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Breast Augmentation Candidates

Perhaps the most important component of a breast augmentation is not the size, texture, or shape of the breast implant.  Nor is it the incision placement or under or over the muscle approach.  The most critical factor in breast implant surgery is knowing who is a good candidate for an augmentation, and who is a good candidate for a lift.  Often, the two operations are combined.

A common misconception among patients and even inexperienced surgeons is that a breast implant can lift the breast.  While it is true that the addition of volume can fill a deflated breast and restore a perky shape, the breast itself when it has fallen too low will not be raised by adding an implant alone.  To understand this principle, one must understand how tissues behave, breast and chest anatomy, and the dynamics of breast implant devices.

Maximum projection of the breast must be centered behind the nipple.  When the nipple position has dropped below the fold of the breast, achieving a perky breast with proper aesthetics becomes impossible without repositioning the nipple AND breast to a higher location on the chest wall.  A breast implant alone will not do this.

There are “gray areas” when it comes to treating deflated breasts treated with implants alone.  If the nipple position sits at the fold of even perhaps a little below it, it is sometimes possible with the right breast implant to give the illusion of a breast lift.  Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon will help guide you through this thought process.  In the end, it sometimes makes sense to trade in imperfect shape to reduce scars from a lift.   This is a personal preference and one that must be discussed at length in the office.