Breast augmentation also known as augmentation mammoplasty is surgery to increase breast size. It involves placing breast implants under breast tissue or chest muscles. For some women, breast augmentation is a way to feel more confident. For others, it's part of rebuilding the breast for various conditions. If you're considering breast augmentation talk to a plastic surgeon. Make sure you understand what surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care.
How you prepare
You'll consult with a plastic surgeon about your preferences for size, feel and appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will describe specific types of implants smooth or textured, round or shaped like a teardrop, saline or silicone as well as options for surgical techniques. Carefully review written information, such as the patient information from the manufacturer of the implant you'll be getting, and keep copies for your records.
Before you decide to have surgery, consider the following:
- Breast implants aren't guaranteed to last a lifetime. The average life span of an implant is 10 years. Implant rupture is a possibility. Also, your breasts will continue to age, and factors such as weight gain or weight loss might change the way your breasts look. These issues will likely lead to more surgery.
- Mammograms might be more complicated. If you have breast implants, in addition to routine mammograms, you'll require additional, specialized views.
- Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others, however, breast-feeding is a challenge.
- You might need additional surgery after breast implant removal. If you decide to have your implants removed, you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help restore your breasts' appearance.
What you can expect
Sometimes, breast augmentation is done during local anesthesia — you're awake and your breast area is numbed. Often, though, breast augmentation is done during general anesthesia, in which you're asleep for the surgery.
After the procedure
· Soreness and swelling are likely for a few weeks after surgery. Bruising is possible, too. Expect scars to fade over time but not disappear completely.
· While you're healing, it might help to wear a compression bandage or sports bra for extra support and positioning of the breast implants. Your surgeon might prescribe pain medication as well.
· Follow your surgeon's instructions about returning to regular activities. If you don't have a physically demanding job, you might be able to return to work within a few weeks. Avoid strenuous activities — anything that could raise your pulse or blood pressure — for at least two weeks. If you notice warmth and redness in your breast or you run a fever, you might have an infection. Contact your surgeon as soon as possible. Also contact your surgeon if you have shortness of breath or chest pain.
· After the procedure, you have to stay two days in the clinic and the total recovery is after four days.
Breast augmentation can change the size and shape of your breasts. The surgery might improve your body image and self-esteem. But keep your expectations realistic, and don't expect perfection.