Breast Augmentation, also called as ‘Augmentation Mammoplasty’ is a surgery to increase the breast size by placing implants under the breast or on the chest muscles. Reasons differ from woman to woman why they want to undergo breast augmentation.
Possible reasons why women opt for breast augmentation:
- To feel more confident and sexually appealing
- If they feel that they have too small breasts and want bigger boobs
- Size of breasts comes down after pregnancy. Some may want to retain the previous size.
- Correcting unevenly sized breasts – this could have been caused by surgery or accident or by birth
What you need to know before breast implant surgery?
When you see your cosmetic gynaecologist, you need to be clear on the purpose why you are getting breast augmentation done. Also, you should let him/her know the size, feel and appearance of your breast you want after the surgery. Depending on the requirement, you will be provided with options of different shapes of implants such as smooth or textured, round, tear drop shaped etc. There are mainly two types of implants – silicone based that are already in shape and saline implants which will be brought to shape by filling with saline water after placing the implant in its position inside the breast. More importantly, you will need to know few important points before getting the breast augmentation surgery done:
- They are not for lifetime. Average life span of breast implants is 10 years. Implants can rupture during this period which will require a surgery to remove or replace them.
- Implants won’t stop your breasts from ageing. They will still sag depending on your age. Your body weight may also affect the implants. As you lose weight, they may sag a little.
- Breast feeding may become difficult – If you are a mother and still in the stages of breast feeding your baby, it is not advisable to go for implants. Only few women won’t have problem with breast feeding after the surgery by many women find it difficult to breast feed their babies.
- Regular mammogram check up may become difficult with implants. If you are over 40s and if you are advised to undergo mammogram regularly to check up for cancer, implants may come in the way of proper diagnosis.
- Surgery will be required to remove the implants anytime in the future. This is a no brainer.
Your cosmetic surgeon will take a mammogram before you undergo breast augmentation to make sure that you don’t have any cancer related tumor existing in your breast already. The surgery may be performed as an out-patient procedure or you may be admitted to hospital, you will need to check with your doctor on this one.
Breast Augmentation Procedure
On the day of surgery, you will be advised to see the doctor on an empty stomach. Local anesthesia or a full body anesthesia will be given. If you are under local anesthesia, you will be awake but your won’t feel any pain during the surgery.
Incision may be made in any of the 3 areas of your body:
- Under your arms
- Around the nipple
- Under the breast.
Where to make an incision will be your doctor’s call. After making the incision, the breast tissues will be separated from the chest muscles and the implant will be placed on the chest muscle. If silicone implants are being inserted, they will already be filled with silicone gel. In case of saline implants, the saline salt water will be filled after the implant is properly placed inside the breast and centred wrt the nipple. The incision will then be closed with sutures and a bandage tape will be put over it to heal. If dissoluble sutures are not used, you may have to see the doctor after a week or so to get them removed.
What can you expect after the procedure?
Your surgeon will tell you what you can expect after the procedure and what care you need to take care.
- Expect swelling and pain in your breasts for few weeks after the surgery. Your body needs to adjust for the foreign material that came inside you.
- Initially you can see bruising and scars in the incision area but they will slowly fade away. Scarring may not be totally gone but proper care and medication (creams) will make them barely visible.
- You need to wear compression bandage or sports bra to support your breasts until they gain strength.
- Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed that you must definitely use during the healing process.
- In case if you see redness, bleeding or if you run a fever, you must contact your doctor immediately.
Important – No surgery or surgeon is perfect. You must see only a highly experienced surgeon to get near perfect shape for your breasts. After the surgery, you will need to maintain your body shape to keep up your confidence levels. Putting on weight may distort your body shape and make the surgery useless. (If you underwent the knife for confidence and sex appeal). If your surgeon is less experienced, you may not be satisfied with the procedure and a reverse surgery may have to be performed.
In our upcoming article, we will touch upon the safety of breast implants in detail.