Overview of Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)
Breast Augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty or breast implants is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the size and shape of your breasts. This surgery can be performed for a number of reasons.
These include personal reasons for women who feel that their breast size is too small, for correction of a reduction in breast size following pregnancy or weight loss, to balance a difference in breast size or as a reconstructive procedure following breast removal.
Depending on the size and type of Implant used, your bra cup size can be increased by as little or as much as you want. The ideal type, shape and size of your Implant is something that we will discuss in full with you should you wish to proceed. Our Cosmetic Consultants and your Surgeon will be able to assist you fully in this area.
Who is the Best Candidate for Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)?
The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who are looking for improvement, not perfection in the way that they look.
It is important to be realistic in your expectations and that you realise that although cosmetic surgery may enhance your appearance and improve your self esteem, you should be emotionally stable and have a full understanding of the procedure and anticipated results prior to proceeding. A positive outlook often results in a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.
For many women, Breast Augmentation is an extremely rewarding procedure, giving shape and fullness to an otherwise deficient area. If you are realistic in your expectations you will be delighted with your new shape.
What to Expect
At the initial consultation, your Surgeon will assess your current breast size, shape and symmetry. You will be checked for breast masses and questioned as to the presence of a family or personal history of breast cancer. If you have a breast size in mind, it is often useful to bring photographs or pictures from magazines with you to your consultation, so that your Surgeon and you have an understanding into your expectations with regard to breast size and shape.
Be frank in your discussions with your Doctor and remember to mention any medications that you are taking and whether or not you are a smoker. Following the consultation with your Surgeon, you can consult further with our Cosmetic Consultants who are very experienced in the cosmetic field and discuss any issues with them.
Breast Augmentation is performed under a General Anaesthetic of approximately one hour in duration. This surgery can be performed as Day Surgery. The technique depends on the individual person and the type of implant that you need. Placement of the implant depends on personal choice as well as surgical preference. Your Surgeon will assess your needs at the time of your consultation so that you are prepared for the approach to surgery.
This also applies to the placement of the incision line. Incisions can be made underneath the nipple, immediately under the breast in the inframammary fold, or underneath the armpit or axilla. The incision is typically two to three centimeters long when using saline implants and four to five centimeters long when using a silicone implant. This is because the silicone implant comes pre-filled, whereas the saline implant can be inflated when inside the chest wall.
At the time of surgery, an incision is made in the appropriate area and a ‘pocket’ is made underneath the muscle or skin where the implant can be fitted. The Implant is then inserted and centred beneath your nipple. For saline implantation, the Implant is filled with saline solution through a port until the desired size, shape and symmetry is achieved. The incision is then sutured with dissolving sutures underneath the skin. A drain is inserted into the area to drain away any fluid that may collect. These drains are usually removed 24 – 48 hours after your surgery. Your chest will be bandaged tightly and this bandage will be left in place for 24 hours.
All surgery carries some risk and uncertainty. It is impossible to predict every outcome because everyone is different. Breast Augmentation is normally a safe procedure providing the clients have been carefully selected, the surgeon is adequately trained in the procedure as well as having training in General Surgery. Complications in the short term include infection, which is treated with dressings and antibiotics and haematoma, or a collection of fluid, which may need to be drained. Some deficit in sensation of the breast and nipple may persist for up to six months or longer.
If you have questions about BIA-ALCL please see the following article.
After several days of rest, you should be up and about, however you should take it easy for about two to three weeks. Avoid lifting with the arms in the first few weeks and heavy lifting for approximately six weeks. Also avoid lifting your arms above your head for a week or so after your Surgery, but do move your arms about freely as this helps keep the muscles mobile and indirectly helps prevent contracture.
Return to exercise is gradual. There is no restriction on walking and it is advisable to commence this several days postoperatively to assist in a speedy recovery. Strenuous exercise or contact sports should be avoided for about six weeks. In all impact sports, wear a supportive sports bra, especially in the first few months.
For many women, Breast Augmentation is an extremely rewarding procedure, giving shape and fullness to an otherwise deficient area. If you are realistic in your expectations you will be delighted with your new shape. Remember that your decision to have breast augmentation is a 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.