Many women are unhappy with the size and projection of their breasts as they change over the course of their lives. This can be due to things like pregnancy, aging, weight loss, or genetics. Well-proportioned breasts are often a sign of youth and femininity, and a breast augmentation can help women achieve their desired profile.
What is a Breast Augmentation?
This procedure is one of the most well-known cosmetic procedures available. It uses incisions to place implants within the existing breast, which create the desired shape and size. A breast augmentation can be performed along with other cosmetic procedures, including a breast lift or reconstruction. Different implants are available and can achieve different results. Two common types are:
- Saline implants, which contain sterilized salt water. These require a smaller incision, as the shell of the implant can be placed and then filled with saline. Should a rupture occur, the saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body and is immediately noticeable.
- Silicone implants, which are filled with silicone gel. These are often noted to feel more like natural breast tissue and, should a rupture occur, the silicone material will stay in place. These may require regular checkups to assess that the shell has not ruptured, even minorly.
These implants can come in different shapes, whether rounded or tear-shaped. Your surgeon can help you determine what option is best for you and your desired results.
Who should consider a Breast Augmentation?
Any woman who has fully-developed breasts and is unhappy with their size and projection can consider a breast augmentation. Pregnancy and weight gain or loss can greatly affect the results, so candidates should be participating in a healthy, active lifestyle and able to undergo invasive surgery. Candidates may not be pregnant or breastfeeding.
What happens during a Breast Augmentation?
During your consultation, your surgeon will help you determine which implant is best, as well as which kind of incision will be used. Some include:
- The Periareolar incision, which is cut along the edge of the areolae in order to hide scarring within the areolar pigmentation.
- The Inframammary incision, which curves along the bottom of the breast and within the fold, where the scarring is hidden.
These various incisions will aid in different techniques and offer better access for different implants. After the anesthesia is administered and the incision is cut, the implant is placed either on top of or underneath the pectoral muscle. This choice offers additional options for results— placing the implant on top of the pectoral muscle gives greater projection and is less painful, while placing it underneath the muscle gives a more natural look and feel. All options will be discussed during your initial consultation.
What are the results and recovery like?
It’s very important that the new breasts are supported during the healing process by a compression garment, much like a bra. This will support the new implant and keep it in place until the breast structure can heal and accommodate it, and it will also aid in healing by suppressing swelling. Your surgeon will determine how long the garment will need to be worn throughout the healing process, and it may be a few weeks before swelling and pain subside, which can be managed with prescribed medications. It’s also important to limit movement and strain on the chest during this time, especially if the pectoral muscles have been manipulated to accommodate the implant.
While the results are long-term, the implants need to be maintained for as long as they are in place. This includes checking for ruptures and having them surgically replaced if needed. You may also require additional procedures, especially as the breasts age and sag over time or due to other factors. Your surgeon can direct you in how to get the best results out of your breast augmentation.
If you are considering a breast augmentation and would like to ask questions, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richardson.