Breast Augmentation, known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the size and shape of a woman’s breast. Different type of women seek breast enlargement and each for a different reason. Women who have never had a full development of breast tissue and simply wish to become larger. women who have had normal breast development but who wish to become larger because their breasts have decreased in size following pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. Women who have suffered previous breast disease, particularly cancer, where breast tissue has been surgically removed. By inserting a implant made of cohesive silicone gel, surgeons are able to increase a woman’s breasts by one or more bra cup sizes. If you’re considering breast augmentation, this will give you a basic understanding of the procedure–when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. Breast implants may be placed in front of or behind the pectoralis muscle. The location will depend on the patient as well as the surgeon’s preference. Based on our experience, in patients who have very little breast tissue we prefer to place breast implants behind the muscle. This particular surgical procedure for breast augmentation is called “DUAL PLANE TECHNIQUE”. This is because the chest muscle will give extra padding in front of the implant preventing the implant being felt.
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION
Breast augmentation can improve your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Breast augmentation is relatively safe, but as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
- Pain and discomfort: Appropriate painkillers will be prescribed for pain and discomfort.
- Bleeding and haematoma: On rare occasions, severe bleeding may continue after the operation into the pocket created for the implant, resulting in haematoma. Most haematoma will occur within a few hours of the operation. Bleeding can occur as late as 10 days after the operation, but this situation is extremely rare.
- Infection: Very rarely an insignificant haematoma may become infected and result in the formation of an abscess or collection of pus. With a surgical procedure the abscess will be drained.
- Scars: Scars can become stretched or thickened, but in most cases a barely perceptible this line results. If scars become stretched or thickened they can be surgically revised.
- Capsular contracture: A protective layer of scar tissue is formed around the implant. This layer of scar tissue seals off the implant from the rest of the body. This protective layer is called “capsule”. However, for various reasons this capsule can either contract around the implant, increasing in thickness. This condition is not painful but gives discomfort. If capsular contractual gives constant pain and discomfort and breast becomes misshaped, further surgery will be necessary (removal of implant).
- Breast investigations: Mammography and ultrasound scanning in the presence of silicone implants do not present a problem. Inform the radiologist that you have breast implants. Breast feeding: This is still possible after implantation.
- Shape and symmetry: It is extremely rare for two breasts to be visibly symmetrical. Asymmetry may become more apparent after infection or capsular contraction.
- Sensory changes: Nipple and aureola can feel totally numb in the immediate post-operative period. This is temporary and it lasts up to a few days. It regains its sensitivity slowly, returning to normal within a few months.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on the condition of your breasts and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, your doctor may also recommend a breast lift. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each. Your surgeon should also explain the type of anesthesia to be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Your surgeon will give you instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days, if needed.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
The surgery may be done as an inpatient in a hospital, in which case you can plan on staying for a day or two.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Breast augmentation can be performed with a general anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. Some surgeons may use a local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy, so you’ll be relaxed but awake, and may feel some discomfort.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
You should be able to return to work within a few days, depending on the level of activity required for your job. Follow your surgeon’s advice on when to begin exercises and normal activities. Your breasts will probably be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so you should avoid much physical contact. After that, breast contact is fine once your breasts are no longer sore, usually three to four weeks after surgery. Your scars will be firm and pink for at least six weeks. After several months, your scars will begin to fade, although they will never disappear completely. Routine mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are in the appropriate age group, although the mammography technician should use a special technique to assure that you get a reliable reading, as discussed earlier.
YOUR NEW LOOK
For many women, the result of breast augmentation can be satisfying, as they learn to appreciate their fuller appearance. Your decision to have breast augmentation is a highly personal one that not everyone will understand. The important thing is how you feel about it. If you’ve met your goals, then your surgery is a success.