Breast augmentation plastic surgery is one of the most common procedures performed annually plastic surgeons. Women may choose to under go breast enlargement surgery for various reasons. These personal reasons may center around breasts that are perceived to be under developed, or because of differences in the sizes of the breasts or from changes after pregnancy or breast feeding. Some women may be happy with their breasts but just want them made fuller. Often after weight loss, aging or childbirth a woman's breast volume and shape may change. This too can lead to a woman to seek a breast augmentation. Breast implant surgery performed by cosmetic plastic surgeons is the most popular way to improve breast shape and size. Breast enhancement using breast implants can give a woman more proportional shape and may improve self esteem.
One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:
- you are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- clothes that fit well around your hips are often too large at the bustline
- you feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top
- your breasts have become smaller and lost their firmness after having children
- weight loss has changed the size and shape of your breasts
- one of your breasts is noticeably smaller than the other
During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast size and anything else related to the appearance of your breasts that you feel is important. This will helpto understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.
There is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer. The presence of breast implants, however, makes it more technically difficult to take and read mammograms. This may be a special consideration for women who perhaps are at higher risk for breast cancer because of their family history or other reasons. Placement of the implant underneath the pectoral muscle may interfere less with mammographic examination, but other factors may also need to be considered with regard to implant placement. Your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.
You should be walking under your own strength immediately after your breast augmentation surgery. It is very important that you walk a few minutes every few hours to reduce the risk of blood clot formation in your legs.
The first 2-5 days following your breast augmentation surgery you may feel stiff and sore in the chest region. Any dressings will be removed within several days, and you may be instructed to wear a support bra. Your breasts may feel tight and sensitive to the touch, and your skin may feel warm or itchy. You may experience difficulty raising your arms. You should not lift, push or pull anything, or engage in any strenuous activity or twisting of the upper body. Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially, but this will disappear quickly. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month.
Breast implant options include:
- Saline breast implants: Filled with sterile salt water. Saline implants may be pre-filled to a predetermined size. Saline may also befilled at the time of surgery to allow for minor modifications in implant size.
- Silicone filled breast implants: Filled with soft, elastic gel. All silicone breast implants are pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement.
Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include reactions to anesthesia, blood accumulation that may need to be drained surgically and infection. Although rare, an infection that does not subside with appropriate treatment may require temporary removal of the implant. Changes in nipple or breast sensation may result from breast augmentation surgery, although they usually are temporary.
When a breast implant is inserted, a scar capsule forms around it as part of the natural healing process. The capsule may sometimes tighten and compress the implant, causing the breast to feel firmer than normal. Capsular contracture can occur to varying degrees. If it is severe, it can cause discomfort or changes in the breast's appearance. In such cases, more surgery may be needed to modify or remove the scar tissue, or perhaps remove or replace the implant.
Breast implants are not lifetime devices and cannot be expected to last forever. If a saline-filled implant breaks, its contents are harmlessly absorbed by the body within hours. A definite change in the size of the breast is clearly noticed. Rupture can occur as a result of trauma to the chest, but more commonly it occurs spontaneously with no apparent cause. Surgery will be required to replace the implant, if desired.