- Breast Augmentation
- Plastic Surgery
- 10 Testimonials
Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants to fulfill your desire for fuller breasts (breast enlargement) or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy (breast enhancement).
Best Candidates for Breast Augmentation
The best candidates for breast enlargement are women who are emotionally well-adjusted and who have a thorough understanding of the procedure. They are in good health, have a history of physical activity, and eat a healthy diet.
Breast surgery is a good choice to enhance your figure, but not to completely change it. Understanding the procedure will help you form realistic expectations. Please continue reading the articles listed below to learn more.
Reasons for Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation surgery can enhance size and shape, correct imbalances, improve firmness, and restore the body contour for these patients.
Women seek breast surgery for a number of reasons:
- Being genetically disposed to smaller breasts.
- Being genetically disposed to breasts that are not symmetrical, with one breast having a different size or shape than the other.
- Breast cancer patients often seek breast reconstruction surgery because a breast is partially or totally removed as part of the cancer treatment.
- Reduced firmness from aging.
- Drooping or sagging breasts after child bearing and breast feeding (this condition requires two procedures: breast lift and breast augmentation).
What Breast Augmentation Can Do
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 mammaplasty, 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.
- Many patients find it helpful to review breast augmentation before and after photos.
Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
What breast augmentation does not do:
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Is Breast Augmentation Right For Me?
Breast augmentation is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Pictures of breast augmentation procedures performed by ASPS Member Surgeons may help you in the decision-making process.
Breast augmentation may be a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breasts are fully developed
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
- Your breasts vary in size or shape
- One or both breasts failed to develop normally
Preparing for Breast Augmentation
After researching the basics about breast enhancement or breast enlargement, many patients want to know what to expect before breast augmentation surgery.
Prior to breast surgery your surgeon may ask you to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Stop smoking well in advance of your breast augmentation surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- Post-operative care and follow-up
- Breast implant registry documents (when necessary)
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast augmentation surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
Note: If your breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery. However this is usually performed under general anesthesia which will require hospital admission. Nursing staff will be available 24 hours with translation assistance. Family members are welcomed to share the patient’s room or stay at one of our hotel rooms located in the hospital.
Breast Augmentation Surgery Overview
Cosmetic breast surgery gives you a lot of individualized options for changing the size and shape of your breasts. Surgical methods and breast-implant technology have improved dramatically in recent years: breast augmentation is less invasive, with more options and better post-surgical results.
Medications are administered for your comfort during breast augmentation surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will recommend the best choice for you after your medical check-up and consultation.
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:
- Inframammary incision
- Transaxillary incision
- Periareolar incision
Incisions vary based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference.
Breast Implant Type: Silicone or Saline
Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations during your consultation.
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.
A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse. If you choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.
Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants, so there may be additional options available.
Currently Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.
Currently Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years of age and older.
Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.
Inserting and Placement of the Breast Implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
- Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement)
- Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular 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.
Breast Augmentation 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.
The results of your breast augmentation surgery will be long-lasting. You will find it easier to wear certain styles of clothing and swim wear. Like many women who have had breast augmentation, you may also have a boost in self confidence.
NOTE: Implants may need to be replaced or revised in the future.
It’s important to know that after receiving breast implants, results are not permanent and they may require replacement during your lifetime. You should expect to have future visits with your plastic surgeon to discuss changes in your breasts.
Over time, your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift or implant exchange to restore a more youthful contour.
Continue to follow your after care instructions to ensure the best results for breast enlargement or breast enhancement, and attend follow-up visits if possible or visit a local surgeon for check-ups.
Recovery After Breast Augmentation
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.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your breasts following breast augmentation surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
During your consultation and prior to your surgery the following topics will be discussed:
- Where you will be taken after your surgery is complete
- Medication you will be given or prescribed after surgery
- Information about dressings/bandages after surgery
- Information about your stitches and removal
- When you can resume normal activity and exercise
- Follow-up care and schedule
When You Return Home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur after breast augmentation, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Breast Augmentation Post Operative Care
Because breast tissue is stretched and separated, and because implants are inserted through incisions, the breasts will be bruised, sore, and swollen after surgery. You can expect to wear a surgical bra for several days. There may be some moderate pain, but that can be treated by a prescription from your plastic surgeon. Your doctor may suggest that you wear an athletic or support bra until the swelling has subsided.
Heavy lifting or straining should be avoided after surgery because this can cause the breasts to swell and increase pressure. You can typically return to work within a week and to full activity within a few weeks. Sensation in your nipples may be reduced temporarily, but should return to normal as your breasts heal. Breast feeding usually is not hindered; however, it is important to ask the doctor about breast feeding during your initial consultation.
After healing, some permanent scarring will remain. Scars are typically small and inconspicuous. Your surgeon’s goal will be to make them as unnoticeable as possible. Inframammary and periareolar incision scars are on the breast. Transaxillary or TUBA incisions can be placed in a natural fold in the skin under the armpit, virtually unnoticeable after surgery.
Possible Breast Augmentation Risks
The decision to have breast augmentation surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks of breast implant safety and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Risks and Complications of Breast Implants:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, may be temporary or permanent
- Capsular contracture, which is the formation of firm scar tissue around the implant
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Anesthesia risks
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Although there potentially may be complications with breast implants, they do not impair breast health. Careful review of scientific research conducted by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine has found no proven link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
Other Important Considerations:
- 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.