The many women from the Baltimore-Washington Corridor considering breast augmentation with implants often have questions. In Columbia, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Chang believes in the importance of addressing all of their questions and concerns. Here are answers to some of the questions he hears most frequently.
They'll know only if you confide in them. Dr. Chang strives to achieve beautiful, natural-looking results for his breast augmentation patients. Often the incisions can be placed inconspicuously along the breast crease where they cannot be seen – with or without clothing.
If you have minor sagging, breast implants will fill out your breasts enough to take care of the sagging. If you have significant sagging, Dr. Chang might recommend having a breast lift along with breast augmentation to elevate your breasts while adding fullness.
While both saline and silicone implants are available, choosing breast implants is basically a personal matter. Saline implants are rolled up, inserted, and then filled with salt water; therefore, they usually require a tiny incision. The size of saline implants can be customized after placement by adding and removing saline. Many women say that silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue, but because this type is pre-filled it often requires a larger incision than saline implants. Implant size, placement, and surgical technique are determined by personal preference as well. Dr. Chang will help you decide which is best suited to your individual preferences and body type.
After over a decade of study, the FDA found no scientific link between silicone breast implants and breast cancer. You should still have regular mammograms after breast augmentation because your chances of having breast cancer don't diminish with breast implants. Skilled X-ray technicians can perform a mammogram without compromising your implants.
Women considering breast enlargement should know that implants are not made to last for a lifetime. While it may take 20 to 30 years, the outer covering of the breast implant may break down and leak. With saline-filled implants, harmless salt water is released into the body and absorbed. With cohesive gel implants, the filling stays intact. Either way, the implants can be exchanged with new implants during a simple procedure. Many women use this as an opportunity to change their implant size or material, as well.
Women who have breast enhancement surgery can often breastfeed, but it is important to share your intentions with Dr. Chang prior to surgery. He can take special precautions during surgery to maximize your chances of breastfeeding in the future. Dr. Chang might also discuss the possibility of delaying your breast surgery until after you have children, as pregnancy and nursing impart significant changes in the breasts for many women.
It is often both safe and advisable to combine breast augmentation with other procedures like a tummy tuck. Women who combine surgical procedures not only achieve more comprehensive enhancement but minimize their recovery time, which can make surgery much more convenient to fit a busy schedule. Many patients will combine breast augmentation with a breast lift or liposuction. Dr. Chang will discuss your options for combining procedures during your consultation.