Enlargement (Augmentation Mammaplasty)
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.
How is a Breast Augmentation procedure
The 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.
A 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.
Frequently breast augmentations are performed in conjunction
with other procedures such as liposuction.
How long does a Breast Augmentation procedure
Breast 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.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Breast 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.
Where is the procedure performed?
Most breast augmentations are performed on an outpatient
basis, in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite,
or outpatient surgery center.
When can I return home and
resume normal activities?
You'll 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.
How do I prepare for a Breast Augmentation
During 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.
Prior 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
What precautions are necessary during recovery?
You 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 exercises.
Your 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.
As 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.
You 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
What are the possible complications after
a Breast Augmentation procedure?
Even 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
Capsular 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.
The 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.
While 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.
What results can I expect after a Breast
Your 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.
Choosing the right surgeon
To obtain further information regarding Breast Augmentation,
we advise you to consult with a qualified and experienced
board-certified plastic surgeon. Regardless of the type
of procedure you are considering, it is crucial to choose
the right surgeon for your individual goals. To receive
a complimentary consultation with a specialist in your
area, simply fill out our Online Referral
Form or call Toll Free 800.449.1884.