Asian Breast Augmentation
Special Considerations Are Essential!
Having operated on so many Asian patients over the years, we have come to appreciate that while many Asian women would like to have a Breast Augmentation, many are understandably concerned that:
- They will end up looking disproportionately too big and therefore ‘fake’; and/or
- They may end up with conspicuous brown scars on or under each breast.
The reasons for these concerns among Asian women come about because:
- Some surgeons approach Asian Breast Augmentation in the same way they do for Western women. They do not take into account the generally smaller figures of Asian women and accordingly the need to consider proportionately smaller implants than those generally used in Western women.
- Asian skin has a higher risk of healing with pigmented brown scars. Not all do, but it is a higher risk. Therefore, the surgeon should be able to offer alternative surgical techniques that locate the incisions and the final scars in inconspicuous locations. In this way, if the scars do end up pigmented, at least they are away from the breast and don’t mar the appearance of an otherwise beautiful breast.
- Accordingly, we have always maintained that in order to create beautiful, natural-looking breasts in Asian women, the surgeon must give special attention to both the implant size and the location of the incisions.
Implant Size Considerations
We believe that a surgeon planning a Breast Augmentation on an Asian woman should bear in mind that Asian women generally have lighter and more petite figures than most Western women. Obviously, this does not apply in every case but it’s fair to say that most Asian patients we see for surgery have cup sizes of less than A, A and A-B. Compared to Western women, naturally-occurring C-cup or D-cup sized breasts are very uncommon.
Therefore, if an Asian woman is wanting Breast Augmentation to look more attractive and feminine but still look natural, she should choose her implant size carefully. Essentially, she should aim for implants that are in proportion to her overall figure and don’t make her look unnaturally big and therefore fake! And hopefully, her surgeon is one that appreciates this concept of proportion and does not convince her to choose overly large implant sizes that the patient could end up regretting.
Naturally, the most appropriate implant size for any woman will depend on her overall figure, her breast measurements and how big a cup size she desires. Nevertheless, the objective of the surgery should still be the same: to deliver a cup size that makes the woman look and feel feminine and attractive but not in any way disproportionately large, unnatural and ‘fake’!
Location of Incisions
It’s a fact that when Asian or brown skin is cut or injured, there is a greater risk of the scar ending up permanently pigmented. Not all do, but it is a higher risk.
Some surgeons accept this risk of brown scars as an inevitable consequence of Asian Breast Augmentation and persist in always placing the incisions under the breasts where any resulting brown scars could mar an otherwise beautiful result.
Although we always leave the final choice of incision location up to each patient, our Surgeon will help by explaining the pros and cons of each incision location as they apply specifically to YOU by taking into account your skin colour, previous scar appearances, your implant choices and your personal preferences. Basically, the four available incision locations are as follows:
- Infra-mammary Approach (via the crease under the breast): This is the most commonly performed approach as it affords the greatest visibility for the surgeon and any size or shape of implant can be inserted via this route. However, if a pigmented scar were to develop in this location, it could mar the appearance of an otherwise beautiful breast.
- Trans-Axillary Technique (via the armpit): In our experience, this approach is the technique most preferred by women who wish to avoid the risk of a pigmented scar under each breast. The incision is placed within a natural skin crease in the hair-bearing area of the armpit. Scars in this location tend to be very fine but remember that, here too, they could end up pigmented – in which case they could be visible if the arms were raised while wearing a sleeveless top.
- Peri-Areolar Approach: The incision is made half way around the edge of the areola (the pigmented circle surrounding the nipple). This also has its drawbacks in that the incision is usually very small and accordingly only very small silicone implants (or fillable saline implants of any size) can be inserted. Moreover, you still have the potential risk of a brown scar around the edge of the areola.
- Trans-Umbilical Approach (via the navel)
Not popular or commonly performed in Australia. Apart from its other drawbacks, the main disadvantage of this technique is that only saline implants can be inserted via this route. And, in our experience, most women prefer the more natural ‘feel’ of silicone over saline implants. If you too prefer silicone implants, this technique is not an option for you.Should you wish to consider the Trans-Axillary Technique, please bear in mind that the drawbacks to it for any woman, be she Asian or Western, are:
- Tear-Drop Implants of any type or brand cannot be inserted via the armpit.
- Only Round Implants can be inserted.
Ultimately, it is your personal decision as to where you would prefer to locate your incisions. It’s by no means definite that your scars will end up pigmented but you need at least to be aware of the possibility. We give you this information, not to alarm or deter you, but only to make you aware of the possibility so you can consider the alternatives.
In our experience, most of our Asian patients still prefer to have the incisions located under the breast for the following reasons:
- There is no certainty that the scars will end up pigmented. In fact, the vast majority of our Asian patients still end up with inconspicuous white scars.
- Most patients feel that if brown scars did develop under the breasts, they don’t restrict one’s ability to wear sleeveless tops and swimming costumes.
- They prefer to not be constantly aware of not raising their arms when wearing a sleeveless top or swimming costume.
- But most importantly of all, they prefer the greater choice of implant type, shape and size that an incision under the breast offers. Through this incision can be inserted any type, any shape and any size of implant the patient desires.
Frequently Asked Questions
Secondly, Breast Augmentation in Asian women must consider the possible final scar appearances because Asian skin has a higher risk of developing brown, pigmented scars. It doesn’t happen to every Asian patient, and some Asian skin colours are more prone to it than others. Our Surgeon will assess this possibility at your Initial Consultation and if they feel you are at risk of brown scars, may recommend the Trans-Axillary (Armpit) approach in order to locate any brown scars away from the breast.
If you choose to have the incisions under your breasts, each scar would be 4-6cms long in the fold under the breast. If you have selected the Armpit Approach, the scars will be hidden in a skin crease within the armpit.
- the implants have been placed ‘under the muscle’; and
- you have not selected an overly large implant size; and
- the sensory nerve to the nipple has not been inadvertently injured during surgery.
- Surgeon’s fee
- Anaesthetic fees
- Hospital fees
- Implant costs
Your total cost will depend on the type of implants you choose, whether you need any special techniques, and which hospital you will be attending. Our Surgeon will give you a written and itemised quotation at the end of your Initial Consultation.
There are also some minor additional costs for prescriptions, bras and anti-DVT stockings that you will need to purchase prior to your surgery.