If you are considering surgery of any kind, it is natural to feel a bit nervous. Having a better understanding will help and knowing that your chosen surgeon is ABPS certified (American Board of Plastic Surgery). Many patients find comfort in information; having their questions answered helps ease some fears. While breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, many women still aren’t aware of what the procedure entails.
What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation uses implants to increase breast size, reshape the breasts, and/or correct breast asymmetry.
Who is a candidate for breast augmentation?
If you are considering breast augmentation, you may have naturally small breasts or breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy or weight loss. You should be in good health and have realistic expectations about your results.
What type of implants are used for breast augmentation?
Saline-filled or silicone-filled implants can be used for your breast augmentation. The implant type used will depend on personal preference as well as your body’s natural build and the aesthetic result you desire.
- Saline implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution (saline). Saline implants are more prone to showing visible implant edges and rippling compared to gel-filled implants. However, some women prefer saline implants because they allow for easier identification of a rupture and are less expensive than silicone implants.
- Silicone implants have a silicone shell filled with a cohesive silicone gel. Women often prefer silicone implants because they are less prone to showing visible edges and rippling. The cohesive gel also helps create a more natural looking and feeling breast. An MRI may be necessary to identify an implant rupture.
What are shaped implants?
The standard implant is round, which prevents the breast from looking deformed if the implant rotates in the breast pocket. Anatomically shaped implants are designed for mastectomy patients but may also be useful in augmentation. However, if an anatomical implant moves in its pocket, it can cause the breast to appear distorted.
Why would I choose textured implants?
Traditionally, smooth implants are used, which means the outer shell has a smooth surface. Implants with a textured surface are usually chosen to increase friction and hold anatomical implants in place. They also lower your risk of capsular contracture.
Where will my incisions be created?
You have a number of incision options available depending on where you are comfortable having mild scarring as well as which location will provide the best access based on your implant and body type.
- Inframammary – Underneath the breast at the crease; the vast majority of surgeons utilize this approach
- Periareolar – Along the outer edge of the areola (the colored portion that surrounds the nipple)
- Transaxillary – Underarm
Where will my implants be placed?
Implants are generally placed under the muscle. Over the muscle placement causes multiple negative results including showing ripples, capsular contractures, fake or “shelf” appearance. Further, over the muscle placement often results in decreased circulation to the nipple and may stretch breast skin with eventual sagginess.
How long does breast augmentation surgery take?
A standard breast augmentation will take about 90 minutes to perform, and you will be placed in a monitored recovery room for about an hour after surgery..
What type of anesthesia is used?
General anesthesia is typically used during breast augmentation for a safe and pain-free procedure.
Can I drive myself home following my procedure?
No. Because anesthesia is used and pain medication is administered following your surgery, you will need someone to drive you home. It is also advised to have someone stay with you for 24 to 48 hours following your surgery to help you.
How long will my recovery last?
Most patients can return to work within one to two weeks doing normal activities. You will need to limit extreme physical activities for four to six weeks following your surgery.
Will I need to take pain medication following my surgery?
Pain is common following breast augmentation, and an oral pain medication can be used to control any associated discomfort. Patients generally take pain medication from two days to a week after their procedure.
Will breast implants affect my ability to breastfeed?
The answer to this question depends on the quality of your breast augmentation and the technique used to place your implants. Women who utilize a periareolar incision run a greater risk of having difficulties breastfeeding. However, most women can successfully nurse with implants. It is important to discuss with your doctor if you wish to be able to breastfeed in the future.
What is capsular contracture?
Capsular contracture is a result of scar tissue thickening surrounding an implant. The natural scar tissue is a shell that forms around the implant. In the event of a contracture, the shell hardens and constricts the implant, which causes the breast to feel hard and often appear deformed.
What other complications can develop following breast augmentation?
Excessive bleeding and infection are rare risks following implant surgery. Anesthesia complications and nerve injuries may occur in any surgery but are rare with breast augmentation. A potential late effect may be implant rupture. Any significant abnormality should be followed by a call to your plastic surgeon for further assessment and treatment.
If you are considering breast augmentation to enhance the appearance of your breasts, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hiatt today. Dr. Hiatt is a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can view his breast augmentation photo gallery here. To schedule your consultation or if you have any questions, contact our office at (480) 844-1410 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.