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M. Kirk Moore, MD
Thomas E. Geraghty

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Breast Enhancement Information

The three basic types of breast implants are saline-filled, silicone gel-filled, and alternative (e.g., soybean oil) implants. Breast implants are designed for treatment of augmentation, reconstruction, and revision patients.

Typically, insurance companies will not cover breast augmentation or any re-operations and additional doctor visits following augmentation. However, most insurance companies cover the first breast reconstruction operation. Insurance coverage for re-operation procedures or additional doctor visits following reconstruction may not be covered, depending on your insurance policy.

Choosing a Surgeon

When choosing a surgeon who is experienced with breast implantation, we recommend that you find out the answers to the following questions:

  • In which states is he/she licensed to practice surgery? Note that some state medical licensing boards provide information on disciplinary action and malpractice claims/settlements to prospective patients either by request or on the internet.

  • Is he/she board certified, and if so, with which board?

  • How many breast augmentation, reconstruction, or revision surgeries does he/she perform per year?

  • How many years has he/she performed breast implantation surgeries?

  • What are the most common complications he/she encounters with patients after breast implantation?

  • What is his/her re-operation rate with breast implants and what is the most common type of re-operation he/she performs?

When you have answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of the technical qualifications of your surgeon.

Choosing an Implant

You should consider the following when you and your surgeon are discussing implant options.

Implant Status

– Whether or not an implant is PMA-approved or investigational (not PMA-approved) should be something you consider (see the Status/Availability section for details). An implant that is investigational means you will need to be part of a clinical study to get these implants. In addition, the surgeon of your choice may work with only specific breast implants.

Shape and Size

-Depending on the desired shape and size you wish to achieve, you and your surgeon may choose a round or contoured implant shape of appropriate size (volume). You should be aware that contoured implants that are placed submuscular (under the pectoralis major muscle) may assume a round shape after implantation. Your surgeon will also evaluate your existing tissue to determine if you have enough to cover the breast implant.

Implant Surface

- Textured surface implants were designed to reduce the chance of capsular contracture. Some studies with small numbers of women suggest that surface texturing reduces the chance of severe capsular contracture. However, other studies of a large number of women with saline-filled implants show no difference in the likelihood of developing capsular contracture with textured implants when compared to smooth-surfaced implants.

Implant Palpability/Visibility

- The following may cause implants to be more palpable (more easily felt) or more visible: textured implants; larger implants; subglandular placement; and smaller amount of skin/tissue available to cover the implant.

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Buckhead Plastic Surgery
Specialists in Plastic Surgery North Carolina
Tom Haas, M.D.