FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

"Perfection" is impossible - understanding your options will help you to achieve the best and longest lasting results.
INFORM YOURSELF...

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the size and shape of a women’s breasts. It’s important to understand that a breast augmentation will enhance the physical features you already have and that “perfection” is not possible. Your surgeon should comprehensively go through all aspects of the surgery so you understand your choices and you can make an informed decision regarding your results.

During your comprehensive consultation, the Doctor will discuss:

  • Your personalised operative plan
  • Type of implant
  • Whether you need a breast lift
  • Shape of implant
  • Profile of implant
  • Implant size
  • Implant placement
  • Risks involved in the surgery

The key to achieving the best possible result, given the breasts you already have, is to develop an operative plan with a surgeon experienced in breast augmentation. Your surgeon will be able to help you make the right choices and show you realistic results of what you are likely to achieve.

The elements of the operative plan are:

  1. Type of implant
  2. Breast lift of no breast lift
  3. Shape of implant
  4. Profile of implant
  5. Position of implant
  6. Size of implant

To understand how your personalised operative plan is developed, please watch this detailed video here.

There are 3 types of surfaces available for your breast augmentation surgery; smooth, textured or polyurethane foam covered (P-URE) silicone gel implants.

Textured and smooth implants are a second tier implant. If smooth or textured implants are used, nearly one in 5 patients will develop capsular contracture by 10 years after their augmentation. Capsular contracture occurs when the membrane that grows around the implant contracts, compressing it like shrink wrap. The implant hardens and changes shape, which changes the overall aesthetic results and can be painful for the patient.

In contrast, P-URE (from P-oly-URE-thane) foam-covered implants, are unequivocally safe. Companies who produce P-URE foam-covered implants guarantee these implants for 10 years against capsular contracture, rotation, displacement and for life in case of rupture.

Breast Implants Australia exclusively uses P-URE implants in our surgeries, as there is a decreased risk for capsular contracture and a decreased risk of rotation of the implant resulting in revision surgery.

For more information on P-URE foam implants, read an excerpt from the chapter Dr Fleming wrote for the textbook “Biomaterials in Plastic Surgery: Breast Implants” (Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge) here.

Breast implants alone can lift the breasts, but only so much. Some patients have too much sag for this to be a viable option.

Your surgeon can advise you at your consultation in regards to whether you need a breast lift in addition to your breast augmentation to achieve an optimal result.

A quick guide to check if you need a breast lift is below.

  1. Stand in front of a mirror with your breasts exposed.
  2. Place your hands on the back of your head so your fingers of each hand are touching.
  3. Your breast will lift as you do this and this is a good indication of the amount of lifting you can achieve with implants alone. If you do not think this is high enough you will probably need a breast lift.

There are some exceptions to this, so a consultation and examination is necessary for the final decision.

There are 2 “shapes” of implants; round and anatomical (teardrop). Round implants are round with the same width and height. Their maximum projection is in the middle of the implant. Anatomical implants look more like a teardrop, with the maximum projection slightly below the middle of the implant.

Anatomical implants can often give better final results because the height and the width can be controlled independently. The shape of implant is personal to your body type and your desired outcome, and is best discussed during your consultation.


The profile is the distance that the implant projects from the chest. There is no ‘best’ profile, as your body type and your desired outcome determine the profile of your implant. During your consultation, you are able to try different profile implants in a crop top to help you make an informed decision.

Implant placement refers to where the implants are placed in relation to your breast tissue, muscle and skin. There are 3 options:

  • Under the muscle placement refers to an implant that is placed behind the pectoral muscles and the breast tissue
  • Over the muscle placement refers to an implant that is placed in front of the pectoral muscles but behind the breast tissue
  • Dual plane placement refers to a placement where the implants are placed half under, half in front of the pectoral muscles

There are advantages and disadvantages to all placement sites. The best placement site will vary depending on your body type and desired outcome.  Breast Implants Australia offers all types of placements and considers the description of your desired outcome to advise on which placement will be right for you.

Implants are sized by their weight, measured in grams, or by their volume, measured in ml or cc. The right size implant depends on your desired outcome and your existing body type. Sizing can be determined during your consultation by placing a sizing implant in a crop top, however using this method alone can be misleading.

Your Surgeon will discuss which size implant is best for you during your consultation. As well as utilising the method above, photographs of previous patients are used to show the outcomes of different sized implants in patients who were similar in size and shape pre-operation.

Choosing a surgeon can be very confusing and it’s important that you feel comfortable with the doctor you have chosen to perform your procedure. To help you, we have broken down some of the key misconceptions around choosing a surgeon and provided you with a helpful checklist of questions you should be asking during your consultation.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS) is the only organisation in Australia that certifies surgeons for breast implant surgery. For more information on their standards of training and experience needed to obtain this certification visit www.accs.org.au.

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Members are surgeons who offer cosmetic procedures with recognised qualifications granted by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). However, this recognition doesn’t include any assessment by the AMC of training or expertise in cosmetic surgical procedures like breast augmentation.

Surgeons who have the qualification Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) aren’t plastic surgeons or Fellows of the ACCS. These are most often specialists in general surgery who now offer cosmetic procedures.

To help you determine whether your surgeon is the right fit for you, we have compiled a check list of questions to ask the practise or your surgeon during your consultation:

  • How many times have you performed cosmetic breast augmentation before? Make sure it is hundreds, if not, thousands of times.
  • How many times have you performed it in the last 6 months?
  • Are you a trainee? Some cut price clinics use trainee surgeons.
  • Are you a Fellow of the ACCS and are you specifically certified by it in breast surgery?
  • If you are a plastic surgeon, do you have any extra training in cosmetic breast augmentation?
  • If you are a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), do you have any extra training in cosmetic breast augmentation?
  • What is your own complication rate?
  • How do you know this? Do you audit your results or are you just working from memory? Not necessarily reliable where complications are concerned.
  • Do you operate in a licensed hospital or licensed day hospital? Licensing is different from accreditation which is a lower standard
  • Will there be a specialist anaesthetist to look after me during the operation? Some surgeons use a nurse to give the sedation drugs while they are operating, a practice not allowed in licensed facilities.
  • Can I see photos of your own work on patients similar to me?

Other questions you should ask, not specifically relating to a doctor’s basic competence but important to help you get the best result you can include:

  • How much experience do you have with the P-URE foam covered breast implant which are proved to reduce complications and last longer?
  • How much experience do you have with the rapid recovery technique?

Make sure you are being provided with the information to make your own informed decision and avoid surgeons or clinics where your initial consultation is not with the surgeon. If the surgeon himself is not willing to spend time with you to make sure you get all of the correct information to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your life go elsewhere and find one who will.

Finally, take your time and do your research when investigating a surgeon, as it is one of the most important decisions you can make.

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