Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed nationwide, albeit a patient’s individual reasons for wanting to undergo such a life-changing process may differ drastically from person to person. From increasing volume, to altering shape or adjusting positioning, the benefits of breast augmentation are wide and varied.
As such, patients’ options range from the composition of the implant, to its surgical placement and location of the incision. With the recommendation of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, a unique approach will be mapped out during your consultation.
When it comes to your specific surgical needs and preferences, it’s important to know your options. Types of implantsinclude: saline, filled with sterile saltwater, silicone, composed of silicone gel; Gummy Bear, made of a thicker, gummy-like gel; and fat transplantation, which utilizes excess fat extracted from other areas of the body.
Placement, often dependent on the type of implant and degree of enlargement, is categorized as subglandular, partial subglandular, or full subglandular, based on where it is inserted relative to the breast tissue and pectoral and chest muscles. The incision, also affected by the above factors, can be classified as: inframammary, under the breasts; periareolar, along the edges of the areolas; and transaxillary, hidden in the underarm area.
Known as augmentation mammaplasty, the process begins with the administration of anesthesia, which can be via intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, as per your doctor’s recommendation. Once the patient is prepped, the incision is made in an inconspicuous area, so as to minimize any visible scarring. The implant is then inserted and positioned, based upon the previously discussed options. Incisions are subsequently sutured closed, using a layering technique in the breast tissue. A skin adhesive or surgical tape is applied to close the skin.
As with any major surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Possible complications include the formation of scar tissue, which can distort the shape of the implant over time, as well as pain, swelling and infection. In certain instances, patients may experience a change in the nipple or breast sensation. In rare cases, the implant itself may rupture, causing leakage.
It is important to note that breast augmentation surgery will not prevent sagging, nor does this procedure come with a lifetime guarantee. Generally speaking, implants last an average of 10 years, and can be affected by age, along with weight loss or gain. Some patients find subsequent breastfeeding to be a challenge, and mammograms conducted after this point will require specialized views to obtain a clearer picture of the natural breast tissue.
Each patient is different, and his or her recovery process will therefore vary. The most crucial part of the process is the pre-op consultation, during which you should discuss your specific medical history and surgical expectations. Be sure to confirm your cosmetic surgeon is properly certified and the facility is accredited.