Breast augmentation techniques vary from patient to patient because each one has unique underlying anatomies (i.e., soft tissue coverage and body frame) and cosmetic goals from the surgery.
Nonetheless, a recent survey published by journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that certain techniques and breast implant designs are favored by many board-certified plastic surgeons.
The survey was based on the answers of more than 1,000 board-certified plastic surgeons who were asked to fill out an electronic questionnaire.
The survey has shown general agreement in several breast augmentation techniques, which are explained below:
* The inframammary fold incision site is the most preferred entry point. Aside from the precise visibility that minimizes risk of asymmetry, its popularity is also linked to favorable scars as they are hidden within the natural fold of skin.
A good number of patients also need their breast crease to be slightly readjusted, which makes the inframammary fold technique an ideal choice for many.
* The submuscular technique is the most recommended implant placement. Proponents suggest that positioning the implants behind the thick layer of muscle is one effective way to minimize palpable rippling, scar capsule formation (capsular contracture), and unnatural contour.
Meanwhile, placing the implants above the muscle—so only the breast tissue and skin cover and support them—has become a less popular choice because of the increased risk of rippling, especially in small-breasted and thin women.
* Silicone breast implants are the most popular choice. They provide a more natural result and feel than saline implants because of their cohesive filler material, making them an ideal choice for women with little breast tissue to begin with.
Silicone implants that come in smooth surface and round shape (or more like a flattened sphere) are believed to further make the result look and feel natural.
Meanwhile, teardrop implants, which always have a rough or textured outer shell to prevent rotation, are less popular because of the increased risk of palpable rippling and asymmetry if they flip over.
In addition, the most popular breast implant size range is between 300 and 350 cc, as suggested by the survey.
* Recent technologies. Despite the growing popularity of 3D imaging technologies in plastic surgery that allow patients to preview their possible results, they are not commonly used by breast augmentation surgeons.
Also, the respondents do not routinely use fat grafting, either as an adjunct procedure of breast implant surgery or as a stand-alone augmentation technique.