What Is Breast Augmentation?
Augmentation mammoplasty (breast augmentation) is performed to increase breast size or to treat breast asymmetry. Candidates include women who want larger breasts, and those who want to restore breast volume often lost as a result of pregnancy or significant weight loss. Breast augmentation is not a substitute for mastopexy, which is a procedure to “lift” breasts that have sagged significantly.
How Is Breast Augmentation Performed?
The procedure lasts 1 to 2 hours, and is typically performed with general anesthesia, although local anesthesia combined with a sedative may be used. Incisions are made in inconspicuous places (in the armpit, in the crease on the underside of the breast, or around the areola) to minimize scar visibility. Implants are placed behind each breast, underneath either the breast tissue only or under the chest-wall muscle and breast tissue.
Breast Implant Options: Saline vs. Silicone
Silicone and saline are the two implant types most commonly used in breast augmentation. Silicone implants feel more like natural breasts than saline ones.
There are many manufacturers of breast implants. Two of the leading manufacturers are Allergan and Mentor. There are different types of implants with different consistencies of gel and also saline implants. Generally speaking, the silicone gel implants give the best result. Advantages and disadvantages of both types of implants will be discussed at the consultation for your breast augmentation procedure.
Breast Implant Placement Options
Advantages of implant placement behind the chest-wall muscle include a possible reduced risk of capsular contracture (hardening of scar tissue around implant), long term stability of the implant pocket, less visible rippling of the breast implant, a more natural breast shape, and less interference during mammograms.
Advantages of breast implant placement beneath breast tissue include increased filling of loose skin, and in some cases, less motion of the breasts when contracting the chest muscles.
Choosing Your Breast Implant Size
During the consultation, Dr. Fleming will ascertain what your goals are for the breast augmentation surgery. Then, depending on your current breast size and shape, he will suggest a size and type of implant that will meet your goals. Trying some sample implants ” on ” is part of the consultation process.
Can Breast Enlargement Be Done With Fat Transfer?
Currently this procedure should be considered experimental. Most of the fat cells suctioned from other areas of the body and injected into the breasts will die because they no longer have a blood supply. The breasts may not maintain the initial increase in volume, as the dead fat cells are absorbed by the body. Newer technologies recently developed for processing the fat cells may make this a viable option in the near future. Currently, breast augmentation using modern silicone gel breast implants produce a superior and permanent result when compared to fat injection.
What To Expect During Recovery From Breast Augmentation
After breast augmentation with implants, drainage tubes may be inserted; incisions are stitched, taped and bandaged.
A surgical bra is typically put over the bandages to minimize swelling and support the breasts. For a few days after breast augmentation surgery, most patients feel tired and sore, but many return to work within a week.
Postoperative pain, swelling and sensitivity diminish during the first few weeks. Scars begin to fade in a few months.