If you have decided that you want breast implants, you may be questioning how natural they will look. Perhaps you don’t want your breast augmentation to be too obvious and are hoping for natural-looking breast implants. You can prepare now before the surgery to ensure you are happy with the results and don’t require a breast revision.
Getting natural-looking breast implants is the result of several factors. It can depend on the type of implant you choose, the placement, and the size and shape you want. You must also consider other factors that are specific to each person.
Silicone vs. Saline Implants
Breast implants come in two types: silicone and saline. Each option has its own benefits and challenges. Silicone breast implants are popular because they are more natural in both appearances and feel. Silicone implants are less likely to have ripples and will maintain their shape for a longer time. Placement is restricted, which can impact the positioning for the most natural look.
Saline breast implants can be filled to a level that creates a more natural look. They are more prone to issues with rippling and don’t have the same natural look of silicone. Saline is more popular with women who have extra breast tissue and only need to increase their breasts by one size, or who want to slightly change their shape.
Breast Implant Placement
Several placement options exist for implants, which will impact how to get natural looking breast implants. They may be positioned above or below the pectoral muscle. When the implant is placed under the pectoral muscle, they are known as submuscular breast implants. The implant is better covered for a more natural look and is less likely to ripple or produce scar tissue. However, this will increase the recovery time because the incisions were made through the muscle and swelling takes longer to go down.
Subglandular breast implants are placed behind the mammary glands and over the muscle. Recovery for this surgery is quicker with swelling being reduced more quickly. It looks natural if the woman has more breast tissue to smooth out the edges. It doesn’t look as natural for women with very little breast tissue. You are also at a higher risk for capsular contractions or issues with scar tissue and rippling.
Neither option is right or wrong, but they do provide different results for various patients. For example, submuscular implants are often best for athletes or those with smaller breasts. Subglandular placement is ideal for patients who want maximum cleavage.
Breast Implant Incisions
Along with placement of the implant, you should also consider the location of the incisions and how that will impact getting the most natural looking implants. There are four options for incisions to insert the implant, depending on which placement you choose.
Under the breast, also known as an inframammary incision, is a popular choice for incisions because the scar can be hidden by swimwear or a bra. This incision allows the surgeon to place the implant either above or below the muscle and to find the right position for the most natural results.
Another option is an incision made around the nipple, also referred to as periareolar incision. With this procedure, the implants are placed above the muscle. It doesn’t work well for larger implants and may affect your ability to feel sensations around the nipple in the future.
A third option is under the armpit, also known as a transaxillary incision. Like the incision under the breast, this one allows for the implant to be placed above or below the muscle. The incision is usually small and well-hidden once it has healed.
The fourth choice is an incision through the belly button, referred to as an umbilical incision. The surgeon will use a tunnel to pass the implants through to the breasts over or under the muscle. This option is only used with a saline implant.
You will want to discuss these choices with your surgeon in relation to your overall goals to ensure the best procedure is used. During your consultation, your doctor will make recommendations, and you can ask questions about the options available to you.
Breast Implant Size and Shape
The size and shape of your implants will determine how natural they appear once healed. Going up more than one or two cup sizes can have a dramatic effect on your appearance, but it may look less natural. The surgeon will take measurements during your consultation and suggest a recommended implant size. These recommendations are made based on overall of the body. If you choose a larger implant than what is recommended, your results may not look as natural as you would wish.
The shape also impacts the appearance of your breast implants. Round and teardrop are the two options available. Round is often more desirable because it fills out the top of the breast, providing more cleavage. Teardrop implants look more like your natural breast shape with the fullness on the bottom.
Gummy bear implants are a type of silicone implant that is known as form stable. This means they hold their shape even if they have a leak because the gel is thicker. They are also known to feel more natural. Their shape is more similar to your own breasts, which is another reason they have increased in popularity.
Patient-Specific Factors Affecting Natural Looking Breast Implants
Several factors that are unique to each person will have a significant impact on whether you have natural looking implants for your body. If these factors are ignored, it can cause the implants to look fake and require additional breast surgery to fix the issue.
How much elasticity the skin around the breast has will have aproportions direct impact on the implant’s outcome. If the implants are too large for the skin to stretch, it will make the breasts appear unnatural. The amount of tissue in the current breasts also plays a role. The surgeon will use the breast tissue to cover the edges of the implant or help position it into place for the most natural appearance.
Height and Build
Your breasts are part of your entire silhouette. They shouldn’t be considered separate from the rest of your body. The most natural looking appearance is one where the breasts are in proportion to the rest of your attributes, including your height and curves.
While your first consideration may be about the aesthetics of having larger implants, you must think about other potential impacts. For instance, a woman with a petite frame may find that larger breasts would cause back pain or other undesirable side effects. On the other end of the spectrum are women with a sturdier build who might look more natural and enjoy a more evened out silhouette with larger breasts .
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you are ready to take the next step or want to learn more about your options for natural looking breast implants, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Leo Lapuerta. He will answer your questions and take measurements while performing an examination to help you determine the best options for the most natural looking breasts.
Dr. Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience. He has performed hundreds of surgeries to enhance his patients’ appearance. He stays up to date on the latest news and trends in breast surgery. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.