Breast augmentation is an elective surgical procedure to make your breasts symmetrical or to enlarge them. The other name for this cosmetic procedure is augmentation mammoplasty. The doctor will perform Breast augmentation by transferring fat from one area of the body or through the insertion of breast implants surgically.
People who want an increase in the size of their breasts or who lost a significant volume of their breasts because of varying reasons may opt for this surgery. These reasons may be:
- Weight loss
Some people also go for Breast augmentation if they have smaller breasts and wider hips to balance their physical proportions. Other candidates may be the ones with underdeveloped breasts.
How does it work?
In Breast augmentation surgery, the doctor will surgically insert fat from your body or implant behind your breasts. He or she will place them either behind your chest muscles or behind the tissues of your breasts. The surgical procedure may enlarge your breast size up to a cup or more than that. You may go for a round or contoured breast implant. The implant material will provide shape to areas of your breasts and boost the size of your breasts. This procedure is different from breast lift surgery.
Why it's done?
People opt for Breast augmentation to:
- Adjust the size of their breast post-pregnancy
- Improve their confidence
- Enhance their appearance if they feel their breast size is small
- Correct their breasts after breast surgery due to other conditions.
How do I prepare?
You must follow the preoperative instructions of your surgeon to prepare well for the surgical procedure. Your doctor might ask you to do fasting for a night before the procedure and also avoid drinking anything. If you are a smoker, you may need to quit smoking a few weeks before the Breast augmentation procedure. Smoking may increase the chances of complications while restricting the blood flow in your body. Ultimately, your recovery period will extend. Smoking may lower your immunity and you might be at a higher risk of developing an infection.
What to expect?
Your doctor will perform breast augmentation in a hospital or at a surgical center. He or she will allow you to go home on the same day as that of the surgery. Your doctor will give you local anesthesia to numb your breast area. However, doctors use general anesthesia in most cases and you will be sleeping during the surgery.
During the procedure
Your doctor will make an incision (single cut) under your arm or your breast or around your nipple. After making the incision, your doctor will separate the muscles & connective tissue from your breast tissue to create a pocket in front or behind the outer muscle of the chest wall. He or she will insert the implant inside the pocket and place it behind the nipple. After placing the implant in place, your surgeon will close the incision with sutures and apply a bandage with surgical tape or skin adhesive.
After the procedure
There will be swelling and soreness for some weeks after the surgery. There might be bruising and scars that will fade or disappear with time. You can wear a compression bandage during your healing period for positioning of the breast implants and extra support. You may follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the continuation of routine activities. You may return to work in some weeks’ time if you don’t have a job demanding much physical work. Also, try to avoid strenuous activities or any other activities for two weeks that may raise your blood pressure.
You need follow-ups for the removal of sutures if your sutures don’t absorb on their own or the surgeon placed drainage tubes around your breasts. If there are redness and warmth in your breast or you have a fever, there are chances that you have an infection. In such cases, you must contact your doctor or if there are chest pain and shortness of breath.
The most common risk with Breast augmentation surgery is the need for follow-up surgeries for correcting the complications arising due to this procedure. Other risks may be:
- Painful breasts
- Discharge at the site of the incision or from the breast
- Leakage from or ruptured implant
- Movement or incorrect placement of the implant
- Difficulty in healing at the site of the incision
- Bruising and bleeding
- Severe sweating during nighttime
- Formation of scar tissue within the breasts or capsular contracture that may cause the implants to get displaced or cause pain and even more visible than before.
- Rippling of your skin in the area of implant placement, usually beneath the breast.
- Infection at the site of the surgery or in the area adjacent to the implants
- Fluid buildup around the implants
- Severe scarring of your skin
When to call the doctor?
You must call your doctor or visit his or her medical setting immediately if:
- You are having a fever
- Red streaking on your skin
- Feel warm around the site of the incision
- Redness around your breasts
These signs indicate an infection. You must contact your surgeon if there is some pain in your armpit region or breasts and/or a change in the shape or size of your breasts after healing. There are chances that the implant ruptured. You may also experience shortness of breath or chest pain. These medical emergencies may require urgent attention and you may need to get hospitalized.