Dr. Sarah Mess has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.
Breast augmentation is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the United States and one of the reasons for its popularity is how customizable it is.1 With the wide variety of breast implant sizes, shapes, and styles available, women are able to choose a very natural-looking breast augmentation or opt for a more dramatic change. Whatever your aesthetic goals, Dr. Sarah Mess can help you meet them. Dr. Mess is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Columbia, MD specializing in personalized breast augmentation.
Why Get Breast Implants?
At our plastic surgery practice, we see a diverse range of women from the Baltimore area, as well as those who travel from all over the country to benefit from Dr. Mess’s experience and skill. There is no single type of woman who gets breast implants—women of all ages and backgrounds have breast augmentation, and each one has her own personal reasons for her decision. Women who choose breast augmentation may want to:
- Feel more feminine or more confident
- Balance out a larger lower half for better body proportion or an hourglass figure
- Restore fullness to breasts that have reduced in size or “deflated” after weight loss or pregnancy
- Look great in any clothing, at the beach, or in nothing at all!
Types of Breast Implants
Once you have decided that breast augmentation is right for you, you’ll begin to consider your breast implant options. Your consultation appointment with Dr. Mess is your best opportunity to ask questions about breast implants and get expert advice. Dr. Mess will recommend implants based on your body type, natural breast shape, your lifestyle, and your aesthetic goals.
VECTRA® 3D Imaging
In addition to her expertise, Dr. Mess will also use advanced technology to guide your breast implant choice. We use VECTRA 3D imaging to create a multi-angle, three dimensional simulation of your expected results. Learn more about VECTRA 3D imaging.
Silicone Vs. Saline Breast Implants
Breast implants consist of a silicone shell that is filled with either saline or silicone.
- Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water, which is a substance that can be absorbed by the body if an accident or complication caused the implant to rupture or leak. If a rupture or leak does occur, a saline implant will deflate.
- Silicone implants are filled with a silicone formula that has a gel consistency. If a silicone implant is compromised, it will still hold its shape. Silicone implants typically feel more like natural breast tissue and can also have a very natural look. Patients must be 22 years of age to receive silicone implants.
Breast Implant Shape: Round Vs. Teardrop
In addition to different sizes, breast implants also come in different shapes. Round implants will typically give very noticeable cleavage and a more dramatic look. Teardrop shaped implants mimic the shape of natural breasts with more volume in the bottom half. The choice of implant shape depends largely on your personal style. Round implants may provide more obvious or voluptuous results, while teardrop shaped implants allow women to achieve a very natural-looking breast augmentation.
What Implant Size is Right for You?
When thinking about breast size, most women refer to bra sizing. However, breast implants are sized according to volume (cubic centimeters or CCs), not cup sizes. The size of the implant is not the only thing that will determine how it looks once it is placed. Breast implants also vary in diameter or width—if two breast implants have the same volume but different diameters, the implant with the smaller diameter will have more projection, which means it will protrude more dramatically from the chest.
The same size implant will look different on different women. Dr. Mess will take into account your body shape and natural breast size when advising you on which implants are right for you. If you are bothered by sagging or breasts that sit low on your chest, she may recommend a breast lift with implants.
Incision Placement for Breast Implants
Different types of incisions can be used during breast augmentation. The best incision placement for your breast implants will depend on a number of factors, including your breast size and implant type.
- An inframammary incision is the most common type of incision used for breast augmentation. It is made in the natural fold underneath your breast and is easily hidden in a bra or swimsuit. A benefit of this type of incision is that it does not affect the nipple and it has a much lower chance of complications than other incision types.
- A periareolar incision is made around the border of the areola, which is the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The benefit of this incision type is a very easily camouflaged scar.
- A transaxillary incision is made in the armpit. While the benefit of this incision is zero scarring on the breast, the pocket dissection is less exact. It is best suited for patients with no overhanging breast tissue or excess skin. Due to these limiting factors, it is not commonly used.
Your Breast Augmentation Surgery
During your consultation appointment with Dr. Mess, she will discuss all aspects of your desired results in order to create your customized treatment plan. Together you will narrow down the type of breast implant you want. On the day of your surgery, Dr. Mess may bring several different implants of closely varying sizes or profiles into the operating room so she can ensure that the implants you receive are the best option for you.
Dr. Mess is dedicated to empowering women to make informed decisions and be the best versions of themselves. Learn more about breast augmentation surgery, including recovery guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions. Contact us to schedule your consultation appointment.
1American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2019 National Plastic Surgery Statistics. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2019/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2019.pdf. Accessed December 1, 2020.