What is the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants?

What is the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants?

Bikini season is here! If you are looking to enhance your curves, now is the time. Patients at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic frequently ask, “what is the difference between breast augmentation and breast implants?” Read on to learn all about your options for breast augmentation in Orange County, CA. 

So, What Is the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants?

Breast implants are a type of breast implants. The term “breast augmentation” is an umbrella term to describe multiple breast enhancement procedures; implants are just one of those procedures. 

All forms of breast augmentation involve a medical procedure. Because the process of enhancing the chest is highly involved, it is necessary for the patient to be under general anesthesia for the duration of the augmentation process. 

Regardless of the type of procedure, breast augmentation can be very beneficial: 

  • Enhancing the chest can boost a woman’s confidence. 
  • Breasts are a vital part of gender affirming surgery to allow the patient to pass and end feelings of dysphoria. 
  • Breast augmentation can balance the figure to make you more proportional. 
  • All types of breast augmentation are long-lasting, so you can get an upwards of 10 years with your new figure. 
  • Breast augmentation can help moms feel feminine again after their bodies have been changed by child birth. 
  • After the procedure, clothing will fit better so you can look good without needing to have everything tailored. 
  • Breast augmentation can improve your sex life. Women who love their bodies and feel beautiful usually enjoy sexy time more than women who do not like their bodies. 
  • Breast augmentation can help breast cancer survivors reclaim their body.
  • All kinds of breast augmentation have very high satisfaction rates from women of all ages. 
Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants

What is Breast Augmentation? 

Breast augmentation is the process of making the chest larger through a medical procedure. At Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, our team of specialists offers 2 different types of breast augmentation: 

  1. Breast implants
  2. Fat transfer to the breasts 

These procedures have different requirements and rigors. To determine which procedure is right for you, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic.

When Dr. Qazi meets with patients, there are a few factors that he uses to determine if breast implants or a fat transfer will work better for you. 

1. Age

People under the age of 18 should not get cosmetic procedures unless it is medically necessary for their health and wellbeing. Patients under 18 cannot get any kind of breast augmentation. With a fat transfer, there is no additional limit on the age of the patient, as long as they are adequately healthy for the procedure. 

For breast implants, patients must be over 22 years old to be able to get certain types of implants. This is because the implant manufacturers will not honor the warranty if an implant is placed in someone under 22 years old. Patients under 22 who want a certain type of implants, can either wait until they are old enough or choose the type of implant that does not have that age restriction. 

2. Amount of Body Fat

For breast implants, it does not matter the size, shape, or composition of your body. However, patients getting a fat transfer must have extra fat pockets to use for the procedure. During a fat transfer, the medical team will remove fat cells from one area of the body and inject them into the breasts. Most people have fat cells removed from their bellies, waists, thighs, backs, upper arms, or butts.

If you are very thin and have difficulty gaining weight, a fat transfer will not be right for you. Instead, you should consider breast implants. 

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    3. Your Goals for Shape & Size

    Breast implants are very easy to customize because the medical team has a large amount of control over the exact size, the symmetry, the texture, and the placement. Fat transfers, on the other hand, are less precise because the body only absorbs a percentage of the fat cells injected. If there is a specific bra size and breast shape that you want, Dr. Qazi will recommend implants over a fat transfer for breast augmentation. 

    4. Do You Want Implants in Your Body?

    While implants are more precise for obtaining a certain kind of look, they are not for everyone. Implants are made of silicone or saline and some patients do not want implant shells in their body for any reason. For patients who want natural enhancement, a fat transfer is recommended. Fat transfers for breast augmentation use your body’s natural materials, so there is nothing foreign or man-made in your body. 

    5. Ease of Reversibility 

    It’s fairly common for women to eventually change their mind about their implants, especially in Hollywood. Some women, like Chrissy Teigen, just decide that their implants had a good run, but it comes time to have them removed. Other women decide to have theirs removed later in life because the size and shape of the implants no longer match their figure or their age. Women may also choose to remove implants if they went too big in the first place and started experiencing discomfort as a result of their implants. 

    One advantage of implants is that they are very easy to reverse. A medical team may be able to go in through the old scar and take the implants out. While the breasts may appear a little deflated at first, they will look natural again after they heal. 

    On the other hand, a fat transfer to the breasts is much harder to reverse. The only solution is to use liposuction on the breasts to suck the extra fat cells out. This can result in sagging skin on the breasts and asymmetry. 

    If you may change your mind about your breast augmentation, it is best to choose implants in the first place because they will be easier to safely reverse. 

    Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants

    Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Augmentation

    Are Breast Implants the Best Type of Breast Augmentation?

    When patients ask Dr. Qazi “What’s the difference between breast augmentation and breast implants?” their next question is normally, “which type of breast augmentation is better?” 

    The answer is that it depends. Both breast implants and breast fat transfers have their pros and cons. When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Qazi, he can talk you through your options.

    Is a Breast Lift a Type of Breast Augmentation? 

    A breast lift is a procedure where the medical team removes excess skin from the breasts and raises them into their proper, perkier position. The purpose of a breast lift is to reverse sagging and adjust improper nipple position. 

    A breast lift is not a type of breast augmentation. By definition, breast augmentation refers to the process of making the breasts larger. A breast lift does not change the size of the breasts, only the shape and the symmetry. 

    Dr. Qazi’s team of expert surgeons frequently perform breast lifts in conjunction with breast augmentation. Because augmentation changes the size of the breasts but not the shape, this duo procedure can properly address both to wind back the clock on your chest. After a breast lift is performed to re-perk your breasts, implants can be added to create volume. Mothers may opt for a breast lift and fat transfer combined procedure. This successfully restores their breasts, adds volume, and helps remove some of that stubborn pregnancy fat. 

    How is a Breast Augmentation With Implants Performed?

    Preparing for the procedure: 

    1. Once you decide you want implants, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure. You will also have to make choices regarding the type of implant, the size, and how you want it inserted to avoid scarring. 
    2. After the procedure is scheduled, you will receive instructions for how to prepare. 
    3. You will be instructed to stop certain medications or supplements, avoid blood thinners, and arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. 
    4. The day before the procedure, you will need to stop eating at midnight. You may also be instructed to wash your body in a certain way to minimize infection. 
    5. When you and your support person arrive, you will be prepared by a team of kind nurses. If you need someone to hold your hand while the IV is inserted, just ask!

    The procedure:

    1. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. An experienced anesthesiologist will be monitoring you the entire time. 
    2. Once you are under, the medical team will make incisions in a predetermined location. Depending on the type of implant and your decision, this may be under the breast, in the armpit, around the nipple, or in the belly button. 
    3. The medical team will carefully place your implants. Silicone implants are normally inserted pre-filled. Saline implants can be placed and then filled. 
    4. Once the medical team is sure of proper, symmetrical placement, the incisions will be stitched up using body-safe dissolvable stitches. 

    After the procedure:

    1. You will wake up in the recovery room after the procedure where nurses will monitor and take care of you. Your support person will be with you. 
    2. When you are discharged, you will be given instructions for how to care for your incisions and what activities to avoid. You will also be prescribed certain medications, including pain killers and possibly an antibiotic. 
    3. For the first 1-3 days, you should take it easy, wear your support garment, and avoid doing anything strenuous. 
    4. At the 5-7 day mark, you may be able to return to work depending on how physical your occupation is. You should avoid sudden upward arm movements, but sitting at a desk and going for walks is fine. 
    5. At 3-4 weeks post-op, you can resume light exercise. Your body will be mostly healed. The incisions will still be visible, but the bruising and swelling should be nearly gone. 
    6. After 6 weeks, you are safe to resume all your normal activities, including working out. 
    7. Over the next 6 months, your incisions will fade to the point that they are nearly invisible and your breasts will settle into place. 
    Before and after results from a breast augmentation performed at Qazi Cosmetic Center in Newport Beach, California.

    What Happens During a Fat Transfer?

    A fat transfer is performed under general anesthesia. It occurs in 2 stages: 

    First, an incision is made in the donor area. The liposuction device is used to vacuum out extra fat cells.

    Next, the donor incision is stitched up and the fat cells are purified. 

    Once the medical team has pure fat cells, without any blood or other fluids, the cells will be injected into your breasts. Fat transfers have a highly variable absorption rate, meaning that it is possible for only 30% to 60% of the cells to be absorbed. For this reason, Dr. Qazi team normally over-injects fat cells. 

    After the procedure is over, you are safe to go home. The recovery timeline is very similar to that of breast implants. You will have to be gentle with your donor area incisions, but you can return to work within 3-5 days if you are feeling up to it. 

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      What is the Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants? – Schedule a Consultation to Learn More!

      Fat transfer or implants? If you’re considering breast augmentation, schedule a no-obligation consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. 

      By: Dr. Nadir Qazi

      Dr. Nadir Qazi is a board certified physician specializing in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and an instructor for advanced injections and laser techniques.

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