Everything you need to know about this cosmetic surgery beforehand
Breast augmentation is a popular plastic surgery that is performed to alter breast size and shape. The process involves either the transfer of fat from an area of your body or, more commonly, through the strategic placement of carefully selected implants within the patient’s pre-existing breasts. Like any other cosmetic surgery, breast augmentation requires thorough research before you consider it. The ability to accurately perform the surgery to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result requires a skill set and expertise that takes many years for a surgeon to acquire. We believe that doing your research and choosing the correct plastic surgeon and clinic is imperative to make the whole process reassuring and safe.
The first step after considering breast augmentation is always an in-depth consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon. This period should be utilized to discuss any pertinent and relevant questions you may have about the process, so that you are comfortable with your decision and the outcome. Additionally, the surgeon may discuss recommendations pertaining to implant type, incision location, position of the implant, and so on.
There are some key decisions that need to be made prior to your breast augmentation surgery in relation to the type and size of implants. According to your concern and preference, you can pick one of the two types of implants: saline or silicon. Saline inserts are filled with sterile salt water and typically come in a more uniform size. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are made with silicone gel and feel more like natural breast tissue. Silicone implants further come in three different sizes: smooth round, textured round, and textured anatomical teardrop implants.
- Smooth or textured round: Round implants are the most commonly opted for. Post surgery, the projection of the breast appears spherical and fuller in person. Smooth inserts feel softer, whereas textured implants have a slightly lower rate of capsular contracture (scar tissue forming around the implant).
- Anatomical teardrop: As the name implies, these implants provide a more natural finish in that the bottom appears fuller than the top, much like a teardrop.
Once the decision is made for the kind of implant you want to opt for, the next step is deciding on the incision location, which can be any of the three:
- Inframammary (beneath your breast)
- Axillary (in the underarm)
- Periareolar (in the tissue surrounding your nipples)
Depending on your anatomy, preference, and type of implant, the incision location is concluded. The surgeon then proceeds to insert the implants into “pockets” that separate the tissue of your breast from your chest muscles and tissue.
The ideal candidate
Typically, the ideal candidate for a breast augmentation is one who wants any of the following for reconstructive or cosmetic reasons:
- Enlarge breasts that are naturally small
- Restore breast size and shape after pregnancy, weight loss, or breastfeeding
- Restore symmetry when the breasts are asymmetrical
- Restore the breast or breasts after surgery
Like most surgical procedures, the pre-operation process for breast augmentation begins six weeks in advance. During this time, patients are advised to stop smoking and using tobacco and nicotine products, as well as cutting out hormonal birth control methods as they interfere with the healing process and also increase the risk of blood clots. Ten days prior to the surgery, patients are advised to avoid blood-thinning medications and alcohol. The day before the surgery, a disinfectant bath is required. These ensure the results of the breast augmentation are maximized.
You will be required to spend one hour under observation post surgery. Soreness, swelling, and bruising are a normal occurrence and usually fade over time. After the procedure, your surgeon will probably advise you to wear a bandage that compresses your breasts or a surgical sports bra for the support you need during recovery. Any strenuous activity should be avoided in the healing period. If you require stitches during the operation, a follow-up appointment may be necessary to get the stitches removed.
Recovery and downtime
Realistically, it depends from patient to patient for the full results to be visible. However, the soreness and swelling should heal within the first week post-surgery and the results should be visible shortly after. It is recommended to follow your surgeon’s instructions to speed up the healing process and remain healthy after the surgery.