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
» Restore breast volume lost following pregnancy or due to weight loss
» Achieve better symmetry when breast are moderately disproportionate in size and shape.
Breast augmentation does not however correct sagging breast. In case where woman desires to enhance breast fullness and at the time improve the position and shape of sagging breast, a breast lift may be performed in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Adult woman of any age can benefit from breast augmentation to enhance small breast size or restore fullness. However it is recommended that breast be fully developed prior to breast augmentation. The patients should be aware that breast augmentation does not generally interfere with a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
A woman who is motivated by her own personal desire to enhance breast contour is most likely to be satisfied with the result of breast augmentation surgery. Good candidates are defined as:
» Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
» Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving their body image
The success of the procedure, safety and overall satisfaction require that:
» Honestly share the patient’s expectations with the plastic surgeon
» Fully disclose health history, current medication, the use of vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
» Be candid about any history of breast cancer in your family and personal breast health
» Commit to precisely following all of the plastic surgeon’s instructions
A mammogram may be recommended prior to your procedure to ensure breast health and serve as a baseline for future comparison. Following the procedure, mammography is technically more difficult. The patients must be candid about theirs implants when undergoing any diagnostic breast exam. The patient should be aware that 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 breast over the course of a woman’s lifetime.
Breast augmentation is performed using implants made of medical grade, biocompatible, textured or smooth silicone shells filled with silicone gel or sterile saline solution. Implants placement, type and size will be determined based on patient’s breast anatomy, body type and desired increase in size, as well as the plastic surgeon’s judgment.
Once the procedure is completed, dressing or bandages may be applied to the incisions, and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breast as they heal.
Initial healing may include swelling and discomfort at the incision sites and in breast tissue overall. Discomfort is common and can be controlled with medication. A support bra may be recommended around the clock for the first weeks. A return to light, normal activity is possible usually within a day or two of surgery.
Initial wound healing may take 5 to 10 days, at which time any sutures will be removed. The patient will be ready to return to work and normal activity at this time, if she feels comfortable, so long as she does not engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise. Intimate contact with breast may resume healing is more fully completed, usually within 4 to 6 weeks.
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling resolves, implants position settles and incision lines continue to refine. Incision lines are permanent, although inconspicuously located.
Breast implants have not been shown to impair breast health. Careful review of scientific research has found no proven link between breast implants and auto-immune, systemic disease or breast cancer in women. Implants can, however, create subtle or more noticeable changes in the look and feel of breast. Capsular contracture, a condition that causes the naturally-forming scar tissue around a breast implant to contract, occurs in a variable percentage of patients and can make the breast feel firmer than normal. While this condition can be addressed surgically, correction is not always permanent.
Possible risks of breast augmentation include bleeding, infection or poor healing of incisions and changes in nipple or breast sensation. Capsular contracture is also possible and requires a second procedure. All surgery carries risks associated with anesthesia.
The results of breast augmentation are immediately visible. Final results appear gradually over the next few weeks as swelling resolves and breast size and shape settles. Incision lines typically will continue to fade over the next year.