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Dr John Di Saia, an orange county california plastic surgeon

Breast Implantation: The Concept

What actually happens during cosmetic breast implant surgery? A woman's breast is modified by the placement of an implant that increases breast volume. A very mild lift of sorts is also accomplished if the implant is large enough. The shape of the breast changes to an extent dependent upon the original shape, the implant size, and the restrictions in muscular and bony tissues of the chest.

Conceptually, the breast and implant occupy the same space as in the schematic below. Take into account that this schematic only represents the breast.

Breast Implant Conceptual Animation

A WALKTHROUGH: The breast implant most commonly used in the United States is a saline (or silicone gel) filled implant. The type used by most surgeons (myself included) is round in shape. The virtual implant is the transparent object that begins in the animation on the left. Both the implant and the "virtual breast" are viewed from the side. The virtual implant very closely mimics the shape (and color) of the actual implant used. The virtual breast is imaged at the right. In this virtual patient before the implant is placed, the breast shows a general lack of projection. It does still have good general breast shape however lacks volume.

Now watch as the animation demonstrates the implant merging with the breast (simulating placement of the implant). As it does so the breast becomes more full. Projection improves along with volume. The final image simulates the post-operative breast appearance after a sub-muscular round saline implant has been surgically placed into a breast with good form prior to placement. When the breast shape is less-than-optimal, simple placement of an implant may not be adequate.


© John Di Saia, MD... an Orange County California Plastic Surgeon       

Serving Southern California since 1997 * (949) 369-5932


Please note that this resource is offered freely to individuals considering cosmetic breast surgery. No rights are granted and it is not to be reprinted or copied without the author's prior written consent. Understand that some of the information presented may be a matter of professional opinion. Although efforts have been made to assure accuracy, no guarantees are expressed or implied.