Breast augmentation, also known as mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to enhance the shape and size of a woman’s breasts, using breast implants. This procedure can help make the breasts more proportional to the rest of the body; it can even out breasts which are different in size, and it can restore volume to breasts which have lost their fullness due to weight loss, pregnancy, breast feeding, or age. Breast augmentation can also be used for reconstructive purposes on patients who have undergone mastectomy or those with a congenital breast deformity.
Dr. Bui has found that the best candidate for breast augmentation is a woman over the age of 18 who is unhappy with her breast size and looking to enhance their appearance.Patients must be psychologically stable, physically healthy, and have realistic expectations. Breast augmentation can enhance the look of the breasts and often has the added benefit of increasing one’s self confidence.
Breast augmentation typically is an outpatient procedure that takes about 75 to 90 minutes to complete and is performed under general anesthesia.
Breast augmentation involves many different options and techniques. Choices are made about the type of implant, the incision location, and the implant placement. The choices that are right for you will depend upon your individual preference
There are several different locations for the incisions. Dr. Bui commonly uses the inframammary (within the crease below the breast) and the periareola (at the edge of the nipple-areola incisions). Once the incision is made, the breast tissue is lifted to make a space or pocket into which the implant is inserted. After the implant is inserted, the incisions are then closed. Tape may be used for added support and the breasts may also be wrapped with gauze or other bandages.
Regarding placement of the implant, there is a choice between subglandular and submuscular. Subglandular placement is above the chest muscle and submuscular placement is beneath the chest muscle. Submuscular placement tends to be more painful but the implant is better shielded so ripple is not visible in the cleavage area.
There are two types of implants available: silicone gel-filled and saline-filled implants. In order to use silicone gel-filled implants, you must be at least 22 year-old. The pros and cons of each type of implant will be presented to you at the time of consultation. Saline implants are inserted empty and then filled, allowing for minimal incision and thus minimal scarring. Silicone gel-filled implants required slightly larger incision as they are prefilled. The implant’s size will be dependent on your individual preference and tissue availability.
After surgery, patients often feel sore, tired and stiff, and have sensation of heavy pressure on the chest that can last for several days. Some degree of pain is usually experienced because the procedure stretches the tissues, though the submuscular placement of the implants is typically associated with more pain. Prescribed pain medications can help alleviate any pain or discomfort you may experience.
A few days after surgery, any bandages that were applied are usually removed. Patients may take shower at this time and continue to wear bras all the time. Sutures are usually removed within a week to ten days after surgery.
The breasts usually feel tight and hard at first. They do soften in time as the skin adjusts to the new breast size and swelling resolves. Swelling is common and usually resolves within a few weeks. Increased sensitivity to physical contact of the breasts may occur for several months. The scars will be noticeable right after surgery and for several weeks, but will fade over a period of several months.
The amount of time it takes to recover will be different for each patient. However, most patients find that they can return to work about one week after surgery. Nonetheless, you will need to refrain from overly strenuous activities for several weeks.