What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation sometimes referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, or “boob job” by patients, is a surgical procedure to increase the size of the breasts. The results could be achieved by using breast implants or fat transfer. Breast implants could be saline or silicone and can be placed either under or over the chest muscle.
This procedure can also be done following pregnancy or weight loss to restore size, shape, and firmness or to correct breast size asymmetry.
Breast augmentation can be combined with a breast lift procedure if necessary to achieve better results.
Who is a good candidate?
You are a good candidate for Breast augmentation procedure if:
• Your breasts are fully developed
• YOU believe your breasts are noticeably asymmetrical or too small for your body or have lost some of their fullness due to weight loss or pregnancy
• You are otherwise healthy and do not have a serious illness or medical condition that may impair the healing
• You are a Non-smoker or can abstain from smoking for at least three weeks before and after the surgery
• You have a positive outlook, with a clear and realistic vision of what you want the procedure do for you
Your surgeon will place the incisions in one of four locations: around the areola, under the fold of the breast, inside the armpit or inside the belly button to minimize visible scarring. Each of these sites is associated with pros and cons which you should discuss with your surgeon.
A pocket is then made under the muscle or directly under the breast tissue depending on your desired outcome, type of the breast implant, and your anatomy. The implant is placed in the pocket and the incisions are sutured in layers.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is a new method that involves extracting fat from a donor site (abdomen, thigh, etc) with liposuction techniques. This fat is then filtered and processed to be re-injected into the breast area using special syringe and cannula. The incisions with this technique are smaller and the need for implant replacement is eliminated.
This procedure takes approximately two hours to complete. It is usually done under general anesthesia. However, a combination of intravenous sedation and local anesthesia can be used if it is more suitable for you and your unique case.
After the surgery drainage tubes may be placed on your incisions. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze bandage and you will be asked to wear a compress garment bra for support. The wound dressing can be removed by the end of the first week after the surgery. You will experience some pain especially if the implant is placed under the muscle. However, the pain is manageable by prescription painkillers.
Within 3-7 days after your surgery, you will be able to take shower and return to work. You should limit movement as it is possible to bleed into the pockets around the breast implants. Never the less you need to walk every few hours to prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
Breast augmentation massage can be beneficial after the first week. It may prevent the formation of capsular contracture and help the implant to fall into place.
Over time the incision lines will fade. The final appearance of the scars, however, is dependent on many factors including your age, genetics, exposure to nicotine, etc.
The breast implants do not last a lifetime and they may change position or shape. In the long term, you will need to replace or adjust them.
Like any other surgical procedure, though infrequent, complications may occur and they include Fluid retention or excessive loss of blood and fluids, infection, reaction to anesthesia medications, pigmentation changes (hypo/hyper), skin numbness – this is to be expected and is usually only temporary.
Some potential complications specific to breast augmentation include:
Implant leakage or rupture. One or both of the implants may leak in the course of time. In the case of a saline implant, saltwater will be safely absorbed by the body but the silicone filling of the silicone implants will remain in place. Nevertheless, the shell of the implant must be removed from the body and the implants need to be replaced.
The formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture). The natural reaction of the body to a foreign object is to build fiber tissue around it. On rare occasions, this fiber becomes so thick that is stiffens the breast causing pain and discomfort. It may even affect the shape of the breast. Surgery will be needed to correct this condition. Placing the implant under the muscle reduces the risk of developing capsular contracture.
Breast implants make detection of breast cancer through mammography difficult. Other methods of cancer screening may be employed such as MRI and ultrasound.