A form of cosmetic surgery that may change a woman’s appearance by giving her larger breasts, or reconstruct the breast after mastectomy. It is sometimes called a breast enlargement, breast reconstruction or breast implant procedure.
Breast Augmentation (or what is casually referred to as a boob job) is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures.
While it is often thought of as an operation for breast enlargement, I prefer to think of it as a means to improve or restore the shape of a patient’s breasts. It is also a very effective procedure to rebalance asymmetrical breasts which is a common problem concerning a lot of women.
After a thorough consultation and analysis process it will be decided which is the best choice of breast implants for you. Breast Augmentation comes with its own language relating to shape and size, surface and contents, incisions and pockets. Considerations include the position of your incisions – whether they be placed under your breasts, underarms or around your nipples. Their size is the biggest decision as well as their shape (round or tear-drop) along with their positioning, be that under or over the muscle.
With advanced technology patients can expect their breast implants to last for up to 30 years while the look and feel continues to improve. As the natural look and feel of the final results continues to improve, the risk of complications is very low as long as the surgery is performed by a competent surgeon. It is important for patients to rest and take at least a few days off initially to allow the new breasts to settle in and for the bruising to subside. A post-operative surgical bra helps support the breasts in the first few weeks after surgery.
Patients opting for Breast Augmentation prior to having children and breastfeeding can rest assured that they should be able to breastfeed in spite of their surgery. Sometimes the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and breast-feeding cause changes in the size and shape of augmented breasts so that a surgical revision may be required.
However many women report that after breastfeeding, their implants settle in, look and feel so much softer and more natural. It all depends on the individual.
Despite the fact that the silicone gel used to create breast implants is an inert substance, the 1990s was a time of much scaremongering and speculation citing the presumed evils of silicone breast implants – both in the media and the scientific press. Silicone implants were linked to connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma and lupus but after many years of exacting research, these concerns have been dispelled and no such links exist.
There is no link between silicone implants and breast cancer. Patients with implants can still undergo effective breast cancer detection with mammograms, ultrasound or an MRI.
More recently there was much concern about the PIP brand of implants, their weak surrounding shell and the substandard silicone gel within the implants. Their defects caused a higher rate of implant rupture with subsequent silicone leakage and as a result this brand has been removed from the marketplace.
My preference is to use implants from well-established companies with many decades of accumulated safety data.
Finally, atypical large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a very rare form of lymphoma that has been linked to breast implants, both saline and silicone. It is a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that occurs in roughly one in a million patients having undergone Breast Augmentation. If affected, the patient will experience an accumulation of fluid around the implant, many months after the surgery, which can effectively be treated by removing the implant and its surrounding capsule.
Breast Augmentation may be performed with a Breast Uplift operation (Mastopexy), depending on the patient’s preferences and individual needs. Other procedures that may be performed in conjunction with Breast Augmentation include Liposuction, Abdominoplasty and Body Lift.
The size you would like to achieve after your surgery is determined pre-operatively with a detailed consultation including examination and sizing.
This is a personal preference but the round implants tend to create a fuller cleavage.
Breasts implants contain either saline or silicone. In Australia, the UK and Europe silicone has always been used but it was unavailable in the USA until relatively recently, so saline implants remain popular in the States.
Thin patients with very little breast tissue above the nipple achieve a more natural look when the implant is placed under the muscle.
In twilight sedation you remain awake but sleepy for your procedure, while a full anaesthetic involves an anaesthetist putting you off to sleep. While it is possible to perform the operation under either condition, I believe that a full anaesthetic is the most safe and reliable approach.
The operation involves making a small cut in the skin and inserting an implant under the breast. It takes around one hour to perform and is day surgery procedure.
There is more of a heavy sensation on your chest rather than excess pain. Whatever discomfort you do experience can be well managed with tablet pain relief.
You will be provided with a surgical bra after the operation that you will be required to wear night and day for three weeks, then during the daytime only for a further three weeks. Keep your dressings dry for one week, until for first post-operative visit. From the start of your second week you can get your dressings wet in the shower. Avoid heavy lifting for six weeks. Most patients can return to work within seven days.
Avoid the gym for your first week after the surgery but I encourage you to start walking right away. Gentle walks are good for the circulation but don’t stress your body. From the start of your second week you can return to the gym but don’t’ do any upper body work, just focus on your legs. From the start of your seventh week you can resume your regular gym routine. It is likely you will have deconditioned so ease back into it. You can expect to be back to your normal gym program by twelve weeks after surgery.
Not at all. Irrespective of whether you have had a breast augmentation or not, one third of women can successfully breast feed, one third need to supplement with formula and on third are unable to breast feed.
Breast implants can last for decades without causing a hitch. With current implant technology it is more likely that your body will change around the implant through ageing, pregnancy and breast feeding, than it is for the implant to become problematic.