A breast augmentation is done to create a fuller and more voluptuous appearance in the breasts. There are a variety of ways it is performed, the most common using silicone implants, or using the patient’s own fat known as fat grafting.
Why Do Women Get Breast Augmentation?
Having fuller more voluptuous breasts is an important part of feeling feminine and more confident for women. The breasts give the female body more proportion, curves and shape, which makes many women feel more confident. There are a variety of factors that make women unhappy with their breasts. Such factors include the effects of aging, gravity which leads to sagging, post-pregnancy changes and natural asymmetry. A breast augmentation helps women improve the overall appearance of the breasts and cleavage. This results in an improved self-esteem and confidence.
Are you the right candidate?
To determine if you are ready for a breast augmentation surgery, discuss the following information during consultation with your plastic surgeon
• Prior or current health problems you may have. This includes any previous surgeries you may have had
• Health problems within the family such as diabetes or heart disease
• A list of allergies and current medications, including vitamins and other supplements you take on a daily basis. This is very important as you may be asked to change the dosage, or temporarily stop taking specific medications before surgery.
During the initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will also discuss your health history, medications, and any possible risk factors. He will discuss the surgery options available to you, how the surgery is performed, recovery and possible risks. In addition, he will discuss your options in terms of implant types, sizes, and shapes; along with the different incision and placement options for the implants.
Choosing the Ideal Size for Your Frame
The size of your implants is the first decision you will make. It is important to select an implant size that is proportionate to your body frame and size. The plastic surgeon will guide you through this phase during your consultation. There are many benefits in terms of being conservative when choosing the size of the implants. When implants are disproportionately larger than your body frame, there are associated risks such as visible rippling of the skin due to expansion, numbness, sagging over time and most importantly capsular contracture (when the pocket around the implant narrows causing the implant to be squeezed).
What incisions are made during the surgery?
There are three different types of incisions that can be performed when getting a breast augmentation surgery. These incisions are Inframammary(incision below the breast), Transaxillary (through the armpit), and Peri-Areolar (along the lower edge of the Areola). Your plastic surgeon will go over the different options available to you during your consultation, showing you the benefits of each option and explaining exactly how they are performed, including the associated recovery time for each.
An Inframammary incision is the most common incision when getting abreast augmentation surgery, especially when selecting silicone implants.
A Peri-Areolar incision is done around the bottom edge of the areola and is typically four to five centimeters in length. This incision is very discreet after it is healed. Often times it is impossible to notice as it goes along the natural edge of the areola. The benefit to a Peri-Areolar incision is it not only allows good access to the pocket where the implant is placed, but it is also far from the implant, which reduces any risks of complications occurring if the incision were to get infected.
A transaxillary incision is the least visible of the different incision options, as it is made in the armpit. This ensures there are no scars anywhere near the breasts. Another benefit to Transaxillary incisions, is that they are able to heal extremely fast as the incision is much smaller than the other incision options. This breast augmentation procedure is performed using an endoscope during the surgery, which allows seeing the implant inside the pocket.
Where exactly is the implant placed?
There are two choices when it comes to the placement of the breast implants you select. They are subglandular (above the muscle) or submuscular (below the muscle). The benefits of each of the different placement options will be discussed with you at your consultation with the plastic surgeon.
Subglandular placement is when the implant is placed above the muscle. During this placement, the implants are placed below the natural breast tissue and the surgery is usually quicker with less recovery time required. One of the benefits of subglandular placement is that if future surgery may be required due to rupture or leakage, it allows for easier access to the implant. However, subglandular placement does also have its downsides, such as an increased risk of capsular contracture, difficulty with mammographies and the implant is easier felt through the skin.
Submuscular placement is when the breast implant is put under the pectoral muscle. The benefit with submuscular placement is that the final result of the breast augmentation will look and feel more natural. Any breast imaging will be easier including mammographies, because it is easier to differentiate the implant from real breast tissue. The downfall to submuscular placement is in regards to recovery time, as it takes longer for the muscle to heal. Lastly, if needing to repair the implant it is more difficult to get to, which makes the surgery more difficult as well.
Immediately After Surgery
Breast augmentation is an outpatient surgery procedure, so you will go home the same day the surgery is performed. In order to help reduce swelling of the breasts, a compression dressing will be put over your chest after the surgery.
This will keep the breasts in place, reduce swelling, and help prevent bruising. .After the breast augmentation is done, you will notice an improvement in the size and shape of your breasts right away. In the beginning your breasts will be much larger than the implant size you selected due to swelling and bruising. The swelling will however go down significantly during the following two weeks after surgery. You should also expect to feel some pain and discomfort after surgery. However, with the help of oral pain medications that are prescribed to you, any pain should be easily tolerable. For the first few days after surgery, you should rest as much as possible to help aid the body during the healing process.
What are the risks after Breast Augmentation?
Although breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed, it is still considered a major surgery and must be treated like one. Despite its successful record of safety, risks do exist.
Breast augmentation risks include:
• Capsular Contracture
• Excess scarring
• Changes to nipple sensitivity
• Reaction to anesthesia or medication
• Breast hardening
• Implant leakage or rupture
• Bruising or swelling