Your Breast Shape and Augmentation – What is the Relationship?

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Posted on July 4, 2019 under Breast Augmentation

Thousands of women undergo breast augmentation every month. Contrary to popular belief though, not all of them opt for the surgery merely to increase the volume of their breasts. Breast augmentation can also change their shape to more flattering contours, especially after massive weight loss or childbirth. When your augmentation procedure gives you shapelier breasts, it can make them appear perkier and more youthful.

This means that a breast implant can only work within the limited confines of your present shape and anatomy. Most women who walk into a breast augmentation consultation already have set expectations and often have a photo of their desired breasts. However, it is important to understand that your plastic surgeon can only augment your pre-existing breast shape. For instance, if your breasts are set wide apart, you may not be able to get the cleavage you are hoping for. A well-experienced surgeon needs to manage your expectations well and help you understand your natural breast shape so that you know what is achievable with the augmentation procedure.

What is dimensional planning?

Even though breast augmentation is a highly customizable procedure, your surgeon cannot change your individual breast shape. Everybody has a different size and shape to their breasts, as well as varying chest measurements. This is what is referred to as dimensional planning, where your surgeon works within the limitations of your individual dimensions.

As an augmentation patient, it can be easier for you to communicate your desired goals to your plastic surgeon with a photo. This also allows the surgeon to explain to you what an achievable goal is and what cannot be achieved with breast augmentation dependent on your unique shape and dimensions. Well-experienced surgeons like ours use different techniques and a combination procedures to help you achieve your goals. It is important that you are aware of your natural breast shape and realize that the best augmentation results can be achieved when you build on your natural architecture.

For a patient whose breasts are naturally wide-set, you can expect them to remain in that position after the augmentation. It is not possible to create narrow cleavage in this case. If your surgeon tries correcting your wide-set breasts with implants, you may experience some of these issues:

  • Dynamic distortion – This happens when the implants get pushed in different directions if you flex your muscles. This can be avoided if the implants are placed above the pectoral muscle but, for a thin patient, this becomes difficult.
  • Rippling – For women who are thin and have the implant placed over the chest muscle and under the breast tissue, visible rippling is a common issue.
  • Symmastia – Also known as a ‘uni-boob’, this is another issue when the surgeon tries to create cleavage in wide-set breasts. When the skin is stretched, it causes the breasts to touch and the implants appear to merge.

Your breast shape and the augmentation procedure

During your consultation, it’s important that you discuss your pre-existing shape and its limitations at length so that the best results can be achieved. Some of the common breast shapes include round, athletic or muscular, bell shape with a relaxed lower pole, wide set, nipples pointing to the side, asymmetric, and teardrop-shaped breasts. If you have round or athletic-shaped breasts, then augmentation yields great results either way. However, for the other shapes, you may need a different type of breast implant to get the desired results. Everybody has some asymmetry, and this means that your results might also be asymmetrical.

Choosing augmentation based on your shape

During your consultation, it is common for your surgeon to take a ‘before’ photo and then discuss your goals as well as explain what is achievable. You will also get the option to try out different implant sizes to customize how you would look after your augmentation. This primarily helps in choosing the right volume you would like to gain with the procedure. It also gives a starting point to discuss whether the chosen volume would give you the desired results considering your breast shape and dimension.

A personalized treatment plan is then determined which includes the kind of implant, its placement, and other combination procedures like a breast lift, fat grafting, or nipple realignment. Your plastic surgeon’s goal is to help you achieve your goals while enhancing your natural breast shape. To get started on your unique breast augmentation procedure, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.

Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers