The Benefits and Risks of Small Breast Implants
By Constance M. Barone, M.D. on March 12, 2014
When initially considering a breast augmentation,the first choice that most women are faced with is the size of their implants. Naturally, implant size is an important factor in the overall aesthetics of a breast augmentation procedure. However, it can also impact a patient’s level of comfort, recovery time, and risk of certain complications.
At our San Antonio practice, we want everyone to make the right personal choice regarding any plastic surgery procedure. For those planning on a breast augmentation, small implants may provide a surprising amount of benefits. Before speaking with your doctor, weigh the potential pros and cons of more moderately sized implants.
Implant Size vs. Other Factors
Although breast implant size plays a major role in how a patient will look after surgery, size should not be chosen independently of other factors. In order for patients to develop accurate expectations and remain satisfied with their results, all components of an implant should be considered together.
For instance, each type of implant - saline or silicone - is affected differently by size. Whereas saline implants may appear more spherical and firm with larger implant sizes, silicone tends to produce a more nature shape and texture even in larger implants. Similarly, silicone implants also come in a teardrop shape, allowing patients to enhance their breasts with less risk of appearing fake.
Another factor to bear in mind is implant profile, or how far an implant projects from the body. With a higher profile, smaller implants can make breasts appear more full and lifted, while lower profiles can add subtlety and lateral volume. Before coming to any definitive decision about the size of your implants, remember the multitude of nuances that affect your augmentation results.
Benefits of Small Implants
Smaller implants can hold a number of benefits for patients, both immediately after surgery and in the years that follow:
- Recovery time: With smaller implants, less tissue needs to be removed for the creation of the breast pocket. As a result, patients experience a shorter and easier recovery.
- More natural shape: The smaller an implant is, the less likely it is to change the shape of the breast. This is especially true of saline implants and patients with naturally small breasts.
- Less stress: After a significant increase in breast size, some women find that the extra weight creates stress and pain on their body. With a modest breast enhancement, patients can more easily acclimate to their new size.
- Fewer risks: With larger implants comes an increased risk of complications. The chances of capsular contracture and loss of nipple sensation can both be lessened by opting for smaller implants, as can the risk of implants sagging downward and creating a “double bubble” effect.
It is also worth noting that some patients are effectively limited to small implants due to their body type. Women can only support breasts implants that are as large as their breast base, making larger implants particularly risky. To learn what size will be best for you, both cosmetically and medically, speak with your doctor.
Risks of Small Implants
In terms of safety and comfort, small implants truly are superior. No health risks or complications are increased as implant size goes down, making them an excellent choice for patients looking to minimize the potential side effects of their augmentation.
Still, small implants may not be right for everyone. Some patients seek augmentation surgery as a way of significantly increasing their breast size. For those who can support larger sizes and are confident in what they want, small implants simply will not produce the desired results. In other cases, women may choose smaller implants out of initial hesitation, only to undergo further enhancement down the road. Although there is nothing wrong with an upgrade in size, we want our patients to have complete and lasting satisfaction.
Schedule a Consultation
Even when patients know exactly what they want to achieve, it is necessary to iron out the details of the procedure with an experienced plastic surgeon. By discussing your goals for treatment, we can help you pick out the exact type of breast implants to match your personal preferences and your body’s needs. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barone.
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