Since the purpose of breast augmentation is to enhance the size and shape of one’s breasts, it may seem reasonable to conclude that larger implants are better. Depending on the patient, large implants may indeed be the best choice for certain body types and cosmetic desires. However, there are a surprising number of benefits to be gained from a more modest increase in size.
If you are in the midst of deciding on your augmentation options, take note of the advantages and disadvantages of smaller implants. By understanding the impact of your implant size, you can help ensure a satisfying plastic surgery experience at our Gainesville practice.
Factors to Consider for a Breast Augmentation
While size is often the first and most obvious decision to consider for a breast augmentation, there are multiple factors that affect the procedure’s results:
- Implant type: Saline and silicone implants each have their benefits, which may play a role in the desire for larger or smaller implants. Since silicone implants come pre-filled, patients should keep in mind how this may affect the size and placement of their incisions.
- Implant profile: The profile of an implant refers to how far it projects outward from the chest. Implant profile and size should be considered together, as they will both affect the overall aesthetics of the augmentation.
- Implant shape: Silicone implants can come in a natural teardrop shape, whereas both silicone and saline can come in a traditional round shape. The benefits and drawbacks of an implant’s shape are partially determined by their size, such as round implants appearing more “fake” when they are too large.
- Incision technique: The location of incisions for breast augmentation is partially dependent on the size of implants. Smaller silicone implants, for instance, might be able to be placed through peri-areolar or transaxillary incisions, whereas larger implants would have to rely on the inframammary incision technique.
Pros of Small Implants
Although small implants are not superior in size, they can offer other advantages toward how a breast augmentation looks. First, smaller implants are more likely to produce natural looking breasts, especially when using saline implants. A subtle augmentation will still enhance the breasts without greatly changing their shape or producing an unnaturally spherical appearance. Patients whose breasts are already relatively small should be doubly wary of using too large an implant size, as the resulting effects will be that much more apparent.
Patients with narrower frames are particularly good candidates for smaller implants. When implants are too wide in relation to the chest, they can result in cosmetic and medical complications, thus calling for revision surgery and implant replacement. Likewise, patients who undergo a sudden and significant change in breast size may encounter problems handling the extra weight.
Finally, smaller breast implants make for an easier recovery. Smaller incisions and less damaged tissue allow patients to have a quicker recovery with fewer side effects. If patients wish to further augment their breasts later on, the subsequent recovery period will be even easier, as the breast pocket will already be made.
Cons of Small Implants
When patients are satisfied with their augmentation, smaller implants carry no inherent disadvantages. Therefore, patients are encouraged to carefully weigh their options and choose a procedure that will produce the best results to meet their expectations. While smaller implants may seem like a reasonable choice initially, many patients choose to undergo a second augmentation to upgrade their implant size. Revision surgery is common and generally poses little risk, but we aim to permanently and fully satisfy our patients the first time. The best way to accomplish this is through a comprehensive discussion with your surgeon on how to meet your individual goals for treatment.
Schedule a Consultation
The specific advantages and disadvantages of each augmentation technique can vary among patients. The only way to decidedly know which techniques are best for you is by coming in for a personal consultation. Contact us to learn more about breast augmentation and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaines.