Breast Augmentation Overview
Breast augmentation surgery, or augmentation mammaplasty, describes a procedure in which implants are inserted into the breast to increase the size and improve the shape and fullness of the breast.
- PreparationTo prepare for breast augmentation surgery, you should discontinue the use of blood-thinning vitamins, herbs, and medications for two weeks before the surgery. If you smoke cigarettes, you should quit for at least two weeks before and after surgery. If you are over the age of 45, medical clearance by an independent physician may be required before undergoing surgery. Doctor Vallecillos may also recommend that you get a mammogram before and after surgery, to help detect any future changes that may occur within your breast tissue.
- AnesthesiaGeneral anesthesia is the preferred anesthetic modality for breast augmentation surgery.
- There are several methods that can be used for breast augmentation, mostly differentiated by the placement of the incisions and the material of the implants. Dr. Vallecillos will discuss beforehand which options are best for you, given your specific circumstances and the size of the implant. The most popular breast augmentation procedures are as follows:
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water, the amount of which determines the shape and firmness of the post-surgical breast.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are filled with an elastic gel, which feels akin to natural breast tissue.
In this approach, the surgeon will make an incision at the base of the breast. This is the preferred approach by Doctor Vallecillos for breast augmentation. The rationale behind this will be discussed in detail during the consultation.
A transaxillary incision allows the surgeon to enter the breast from the armpit, eliminating the risk of a visible scar on the breast.
With this method, an incision around the areola is made.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon will create a pocket in the breast for the implant. The implant may be placed either beneath the pectoral muscle (submuscular), or behind the breast tissue but above the pectoral muscle (submammary/subglandular).
Breast Augmentation FAQ
Who is a candidate for breast augmentation?
You should consider breast augmentation if you wish to increase the size of your breasts and/or correct an undesirable shape.
What is the recovery time for breast augmentation?
You should arrange to have a family member, friend, or caregiver available to help during the first two days after surgery. Typically, patients feel very tired and sore during this period. Bandages will be removed during the first week, although patients may be instructed to wear a special supportive bra for a set period of time thereafter. Heavy lifting and exercise that requires bending or straining should be avoided until most of the soreness has disappeared.
Are there risks or side effects with breast augmentation?
Complications from breast augmentation surgery are rare, but can include scarring, bleeding, infection, and loss of sensation in the nipple or breast. Capsular contracture, or the hardening of the tissue and skin around the implant, can occur and would require an additional surgery to correct.
How long do the results last?
Although breast implants typically yield long-term results, it is important to understand that over time, changes in your breasts may make later procedures necessary. While it is rare, implants can leak and sometimes require replacement. Women who receive large implants may later need a breast lift to reduce drooping. Regular follow-up visits with your surgeon are an important part of your post-procedural routine.