What is Breast Augmentation Surgery?
In this article, we will discuss breast augmentation surgery in detail. From the definition and types of prostheses, their advantages and disadvantages to pre- and post-surgery care. Stay with us.| Breast Augmentation | Grand Genesis Plastic Surgery | Toronto
Breast augmentation surgery is a safe, minimally–invasive cosmetic procedure. It will take from one to two hours under general anesthesia. However, before preparing for this surgery, the person should attend a consultation session with his/her surgeon. The surgeon could specify items such as different breast augmentation methods, the size, and type of prosthesis based on the shape of the body.
Doctors usually choose the prosthesis type according to the breast’s width, the evaluation of the soft tissue covering of the breast, and the breast tissue.
In Breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon makes incisions in three different places to insert the prosthesis: the armpit, the halo around the breast (the tissue around the nipple), the navel, or the crease under the breast. He/she puts the prosthesis into the body after making an incision in the top or bottom of the chest wall muscle. The body holds the prosthesis in place and prevents it from moving under the skin. The surgeon closes the incision and places the suture in position.
Types of breast prostheses:
Types of breast prostheses in terms of the size of protrusion
There are three types of breast prostheses based on the size of the bulge:
- Low profile or prosthesis with flat protrusion;
- High profile or prosthesis with upper protrusion;
- Ultra high profile or breast augmentation with very high protrusion.
Types of breast prostheses in terms of appearance
Breast prostheses are divided into two general types.
1. Round breast augmentation
“Round” breast prostheses are suitable for people who want their breasts to look more prominent. On the other hand, those who want a soft and well-shaped breast augmentation usually choose these round prostheses.
The advantages of a round prosthesis are:
- Correction or revision surgery (in cases of prosthesis change, capsule contraction, prosthesis rupture, and prosthesis rotation);
- Repeated rotation of the prosthesis.
2. Tear breast augmentation (anatomical or teardrop)
The “teardrop” breast augmentation is useful for people who want their breast augmentation to look more natural. Besides, people with very little or no breast tissue, flat, shapeless breasts, and women with very little soft tissue coverage, asymmetry in the breasts, or a defective appearance of the breasts are more natural, is best to use a teardrop breast augmentation.
Types of breast prostheses in terms of material and ingredients
Breast prostheses are made of three types that are not much different in quality. Still, in terms of the operation cost, the feeling of comfort, and the place of the gap are different. According to the patient’s condition, the doctor chooses one of them: “Silicone” breast augmentation like gel, “Saltwater” breast augmentation, and fixed breast augmentation or “Gummy Bear,” which are the fifth generation of breast prostheses.
1. Saline breast augmentation
Saline breast prostheses are round sterile saltwater. They’re typically inserted empty, then filled once they’ve been surgically placed. Saline breast prostheses have silicone and impermeable walls. They are stiffer than silicone prostheses. They flatten out if they are torn, and the body absorbs the fluid inside them through a natural process because this fluid is naturally present in the body, so it does not cause health problems.
Benefits of Saline breast augmentation:
- Need to cut less;
- Lower cost;
- Less need for examination and monitoring.
Disadvantages of saline breast augmentation:
- More abnormal touch;
- Increased risk of more wrinkles;
- The possibility of spontaneous emptying;
- More likely to affect breast tissue.
Another point is that the use of saline prostheses is not recommended for people under 18 years old.
2. Silicone breast augmentation
Silicone breast prostheses are made of different silicone compounds and look like sticky gels. Due to the more excellent safety of these prostheses, it seems that silicone prostheses are the first choice for women for breast prostheses. It is because they are more similar to breast tissue. Besides, if the prosthesis is damaged, it does not disappear, and the gels inside the prosthesis enter the space around or other layers of the prosthesis.
If you have used a silicone breast augmentation, regular checkups by your doctor are essential. The minimum age for using silicone breast prostheses is 22 years.
Benefits of silicone breast prostheses:
- Less likely to wrinkle;
- Reduce the risk of spontaneous emptying;
- Touch more naturally.
Disadvantages of silicone breast prostheses:
- Higher cost;
- Need for further examination and monitoring;
- Make more cuts on the skin;
- Risk of asymptomatic rupture.
Those who have had silicone prosthesis surgery must have an MRI three years after the surgery. MRI should be performed every two years to check for silent rupture of silicone prostheses.
3. Fixed breast prostheses or Gummy Bear
If the Gummy Bear breast prostheses are torn, they will not change in appearance; hence, they are called fixed prostheses. Instead of being round, these prostheses are shaped in the body and have more protrusions in the lower part. The density of silicone in this type of prosthesis is high, and as a result, they are stiffer and, therefore, less damaged. The most significant disadvantage of fixed prostheses is that they have to make more incisions in the skin than other prostheses.
External breast augmentation
If you do not intend to have surgery and use internal breast prostheses, another solution is to use external breast prostheses that do not require surgery. However, in some cases, external breast prostheses cause skin sensitization, itching, sweating, and a feeling of warmth. There is a possibility that these breast prostheses may fall off. However, using an external breast augmentation is the fastest way to enlarge and fill the breast’s outer space.
Breast augmentation color
One of the concerns of people who intend to have Breast augmentation surgery is that the color of artificial breast prostheses is as close as possible to their skin’s natural glow. Although prosthetics manufacturers make every effort to create prostheses close to the skin color and even offer custom prostheses at the customer’s request, there is usually a slight difference in color between the body’s natural skin and the breast after the surgery. How many incisions are there for breast augmentation surgery?
1. Incision in the crease under the breast;
2. Cut around the halo;
3. Axillary incision;
4. The incision around the umbilicus is done in exceptional cases.
Breast lift with the prosthesis
Prosthetic breast lift or (mastopexy prosthesis) is one of the methods of lifting the breast with the prosthesis. In this method, breast augmentation is used to correct sagging and enlarge the breasts.
In the mastopexy prosthesis method, the necessary incisions are made only in the areola and below the breast area. In this method, small breasts that need to increase in volume and asymmetrical breasts in terms of size and appearance can be corrected. This method is a combination of breast lift and breast augmentation in which an internal lift is used to lift the breasts, and unlike the breast lift operation, there is no need for vertical incisions. Note that prosthesis and breast lift with this method is not possible for all people, and it is better to do it due to the opinion of a specialist and skilled doctor.
How long does a breast augmentation last?
Despite the durability of breast prostheses, these prostheses are not permanent and wear out over time. Usually, the outer shell of the breast augmentation becomes old and thin over time and eventually disappears. However, it is clinically difficult to diagnose this erosion.
Women athletes, especially aerobic trainers, marathon runners, riders, etc. are more likely to wear and tear their breast prostheses than those who are less active. For this reason, if you have had breast augmentation surgery, it is necessary to be examined by a specialist 10 to 15 years after the operation.
Who can have a breast augmentation?
- People who have lost all or part of their breasts due to severe illnesses such as cancer.
- Those who are born with asymmetrically shaped breasts.
- Women who have only one breast due to a congenital disability.
- Women with small breasts because of hormonal, genetic, excessive weight loss, or malnutrition.
- Women whose breast tissue has shrunk due to aging, pregnancy, and breastfeeding have sagging breasts due to severe weight loss.
Cost of Breast augmentation surgery
Breast augmentation surgery is one of the cosmetic surgeries. Therefore it is not covered by health insurance. On the other hand, the cost of breast augmentation surgery varies depending on factors such as the surgeon’s skill, reputation and the type of prosthesis used.
Complications of breast augmentation
Breast augmentation surgery is a safe, minimally–invasive procedure performed by a skilled surgeon. However, breast augmentation surgery, like all surgeries, has its potential complications. You can still minimize the possibility of complications if you follow the pre-surgery preparation, principled post-surgery care. Therefore, it is better to know enough about the possible complications after breast augmentation surgery.
Some possible complications include:
- The unacceptable appearance of the surgical incision site;
- Bleeding and accumulation of blood (hematoma);
- Wound detachment;
- Asymmetry of the breasts;
- Improper placement of the prosthesis in place;
- Delay in the healing of the surgical incision;
- Changes in the sensation of the breast and nipple that may be temporary or permanent;
- Create a thick capsule around the prosthesis;
- Leakage or rupture of the prosthesis wall;
- Wrinkling of the skin on the prosthesis;
- Complications of general anesthesia;
- Accumulation of fluid around the prosthesis;
- Continuous pain;
- Displacement of prostheses in different directions;
- dissatisfaction with the beauty and result of the action;
- Blood clots in the arteries that may cause heart and lung problems;
- Possibility of need for reoperation.
Some patients lose their sensation entirely after the breast augmentation surgery; others experience only a slight decrease in breast sensation, and in some cases, even an increase in feeling. However, all of these symptoms improve over time, and full recovery usually takes 18 months.
Breast augmentation and breastfeeding
Even though you have had a breast augmentation, the problem is that the healthy, old breast tissue is still in place, so the ducts are still in place. Thus, a breast augmentation, whether placed under the breast muscle or in the breast tissue, does not affect breastfeeding in women.
However, if the surgeon makes an incision around the areola, several milk ducts may be cut off, affecting the amount of milk produced and how breastfeeding is done. For this reason, plastic surgeons often prefer to make the incision needed to place the prosthesis in the breast tissue under the breast. So in addition to less damage to breast tissue, there is no disruption to breastfeeding.However, it is better to have a breast augmentation after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The link between breast augmentation and cancer
Studies have not yet found a link between prosthesis implantation and the development of breast cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other systemic diseases. There is currently no conclusive evidence that cancer is diagnosed in women with prosthetics at a more advanced stage. On the other hand, breast prostheses’ biggest concern is the possibility of delaying the diagnosis of breast cancer with silicone and saline breast prostheses because these materials do not pass radiation and therefore prevent the primary breast tissue from being seen during mammography.
However, with the advancement of mammography techniques in recent years, radiologists have been able to see parts of the primary breast tissue hidden beneath the breast augmentation and diagnose cancerous tissue. However, doctors believe that if you have a family history of breast cancer, it is best to avoid breast augmentation for a lower risk.
Can we get a tan after a breast augmentation?
The problem is that sunbathing or using a solarium will not damage the prosthesis. You should avoid direct sunlight or solarium radiation to the surgical incision for a year as it will make the scar and incision darker. On the other hand, it is good to know that because breast augmentation loses its heat later than other parts of the body, it may feel that the prosthesis has softened after using the solarium. Therefore, it is recommended not to use the solarium and sunbathe for a few months after the operation.
What steps to do before having a breast augmentation?
If you have decided to have a breast augmentation and are taking certain medications, be sure to inform your doctor before performing the breast augmentation operation so that there is no disruption in the surgical process and afterward. Sometimes the patient must stop taking certain medications or change the prescription. Also, aspirin, aspirin products, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements should be discontinued ten days before breast augmentation surgery. It is necessary to perform specific tests and mammograms directed by your doctor before having a breast augmentation. If you are a smoker, quit smoking two weeks before the operation.
Postoperative care of breast augmentation (first two weeks)
- Do not sleep on your stomach or side to rest or sleep. Lying on your back causes the prosthesis (implant) to be in the best position during the recovery period. Do not sleep on your stomach at all. You can sleep on your side for two weeks after the operation.
- Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and painkillers from reducing pain. To avoid possible infection, be sure to take antibiotics regularly and use painkillers if you feel pain.
- In breast augmentation surgery, incisions are made with sutures or surgical adhesive. The stitches are absorbent and are absorbed after 10 to 14 days. After that, a daily massage of the wound or a silicone sheet can be used to remove the stitches. If the sutures are not absorbable, the doctor will remove them one week after the operation.
- Do not exercise too much in the first week after breast augmentation surgery. Activities such as combing hair or removing light objects are unobstructed. Note that inactivity makes your body dry and stiff.
- Your surgeon will usually prescribe a “medical bra” after the operation. The medical bra acts as a dressing to keep the breasts and prostheses in the best condition. Wear your medical bra full time for 6 to 12 weeks, even while sleeping.
- After a breast augmentation, your breasts may tighten, or you may develop bruising on your skin, which is normal and part of the healing process.
Necessary care for six to twelve weeks after breast augmentation surgery
- Putting the prosthesis in place is a gradual process and is usually done 6 to 12 weeks after the operation.
- Avoid smoking for up to three weeks after surgery.
- If you drive, you are allowed to drive after stopping painkillers. Remember to lower the steering wheel below the chest muscles so as not to put pressure on the chest muscles.
- Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy objects, chest exercises and upper body exercises. After two weeks, you can walk, run, or do lower body exercises.
- Chest muscle cramps (pectoralis) or chest pain are normal after several weeks of surgery and indicate that the muscle’s nerves are healing.
- Gently massage your breasts for two weeks after surgery.
Performing circular motions with gentle pressure using lotion can be useful in reducing swelling. Wound lotions can also be effective in removing and diminishing scars.
See your doctor if you notice signs of infection such as fever or redness at the incision site.
How to see a doctor after Breast augmentation surgery?
After Breast augmentation surgery, your doctor will schedule an appointment for you at regular intervals. However, if you encounter the following in the meantime, be sure to see your doctor.
- Increased swelling and bruising at the surgical site;
- Increased redness at the surgical incision site;
- A foul-smelling discharge from the wound or bleeding from the injury that does not stop with the pressure of the dressing.
- Having a feeling of lethargy and extreme weakness;
- Having severe pain that does not go away with prescribed painkillers;
- Allergy to drugs or intolerance to medicines;
- Incidence of fever and oral temperature above 38 degrees;
- Feeling short of breath, chest pain, or abnormal heartbeat.