What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgery that restores or increases breast volume using saline implants, silicone gel or fat transfer.
Augmentation mammoplasty is another term for breast augmentation.
Breast augmentation will:
- Restore your breast’s projection and fullness.
- Enhance the natural balance of a woman’s figure.
- Boost your self-confidence and self-image.
Breast implants are also used to reconstruct breasts after injury or mastectomy. Surgical implantation methods effect the breast’s augmentation using either breast implants with saline solution or silicone gel. Surgical augmentation methods can involve the use of transplant from autologous skin flaps taken from the body. The fat graft transplant method augments the breast size, correcting its hemisphere contour defects using autologous adipocyte fat tissue harvested in the woman.
What correction breast augmentation procedures won't do
Breast augmentation cannot correct drooping breasts. But a breast lift can work together with breast augmentation to make the breast look fuller and lifted for the desired look.
Breast lifting and augmentation procedures are done together or undertaken in separate operations. You will be assisted by your plastic surgeon to make this decision.
Breast augmentation includes the reconstruction and enhancement of the shape, size and texture of a woman’s breasts, and there are three forms of implant devices available.
- Saline implants that are filled with sterilized saline based solution.
- Silicone implants that are filled with sticky silicone gel.
- Other composition implants, made of various fillers like polypropylene string and soy oil are no longer manufactured.
Even though silicone and saline implants perform the same function, there are some major differences. One major difference is the feel. Silicone implants have a more natural feel and are softer compared to saline implants, which may be more firm. Certain silicone implants are more cohesive, firmer and thicker than other forms of silicone.
Another difference is the placement and fill during the surgical procedure. Silicone implants are normally pre-filled, whereas saline implants may be filled once they are positioned inside the breast. This allows you to determine the exact implant size.
The final major difference between the two implants is what happens if the implant ruptures or leaks. Silicone implants that are more cohesive and thicker do not typically leak, and they do not change much should their outer cover break. The gel stays in place because it is thick. Saline implants on the other hand deflate if they rupture or leak. A saline implant leak will be externally visible. A silicone implant leak will need imaging to determine if it has ruptured.
Due to technology advancement, there is a wide option of implant shapes available. While traditional saline and silicone implants are round, implants such as gummy bear implants mostly have an anatomical or tear-drop shape. There are pros and cons of choosing the tear-drop shaped implant.
One outstanding benefit of these implants is the natural look because of the considerable slope shape as opposed to the full round breast. Breast implants anatomically maintain the natural breast contour better compared to round implants, while the natural tissue will unlikely overstretch.
Another drawback is if the anatomical implant turns or shifts towards any direction after being positioned, the breast will look unnatural or strange. Round implants are usually the same shape and size all over, and when it happens to turn or move after it has been placed, there will be no change whatsoever in the breasts' appearance.
Things that you should be aware of before receiving breast augmentation
- You will need to have another breast surgery after some time – 25 percent of women will require another procedure after ten years as implants won’t last forever. The implant might start to leak in the cause of time or a scar shell might develop around the area, changing the breast shape and causing the requirement for another implant. Pregnancy, weight reduction and preferential changes alongside other factors could result to another surgery after some years.
- The touch of the breast with implants will have a different feel than actual breasts – Even though silicone breasts have a similar feel to actual breasts, they don’t feel the same as real breast tissues as they are man-made. A woman who received breast implants with minimal breast tissue is likely to have noticeable implants compared to a woman who had more breast tissue before undergoing the procedure. Implants that are small and placed under the tissues are difficult to detect.
- You can consider different breast sizes before settling on one – You can try out sizes by stuffing the bra or by using a bead-filled neoprene bag to give you a clue to the size that is appropriate for you.
- It is not possible to move from small to large at once – If you are a small A cup size, it’s not possible to jump to a DD cup under one procedure. It is vital to have realistic goals. The body and skin needs adequate time for adjusting to quick changes. Your surgeon might suggest moving up just one or two cup sizes and gradually increase your implant size in the next years.
- You might experience breastfeeding difficulties in the near future – Women that undergo implant procedures often prefer foregoing breastfeeding. For women with areola incisions, there is a risk that the minor duct can be damaged. This could lead to disconnection of your areola complex from the main gland portion hindering your breastfeeding ability. However, women having incision in their breast crease or underarm incisions don’t have a problem.
- If your family has a history of obesity, breast cancer or smoking, you are not a good candidate to undergo breast augmentation – These factors pose major complications and risks during the surgery and after. Your surgeon needs to clear and evaluate all significant medical problems before proceeding with the procedure.
- It’s possible to take fat from other parts of your body and graft it to the breasts – This process is relatively new and is known as autologous fat transfer. However, very few people can undergo this procedure.
- All breast procedures may have small effects when it comes to screening of breast cancer in years to come – Breast health is vital. It’s necessary to have a thorough breast exam carried out and performed by the gynecologist. A mammogram is also important if you are of age. If your implant is located behind the tissue there is no issue. You should still discuss it with your surgeon.
- Avoid exercise, especially one that requires bouncing like cardio after surgery – Although light cardio can be done within one week, many women are required to minimize their exercise until after 12 weeks.
- Your posture will be affected by augmented breasts just like your natural breast weight would – The weight variance between equal amounts of silicone, breast tissue and saline is slim to nil. So an augmented C cup and an actual C cup have the same weight. If you go for an implant proportional to your body frame, your posture will be effected just a little. With large implants the effects will be felt.
- Women can choose from saline or silicone implants – The two implants have their advantages and disadvantages. Silicone implants feel and look more realistic, but when they rupture it’s difficult to detect because of it has gel-like consistency. Saline implants display ripples in various parts of the breast and since they contain a somehow water-like filling, the noticeable size decrease in time will alert you that a leak has occurred.