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 valid concerns among Asian women come about because:
- Some surgeons approach Asian Breast Augmentation in the same way they do for Western women. They fail to take into account the generally smaller figures of Asian women and accordingly the need to consider 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 their final scars in inconspicuous locations away from the breast. This way, in the event 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 believe 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
Any 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 not common.
Therefore, if an Asian woman is wanting Breast Augmentation to look more attractive and feminine but still look natural, she should choose both her implant size and surgeon 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 brown scars could mar an otherwise beautiful result.
Other surgeons, in an attempt to avoid the risks of conspicuous brown scars under the breast in women with Asian or brown skin, recommend one of the following alternative techniques:
- 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 implants over saline implants. So, if you prefer silicone implants, this technique is not an option for you.
- Peri-Areolar Approach where 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 can be inserted. Moreover, you still have the potential of a brown scar around the edge of the areola.
- Trans-Axillary Technique. In our experience, this approach is by far, the technique most preferred by women who wish to avoid the risk of a pigmented scar under each breast. The armpit 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 become pigmented – in which case they would be visible if the arms were raised while wearing a sleeveless top.
Should you wish to consider the Trans-Axillary Technique, please bear in mind that the biggest 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.
- Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants, be they Round or ‘Tear-Drop’, cannot be inserted via this route.
- Only Round Smooth or Round Textured implants can be inserted.
Ultimately, it is your personal decision as to where you would prefer to locate your incisions. It’s not 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 a 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.