Breast enlargement is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure and is generally carried out on women who are unhappy with the size, shape or symmetry of their breasts. This may be as a result of weight loss, following pregnancy or just your natural size.
There are no muscles in the breast tissue so they can be toned by exercise, meaning women often consider surgical enhancement.
The procedure: Breast Enlargement:
Breast Augmentation typically takes between 1 – 2 hours and although it is possible to be carried out under local anaesthetic, most surgeons prefer to use a general anaesthetic, normally meaning an overnight stay.
There are 2 main methods of Breast Augmentation and they relate to the area in which the surgeon makes the incision. The implant can be inserted either through an incision in the Areola (dark skin which surrounds the nipple) or through an incision made under the arm pit. In both methods the surgeon will make the maximum effort to ensure minimal visible scarring. Once inserted through the incision, the implants are either placed under the chest muscle or directly behind the breast tissue.
Choosing your breast Implant:
The type of breast Implant you choose is based upon your profile and your desired breast size. The 2 main types are described below:
- Saline filled breast implants: These are filled with a sterile saline solution which if it ever leaked would be naturally absorbed by your body. There is an option to add/remove saline after surgery to adjust volume to get the desired breast size and symmetry.
Silicone gel filled breast implants: These are filled with silicone gel, an extremely safe compound used in many medical applications. They are often considered to provide a more natural feel than saline implants. Saline filled breast implants have been the most popular for the past 15 years but more and more surgeons are now recommending silicone gel implants as they become safer and safer.
For both types of implants, the size, shape and texture also needs to be considered and this is something that you will need to discuss with your surgeon. The choice often comes down to personal preference combined with what your surgeon recommends.
Recovery Period: Breast Enlargement
- It is important to keep your breasts well supported after surgery.
- Following the surgery it is normal for your breasts to be tender for a period of 2-3 days.
- Dressings are normally removed about 7 days after surgery.
- Stitches are normally removed 7 - 10 days after surgery.
- Breast swelling typically lasts between 2 - 4 weeks.
- The surgeon will prescribe you medication after your surgery to aid your recovery.
- Most people can return to normal activities within 1 week whilst for more strenuous activities it will be nearer to a month.
- All signs are usually completely gone 6 months after surgery.
Your surgeon may well ask you to refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking both before and after surgery as it can contribute to poor blood circulation and fluid retention.
Like with all surgeries, recovery times differ from one patient to the next and closely following the surgeons post operation instructions will generally lead to a quicker recovery period.
The risks: Breast enlargement:
Breast Augmentation is an extremely common procedure with a relatively low complication rate but as with all surgery there is a degree of risk. Your surgeon should advise you on all of these but the following are the main complications that can occur:
- A difference in breast size.
- Breast infection: if this occurs it is normally within days or weeks of the procedure. The implant is normally removed whilst the infection is treated.
- Numbness around the nipple: normally subsides over time.
- Asymmetrical nipple position.
- Capsular contraction: Scar tissue around implant pocket may cause a firm painful breast.