Breast Augmentation Surgery:Overview | Indication | Process | Complication

Overview

Breast enhancement also known as Breast Augmentation/Augmentation Mammoplasty or more commonly known as boob job.

It is a surgical method to increase or restore the size of breasts. In addition to increase size, it can also be used to alter shape of breasts.

It can only increase breast size and will not help sagging breasts. For sagging breast one need breast lift surgery.

This is achieved by insertion of breast implants or fat transfer under the breast tissue. Breast implants are artificially made products.

According to filler material Breast implants are generally of Three types: Silicone Gel, Saline and Fat Transfer.

1)Silicone gel
Silicone is a polymer made of silicon, oxygen and other elements. It is found in liquid, gel or rubber like solid form.

It can be used in personal care product and surgical implants. Silicone made products have many advantages like, it is stable at high temperature, resistant to aging, sunlight, moisture and temperature variance.

  • Advantages:

Silicone breast implants are silicone shell filled with silicon gel. These have many advantages over other implants like, they give natural appearance, less rippling and wrinkling and give a natural texture.

  • Disadvantages:

Silicone implants has some disadvantages too like, to insert silicone implants large incision is required and hence scars of surgery are potentially visible.

Danger of undetected rupture is also a disadvantage of silicone breast implants as these leak more slowly as compared to saline implants. Also these are more expensive.

2.)Saline Implants
Saline implants also has a silicone outer shell but the difference is that it is filled with sterile saline solution instead of silicone gel. It also has some advantages and disadvantages.

  • Advantages:

Process of its insertion is less invasive, Small incision are made and hence less scarring will be there after surgery, flexible size and rapid detection of leakage.

  • Disadvantages:

It is slightly firmer looks less like natural breast, they are more likely to rupture and rippling, this weighs slightly more than silicone implants.

3)Fat Transfer
This method is for those women who wants to have a modest increase in size without the use of implants. This is sometimes used along with breast implant to add softness and cover to implants.

In this type fat is extracted by liposuction from a donor site in body usually, thighs, abdomen or hip and is injected in breasts to increase size.

  • Advantages:

It has advantage that it is very less invasive and hence has much lesser scarrs. Another advantage is that it provide two benefits as it increase breast size and sculpt other body part as well i.e. the donor site.

  • Disadvantages:

It is less consistent and less reliable, limited to approximate increase of one cup size only, transferred fat may get absorbed back by body, it is more expensive than any other type.

Indications

A breast augmentation is done in following cases:

  • Asymmetrical Breasts: This happens when both breasts are different from each other in size, volume, form and position.

This can happen due to trauma, puberty and hormonal changes, breast feeding, increased age, sudden weight loss or naturally.

Juvenile hypertrophy is a condition which cause asymmetrical breasts. In this condition one breast is smaller than the other.

  • Micromastia : It is a congenital defect associated with abnormalities of pectoral muscles. In this condition breast remain underdeveloped even after puberty. Breasts are either asymmetrical and one is small or both are small in size.

  • Mastectomy: It is a surgical process to remove either one or both the entire breasts. It is done in cases of breast cancer. Women who wants to restore their appearance can get breast implants.

  • Weight Reduction: After sudden weight reduction from overall body by dieting and exercises fat from breast might also reduce along with the body fat. In such cases if a women wants to restore her size without gaining fat anywhere else in body, she can get breast implants.

  • Enhance Appearance: If a woman thinks that she don’t have that perfect size and it is affecting her appearance, in such case she can consider breast augmentation.

Process

Pre-Procedure:

For a breast implantation a woman must be above 22 years old. Before the actual process of breast implantation, there is a consultation step in which doctor helps the patient to decide what type of treatment and implants she might require.

Things like, detail about the procedure, life after breast implantation, a brief idea of result and expectation from the treatment is also given to the patient.

Before making the decision of breast augmentation patient should remember these things.

  • Breast augmentation is not a life long permanent solution. Usually life of a breast implant is approximately 10 years. Implants may rupture and in such case woman will need another surgery to remove it or replace it.

  • Weight loss and weight gain will change the appearance of breasts.

  • Breast implant will only increase the size of breast and will not prevent it from sagging. For correcting saggy breast one might need a breast lift.

  • A baseline mammogram is required before surgery. Mammogram is an x-ray of breast which is done to detect breast diseases like cancer, lump etc.

  • Certain medications like aspirin should not be taken before surgery as these kind of medications can increase bleeding.

  • Doctors suggest to quit smoking for a few time before surgery.

Procedure

Breast augmentation can be done in a hospital or surgical center. Whole procedure take one to two hours.

  • First of all a general anesthesia is given to the patient so that she is asleep during the process and won’t feel any pain.

  • When the patient is asleep, the surgeon will make one incision in either of these three sites:

  1. Inframammary: This is the crease area under the breast.

  2. Axillary: under the arms i.e. armpits,

  3. Periareolar: area around the nipples.

  • After making the incision in suitable site surgeon will separate breast tissue from the muscle and connective tissues of chest. This is done to create a pocket to insert the implant.

  • Into this pocket surgeon inserts the implant and center it behind the niple.

  • In case of saline implants, it is inserted empty and filled with sterile salt water after implanting in place. On the other hand silicone implants are pre filled and inserted in place.

  • After placing the implants, surgeon will close the incision with stitches and put bandages using surgical tape.

Post-procedure:

  • For a few weeks after surgery, swelling, soreness and bruising will be present. To deal with this pain medications are prescribed.

  • While healing process, woman should wear compression bandage or sports bra for support and positioning of implants in place.

  • For at least two weeks strenuous activities should be avoided. And anything that can raise pulse and blood pressure should be avoided.

  • If surgeon has placed drainage tubes or used non-dissolvable stitches, woman will need to go for appointments to get these removed.

  • After surgery if patient is having chest pain or difficulty in breathing, she must contact the hospital immediately.

Complications

Breast augmentation may include following complications:

  • Scarring: Scars of the incision will remain forever, that’s why incision is usually made in places which remain hidden. Like, inframammary, axillary and periareolar.

  • Breast Pain: After implantation patient may have pain in the breast area or nipple for a few weeks.

  • Bleeding: to prevent excess bleeding patient are advised to avoid certain medicines like aspirin.

  • Implant Rupture: implant may rupture after implantation. In case of saline implant, body safely absorbs the saltwater but in case of silicone implant it remains as it is. Silicone implant leak gradually and remain undetected for a long time.

  • Implant Wrinkling: Due to thin skin and insufficient breast tissue, implant may get folded or wrinkled, which is visible to naked eyes.

  • Change In Sensation Of Nipples: This may vary from case to case. In some cases, it might become less sensitive or completely desensitive or it can become so sensitive that they are painful. Increased sensitivity usually last in 3 to 6 months.

  • Asymmetrical Breasts: In some cases, breast remain asymmetrical in size even after implantation.

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection at the site of surgery.

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