What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants or fat, referred to as fat transfer breast augmentation, to increase the size of your breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
- Improve the balance of your figure
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
Who is it for?
You may be a candidate for breast augmentation surgery 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
- You are unhappy with the upper part of your breast appearing “empty”
- Your breasts are asymmetrical
- One or both breasts failed to develop normally or have an elongated shape
Prior to breast augmentation/reduction surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get a blood test.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs as they can increase bleeding.
What to expect during surgery
In breast augmentation using implants, your surgeon will make an incision, lift the breast tissue, creates a pocket in the chest/breast area and place an implant in the pocket.
The implant will be placed in a pocket either:
- Underneath the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.
- Underneath the breast tissue and on top of the pectoral muscle.
Placement of the implant underneath the pectoral muscle may interfere less with mammograms and breast-feeding. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.
After your procedure is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.
A bulky gauze dressing (bandage) will be wrapped around your breasts and chest or you might wear a surgical bra. Drainage tubes may be attached to your breasts.
Before leaving for home, you (or someone looking after you) should feel capable of emptying and resetting the drains.
It is important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about wearing compression garments, care of your drains, taking an antibiotic if prescribed and the level and type of activity that is safe.
Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
Risks of Breast Augmentation with Implants
It is important for women with breast implants to keep in mind that while breast implants are intended to last your lifetime, replacement may become necessary. After breast implant surgery, you should have periodic examination by your plastic surgeon to monitor your implants.
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Capsular contracture
- Implant rupture
- Mammography shadows affecting breast cancer detection.