Breasts are one of the more prominent symbols of a woman's femininity. Many women feel insecure when they are unsatisfied with their breasts. We spoke to Dr. Choi Moon Sup, a board-certified plastic surgeon and breast augmentation specialist from Grace Plastic Surgery based in Seoul, Korea.
Dr. Choi Moon Sup, Grace Plastic Surgery
Seoul is the world's plastic surgery capital and the best place to find out the latest technologies in breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation is a complex procedure with many important decisions to make, so it's best to speak to a surgeon about it. Perhaps you never got a chance to speak to a surgeon or maybe you are too shy to approach them. Here we have compiled a list of questions that you may find useful.
Q. What types of implants are there? Which one do you recommend?
The various kinds of implants depends on the different companies and different types of implants. The three types of implants used are smooth, micro-texture and rough texture groups. Within each texture type, there are droplet shaped and round shaped implants. You can choose the types according to various requirements such as personal lifestyle and your the shape of your skeletal system. We recommend choosing the type of implant based on your personal needs rather than going for others' recommendations, because what may work for them might not work for you.
Q. What are the most popular implants in Korea now?
From late 2016 onwards, rough textured implants such as those from the Allergan company are rarely used because of some problems that have surfaced. Lately, soft, smooth-textured implants and micro-textured implants (which are considered part of the smooth implant group) are used instead. Motiva and Bellagel micro-textured implants are the most common these days. Breast implants are considered a big implant in plastic surgery, so safety is of utmost importance. There is always a consistent stream of people reporting problems with their implants, so you can see how important it is to choose a safe implant.
Q. Can I breast feed after surgery?
If the breast augmentation process is normal and there are no complications, you can breast feed after the surgery. Normally, there are no problems because the implants are inserted under the pectoral muscles, leaving a distance from the breast tissue and mammary glands that secrete breast milk.
Q. Can breast augmentation cause shoulder or back pain?
If you opt for sizes of implants that are bigger than what fits your body shape, you may experience shoulder or back pains. Therefore, we recommend opting for the right sizes for your body.
Q. What incision areas are there? Which areas do you recommend?
In the past, the incisions were performed at the areola or navel areas, and customers were unsatisfied with having scars at these areas. These days, underarm and under chest incisions are usually performed. If you need to return to your daily activities quickly, the recovery process is quicker for under chest incisions. Due to skin laser technology getting better these days, patients without scars from under chest incisions are becoming more common. In addition, the incision may vary depending on individual's chest shape, degree of deflection, and skin texture. For cases who are sensitive about scars, underarm incision is recommend, and if the spacing between the nipples and under chest is narrow, under chest incisions are recommended. Both incisional methods have their strengths and weaknesses and may vary depending on individual preferences, so you should have a consultation to find out more details.
Q. I heard that the implants could be inserted either above or under the muscle. What are the differences between the two methods and which do you recommend?
For above muscle implantation, the implants are placed above the muscle and below the mammary glands. This method is suitable for cases where the breasts have sagged and are low. It is also a safe method for people who use their pectoral muscles a lot, such as gym health instructors or those who work out a lot, because the muscles are not operated on. For under muscle implantation, the tactile feel of the implants will feel more natural. At Grace Plastic Surgery, we do all under muscle implantation surgeries with double-plane technology. Double-plane insertion is also often called dual-plane. The top of the implant, which is important for tactile sensation, is placed below the muscles, and the bottom of the implant sits within the breast, which creates a natural feel and movement.
Q. What is the pain level? How long is the recovery period?
It varies by individuals and the area of the incision. Generally, most patients experience pain for the first three to four days after surgery, and can return to their daily activities comfortably about a week after surgery. For underarm incisions, it can take longer to regain regular strength in your arms.
Q. Will implants look natural?
For the micro-textured smooth type of implants we use today, it is much more natural and has a great tactile feel because it is not a fixed shape, but rather a gel-like consistency that moves fluidly with your body movement.
Q. How can I enhance the naturalness of the implants?
It's important to choose the suitable size/type/texture of implant and insertion method based on the individual's skin type, body size and muscles. Skill of the surgeon also largely affects the result and naturalness of the implant. Following the aftercare instructions is also important.
Q. Some people say we have to replace the implant every 10 years. Is that true?
Replacing every 10 years is not required. If there are no problems with the implants, it is not necessary to replace it. You can check the implants when you go for your regular breast health examinations. We recommend that you have a breast examination once every 1-2 years. However, having breast examinations too often can be detrimental to the implants.
Q. What are some tips to maintain the good results of breast augmentation surgery?
It helps to check for steady recovery of the scars and to manage your scarring. It is particularly important to keep it dry and away from water in the early stages. When the scar settles down, it is recommended that you apply ointment to help with scar care. The scarring can appear red for up to six months, and then it becomes darker and turns white. If you have keloid-prone skin, please discuss this with your doctor before the surgery.
Q. How often should I get check-ups after receiving breast augmentation surgery?
It is very important to receive regular check-ups to ensure that you are recovering well. Usually, check-ups are done on the day after surgery, 1 week after, 1 month after, 3 months after, 6 months after and 1 year after the surgery. After which, you can schedule a regular check-up every 1-2 years.
Q. What are the side effects?
Potential sides effects include capsular contracture and scarring. It's important to choose the skilled and experienced plastic surgeon surgeon to minimize the chance of side effects not to mention to follow all aftercare instructions.