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The ABCs of Breast Augmentation — A Glossary

The ABCs of Breast Augmentation — A Glossary

Have you been considering breast augmentation in Scottsdale, AZ? This glossary covers some of the most common terms you will come across while conducting online research, as well as during a plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aldo Guerra.
Anatomical Breast Implant

An "anatomical breast implant," or "shaped breast implant" uses a strong cohesive gel to achieve a teardrop-like appearance that mimics the natural contour and feel of female breasts.

Augmentation Mastopexy

"Augmentation mastopexy," "breast lift with implants," or "breast augmentation with lift" is a popular plastic surgery procedure intended to lift sagging breasts and restore fullness through the placement of a breast implant.

Breast Augmentation

"Breast augmentation," "augmentation mammoplasty," or sometimes referred to as a "boob job" by patients is a surgical procedure that enhances the shape, feel, and overall appearance of the breasts through the placement of saline or silicone breast implants.

Breast Capsule

Fibrous scar tissue forms around the breast implant once inside the human body, which then creates a tissue capsule. This process is a normal part of healing and occurs when the body isolates a foreign object. The tissue capsule is typically soft or slightly firm, unnoticeable, and helps keep the implant in place.

Cohesive Breast Implants

Cohesive breast implants, also called "gummy bear implants," are form-stable. Form-stable breast implants are made of a thicker silicone gel than traditional silicone implants and have a distinct teardrop shape. How many chemical cross-links between silicone molecules are present determines the cohesiveness of a breast implant. For instance, highly cohesive breast implants contain a firm and stable silicone gel that retains its shape while still feeling similar to natural breast tissue.

Cooper's Ligament

Cooper's ligaments are connective tissues in the breasts that play a role in providing structure and support. These ligaments span from the clavicle to the interior portion of the pectoralis major muscle and branch through and around the breast tissue.

Drop and Fluff

"Drop and fluff" may sound like something from a pillow care guide, but it actually describes the normal process of a breast implant settling into place after breast augmentation. Following surgery, it is customary for breast implants to sit high and firm on the chest as the body reacts to the operation with muscle tightening and swelling. When the body begins to heal, the muscles relax and the skin proceeds to stretch to accommodate the breast implants. As a result, the breast implants "drop" into a more natural position on the chest and "fluff" as they fill the lower breast cavity.

Dual Plane Breast Augmentation

Dual plane breast augmentation is a technique in which a plastic surgeon places a breast implant under the pectoral muscle at the upper and mid-portion of the breast. Meanwhile, the lower part of the implant remains uncovered by the muscle. A dual plane breast augmentation necessitates creating a pocket for the breast implant both under the muscle and in the breast tissue. According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), "this technique is often recommended for women who have a mild amount of breast drooping or wish for a very natural look with more fullness in the lower breast. Some surgeons also use this method for women who have tuberous breasts."

Inframammary Incision

During breast augmentation surgery, a plastic surgeon can make an inframammary incision in the natural crease under the breast (the inframammary fold). This incision is a relatively small, horizontal cut that typically runs between 2 to 5 cm in length, and it can be used for both saline and silicone breast implants. Most patients prefer to have an inframammary incision because the resulting scar is unnoticeable, especially when wearing undergarments or bathing suits.

Keller Funnel®

The Keller Funnel® is a revolutionary device that makes the process of placing silicone breast implants more efficient. The device functions similar to a pastry or piping bag. Using no-touch delivery, a plastic surgeon first places an implant inside the sterilized, hydrated bag at the widest end of a Keller Funnel®. After which, the surgeon inserts the narrow end of the funnel into the incision, allowing it to gently transfer the breast implant into the surgical pocket. Furthermore, using this advanced technology reduces the length of breast augmentation incisions, and it minimizes the risk of infection after surgery.

Nipple-Areolar Complex

The nipple-areolar complex lies near the center of the breast mound and includes the nipple and surrounding pigmented skin (areola).

Periareolar Incision

Breast surgeons make this incision at the outer edge of the nipple-areolar complex. The ABCS revealed that the majority of breast lift patients undergo a periareolar incision since it can "allow for removal of excess skin, particularly when combined with a vertical or anchor shape incision to lift the lower portion of the breast."

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water (saline). Some of these medical devices are pre-filled, while others are filled after placing the silicone shell inside the human body. Saline breast implants are available to women aged 18 and older.

Silicone Breast Implant

Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel of varying cohesiveness. Unlike saline-filled breast implants, silicone-filled breast implants look and feel more similar to natural breast tissue. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves these medical devices for patients over the age of 22.

Smooth Breast Implants

As the word "smooth" suggests, these breast implants have a soft and smooth outer shell that allows them to move more naturally within the breast pocket.

Subglandular Implant Placement (Overs)

Subglandular implant placement, also referred to as over the muscle placement, is when a plastic surgeon (1) creates the implant pocket and (2) positions an implant under the glandular tissue of the breast, above the pectoral muscle. This placement technique typically involves a shorter recovery period and may result in a more uplifted look.

Subpectoral or Submuscular Implant Placement (Unders)

Subpectoral implant placement, also known as under the muscle placement, is a technique in which a plastic surgeon (1) creates the implant pocket and (2) positions a breast implant under the glandular tissue and pectoral muscle. The time needed to recover from this placement technique is slightly longer, although many patients prefer the natural look and added support it delivers.

Teardrop Breast Implant

Teardrop breast implants are form-stable silicone implants. Unlike round breast implants, their shape simulates the natural curvature of the breast, thus, the term "teardrop."

Textured Breast Implants

Textured breast implants undergo a texturizing process that creates a rough or grained surface to the outer shell of an implant. The textured surface helps scar tissue conform more closely to the implant to reduce the risk of malposition or flipping.

If you are curious about getting breast implants in Phoenix, AZ and would like to know about your options, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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