About Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a very popular and common procedure that can increase your breast size by one or more sizes. By surgically inserting breast implants beneath the breast tissue or the chest muscle during breast augmentation, women can achieve larger, shapelier breasts. This type of breast enhancement is sometimes performed in conjunction with a breast lift. For some women, breast augmentation is a way to enhance self-image and self-confidence. For others, breast augmentation is part of breast reconstruction after surgery for breast cancer or other conditions affecting the breast.
Breast Augmentation Considerations:
Breast augmentation can dramatically improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts. During your breast augmentation consultation, you’ll learn more about your options for creating your ideal breast appearance, including:
• Implant size, style, and shape.
• Implant material (silicone, gel or saline).
• Implant position (above or below the pectoralis muscle).
• Implant incision site.
The goal is to create a natural and alluring look. Which implant size that will work best for you must be individually determined with your input. The size, shape, style, and type of implant will be decided after a comprehensive examination. Placing implants that are too large for the intended body size have greater chances of capsular contracture, discomfort and longer recovery times.
Incision Site Options:
INFRAMAMMARY INCISION: This is the most commonly used incision at the present time and is made below the breast fold. This incision is generally less concealed and may cause fewer breastfeeding difficulties than the periareolar incision option.
PERIAREOLAR INCISION: This incision site is typically the most concealed. It is associated with a higher likelihood of breast feeding difficulties than the other incision options because periareolar incision involves cutting through the breast tissue. This may also increase the chance that there will be a change in nipple sensation.
TRANSAXILLARY INCISION: This incision is made under the arm. A lighted camera (endoscope) is used to help tunnel through the subcutaneous fat to create a pocket behind the breast. The implant is rolled up and pushed through the tunnel into place and filled before the incision is closed. This incision site is used primarily to place unfilled saline breast implants. TRANSUMBILICAL INCISION: The transumbilical incision is made in the belly button or umbilical channel. A lighted camera (endoscope) is used to help tunnel through the subcutaneous fat to create a pocket behind the breast. The implant is rolled up and pushed through the tunnel into place and filled before the incision is closed. This procedure makes for the greatest room for error when placing the implant due to the distance from the breast.
Breast Implant Placement Options:
SUB-MUSCULAR IMPLANT PLACEMENT: The breast implants are placed partially or wholly under the pectoralis major chest muscle. Sub-muscular implants may result in a longer, more painful recovery than sub-glandular implants. Sub-muscular placement may result in less palpable implants and may reduce the risk of developing capsular contracture , as well as offer easier mammographic imaging of the breast.
SUB-GLANDULAR IMPLANT PLACEMENT: The breast implant location is between your chest muscle and your breast tissue (under the glands). This placement may help reduce your surgery and recovery time. It may be less painful than sub-muscular placement and may make your breast implants easier to access if re-operation is necessary. Implants that are sub-glandular may be easier to see and feel through your skin. Each placement type has benefits that may be right for you. During your consultation you will discuss your desired outcome with your surgeon to select the best option for your figure.
What to expect:
Breast augmentation can be done in a surgical center or hospital outpatient facility. Surgery usually takes one to two hours, and is performed under general anesthesia. You will most likely go home the same day of your surgery (rarely does the procedure require a hospital stay). Your surgeon will give you specific guidelines to follow during your recovery based on your personal needs. In general, you can expect to return to your usual routine after a few days, but you should avoid excessive lifting to minimize tension on incision lines, thereby ensuring minimal scar lines. Feeling tired and mild soreness following breast augmentation surgery are common. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of infection. After breast augmentation surgery you may feel a burning sensation in your nipples that will fade after about two weeks. It is advised that you remain in a support bra with no underwires for approximately four to six weeks. Breast swelling may take up to five weeks to subside. Scars usually stay firm and pink for at least six weeks and will begin to fade after several months, taking on a flesh tone by 6 to 9 months post-operatively.
Each year thousands of women undergo successful breast augmentation surgery, experience no major problems and are happy with the results. Significant complications from a breast augmentation are infrequent. However, make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care. Breast augmentation poses various risks, including:
• Capsular contracture (a tightening of the scar tissue which can make the breast feel hard and can distort the shape of the breast implant).
• Changes in nipple and breast sensation (usually temporary).
• Breast pain.
• Rare implant leakage or rupture.
If the implant is saline-filled, it deflates and the body harmlessly absorbs the saline solution. If the implant is filled with silicone gel, the gel may alter the shape of the breast, requiring implant replacement. Correcting any of these complications might require additional surgery, either to remove or replace the implants. Other Considerations for breast augmentation surgery include:
• Breast implants won’t prevent your breasts from sagging. A breast lift may be needed in addition to a breast augmentation to correct sagging breasts.
• Breast implants aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. In addition to the possibility of implant rupture or leakage, factors such as aging, weight gain and/or weight loss may further change the way your breasts look. Any of these issues might lead to additional surgery.
• Mammograms might be more complicated. If you have breast implants, routine mammograms might require additional, specialized views.
• Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others, however, breast-feeding is a challenge.
• Insurance might not cover breast implants. Unless it’s medically necessary, such as the need for implant reconstruction after a mastectomy, breast augmentation is not covered by insurance. Be prepared to handle any expenses that accompany breast augmentation, including related surgeries or future imaging tests.
• Additional surgery may be needed after breast implant removal.
If you decide to have your implants removed at a later time in your life, you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help your breasts maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Like any major surgery, breast augmentation surgery poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to the surgical tape or other materials used during or after the procedure You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your surgeon, both before and after your breast augmentation surgery. If you have any concerns about the risks involved with breast augmentation surgery, please consult your surgeon.