What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that increases the size of a woman’s breasts. A saline filled implant with a silicone shell is placed under the breast, which increases the breast size. In the past, silicone gel-filled implants were used for breast augmentation, but the FDA removed this type of implant in 1992 to perform further studies on the safety. With continual research being performed to further improve breast augmentation the introduction of different types of implant material has the possibility of becoming available in the future.

Who Is The Best Candidate For A Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a form of cosmetic surgery for women who wish to increase the size of their breasts. In many cases the woman wishing to undergo a breast augmentation procedure feels her current breast size is too small or disproportionate to her particular body size. Breast augmentation is considered an aesthetic surgical procedure that most often occurs with women who have not been satisfied with her final breast development size reached after puberty, and in some cases women’s breasts have developed unevenly and she would like to achieve proper symmetry. Women who have lost a significant amount of weight or have had pregnancies may find their breast size has shrunken and they wish to restore their breast size through breast augmentation. In some circumstances the plastic surgeon will suggest a breast augmentation accompanied by a breast lift for women’s breasts that have become saggy.

How Is A Breast Augmentation Surgery Performed?

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure that is performed under a general anesthesia. The introduction of saline filled implants allowed for a smaller incision, often less than just one inch underneath the breast and above the crease where it is well hidden. Some breast augmentation incisions are made by the lower edge of the areola, and incisions made within the armpit leaves no visible scars. After the incisions are made the breast augmentation surgeon is able to create a pocket, either on top of the pectoral muscle or beneath them, and insert the implant.

How Can I Find A Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgeon?

Finding a qualified, board certified surgeon for your breast augmentation is extremely important and highly recommended to ensure the overall safety and satisfaction of the breast augmentation surgery. Every surgical procedure, including cosmetic surgery, carries risks and uncertainties that a board certified plastic surgeon has proven knowledge and experienced in managing with the highest level of care.

What Is The Recovery From Plastic Surgery Like?

Each patient will tolerate pain post-operatively in a different way, and we consider this. While some patients may describe the pain as an ache, others experience greater discomfort. Appropriate pain medications are prescribed for the post-operative patients, and these help minimize discomfort. Operations that require elevation or tightening of the muscles-such as a breast augmentation have discomfort equal to that of a C-section.

How Long Is The Recuperative Period And When Can I Return To Work?

The length of time it takes to recuperate after plastic surgery varies depending on the procedure performed and the person operated on. Most patients will require assistance for the first two days. Then most patients are able to care for themselves, but may still need assistance if they have small children to care for. The specific lengths of disability are outlined below by procedure. Breast augmentation patients can usually get around independently by the second day. May return to work at 5-7 days if not required to lift more than 15 pounds. These are approximations, and do not include return to exercise.

When Can I Resume Regular Exercise?

The time a patient resumes regular exercises varies based on the operation performed. All patients are encouraged to start a slow walking routine on the second postoperative day. Regular aerobic and more vigorous activities are not allowed during the first 2 weeks in order to decrease the risks of bleeding, swelling, and bruising. Weight lifting and contact sports are allowed at 1 month in most cases.

How will Breast Augmentation affect my ability to breast feed?

The ability to successfully breast feed varies for all women with or without breast implants. However, you may be at higher risk of unsuccessful breast feeding following breast implantation. In particular, a perioreolar incision site may significantly reduce the ability to successfully breast feed.

What age do you have to be to have a Breast Augmentation?

A woman must be at least 18 years of age to have a Breast Augmentation.

What is the cost of a Breast Augmentation?

There are several factors that determine the cost of a Breast Augmentation.
1. Where will your surgery be performed, in the plastic surgeon’s office operating suite or in an outpatient surgery center?
2. What are the fees of your plastic surgeon and the anesthesiologist?
3. What style, type, and manufacture of implants will be used?

What are the risks of having a Breast Augmentation?

Any surgical procedure may involve the risk of complications such as the effects of anesthesia, infection, bleeding, swelling, and pain.

The FDA passed a regulation on silicone breast implants. Silicone gel implants are currently available to certain patient groups who meet the following guidelines:
  a. Replacement or revision of saline implants
  b. Breast augmentation to the opposite breast for symmetry
  c. Augmentation with a breast lift (mastopexy)
  d. Severe asymmetries of the breast
  e. Tuberous breast deformity
  f. Breast cancer reconstruction
  g. Congenital breast reconstruction

The patients must be at least 18 years old, and can be excluded in the presence of infection, nursing mothers, autoimmune diseases, or other diseases that impair wound healing.
The implants are most likely safe based upon prior research, but the final study results will not be available for some time. This must be discussed with your plastic surgeon.

What are high profile implants?

Newer implants are now on the market that gives greater projection per base diameter. This is greatly advantageous in those patients who have a narrow chest wall, and who want to have projection and size of their breast.

What is the most common incision for breast implants, and what are the options?

The most commonly used incision is inframammary (crease incision). Many plastic surgeons use this incision because it arguably gives good control in placement of the implants and the incision is usually not visible.
The periareolar (around the areola), is an incision in which usually heals well. Some plastic surgeons feel that there may be more of a chance in alteration of sensation utilizing this incision. In addition, some feel that there may be a higher rate of implant exposure to the body’s own bacteria from the patients milk ducts.
The transaxillary incision is a procedure in which an incision is made in the armpit. Some plastic surgeons feel that this incision gives less implant placement control. Discuss this with your own plastic surgeon.
The Transumbilical procedure uses an incision inside the umbilicus (belly button). Many plastic surgeons feel that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Speak with your plastic surgeon about this.
The correct incision depends on each patient’s own anatomy, and your plastic surgeon’s feelings about each procedure. Listen to the guidance from your individual plastic surgeon.

How Long Does The Procedure Take?

It usually takes approximately 1-2hours for the routine breast augmentation procedure.

Do I Need To Take Antibiotics Before And After Surgery?

Antibiotics should probably be used when a patient undergoes any procedure in which “bacteria” may be released into the blood stream.

What is Arnica and Should I Take It?

Arnica is a homeopathic medication, which is presumed to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. Arnica can be taken by pill or cream form. Ask your doctor his feeling about arnica.

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