Breast augmentation is a cosmetic plastic surgery to increase the size of the breasts.
What the breast implant surgery can achieve:
- Increase the size of the breasts and thereby improving figure
- Increase the projection of the breasts
- Increase the self confidence of the person after the surgery.
- When breasts are small since childhood. Generally done after the age of 20 years.
- When breast volume is lost after pregnancy, weight reduction or bariatric Surgery for weight reduction.
- When one breast is smaller than the other.
How the size of the breasts is increased?
- By breast implant placement-silicone implants/saline implants
- By fat grafting
Your first consultation with your cosmetic plastic surgeon
- During your first visit your doctor will discuss several points like
- Why you want breast implant surgery and what are your expectations
- Your medical history including allergies, other diseases, use of medicines and supplements
- Your life style and habits like alocohol, tobacco and drug
- Your family history of any disease and that of breast cancer
- Your examinations will involve
- General check up and discussion of any health related issues and risk factors
- Examination of breasts, measurements of certain parameters, quality of skin,
- If required a photograph of your breasts may be taken
- Methods of breast enlargements, their benefits risk and complications will be discussed
- Possible results
The consultation also involves answering all your questions and concerns. You should feel free to ask any questions to remove doubts about the procedure.
What does the doctor do in operation?
The basic principle is to place an implant- a balloon like structure, behind the breasts.The operation is done under general anesthesia. An incision is made close to the lower border of the breasts. The space is created behind the musle of the chest and implant is placed underneath. After the implant is placed, the incision is closed .
Here fat is removed from tummy, buttocks or thighs with syringe liposuction. The fat is allowed to settle. The fluid and blood component is removed. Remaining fat is injected under the breasts with the help of a syringe.
What are the types of implants?
There are two types of implants available. The one filled with silicone gel and the one filled with saline.
The silicone gel implants give better projection and feeling to the breasts. The silicone gel filled implants do not collapse or flatten even when ruptured. The gel remains within the implant. Saline implants will flatten soon after rupture. The saline will be absorbed in the body.
What is the course after operation?
The patient will be able to move around in 24 hours. She can be discharged on the same evening or next day morning. She might need to put on a special bra. The plastic surgeon will instruct in selected cases. A change of dressing is required after 48 hours and on 5th day. Stitches are dissolving type and need not be removed. Light duty can be resumed after 3 days. Around 10 days, one can resume full work. Stretching the arms, lifting weight is allowed after 3 to 4 weeks.
Breasts will remain tender - causing mild pain on touching - in some cases for about 3 to 4 weeks. There will not be any pain otherwise. The incision looks raised above the skin and pinkish red to begin with. It flattens and returns to normal color gradually. Over a period of time the incision will become invisible.
There will not be any problem with pregnancy or breast feeding after breast augmentation
What are the risks?
Breast implant surgery in general, is a very safe procedure. Life threatening complications are very rare. Some other complications are
- Capsular contracture: The body forms a thick skin like structure around the implant. This layer may shrink over a period of time. This can cause some pain or a feeling of heaviness, hardness in the breasts. It is possible to treat such cases by surgery. Sometimes the implant has to be changed.
- Implant rejection: Implant is essentially an external material. The body of some patient may not accept this material. If this happens, the implant is removed and the breast get back their original size and shape.
- Implant rupture inside the body: This can happen with some injury to the body. If this happens with the silicone gel implant, the gel leaks out in the surrounding tissue and has to be removed. If this happens with the saline filled implant, the saline that leaks out mixes with the blood. This saline is the same that is given in veins by the doctors. It is therefore harmless. In any case the breasts return to their preoperative size. The remaining implant has to be removed. It may be possible to place another implant while removing the ruptured one.
- Change of sensation around nipple: In some cases there is a sensation of tingling and numbness or absence of sensation soon after operation. This returns to normal in about 6 weeks to 6 months.
- Bleeding and Infection
It is to be noted that all these complications are uncommon and not all the complications would occur in a given patient.
Can this operation cause Cancer?:
So far it has not been noticed that putting an implant behind the breast can cause cancer. It is however essential to inform your doctor about the implant when he/she examines the breasts. If the breasts have to undergo x-ray (Mammography), then the doctor should be informed so that he can change the x-ray factors.