What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation includes placement of breast implants , correction of defect and enhancing the size, form and feel of the breast. The surgical implant includes use saline-filled or silicone-filled prosthesis. Most women undergo breast augmentation as a procedure to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
In other cases it is done as a part of breast reconstruction surgery following surgical removal of breast due to cancer, severe trauma to the breast or due to other breast diseases. Before considering breast augmentation surgery one should consult plastic surgeon regarding the risk factors, possible complications and the follow-up care that will be required.
Reasons for Breast Augmentation
Women may consider breast augmentation surgery for a number of reasons like:
- Enhancement of appearance of breast if a woman considers that her both breasts are smaller or one breast is smaller in comparison to the other,
- Adjustment of breast size following pregnancy,
- Reconstruction of breast tissue following surgical removal of breast either partially or completely,
- Improvement of self confidence in women who are experiencing psychological trauma from the appearance of the breast(s).
It is important that the prospective patient should consult with the plastic surgeon regarding the personal preference of size, feel and appearance of the breast. The surgeon discusses with patient regarding type of implant – smooth or textured, round shaped or tear drop shaped, saline or silicone implant.
Before undergoing surgery patients should consider some facts like breast implants will not prevent breast agging in the future. Therefore breast lift procedures may be required in addition to breast augmentation surgery. Furthermore a breast implant will not last for a lifetime as the breasts continue to age even after surgery. Patients also need to be aware that:
- a mammogram may be more difficult to perform following breast implant surgery,
- regular MRI screening following breast implant surgery may be prescribed especially in surgeries using silicone implant,
- implants may hamper breast feeding,
- medical insurance may not cover the cost of breast augmentation surgery, and
- additional surgery at additional cost may be required to remove the implants later.
Before undergoing surgery the doctor will enquire about detailed past medical, surgical history, drug history and drug allergy. Smoking is to be avoided prior to and immediately after surgery as it may interfere with healing.
Breast augmentation surgery may be done on outpatient basis and rarely requires a hospital stay. This surgical procedure may be performed under local anesthesia or is done under general anesthesia. During the procedure incisions are made at three places namely along the crease below the breast, armpit area and around the nipple.
The breast tissue is separated from the underlying chest muscles along these incisions creating a pocket and the implant is placed inside this pocket. Saline filled implants are filled with saline only after being placed in the pocket whereas silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone. Next stitches are made to close the incisions. Certain complications may arise like development of scar tissue distorting the underlying implant, infection, pain or rupture of the implant can occur.