Enlargement (Augmentation Mammaplasty)
Breast augmentation, technically known as augmentation mammaplasty, is a surgical
procedure that utilizes synthetic implants to enhance the size and shape of a
woman's breast creating a desired appearance.
who desire larger or fuller breasts elect to have this surgical
procedure. Breasts that never developed to a desirable size appear
disproportionate to the rest of the body, creating a figure imbalance.
Women who feel as if their breasts are unusual or tubular; unequally
developed; or have lost volume and shape after pregnancy would
benefit from this type of procedure.
is breast augmentation performed?
three different ways to place the incision are either; just below
the dark skin of the areola, below the breast where it meets
the chest wall (inframammary) or hidden in the armpit (auxiliary).
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will thoroughly
discuss the placement of your incision, the risks and benefits,
and your personal goals.
salt water (saline) filled implant is placed either under or
above the chest (pectoral) muscle, depending on your breast tissue,
body formation, and amount of sagging (ptosis) of the breast.
If the implant is placed under the pectoral muscle, simple movement
of the arms automatically moves the implant around in its pocket.
In some patients, these muscles are extremely active and can
distort the implant so it is important to discuss with your surgeon
the right implant placement for you. Your surgeon's goal is to
achieve the most natural appearance possible of the breasts.
The incision is closed with stitches beneath the skin (subcuticular
sutures). The incisions may also be taped for greater support
and a gauze bandage applied to help with healing.
breast augmentations are performed in conjunction with other
procedures such as liposuction.
long does breast augmentation take?
implants usually take about one to three hours to complete. The
length of the procedure varies according to the technique used,
the placement of the implants, the patients' anatomy.
type of anesthesia is used?
augmentations are usually performed using local anesthesia along
with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. General
anesthesia may also be used, causing you to be asleep during
the whole procedure.
is the procedure performed?
breast augmentations are performed on an outpatient basis, in
the surgeon's office-based surgical suite, or outpatient surgery
can I return home and resume normal activities?
be able to return home within a few hours of the surgery. Most
women return to their usual activities in one week. However,
it is necessary that you have someone take you home after the
procedure and stay with you for at least 24 hours. You must not
lift anything for the first two weeks and do no heavy lifting
for the first four weeks.
do I prepare for breast augmentation?
your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes
that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance
of your breasts is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon
can determine the appropriate alternatives. You should have pictures
of your desired breast size available for your surgeon. He/she
will be able to determine which size implants will achieve your
preferred size. He/she will also explain the different options
available to you, including incision type, location of the implant,
type of implant, and whether a breast lift might also be beneficial.
You should also make arrangements ahead of time for someone to
drive you to and from your procedure and to assist you with your
daily activities during your recovery period.
to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete
health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications
and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing
for this procedure will be given to you after the health history
and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health
status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your
diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or
avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant
with your surgeon's instructions.
precautions are necessary during recovery?
will be placed in a surgical bra immediately after your procedure.
You will wear this continuously for approximately two days. You
will receive specific instructions to follow during your recovery
including rest and sleeping positions, raising your arms, bathing
and showering techniques, breast manipulation and deep breathing
surgeon will want to examine you at regular intervals during
the first 90 days following your breast enlargement. Sometime
after the third day, your surgeon will remove any bandages and
check your incision area. You will need your new bra to support
your breasts from this time forward. Your breasts may be swollen
and bruised for approximately one to two weeks.
With most patients, the scars from the incisions will be pink for about six
months and gradually fade thereafter. The scars are usually unnoticeable. It
is important to know that all scars are permanent and their height, width and
final color are never completely predictable.
with any surgical procedure, small nerves to the skin are interrupted
during surgery. Portions of the nipple area may feel numb or
have less than full feeling. Sensitivity usually returns over
several weeks, but some diminished feeling may last indefinitely.
have to avoid sun exposure or use of a tanning bed until the
numbness of the breasts has subsided. Thereafter be sure to protect
the incision site with a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or more
for at least six months.
are the possible complications after breast augmentation?
though the implant is well tolerated, your body's natural reaction
to a foreign material is to surround it with a thin membrane
called a "capsule" in order to stay in the desired
pocket. The formation of this capsule is not a problem and occurs
in every patient. In some cases, for reasons that are as yet
not completely understood, this capsule can shrink around one
or both implants, compressing the implant and making it round
and firm. This is called capsular contracture and can occur in
varying degrees. Although some women may consider some firmness
desirable, the capsule can cause the breast to become unnaturally
firm, misshapen or uncomfortable.
contracture may occur from a few weeks to several years after
the initial procedure. There is no way to predict your body's
reaction and if you will develop capsular contracture. Placing
the implant under the muscle, in some cases, can reduce the incidence
of this condition. If a patient does develop capsular contracture,
surgical intervention may be required.
opposite of capsular contracture can also occur when breast implants
are in a satisfactory position but several months later there
is spontaneous expansion of the capsule. This is described medically
as an inferior and lateral migration of the implants. If this
happens, the patient will require closure of the breast pocket
to reposition the implant either through the original incision
or through a small inframammary incision.
there is no evidence that the saline breast implant causes breast
cancer, it is recommended that the patient have a preoperative
mammogram as a baseline. Thereafter, when having a mammogram
be sure to go to a radiology center where the radiologist is
experienced in the (Eklund) special technique required for an
accurate x-ray of a patient with breast implants.
It is emphasized that regular breast examination and mammograms are the best
way to detect early cancers. It is always important to be informed about the
possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns
you may have with your surgeon.
results can I expect after breast augmentation?
breasts will appear firmer and fuller immediately following your
procedure. As with any surgical procedure, some swelling or bruising
can be expected. Your breasts may not attain their final feel
or shape for three to four months. In generally most woman are
very pleased with their results after this procedure.