Breast augmentation is the surgical placement of breast implants to increase fullness and projection of the breasts or to improve symmetry of the breasts. Clinically referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, the procedure is used cosmetically to:
- Enlarge a naturally small breast, most commonly the result of heredity
- Restore breast volume lost following pregnancy, as a result of breast-feeding or due to weight loss
- Achieve better symmetry when breasts are moderately disproportionate in size and shape
If you are dissatisfied with your breast size, breast augmentation surgery (either breast enhancement or breast enlargement) is a choice to consider. Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
- Improve the balance of your figure
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, the procedure involves using implants to fulfill your desire for fuller breasts or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Implants also may be used to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy or injury.
The success and safety of your breast augmentation procedure depends very much on your being completely candid during your consultation. By being actively involved in your consultation about breast augmentation, problems, concerns and questions you may have can be addressed by your surgeon.
You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your breasts, and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, placement of your nipples
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast augmentation surgery and any risks or potential complications
- Discuss the use of anesthesia during your breast augmentation procedure
What are the steps of the Breast Augmentation procedure?
Medications are administered for your comfort during breast augmentation surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. You and your plastic surgeon will discuss which incision options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include:
Incisions vary based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference.
– Implant choice: Silicone breast implants or saline breast implants?
Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations when talking with your surgeon.
Implant type and size will be determined not just on your desired increase in size but more importantly on your breast anatomy, skin elasticity and body type.
-Options for Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness and feel of the breast. Should the implant shell leak, a saline breast implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
Silicone breast implants are filled with an elastic gel. The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket.
-Inserting and placing the breast implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
- Under the pectoral muscle (a sub muscular placement), or
- Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a sub mammary/ sub glandular placement)
The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
-Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin. Over time the incision lines will fade.
-See the results
The results of breast augmentation surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller breasts.
Breast augmentation recovery
Many patients have questions about breast augmentation and recovery.
Although many factors are involved with determining your actual recovery time for breast augmentation, you will likely experience a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.
Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your plastic surgeon. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease and incision lines will fade.
How long does it last?
Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants.
Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime.
To get more information about breast augmentation and inquire about prices, contact us via our “Ask our expert” form on top of the page.