Breast augmentation is the most popular outpatient surgical procedure intended to make changes to the breast. During the procedure, the surgeon places breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscle to increase the fullness, shape or size of the breasts. The number of women and teenagers who opt for breast implants for cosmetic reasons has increased significantly in the last decade and has more than tripled since 1997.
Women elect to get breast augmentation surgery for several reasons. Implants are a way to enlarge naturally small breasts. Postpartum moms notice significant changes to the breast so they may opt for the surgery to restore the shape and fullness of breasts following breastfeeding. Even if satisfied with the size and shape of breasts, implants are an option for women looking to create symmetry. Mastectomy patients commonly pursue surgery for reconstructive restoration of breasts after mastectomy.
Jason I. Altman, an expert in breast implant surgery in Miami, FL, notes that before the procedure, the surgeon and patient will discuss the desired result and then select the appropriate implant size. Breast implant surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia. If the patient is put under general anesthesia, they will have to plan for a ride home. Local anesthesia is less common and may be an option if agreed to by both the patient and physician.
Painkillers are given to address any discomfort after the procedure. If sutures are used, the patient can expect that they will dissolve or be absorbed into the skin within 6 weeks. If there are drainage tubes, a follow-up visit to the doctor will be needed to get the tubes removed.
Breast augmentation is not an option for everyone. Heart patients should not undergo breast implant surgery. The potential risks and complications associated with the surgery are too high in their case. Heart patients insistent on the surgery must submit to a battery of tests to get clearance from their cardiologist.
There are three main types of breast implants; saline, and gummy bear.
Saline implants are filled with a solution that is held within a silicone shell. The amount of saline solution affects the shape and firmness of the breast. Silicone gel implants have an outer shell made of silicone but the implant itself is filled with gel. Gummy Bear Implants are increasing in popularity because they are more durable and hold their shape.
In addition to deciding the size of the implant, the incision is decided upon. The type of incision is determined by the patient’s physiology; how large the implants will be and the preference of the patient and surgeon. Infra-mammary incisions are made by making a crease or fold in the area where the chest wall and lower part of the breast meat. Transaxillary incision leaves the least visible scar because the incision is made in the armpit. Periareolar incisions are made at the outer edge of the areola
Pros 98% of women who have undergone breast augmentation surgery report that their results either met or exceeded their expectations;
- Improves the quality of life and self-esteem,
- Breast implants are a long-term solution to achieve an ideal breast size and shape,
- Increases breast volume create cleavage and helps to fill out clothing,
- Enhances natural curves and create a more proportionate shape.
- There are risks associated with all surgical procedures;
- The activity could be limited for 6 weeks or longer,
- There could be pain and changes in the sensation of nipples or breasts. In many cases, the change is temporary but could be an indication of a more serious complication,
- There is a chance that the implant could leak. If leakage occurs, the implant could collapse, and a second surgery could be needed,
Excessive fluid accumulation and capsular contracture could occur. It is the hardening of the area surrounding the implant which could be painful and lead to distortion of the shape of the implant,
Milk production could be affected by nursing moms. The data suggests that it is less likely that women with breast implants exclusively breastfeed. Many supplements with formula.
There are alternatives to breast augmentation. Fat injection can be an option for patients with breast defects. Cosmetic surgeons inject multiple rounds of fat to reach the patient’s desired breast size. Brava a less common natural breast enhancement. In the process, an enlargement pump is used which generates a type of suction to the breast tissue. Although considered natural, the effects of these methods are slow and may not last if breast implants.
Although breast implant surgery is a simple procedure, it is important to select a surgeon who has experience performing the procedure. When selecting a surgeon to look at photos of previous procedures and read reviews. It is imperative that the physician is board-certified and that the credentials are authentic. The Federation of State Medical Board’s Physician Data Center allows for online verification which will include education, board certification, and license status.
The Plastic Surgery Institute in Miami is a premier plastic surgery group comprised of highly trained clinical and surgical staff. Breast augmentation consultations may be requested online or by calling 305-446-7700.