What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts by inserting implants.
Types of Implants for Breast Augmentation
There are different types of implants available. All implants are synthetic silicone rubber shells filled with a silicone gel or a saline (saltwater) solution. The outer wall of the implant may be smooth or textured (rough-surfaced). Generally, rough-surfaced implants do not need to be massaged postoperatively. Smooth implants may need to be massaged to help prevent scar contracture.
Your surgeon will recommend the particular type of implant that he feels is most appropriate for you.
Surgical Procedure for Breast Augmentation
On the day of surgery, the proposed implant site, the creases under the breast and the incision sites will be marked on your skin either in your hospital room or the pre-operative area of the operating room.
The location of your incision is based on your personal preference, your body type, and your surgeon's recommendation.
A periareolar incision (around the areola) means the scar may be concealed by the color and shape of the areola. An axillary incision (under the arm) means you will not have a visible scar on the breast itself, but there will be a fine, almost invisible scar under the arm which may be seen when the arm is lifted.
An incision placed in the inframammary fold may be hidden by the breast itself when standing but can be seen when the patient is lying down.
A pocket is then made depending on the type of implant being used and the breast size you have selected.
The space in the pocket allows your breasts to feel soft. An implant is inserted in order to achieve the look you have chosen. Once the desired look is achieved, the pocket is closed.
The incision is closed and your surgeon places either a surgical bra or bandage over the incision, depending on what seems best in your case. Drain tubes are frequently inserted into the pockets to eliminate any blood which may collect.
Risks & Complications of Breast Augmentation
As with any surgery, breast augmentation involves some risks and potential complications. The possible risks and complications associated with breast augmentation include:
- Capsular contracture (formation of firm scar tissue around the implant)
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Implant rupture