Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast enlargement or breast implants
Breast augmentation surgery increases or restores breast size using silicone implants, saline implants or in some cases, fat transfer. One of the most popular and frequently performed aesthetic surgery procedures, breast augmentation has a long and successful track record in satisfying women who wish to enhance, regain or restore balance to their figures.
When to Consider Breast Augmentation
If you want a better proportioned or more appealing figure
If you wish your clothes fit better
If you would gain self-confidence or self-esteem from such a procedure
When pregnancy, weight loss or aging has affected the size and shape of your breasts
To restore symmetry if one of your breasts is smaller than the other
Are you a good candidate for breast augmentation?
The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider breast augmentation:
You believe your breasts are too small for your body.
You feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting or low-cut tops.
Clothes that fit your hips are too large at the bust line.
Your breasts have become smaller or less firm after you've had children.
Your breasts have become smaller due to weight loss.
One of your breasts is noticeably smaller than the other.
If you are in good health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.
Realistic Expectations from Breast Augmentation Procedure
Several patients expect quite unrealistic results from their breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Zambrano explains that the procedure is not aimed at correcting breasts that are severely drooping. Such patients may need to consider a breast lift procedure alongside breast augmentation in order to see lifted and fuller breasts. The good news is that in most cases, both procedures, i.e. breast lift and breast augmentation can be done simultaneously. Dr. Zambrano can help you take a decision as to whether you require separate operations or not.
The actual results of a breast augmentation surgery include the following:
Better balance of hip and breast contours
Increased projection and fullness of breasts
A boost in self-confidence due to improved appearance
Your initial consultation appointment
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for breast augmentation and clarify what a breast augmentation can do for you. Understanding your goals and medical condition, both alternative and additional treatments may be considered.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:
Past and present medical conditions
Allergies and current medications
Medical treatments you have received
Medications you currently take
Family history of breast cancer
Current mammogram results
Your plastic surgeon will examine, measure and photograph your breasts for your medical record. Your surgeon will consider:
The current size and shape of your breasts.
The breast size and shape that you desire.
The quality and quantity of your breast tissue.
The quality of your skin.
The placement of your nipples and areolas.
If your breasts are sagging, a breast lift may be recommended in conjunction with breast augmentation.
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, be sure to tell your plastic surgeon. The surgeon may recommend that you stabilize your weight before undergoing surgery.
If you think that you may want to become pregnant in the future, discuss this with your surgeon. Pregnancy can alter breast size in an unpredictable way and could affect the long-term results of your breast augmentation. There is no evidence that breast implants will affect pregnancy or your ability to breastfeed, but if you have questions about these matters, you should ask your plastic surgeon.
Preparing for Your Procedure
our surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
To help detect and track any changes in your breast tissue, your plastic surgeon may recommend:
A baseline mammogram before surgery
Another mammogram a few months after surgery
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing cosmetic surgery to better promote healing.
Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs that can increase bleeding.
Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
For breast augmentation using autologous fat transfer, you may be instructed to wear a special bra to expand the skin and tissue around the breasts to prepare them for fat injection.
Breast augmentation is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
What can I expect on the day of breast augmentation surgery?
Your breast augmentation surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite. Most breast augmentation procedures take at least one to three hours.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure.
General anesthesia is commonly used during your breast augmentation procedure, although local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be desirable in some instances.
For your safety during the surgery, various monitors will be used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.
Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan discussed with you before surgery.
After your procedure is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area, where you will continue to be closely monitored.
Following insertion and placement of breast implants, your surgeon will use sutures to close the surgical incisions. Many plastic surgeons will wrap your chest area with a gauze bandage or a surgical compression bra to provide support and assist with healing. Occasionally, drainage tubes may be used for a short time following surgery.
Breast augmentation with autologous fat transfer requires two procedures: liposuction and fat injection. Using liposuction techniques, your plastic surgeon will remove your fat cells from a predetermined location with a cannula, process the fat and then inject the fat into your breasts. Your liposuction incisions will be closed with sutures, and you will wear compression garments over the liposuction areas and your breasts.
You may be permitted to go home after a short observation period unless you and your plastic surgeon have arranged other plans for your immediate post-operative recovery.
Recovery after Breast Augmentation
Most patients are relieved to know that the breast augmentation procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically under the effect of general anesthesia. This means that you could move around within hours after the surgery.
It is common to feel some soreness in the first two weeks of the surgery, and you be advised to avoid any strenuous physical activity in that period. Dr. Zambrano may also suggest wearing a surgical support bra for a limited time period post breast augmentation. This will help fasten recovery. You might also receive prescription or medications after the surgery. However, most cosmetic surgeons usually prescribe any postoperative medications well in advance. The prescribed medications typically include an antibiotic (for preventing infection) and pain killers. It is important to follow the instructions given by cosmetic surgeon in order to ensure optimal healing.
As per the FDA regulation, a woman needs to reach a minimum age of 18 years before undergoing a breast augmentation procedure using saline breast implants. For silicone-gel implants, the minimum age is 22 years.
During the initial medical assessment with your doctor, it is crucial to discuss your expectations and get their feedback on the same. You might need to halt the consumption of certain medicines a couple of days/weeks prior to your surgery.