What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that can be performed in one of two ways:
- Using silicone implants
- Using injections of fat tissue from the patient’s own body
Breast augmentation can be used to fill out breasts that have changed in shape following weight loss or pregnancy. In addition, the procedure can be used to make breasts rounder or correct breast asymmetry.
Advantages of Breast Augmentation
- The results of breast shape modification are apparent immediately following procedure. You can see the change in breast size and shape as well as the correction of asymmetry to make them similar in size and proportionate to the rest of the body.
- Improved self-confidence that continues to increase over time.
- Silicone implants or fat injections can be used for breast reconstruction following mastectomy.
- Breast augmentation is not used for correction of severe sagging. Instead, the preferred treatment for severe breast sagging is the use of a breast lift, with or without breast augmentation.
What makes someone a good candidate for breast augmentation?
- Post-puberty: after breast development is complete.
- If you feel that your breasts are too small and it makes you feel uncomfortable or affects your self-confidence.
- If you feel that your breasts are not symmetrical and/or have lost their shape following pregnancy, weight loss or both.
- If the top part of your breasts feels empty or saggy.
- If your chest wall is not symmetrical.
- If one or both of your breasts did not develop properly.
- If your expectations from breast augmentation are realistic and possible.
Getting a consultation regarding breast augmentation
During the consultation process, we will get to know one another and take time to discuss:
- The reasons you are looking to undergo breast augmentation and your expectations, what kind of results you are looking to achieve and what can be done in reality in order to improve the appearance of your breasts. Matching expectations will improve the patient’s satisfaction and reduce any anxiety associated with the process.
- Your medical history, if you have any allergies or sensitivities, as well as any medications you are taking and whether or not you smoke cigarettes.
- Your family history of breast cancer, if one exists.
- Implant measurement with comparison of various sizes in front of the mirror in order to select the proper size and meet your expectations. We will discuss the various options and decide which will be the best for you: breast augmentation with silicone implants, using fat tissue transferred from another area of your body, or a combination of the two.
- A 3D computerized simulation in order to demonstrate as accurately as possible the results you can expect after the procedure.
- An explanation of the procedure, the location of the scars and the recovery process.
- It is important that you understand the process as clearly as possible prior to the procedure. It is natural to feel some anxiety or excitement prior to our consultation. Understanding the process will help reduce that anxiety. You are welcome to ask questions and talk about your anxiety if you wish during our consultation.
Types of implants
Silicone implants are filled with medical silicone gel. They are soft to the touch.
They are available in two shapes:
- Round implants
- Pear-shaped (or tear drop shaped) implants, also known as anatomical implants.
The implants are either smooth or textured and are available in a large size range.
There is a large range of implants made by various companies. Every implant has a its own unique advantages. During the consultation, we will discuss the most appropriate implant for you.
How to prepare for the procedure
- We will ask you to have blood work done.
- In some cases, you may be asked to have a breast ultrasound or mammogram.
- In the event that you take medication, we will determine if it should be adjusted prior to the procedure.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, as well as vitamin E and omega 3 for the two weeks prior to the procedure as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
- Reduce cigarette smoking as much as possible prior to the procedure.
- Ensure that you have someone who can pick you up from the hospital and stay with you for at least the first night after the operation.
Steps of breast augmentation using implants
Step 1: Anesthesia
The procedure involves general anesthesia.
Step 2: Incision
The incision is made in an area that is less visible. Either
- In the infra-mammary fold, or
- Around the areola
The location of the scar will be decided based on your chest structure and preference. The location will be explained during your consultation.
Step 3: Inserting the Implant
Creating a pocket for the implant or behind the chest muscle in a dual plane position or on top of the muscle. After creating the pocket, the implant is inserted. Determining the location of the implant depends upon various elements such as your chest structure, your athletic habits or if your breasts sag.
Step 4: Closing the incisions
- The incision will be closed in layers with dissolving stitches.
- There is no need to remove the stitches.
- The incisions will be covered with bandages.
- The procedure takes 35-60 minutes.
Step 5: The Results
The results are immediate. Due to swelling and the body’s natural healing processes, it can take a few months before you see the final results.
Steps for breast augmentation using fat injections:
Step 1: Anesthesia
The procedure involves general anesthesia.
Step 2: Collection of fat tissue
- First, liposuction is performed on an area agreed upon ahead of time via small incisions.
- Next, the fat tissue undergoes processing and purification before it is injected into the breasts.
- All incisions are closed using dissolving stitches.
Step 3: Injection of fat into the breasts
The fat tissue that has been processed and purified is injected into the breasts via small incisions that are typically not visible once healed. These incisions do not require stitches.
The length of the surgery is typically anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours in length, depending on the quantity of fat extracted.
Step 4: The Results
The results are immediate. Due to swelling and the body’s natural healing process, it can take a few months before you see the final results. Some of the fat tissue injected is reabsorbed by the body over the first few months and typically anywhere from 60-80% of the initial volume injected will remain.
What can I expect during the recovery process?
- A surgical tape will be placed on the incisions at the end of the procedure.
- After the procedure you will be transferred to recovery. From there you can return home after a few hours when you are stable enough to leave. If you wish, you can remain in the hospital for a night after the procedure and we will make these arrangements prior to your surgery.
- Before you leave, you will receive post-operation instructions.
- You will need to wear a supportive bra after the procedure for 6 weeks in order to ensure minimal swelling during the recovery process.
- Avoid all athletic activity with the exception of walking for the first six weeks.
- You may take pain relievers as directed following the procedure. Most patients take pain relievers for the first 2-6 days following the procedure.
- Be sure to update your physician regarding any changes in your health status.
- We will schedule follow-up visits in order to monitor your recovery during the 1st month, 3, 6 and 12 months after the operation.