Breast augmentation is a procedure using silicone or saline breast implants that allows a woman to enhance the size and shape of her breasts. Many women report they feel more confident about their appearance after having breast augmentation.
If you wish to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, restore their fullness, or create more symmetry, you may be a good candidate for breast augmentation. You must be emotionally mature, understand your motivations for having this procedure, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve. Furthermore, you should be finished with having children, no longer be breastfeeding, have no major medical problems, and not be a smoker.
In your consultation, your plastic surgeon will examine you and discuss your options, including:
Your surgeon will go over your specific requirements and suggest a course of action that best suits your goals and body type.
Day surgery approx 2 hours.
Recovery room 3 hours
Return to work and regular activity within 2-3 weeks
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. It is approximately 1-2 hours and you will spend approximately 3 hours in the recovery room, so plan to spend the day at the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain-killers and possibly antibiotics.
The two breast implant options are saline or silicone. Both have been shown to be safe and are FDA approved. Implants can also be either round or tear-drop shaped, and their surface can be either textured or smooth.
There are three main areas of incision possible for breast augmentations.
A breast implant can be played underneath or above the muscle.
Note that the above information is for general purposes. Every woman is unique and the options best for you will depend on your own specific needs. During your consultation, your surgeon will cover in depth the choices and suggested course of action that best suits you.
You will have a pre-operative visit with a nurse to review the details of what to expect during your surgery and recovery. You may need to get some baseline blood tests and possibly meet with an anesthesiologist prior to surgery. Your surgeon may recommend you get a baseline mammogram before as this helps detect future changes in your breast tissue. You will be asked to stop taking all over-the-counter pain or fever medicines (except Tylenol) and blood thinners for two weeks prior to your procedure. Many herbal medicines can also cause bleeding and so need to be stopped before surgery, such as ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and high doses of fish oil, flax seed oil, or vitamin E.
In most cases, you will be able to return to regular activity within a couple of weeks after surgery. Recovery time and post-operative care depends on the type of breast augmentation and your own individual needs and medical history, and will be discussed in detail with your surgeon during your consultation. You will need to see your surgeon several times after your surgery.
Note that once you are healed, special mammogram imaging techniques are required for screening your implants.
As in any surgery, risks include infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, bleeding and anesthetic reaction. Risks specific to this procedure include, but are not limited to, asymmetry, numb skin/nipples, implant-related complications, and capsular contracture (scar tissue around implant). Complications in this procedure are relatively uncommon but will be discussed further at the time of consultation.