Breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure to enlarge or enhance the shape of a woman’s breasts using artificial implants.
Women opt to for the surgery for various personal reasons:
- as a reconstructive technique following mastectomy
- to balance different sized breasts
- to increase volume post pregnancy
- or to accentuate the contours of the body.
Regardless of the reasoning, larger and firmer breasts are the result.
‘Augmentation mammoplasty’ begins with an incision, (either in the crease of the breast, the armpit, or the perimeter of the areola, which is the dark skin surrounding the nipple). Incision sites vary according to individual body type and the specifics of each breast enhancement procedure.
The surgeon then creates a pocket for the implant (either underneath the breast tissue or the chest wall muscle) and centred directly behind the nipple. Once in place, the original incision is sutured.
The incisions will be closed and taped before wrapping the breasts in supportive gauze bandages. All breast augmentation patients are fitted with a surgical bra for additional support and you will be expected to wear this for several weeks. Fatigue, soreness and discomfort are common post-operative conditions that can be relieved through medication. Stitches are removed within seven to 10 days following surgery and post-operative swelling should subside and be undetectable within one month.
Risks and Complications
Although rare, surgical procedures can encounter complications. Capsular contracture (tightening of the scar/capsule surrounding the breast implants) can occur, requiring the surgeon to ‘score’ the scar tissue, remove the implant(s) and re-insert another.
Other breast enhancement complications include excessive bleeding and infection in the area surrounding the implants. Scars may be noticeable for several months, but they gradually fade. In some cases, nipples become hypersensitive or under-sensitive for a period post surgery. In rare instances, the breasts may produce milk for several days post procedure.
Following your plastic surgeon’s surgical preparation instructions and postoperative care will
maximise success and minimise the risk of complication.
Standard hospital procedure requires that your surgeon perform laboratory investigations and/or diagnostic examinations to ensure that you are fit for surgery, prior to hospital admission and surgery.
Surgery Time: One to two hours
Anaesthesia: General or local with sedation
- Temporary pain
- Change in nipple sensation
- Back to work: Within three to five days
- More strenuous activity: Allow three to four weeks
- Scars will fade: Within several months to a year (or longer, pending individual healing)
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.