Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammaplasty)
Many women choose to have their breasts enlarged in order to satisfy their own desire for a fuller bustline. Your breasts may have not developed to a size that meets your expectations, or one breast may be significantly smaller than the other. You may have been happy with your breasts in the past but feel that they look different now. Often, after weight loss, childbirth or as a result of aging, the breasts lose volume and their shape changes. Breast augmentation can enhance you breast size and shape, and give you the more proportional figure that you always wanted.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?
One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:
Breast augmentation can be performed at any age after the breasts are fully developed. A good candidate for breast enlargement is emotionally mature, understands her personal motivations and has realistic goals for the procedure.
YOUR PERSONAL CONSULTATION
During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast size and anything else related to the appearance of your breasts that you feel is important. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations.
HOW WILL MY PLASTIC SURGEON EVALUATE ME FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY?
Your plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and take preoperative photographs for your medical record. He will consider such factors as the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin and the placement of your nipples and areolas (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipples). If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may be recommended in conjunction with augmentation.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take.
There is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer. The presence of breast implants, however, makes it more technically difficult to take and read mammograms. This may be a special consideration for women who perhaps are at higher risk for breast cancer because of their family history. Placement of the implant underneath the pectoral muscle may interfere less with mammographic examination.
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, be sure to tell your plastic surgeon. He may recommend that you stabilize your weight prior to undergoing surgery.
If you think that you may want to become pregnant in the future, you should mention this to your plastic surgeon. Pregnancy can alter breast size in an unpredictable way and could affect the long-term results of your breast augmentation. There is no evidence that breast implants will affect pregnancy or your ability to breast-feed, but if you have questions about these matters, you should ask your plastic surgeon.
WHERE ARE THE INCISIONS PLACED?
Both silicone and saline implants are available for breast augmentation; however, you must be 22 years old to receive silicone implants. One of the advantages of a saline filled implant is that, because it is filled with saltwater after being inserted, only a small incision is needed. Often, an incision of less than one inch is made underneath the breast, just above the crease, where it is usually quite inconspicuous.
Another possible location for the incision is around the lower edge of the areola. A third alternative is to make a small incision within the armpit.
WHAT WILL THE DAY OF SURGERY BE LIKE?
Your breast augmentation will be performed at a surgical center. Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. When surgery is complete, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings. You will be permitted to go home after a few hours.
HOW WILL I LOOK AND FEEL INITIALLY?
A day or two after surgery, you should be up and about. Any dressings will be removed within several days and you may be instructed to wear a support bra.
It is often possible to return to work within just a few days or a week, depending on you job. Vigorous activities, especially arm movement, may be restricted for two to three weeks.