Surgical / Breast

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is the procedure where implants are placed beneath the breasts to enhance the volume and shape of the natural breasts. Dr. Kim prefers to place implants under the pectoralis muscle through areolar or axillary incision. Since November 2006, FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants for cosmetic breast augmentation.

The patients have a variety of options in regard to the size and shape of the implants. Those options include saline vs silicone gel implants, moderate vs higher profile, smooth vs textured, and round vs anatomical shape, in addition to the volume of the implants.

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Breast Lift (Mastopexy) and Augmentation

Breast lift is a procedure to lift breast. This means lifting the nipples up, and/or breast tissues itself. Incision for this procedure may be around the nipple, around the nipple with vertical extension (lollypop style) or the anchor shape (inverted T shape) to include the scar along the bottom of the breast. These procedures are needed when the breast, particularly the nipples, are too low to make an aesthetic breast.

Often, patients with droopy breast who request to have a breast lift do not have enough breast tissues to make a full, round breast, particularly to create fullness on the upper portion of the breast. In this case, placing an implant will substantially help the overall contour of the breast. Performing both breast lift and augmentation at the same time will provide a lifted, fuller, and larger breast in a single stage operation.

These procedures do not necessarily need to be done at the same time. Some patients who had augmentation in the past may develop droopiness of the breast, and may wish to have a lift. Or some patients who had breast reduction or breast lift in the past may complain of the flatness of the upper portion of the breast, or overall small size of the breast, and they may wish to have an augmentation.

The combination of breast lift and augmentation is the one of most complicated breast procedures and anyone who consider such procedures should find a very experienced surgeon.

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Fat Injection for Breast Augmentation

Does fat injection work for breast enhancement? This is a question Dr Kim gets often. The answer is it is possible but in a small degree. Removing fat from unwanted areas of the body and putting it in the breast to increase the size of the breast sounds very appealing. The catch is, not all fat injected in the breast survive. So everyone who have such procedure need to prepare for possible multiple procedures. Also, putting a large amount of the fat may increase the chance of fat necrosis (scar tissue and lumpiness). Depending upon the availability of fat (usually from the stomach or thigh/hip), 100 cc to 200 cc of fat can be injected safely. That is fairly small, considering the average size of implants is around 350-400 cc. Dr Alex Kim recommends fat injection only for those who wishes to have a modest augmentation, and also he recommends to those who wants to enhance the cleavage by adding fat along the inner side of the breast, or injecting fat over the area of rippling to conceal visible rippling of the implants.

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