Breast Augmentation Surgery Information

What happens during breast augmentation surgery?

There are several key decisions that you will be faced with prior to going into the operating room for your breast augmentation surgery. Dr. O’Neill will assist you in the decision-making process prior to your surgery date during your consultation at our clinic in Charleston, SC. These decisions involve the type of implant used, incision made to place the implant, and whether the implant is placed above or below the pectoral muscle.


Making Your Breast Implant Choice

When preparing for your breast augmentation surgery, and talking with Dr. O’Neill, honest self-evaluation of your body image goals are very important. The type and size of your breast implants will be determined not only on your goals, but also on your body type, overall health, breast anatomy, and skin elasticity.

Options for Breast Implants:

Saline breast implants are filled with varying amounts of saline (sterile salt water). The amount of saline filling affects the shape, firmness, and overall feel of the breast.

Silicone breast implants are filled with a silicone gel, and are typically more popular as the gel feels more like natural fatty, breast tissue.

  • Currently saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.
  • Currently silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years of age and older.
  • Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.

Placement of the Incision

Dr. O’Neill will discuss the pros and cons of each of the three breast augmentation incision types used in breast augmentation surgery. The three types of incisions are inframammary incision, the periareolar (around the areola) incision and the transaxillary incision. The incision may vary based on the type of implant, amount of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference.

The Inframammary Incision

The inframammary (under the breast) incision is the most common approach in breast surgery. The incision is made in or adjacent to the inframammary crease. Since this incision provides the most direct route for Dr. O’Neill, it typically requires the shortest amount of time in surgery placing the breast implant.

The Periareolar Incision

If the areola (area around the nipple) is large enough, the incision can be made within the pigmented areolar tissue. This type of incision is chosen when patients want to have a very minimal scar, and this incision is hidden even with the smallest bikini.

The Transaxillary Incision

When breast implant patients want to avoid having their surgery scar on the breast, they may be able to have their surgical incision in the armit, called a transaxillary incision. Their scar may sometimes be visible when the patient lifts her arms or when wearing certain pieces of clothing.

Submuscular or Subglandular Placement of the Implants

Breast Augmentation Charleston

Submuscular Placement (Under the pectoralis muscle)

Most women choose a submuscular placement of their breast implants because it tends to provide a more natural, tear-drop shape to the breast. For thin women with little breast tissue it provides better coverage of the implant and fewer problems with visible rippling. The down-side to a submuscular placement is that there tends to be more post-operative discomfort in the days following surgery and lifting restrictions are in place for 6 weeks.

The technique can vary from a complete coverage with muscle versus a “dual plane” technique in which only the upper part of the implant is covered by the muscle. This can be discussed in detail with your surgeon. With a little preparation, your breast augmentation in Charleston will leave you with results to treasure for a lifetime.

Subglandular Placement (Under the breast tissue and over the muscle)

Although the submuscular placement is the most popular, it is not right for every woman. Because breast size and shape is very personal, some women prefer a more “augmented” look. In this case, a subglandular placement is often used because it can provide more fullness in the upper pole of the breast. In women who have a widened sternum, subglandular placement may be the best option because it allows the implants to be placed closer together giving more “cleavage”.

Also, women who are body builders may choose to have their implants above the muscle because when the pectoralis muscle is flexed, it can cause a visible displacement of the implant. Subglandular placement is not an option for women choosing to have an augmentation and breast lift due to blood supply issues.

Don’t take a chance with just any provider of breast augmentation: Dr. Patrick O’Neill is ready to provide you with a safe, effective procedure that will have you looking and feeling better than ever.

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Make Your Appointment in Charleston, SC

Dr. O’Neill performs breast augmentation surgeries in his clinic conveniently located in Charleston, South Carolina on Daniel Island. Learn more about your breast implant options and discuss any questions you may have with a consultation. Call today at 843-881-2130 or contact us online.