Breast Augmentation in Chicago, IL
Dr. Michael Epstein and Dr. Karol Gutowski are gifted plastic surgeons who offer a variety of plastic surgery procedures to residents of Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Naperville, Northbrook and surrounding communities in Illinois. In the paragraphs below, they describe breast augmentation, how it is performed and the expected recovery.
One of the most common questions women have when considering breast augmentation is whether to choose saline-filled or silicone gel breast implants. Both are good options when used properly, and for both types of implants, women tend to be very happy with the results. During your consultation with Dr. Epstein or Dr. Gutowski, part of the discussion will focus on which implant is the best choice for you. Some things to consider when making the choice of implants include:
Can I see what I would look like with implants?
Dr. Epstein and Dr. Gutowski are among a select group of plastic surgeons who can show you a simulated 3D image of what you would look like with breast implants. By using our Vectra 3D imaging system, you can virtually “try on” different sized and shaped implants on a 3D image of your body to get a better idea of the results that are possible.
What is the difference between the different types of implants?
Both types of breast implants have an outer shell made of a soft silicone polymer. Saline-filled implants are placed inside the breast, and then filled with sterile saline (salt water) until the desired size range is reached. Silicone gel implants are prefilled with a silicone gel material that cannot be changed in size.
What are High Profile breast implants?
Breast implants come in a few different shapes which have variable amount s of projection (the amount of forward fullness the implant provides). Based on their personal experience with over 1000 breast implants, and by using the Vectra 3D imaging system, Dr. Epstein and Dr. Gutowski can help you pick the right implant size and shape for your breast proportions.
“Feel” of the implant
Silicone gel implants tend to feel more natural and breast-like and, therefore, are preferred by many plastic surgeons and patients. While the final “feel” of the breast depends on many factors, a breast enlarged with a silicone-gel implant will tend to feel more natural, particularly in a woman with little natural breast tissue (for example, an A cup or small B cup). Thinner women may also prefer a silicone gel implant for the same reason. For women with more breast tissue and who desire a modest increase in breast size, saline-filled breast implants may be a good choice.
In thin women, the edge of the implant may sometimes be felt on the side and lower part of the breast. This may feel like “unevenness” under the skin. In more severe cases, or when very large implants are used, the implant edges may cause ripples to be seen under the skin. Rippling is less likely to happen with silicone gel implants.
Silicone gel implants are more expensive due to added production costs. While cost may be a factor in deciding the type of breast implant, it is important to consider the overall final result provided by saline-filled and silicone gel implants when making your decision.
Both types of implants may be placed through a small opening under the breast (inframammary), below the nipple (periareolar), or through the armpit (transaxillary). Only saline-filled implants can be placed through the belly button (transumbilical, also known as TUBA). Drs. Epstein and Gutowski typically recommend the placement to be done through the inframammary approach, as it has been shown to have a lower risk of internal scar formation called capsular contracture. In some cases, a very large silicone gel implant can be difficult to place through a periareolar or transaxillary approach, and may result in a larger scar than if a saline-filled implant was used.
Since no medical device is considered permanent, at some point the outer shell of a breast implant may break. This is unlikely to happen within the first ten years after placement, but may happen at any time. When a saline-filled implant breaks, the salt water inside is absorbed by the body and the breast returns to its original (smaller) size over a few days. The implant is then typically replaced by a new implant during a procedure that typically has little discomfort and a very fast recovery. It is less clear when a silicone gel implant breaks; when it does, the breast typically does not become smaller. As an added assurance to patients, the breast implant manufacturers offer warrantee programs in case the implants break. Current recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourage women to have MRI examinations of their implants after 3 years, and every 2 years thereafter, to see if there is any break in the shell.
As with all other surgical procedures, especially those that involve placing a man-made device inside the body, there is a small amount of risk. Both saline-filled and silicone gel implants have similar risks. However, in rare cases, a broken silicone gel implant may cause pain and swelling in the area around the break.
The final choice of implant type depends on your current breast size and shape, and your desired outcome. It is important to consider your personal body and breast characteristics, as well as the other factors involved in breast enlargement. Drs. Epstein and Gutowski will help guide you through these options and help you make the best choice for you.
Dr. Michael A. Epstein and Dr. Karol A. Gutowski have received critical acclaim for their exceptional results and advanced surgical techniques in the area of plastic surgery for residents of Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Naperville, Northbrook and surrounding communities in Illinois.
Active members of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, they have been featured on numerous television programs and quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines nationwide. As trusted resources who are highly respected by both the media and their peers, Dr. Epstein’s and Dr. Gutowski’s training, education and surgical skills have made them two of Chicagoland’s leading and most gifted plastic surgeons. Their primary offices are located in Northbrook, Illinois with satellite offices in downtown Chicago and Schaumburg.