients. There are many factors patients should consider when choosing an implant size, and Dr. Herring will review those considerations at your complimentary consultation.

Breast Lift

A breast lift is sometimes needed in addition to the breast augmentation to get the best result. A breast lift alone is sometimes the only procedure that is needed depending on the goals of the patient. The option of a breast lift is very dependent on the patients goals, and can be done before, during, or after a breast augmentation. In some patients a small amount of sagging can be corrected with breast implants alone. The natural aging process continues after breast augmentation and some patients will choose to get a breast lift years after the breast augmentation. There are many procedure options for breast lift depending upon the severity of sagging, the patients goals, and other factors. The breast lift procedure can be discussed with Dr. Herring at your complimentary consultation.