While breast augmentation trends come and go, there are universal guidelines that help surgeons achieve natural-looking results and minimize risk of complications, particularly relating to aesthetic issues such as sagging or bottoming-out, and rippling.
Although many trends and new technologies have paved way for safer, longer-lasting implants, Dr. Smiley says the ideal choice still boils down to patient compatibility, meaning that one’s underlying anatomy and aesthetic goals must be in line with her implant type, design, and size.
- Breast implants that “acknowledge” and “respect” patient lifestyle
Patients who participate in sports and fitness programs generally seek breast augmentation to achieve a more balanced figure, instead of having a “cup size” that will be the focal point of their physique. For this reason, they choose the conservative route—i.e., breast implants not bigger than 350 cubic centimeter or cc.
While cc is not directly correlated to the final breast size (due to variables such as pre-existing tissue, chest shape, and other anatomy), patients with an active lifestyle typically ask for a full B or small C cup result, or simply want to restore the lost volume in their upper breast pole following pregnancy.
- Gummy bear breast implant
This is a marketing term used to describe fifth generation silicone implants. But instead of a “runny” silicone gel, it uses solid silicone whose molecules have stronger crosslinks and so it is highly cohesive just like a gummy bear candy.
The solid silicone will keep its form when cut in half and so the risk of rupture is markedly low, with one study suggesting it is only 2.6 percent within a nine-year period.
- Fat injection
While fat injection is a growing trend in buttock augmentation surgery, it is rarely used as a primary method to reshape and increase the breast size. Unlike the butt area, the breast can only “take” a lower volume of fat.
Nonetheless, fat injection—which involves liposuction as a way to collect unwanted fat, and purification prior to re-injection to achieve a high survival rate—can serve as an additional soft tissue coverage to prevent or minimize risk of rippling and palpability.
- Postoperative breast massage
A 2016 survey conducted among active members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has shown that more than half of the 1,067 respondents recommended postoperative breast massage, which basically requires pushing the implants into the outermost corners of the pocket.
The idea is to retain the thinness and softness of the scar tissue sac encapsulating the implant, which in turn prevents capsular contracture and high riding implants.