Author Archives: Traci Temmen

Brazilian Butt Lift vs. “Just Doing Squats”

One of the most common questions I get asked in my office, and the most common comment I see on Instagram/Facebook, is “Can’t I get the same results as a Brazilian butt lift just by doing squats?” Because there is so much confusion over this topic, I’ve decided to clear the air once and for all!

 

But first, a little anatomy lesson… The shape of the butt, and for that matter, the entire body, is determined by three different factors: 1) the bony structure, 2) the length/location and bulk of muscle, and most of all 3) the distribution and volume of fat. A person’s bony structure cannot be changed and is determined by genetics alone. The length and location of muscles cannot be changed; however, muscle bulk can be increased with exercise and/or weight lifting. Fat cells can increase or decrease in size (i.e. volume) depending on a person’s weight, diet, and exercise, but the number and distribution (or rather density) of fat cells does not change after approximately two years of age and is determined by genetics and family history. This explains why some people, for example, seem to carry all their extra weight in their abdomen or thighs- because of their genetics and family history they have a higher density of fat cells, and thus a higher volume of fat, in their abdomen or thighs. Thus, these areas are the first where they gain weight and the last areas from which they lose weight.

 

Doing squats does not alter the bony structure of the buttocks, nor does it “spot reduce” or increase the volume of fat in the gluteal region. Doing squats DOES increase the muscle bulk of the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and hamstrings (and to a small degree, some muscles of the back, abdomen, calves, adductors, and the gluteus medius/minimus), but has no effect on the length/location of those muscles. However, as we have now seen, the muscles engaged by doing squats are not the sole, or main, contributor to gluteal shape and volume. The volume and distribution of a person’s fat is the main factor affecting the size, position, and contours of the buttocks, abdomen, and back.

 

A Brazilian butt lift does not alter the bony structure of the buttocks, nor does it affect the length, location, or size of the muscles targeted by doing squats. However, during a Brazilian butt lift, fat is removed via liposuction from areas of high fat cell density/volume (usually the abdomen, flanks, iliac rolls, and back), and transferred to areas of lower fat cell density/volume (in this case, the lateral hips, buttocks, and sometimes upper thighs). Thus, a Brazilian butt lift is able to sculpt a beautiful, curvy shape for those patients where diet and exercise alone cannot.

 

It may be surprising to some, but those patients interested in a Brazilian butt lift often do more squats, lunges, and “glute” exercises than anyone else. However, because of genetics and family history, these patients’ bodies typically have shorter gluteus maximus muscles and an unfavorable distribution and density of fat, usually in the abdomen, lower back, and “love handles,” that obscures and distorts the true gluteal shape despite rigorous diet and exercise.

 

The next logical question, then, is why do some men and women who follow a strict diet and exercise regime, and do a lot of squats, have a perfect butt? That’s because through careful diet and exercise, they are able to capitalize on and augment their favorable anatomy. Because of their genetics and family history, these people often have well-placed gluteal muscles and a lower density of fat cells (which then determines volume of fat) in the abdomen, lower back, and flank areas. Thus, their gluteal shape can be seen and admired more readily!!

 

So, the short answer then is…for some unlucky people, due to their genetics and family history, doing squats and having a strict diet and exercise program will not provide the same results as a Brazilian butt lift. For those patients with a more favorable anatomy and family history, it can! To see if you are a candidate for a Brazilian butt lift, or any other cosmetic surgery procedure you might be curious about book a one-on-one consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Traci Temmen, MD: 813-877-2277

Dr. Traci Temmen’s October 15 Plastic Surgery Patient of the Month: Labiaplasty- Recovery

Postoperative Day 1-

 

Like usual, I saw October’s Patient of the Month on the day after her labiaplasty surgery. Because she had taken a little prescription pain medication, she was unable to drive herself, and thus her mother had driven her to her appointment. Patients who do not require preoperative anxiolytics (like Valium) or postoperative prescription pain medications (like Percocet) are able to drive themselves to and from their labiaplasty surgery.

Temmen Post

Upon arrival, the patient was quickly brought into an examination room at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa. She said she did well overnight, was able to sleep relatively well, and had tried to elevate her legs and pelvis as instructed.

 

After Results

PreOn examination, the patient had a small amount of postoperative bleeding and swelling, which is all normal. Despite this, I could tell she was going to have a dramatic improvement in her level of comfort and appearance once she was completely healed. I emphasized with the patient to spend the weekend relaxing, wear the postoperative compression garment as instructed, and to use ice packs as necessary. Finally, I arranged to see her again in 3 days for her second postoperative appointment.

 

 

 

Postoperative Day 4-

 

I saw my October Patient of the Month, a labiaplasty patient, on postoperative day 4 for her second postoperative appointment. She said she was still having pain and taking some of the prescription pain medications in the evening when she was most sore. However, because she did not require pain medications during the day, she was able to drive herself to her appointment. She did admit to not wearing the compression garment all the time, as instructed. Otherwise, she said she was healing well and remained in good spirits.

 

A quick physical examation showed she still had some swelling and had developed a small amount of bruising on the posterior (or backside) labia minora. A small amount of bruising following a labiaplasty is not uncommon, particularly in those patients who do not have a lot of postoperative compression. Despite this, I was happy with how she was healing and arranged to see her again in one week. I gave her “doctor’s note” in case she wanted to take a day off class in the coming week and told her to call for anything.

Postoperative Week 2 ½-

 

My October Patient of the month, a labiaplasty patient, couldn’t make it to her regularly scheduled appointment, but she was kind enough to message and email me on her progress! She said, “I have zero complaints, everything is looking awesome. I had the smallest bit of swelling at the location of the lowest stitch area the other day after doing a lot of walking and none since. I really couldn’t be happier.  I’ll reschedule as soon as possible!”

 

She was also able to send a 2 ½ week follow-up photo. As you can see, most of the swelling is decreased, she has no more bruising, and all of her external sutures are dissolved and/or fallen off. Assuming all continues to go well, I will allow her to discontinue vaginal precautions after her next follow-up appointment and gradually resume exercise.

 

Dr. Traci M. Temmen

Dr. Traci Temmen’s October 15 Plastic Surgery Patient of the Month: Labiaplasty- Day of Surgery

Day ofOctober’s patient of the month had her labiaplasty surgery scheduled for October 15. Her surgery was scheduled for later in the afternoon, and she arrived at approximately 11:30am. Upon her arrival, she was taken into a preoperative holding room where she changed into a surgical gown and I was again reviewed her medical history to ensure it was up-to-date. Because her surgery was going to be performed under local anesthesia, she did not require an IV to be placed, nor did she meet with our anesthesiologist. However, she did take a small dose valium I had prescribed at her preoperative appointment to help calm her nerves right before surgery.

Once the operating suite was ready, I escorted the patient to the operating room and helped her get comfortable on the operating room table. I then injected the local anesthesia into each side of her labia minora. Like most labiaplasty patients, this was the part she had been most dreading! However, after the initial “pinch” of the needle, I inject the anesthesia in such a way that most patients only feel one small injection on each side. After I finished injecting the anesthesia, the patient said “this was not nearly as bad as I had expected.” I then let the anesthetic take effect for approximately 15 minutes to ensure the patient is completely numb prior to the start of surgery. During this time, the operating room nurse cleaned and prepared the surgical site.

After the anesthetic had taken effect I came back to the operating room, did a “pinch test” to ensure the patient was absolutely numb (which she was!), and put on sterile gown and gloves. I then started the surgery on the right side. Because most labiaplasty patients are completely awake for their surgery, I want them to be completely calm and comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Some patients bring headphones and listen to music. Others watch videos on their cellphones during the surgery. This patient was comforted by my telling her exactly what I was going to do, before I did it, so she knew what to expect and was never surprised or startled during surgery. She was actually very curious about the surgery and seemed more interested rather than nervous once I got started.

The plastic surgery procedure took about 45 minutes and went extremely well. Immediately afterwards, I gave the patient a mirror so she could see her initial postoperative result. Even though she was swollen, she was still very happy with her appearance and couldn’t believe this was the “new” her! We then helped her into her postoperative garments and escorted her back to her husband and mother in the waiting room.

I reinforced to the patient to take it easy the rest of the afternoon, keep her legs and hips elevated as much as possible, and take pain medications as needed. I then arranged to see her the next day for her first postoperative appointment. She walked to her car with her family feeling happy and completely comfortable.

Dr. Traci Temmen

Dr. Traci Temmen’s October 15 Plastic Surgery Patient of the Month: Labiaplasty- Preoperative Appointment

doctor-photo2My October 2015 patient of the month came in to the office, the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, for her preoperative labiaplasty surgery appointment approximately one and a half weeks prior to her surgery. Because her surgery would be performed under local anesthesia (i.e. without general anesthesia or the need of a breathing tube), she did not need the normal preoperative laboratory studies, and I was able to schedule her preoperative appointment closer to her day of surgery.

 

Like her initial visit, the patient again met with Kim, who then went over her surgical consents, pre- and postoperative instructions, and answered a couple last minute questions. The patient was then taken into an examination room where her “before” labiaplasty pictures were taken. I then met with the patient in the examination room, performed a complete physical examination, reviewed her medical history, went over her plan for surgery, and made sure she understood and pre- and postoperative labiaplasty instructions. The patient was so calm, relaxed, and I felt, truly ready for surgery. My goal is to make every patient feel comfortable, confident, and excited for their upcoming surgery. I want my patients to really be able to talk to me and tell me their concerns, fears, hopes, and goals for their plastic surgery procedure. This patient really made that part of my job easy!

 

Before leaving, the patient was given a bag containing all the information she would need to prepare for surgery including her postoperative paperwork and prescriptions for postoperative medications. We then confirmed her date and time for surgery and wished her well in the meantime.

 

Check my blog over the coming weeks for more information on this patients surgery, recovery, and to see week-by-week postoperative labiaplasty photos:

Consultation

Day of Surgery

Post Operative

Traci Temmen, M.D.

Dr. Traci Temmen’s October 15 Plastic Surgery Patient of the Month: Labiaplasty Consultation

doctor-photo2October’s patient of the month is a 22-year-old student who had been bothered by her enlarged labia minora for years. She is an avid horse rider, and found that this activity, as well as other exercises, caused irritation and discomfort because of her protuberant labia. Her secondary concerns were aesthetic in nature, in that she did not like the way her external genitalia looked and she found it difficult to find clothes that she felt comfortable wearing. Her goals for the surgery were to reduce the size and length of her labia minora to the point where she didn’t experience discomfort with exercise or embarrassment when wearing tighter clothing. When she came to see me, my patient had already been to see another plastic surgeon, but did not feel fully comfortable with that surgeon or his approach. Thus, when she came to see me, this labiaplasty patient was looking for a technically skilled, experienced, plastic surgeon that would treat her respectfully, gently, and kindly with whom she could easily communicate.

 

During her initial consultation in late September, my patient met with Kim, one of our cosmetic surgery coordinators, who went over her medical history, medications, etc… and then showed her many before and after labiaplasty photos in the conference room at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa. This gave my patient a chance to see a wide range of “normal” and “abnormal” external female genitalia, and to get an idea of what her postoperative result might look like. This patient had done a lot of research on labiaplasty surgeons in the Tampa area, the various surgeries performed to treat large labia, and the possible side effects. She basically knew everything she needed to know about labiaplasty surgery itself, and was just looking for a surgeon she felt comfortable with!

 

After meeting with Kim and viewing many labiaplasty before and after pictures, I met with the patient in the conference room, as well. There, I reviewed her medical and surgical history, explained my surgical technique, and described the expected postoperative period and recovery following labiaplasty surgery. This patient was extremely calm, clever, and well-spoken. She had very reasonable expectations for her labiaplasty surgery, was well-educated, and I felt very comfortable explaining to her my ideas and goals for her surgery

 

Next, the patient was taken into an examination room where I performed a quick and delicate physical examination. She explained how she did not like the way her labia minora hung past her labia majora (particularly noticeable when she was standing) and that to appear “normal” she had to “tuck” her labia minora inside the labia majora. I too noticed this, but because she has particularly small labia majora, I could not promise that I would be able to reduce the labia minora enough so that they would be completely covered by the labia majora at all times. She understood and was nonetheless happy to proceed with surgery.

 

Finally, Kim brought the patient back into the conference room where they discussed pricing and scheduling. The patient and her husband decided to book surgery for the latter part of September, paid the deposit to hold her date of surgery, and scheduled her preoperative labiaplasty appointment before leaving.

 

Stay tuned to learn about her preoperative appointment!

 

Traci Temmen, M.D.

Dr. Temmen Plastic Surgery Patient of the Month

doctor-photo2To help my patients feel more comfortable with the idea of surgery and to know what to expect before, during, and after surgery, I’m going to start a new section of my blog devoted to featured patients of the month. In this blog, I will describe every aspect of the patient’s surgery, from their initial consultation, to their six week follow-up appointment, and beyond.

 

I plan to showcase a wide variety of my work including Brazilian butt lifts, breast augmentations, liposuction, tummy tucks, breast implants with lifts, mommy makeovers, face lifts and neck lifts, rhinoplasty, labiaplasty, and more. These plastic surgery patients will not be pre-screened by me, but rather I will report their progress as it happens. When possible, I will provide before and after photos as well as intraoperative pictures and videos.

 

I love my profession! I love being a plastic surgeon! And I can’t wait to share my passion with my existing and future patients! If you have questions as you read my blog, please feel free to call the office or message me through Facebook or Instagram.

Is a Tummy Tuck Scar Covered by a Bikini and Underwear?

iStock_000000177225SmallIt goes without saying that any woman considering a tummy tuck is concerned about the resultant scar. Dr. Traci Temmen’s patients routinely ask, “how long will my tummy tuck scar be,” and “how low will my tummy tuck scar be?” But in reality, what most patients really want to know is, “will my tummy tuck scar be covered by a bikini and normal underwear?”

 

While it is impossible to speak for all plastic surgeons, or all patients for that matter, Dr. Temmen describes here a normal postoperative tummy tuck scar in her practice at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa.

 

 

Question: How long is a typical tummy tuck scar?

 

Dr. Temmen: For a normal-sized patient, with a BMI less than 30, my tummy tuck scars are usually ten to twelve inches long. For most patients, this tummy tuck scar is approximately one inch longer, on either side, than a C-section scar. By many standards, a tummy tuck scar of this length, similar to the length of a C-section scar, is the same length as a mini tummy tuck scar. I rarely extend a tummy tuck beyond the points of the hipbones and never extend a tummy tuck scar around the sides or back of a patient.

 

 

Question: How low is a typical tummy tuck scar?

 

Dr. Temmen: I generally place my tummy tuck scars five to seven centimeters, or two to three inches, above the top of the vaginal lips in the midline. Laterally, the C-section scar extends slightly superiorly, but almost never extends above the level of the hipbones. If a patient has had a previous C-section, I am usually able to place their tummy tuck scar at or slightly below their old C-section scar and then remove the C-section scar during the tummy tuck surgery.

 

 

Question: Is a tummy tuck scar covered by a bikini or underwear?

 

Dr. Temmen: For most patients, the resultant tummy tuck scar will be covered by bikini bottoms and/or normal underwear. Very thin patients, with relatively little excess abdominal skin, may have a tummy tuck scar that is slightly higher than normal and may be at least partially visible, particularly in the midline, in a standard bikini bottom or underwear. I can usually predict which patients will have a higher or longer tummy tuck scar than usual and forewarn these patients ahead of time.

 

 

Question: How long does it take a tummy tuck scar to heal?

 

Dr. Temmen: In general, it takes two to three months before a tummy tuck scar will be 80-90% as strong as the surrounding skin. The healing and appearance of a tummy tuck scar proceeds in a cyclical fashion. Initially, the scar will appear as a fine, fresh line. After several weeks, the scar becomes red, hard, and raised. Then after six months to one year, a tummy tuck scar will become softer, flatter, and will appear as a fine, white line. Because it takes so long to see the final appearance of a tummy tuck scar, most plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least six months to one year before considering any type of tummy tuck scar revision.

 

 

Question: What can I do to prevent or minimize my tummy tuck scar?

 

Dr. Temmen: Unfortunately, anytime a patient undergoes cosmetic surgery, there will be a scar. As a plastic surgeon, I try to make each tummy tuck scar as short, thin, and hidden as possible. To try to minimize the appearance of a tummy tuck scar, I recommend that my patients avoid sun exposure to their scar for one year. Sun exposure can cause scars to become darker and more noticeable.

 

 

Question: Are there any creams or ointments that can help my tummy tuck scar heal better?

 

Dr. Temmen: There isn’t one magic cream or “potion” that has been proven to make scars heal better or faster. If there were, everyone would use it. With that said, for patients that want to try a topical treatment for their tummy tuck scar, I usually recommend a silicone-based ointment. Topical silicone agents have been shown to decrease the appearance and soften all types of scars, not just tummy tuck scars. To learn more about all of the cosmetic surgery procedures Dr. Traci Temmen, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performs we encourage yo to visit her website and or contact her today: 813-877-2277

How Long Should You Wait to Have a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy?

Babies are wonderful and beautiful…but stretch marks and loose, saggy abdominal skin are not! Whether they admit it or not, every new (and not so new) mother is anxious about getting her “pre-baby body” back. This concern over recovering from pregnancy and the birth of a child has many women asking Dr. Traci Temmen, “How long should I wait to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy?”

Mom with Child

Abdominal Wall Changes During Pregnancy:

 

Everyone knows that abdominal skin stretches during pregnancy. However, in actuality, all layers of the uterus, abdominal wall, and skin stretch during pregnancy to accommodate the growing baby. The uterus, which is usually the size of closed fist, increases to the size of a large watermelon at the time of a term pregnancy. The abdominal wall muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis muscles (a.k.a. the “six-pack” muscles) and the connective tissue between the two muscles, stretch in a vertical as well as horizontal direction making them thinner, longer, farther apart, and weaker at the time of delivery. Finally, the abdominal wall skin (and occasionally the skin of the back, flanks, buttocks, and thighs) stretches rapidly and circumferentially, which sometimes results in stretch marks and/or a loss of skin elasticity.

 

Abdominal Wall Recovery After Pregnancy and Delivery:

 

Immediately after delivery of a baby, many women are disappointed to discover that they still look six months pregnant. This is due to many factors. It takes at least six to twelve weeks for the uterus to shrink to its original size after the birth of a child. An enlarged uterus is a major contributor to the immediate post-baby belly “pooch.” It takes even longer, between six and twelve months, for the abdominal muscles to strengthen, tighten, and return to their original position. Unfortunately, while the rectus abdominis muscles generally strengthen over time, it is not uncommon for the thick, dense fascia between the lower rectus abdominis muscle to stay thinned and separated. Abdominal fascia lacks the ability to recoil the same way as muscle after significant stretching and trauma. This area of weakened rectus muscle fascia, usually below the belly button, is called a rectus diasthesis if greater than two fingerbreadths can be felt separating the two rectus muscles after the birth of a baby. Rectus diasthesis is a major contributor to a long-term “mommy tummy” and one of the most common indications for a tummy tuck in post-partum women. Finally, similar to the rectus muscles, the abdominal skin also needs between six and twelve months to contract. Unfortunately, while stretch marks will not disappear, they do fade and lighten over time. Stretch marks that are initially wide, deep, and bright red or purple, will become light, thin, and shallow within several months to two years.

 

When to Have a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy:

 

Because it takes at least six to twelve months for all the soft tissues of the pelvis and abdominal wall to contract and recoil as much as possible, Dr. Traci Temmen tells all her patients at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa to wait at least six months after the birth of a child before proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. This six to twelve month time period also allows time to lose the “baby weight,” ensuring the flattest, tightest post-operative belly possible. If a tummy tuck is performed before the soft tissues and skin of the abdomen have had time to contract and recover from pregnancy, the abdominal skin will be loose and patients may have a lower abdominal bulge once contraction is complete.   This, obviously, is not the ideal result and defeats the purpose of performing a tummy tuck in the first place!

 

Tummy Tuck Immediately After A C-Section:

 

Not only does it not result in an effective tightening of the abdominal skin and soft tissues (as described above), but performing a tummy tuck immediately following a Cesarean-section is dangerous and potentially life threatening. In the initial postpartum period, women are at an increased risk for blood clots in the legs and/or lungs. Any type of surgery, particularly an intra-abdominal surgery like a Section-section or a tummy tuck, significantly increases this risk of blood clots and/or death. For this reason, Dr. Temmen (and most other reputable plastic surgeons) would never perform a tummy tuck surgery immediately following a C-section or vaginal delivery of a baby.

 

For more information on the prevention and treatment of stretch marks, please see Dr. Traci Temmen’s blog from April 2015 titled: Here’s the Skinny on Pregnancy Stretch Marks.

 

For more information on scheduling a tummy tuck surgery after the birth of a child, or to schedule a free tummy tuck or mommy makeover consultation, please call Dr. Temmen today at 813-877-2277.

 

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Many people considering a breast augmentation with implants has heard that they have to get their breast implants replaced every ten years…but, is this really true? Is there really an expiration date for breast implants?

Breast Implant Warranty:

 

Regardless of the manufacturer, most implant companies warranty their breast implants from mechanical failure for ten years. This means that if the breast implant ruptures or leaks, or has any other type of mechanical failure, within ten years of placement, the manufacturer will cover the replacement cost of the implant, and occasionally, help pay for the surgeon, facility, and anesthesia fees associated with replacement. Some newer breast implant manufacturers also warranty their breast implants from capsular contracture for a specific number of years, often two to three years, after placement. Capsular contracture is the formation of excessive, thick scar tissue around one or both breast implants that can lead to pain, implant malposition, and/or breast hardness.

 

Fortunately, it is easy to tell if a saline breast implant has ruptured. If a saline breast implant has ruptured, the breast will visibly decrease in size over a period of several days to weeks as the saline leaks out of the implant and is absorbed by the body. However, it is not so easy to tell if a silicone breast implant has ruptured. If a silicone breast implant ruptures, silicone does not leak from the implant and get absorbed by the body, as it does a saline implant. Rather, the silicone remains in the breast capsule and often remains inside the breast implant shell. The patient may not have any idea their silicone breast implant has ruptured or they may experience a change in breast shape or firmness. Thus, MRI imaging is necessary to diagnose a silicone breast implant rupture.

 

It is because of this ten-year warranty that many patients believe they must get their breast implants replaced after ten years. However, Dr. Traci Temmen of the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, tells her patients that if after ten years they are still happy and not experiencing any trouble with their breast implants to “leave well enough alone!” There is no medical, surgical, or health reason to replace breast implants ten years after a breast augmentation unless the patient has experienced a rupture, is unhappy with her appearance, or wishes to exchange her breast implants for a specific reason.

Breast Implant Rupture Rate:

 

Like anything, breast implants do “age” with time. After approximately ten years, the rupture rate for a breast implant is 1% per year. This means that if a breast implant is 15 years old, there is a 15% chance that it will rupture or leak during that year. If a breast implant is 25 years old, there is a 25% chance that it will rupture or leak during that year. Because of this additive risk of rupture, many patients considering a breast lift or other revisionary surgery, will choose to replace their breast implants (even if they are experiencing no trouble with the breast implant itself) at the same time if their breast implants are at least seven to eight years old. While it is not mandatory to replace breast implants during a revisionary surgery, it is recommended if the breast implants are several years old in order to avoid an additional revisionary surgery if the breast implant were to rupture in the future. Fortunately, there is no difference in the rupture rate between saline and silicone breast implants.shutterstock_143220898

When Should You Replace Your Breast Implants?

 

Still, many patients wonder when they should replace their breast implants. Below are Dr. Temmen’s basic guidelines on when to replace breast implants after an initial breast augmentation surgery:

 

1. If you have a diagnosed breast implant rupture (and wish to maintain breast volume rather than simply remove the ruptured implant).

 

2. If you are considering a revisionary breast surgery, such as a breast lift or change in implant position, and your implants are seven or more years old.

 

3. If you are unhappy with your size and wish to have larger or smaller breast implants.

 

Other than the reasons above, there is no need to replace breast implants after a certain number of years. If a patient is happy with her breast implants and is experiencing no trouble, there is no need to replace them, regardless of the time from the initial breast augmentation surgery. There are plenty of women with twenty or even thirty-year old breast implants, that have never undergone a revision or replacement, and are perfectly happy with their appearance!

 

 

If you have additional questions about replacing your breast implants, or wish to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Traci Temmen, please call the office today: 813-877-3739.

Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

One of the most important questions for patients considering breast augmentation surgery is whether or not to choose saline or silicone breast implants. Fortunately, for most patients, either type of breast implant is safe and will give a pleasing, long-lasting result.

Saline and silicone breast implants have essentially the same rupture rate, meaning a silicone breast implant has the same chance of leaking per year as a saline breast implant. Both types of breast implants are safe to use, and neither silicone nor saline breast implants have been linked to health problems or illnesses.

shutterstock_278020784Saline Breast Implants:

Pros-

1. In general, saline breast implants are much less expensive than silicone breast implants. At the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, a pair of saline breast implants costs approximately $1,000 less than a pair of silicone breast implants. Patients who are trying to keep the cost of their breast augmentation surgery as low as possible often choose saline breast implants simply because of the lower price.

2. If placed on top of the pectoralis muscle, most studies show that saline breast implants have a lower capsular contracture rate than silicone breast implants. However, as most breast implants, particularly saline breast implants, are placed under the pectoralis muscle, this is rarely an area of concern.

3. Rupture of a saline breast implant is easy to diagnose. If a saline breast implant ruptures, or leaks, the leaking fluid will be absorbed by the body over a period of days to a couple weeks, and the breast size will visibly decrease. Thus, expensive diagnostic tests are not necessary to diagnose rupture of a saline breast implant.

Cons-

1. For very thin patients, rippling of a saline breast implant is much more visible and palpable than with a silicone breast implant. For this reason, Dr. Traci Temmen advises thin patients considering saline breast implants to place the implant below the pectoralis major muscle. The additional coverage offered by the pectoralis muscle makes saline implant rippling much less noticeable.

2. Most patients and plastic surgeons agree that silicone breast implants look and feel more natural than saline breast implants. Saline implants tend to feel a little firmer and have more projection than a silicone breast implant.

Silicone Breast Implants:

Pros-

1. Silicone breast implants generally look and feel more natural than saline breast implants, particularly for thin patients with little overlying soft tissue coverage. Since their approval by the FDA in 2005, the vast majority of patients at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa choose silicone breast implants for their breast augmentation surgeries.

2. If necessary, silicone breast implants are available in round as well as shaped (a.k.a. anatomic) varieties.

Cons-

1. Silicone breast implants are only approved by the FDA for use in patients 22-years old and older. Patients younger than 22-years can choose to have their cosmetic breast augmentation with silicone breast implants, however, this will void the manufacturer’s warranty and is considered “off-label use” by the FDA.

2. Because rupture of a silicone breast implant is difficult to identify by physical examination, the FDA recommends that patients undergo an MRI three years after their breast augmentation surgery, then every two years thereafter. While many patients choose not to undergo routine MRI scanning, this is the only reliable way to diagnose leaking, or rupture, of a silicone breast implant.

For additional questions on breast augmentation with either saline or silicone breast implants, or for a free breast augmentation consultation, call Dr. Traci Temmen at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa today: 813-877-3739.