Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is surgical procedure which is done to increase the size of breasts. Breast augmentation is done for females who have small or under-developed breasts. It is also done to correct the asymmetry of breasts that may result from post mastectomy reconstruction.
Who is a candidate?
You may be a good candidate for this procedure, if:
• You are a healthy person.
• You have realistic expectations.
• Your breasts are asymmetrical.
• Your breasts failed to develop normally.
• You have small breasts.
• You have lost shape and volume of your breasts after pregnancy.
Preparing for the surgery
Before the surgery, your doctor may ask you:
• To do certain blood tests.
• Take certain medications or adjust the ones that you are currently on.
• Stop aspirin or NSAID’s as they can cause bleeding which can become life threatening.
Breast augmentation surgery can be done either as an outpatient or inpatient procedure. If you are planning to do the procedure as an outpatient procedure, make sure you arrange someone to drive you home after the surgery.
What does the procedure entail?
Breast augmentation is a one day surgery. You will most likely get discharged the same day or 24 hours after the surgery. This surgery is done under general anesthesia.
Incisions are made in discreet areas to reduce the visible scarring as much as possible. There are 3 types of incisions that can be made and these include:
1. Peri areolar incision
2. Inframammary incision
3. Trans axillary incision
The type of incision made will vary according to the degree of enlargement you need, type of breast implant, your anatomy, and patient surgeon preference. Your surgeon will discuss with you about the appropriate type of incision for your desired outcome.
The breast implant will be either placed below the pectoralis muscle or above the pectoralis muscle. If it is placed under the pectoralis muscle, it is called as a sub muscular placement and if the implant is place above the muscle, it is called as Sub mammary/ sub glandular placement. The type of placement will also vary according to the degree of enlargement, type of breast implant and surgeon’s recommendation.
Once the breast implant is placed, the incisions are closed. As only small incisions are made, they will quickly disappear with time. The whole surgery will take only about 2 to 3 hours.
You will be able to see the results of the breast augmentation surgery immediately.
Types of breast implants
There are 2 types of breast implants used, saline and silicone implants.
This is a slack of silicone rubber with a textured outer surface. It is implanted under the breast tissue and filled with sterile tissue. It gives a more natural feel to the breast. The disadvantage of using a saline implant is that it has a risk of spontaneous leakage.
This consists of a cohesive gel with a non-runny consistency which maintains its shape. This also gives a natural, firm and young look to the breast. Unlike the saline implants, this does not have a risk of spontaneous leakage.
Soon after the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. Your breasts will be wrapped with gauze to support your breasts and to minimize the swelling as much as possible. You will be discharged after a few hours.
It is important that you bed rest for one week following surgery. Exercise and normal activity can be resumed as directed by your surgeon.
It is of vital importance to clean your surgical site to keep it clean, and also take all the medications prescribed by your surgeon.
What are the possible complications and risks of breast augmentation?
Potential complications of breast augmentation surgery include:
• Risks of anesthesia
• Changes in sensation of nipple or breasts
• Capsular contracture – This is the formation of a tight scar around the implant
• Seroma formation – Accumulation of fluid around the implant
• Poor scarring of skin
These risks will be conveyed and explained to you before the surgery by your surgeon.