Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical enhancement procedure to accentuate the size and shape of a woman's breasts. While breast augmentation will make the breasts larger, the surgery will not move the breasts closer together or lift sagging breasts. Breast augmentation is tremendous help to patients who desire a fuller profile, who have lost breast volume due to pregnancy or nursing, or who have undergone breast reconstruction and want to gain a more natural look again.
Reasons for Considering Breast Augmentation:
Enhance body shape if breasts are too small.
Increase breast volume after pregnancy and nursing.
Equalize a difference in breast size (cup size) to gain breast symmetry.
Reconstruct breasts following a mastectomy or injury.
Breast augmentation involves making a small incision to insert a breast implant into the breast area in order to enlarge the breast. The surgery is commonly performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or outpatient surgical unit while the patient is under a general anesthesia and asleep. There are several possible locations for the small incision that will be used for inserting the breast implant. The most frequently utilized incisions are inframammary and periareolar. The inframammary technique utilizes an incision made hidden along the fold at the lower portion of the breast. The periareolar technique involves an incision hidden along the border of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). Additional techniques include axillary (in the armpit) or transumbilical, although these techniques have different risk profiles. The best technique will be decided together between the patient and the surgeon during the consultation.
During surgery, a pocket is created either under the breast tissue or beneath the chest wall muscle. Implants may consist of saline or silicone filling material. In some circumstances, an inflatable implant may be used to allow the surgeon to adjust the level of inflation to attain breast symmetry and balance. Surgery typically lasts from 1 to 3 hours.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Bandages will be applied at the end of surgery, and instructions for removal and showering will be provided. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with the surgery. This pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the directions given by the physician after surgery.