What is Breast Augmentation?
When it comes to the numerous breast-related surgeries available (breast lifts, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, etc.), patients can easily become confused when determining which procedure is right for them. We wanted to dedicate today’s post to discussing breast augmentation and whom it serves best.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation (clinically-known as mammoplasty) is a procedure in which breast implants or fat are used to increase the size or volume of one’s breasts after one has lost weight, recently been pregnant, or seen a general loss in volume as one has aged(American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
When picking implants, patients can most commonly select from either saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are comprised of a thin implant shell that is filled with sterile salt water. If the saline implant becomes punctured or otherwise leaks, then the body will absorb and naturally remove the saline water. Some patients prefer saline implants as they offer a more uniform shape and are generally more firm than silicone implants. Conversely, silicone implants are comprised of an implant shell filled with silicone gel. Silicone implants are immensely popular with patients as they can more closely mimic the feeling of a natural human breast and will not collapse even if the silicone leaks. However, those with silicone implants may require periodic visits with their plastic surgeon so as to ensure that the implants have not ruptured or are otherwise malfunctioning. It is important to note that there are certain age limitations as to who may receive these implants; saline implants are FDA-approved for women who are age 18 or older, whereas silicone implants are approved for those who are age 22 or older (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
The method of insertion will also vary according to the individual patient’s original breast tissue and the size of the implant. Some patients may require implants to be inserted through an incision in one’s armpit, beneath the breast fold, or through the areolas. Some patients may also require the implant to be placed between the breast tissue and pectoral muscle or behind the pectoral wall.
How do I Prepare for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
To improve the chance of full recovery, patients must refrain from smoking and taking certain medications before, during, and after the surgery. It is also suggested that you arrange for someone to drive you home from the surgery and stay with you for several days post-surgery, as patients are discouraged from resuming most daily activities for several days after undergoing a breast augmentation. Most patients should not drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery. For your comfort, it is suggested that you wear loose-fitting clothing to your surgery and in the days after the procedure (Medline Plus).
Who Should Undergo Breast Augmentation?
Most women who are in generally good health, have fully-developed breast tissue, and who wish to increase their breast volume are potential candidates for breast augmentation surgery.
Additionally, it is important for patients to have realistic expectations of what breast augmentation surgery can achieve. Breast augmentation surgery cannot treat significantly drooping breasts, although other procedures (such as a breast lift) may be able to accomplish this aim. It is also important to keep in mind that breast implants will not prevent the breast from sagging in the future; breast implants may complicate the breast feeding process; and that additional surgery may be required if you choose to remove your breast plants (Mayo Clinic).
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of one’s breast augmentation surgery will vary greatly from patient to patient and includes factors such as the type of implant selected and the frequency of follow-up visits. Dr. Brian V. Heil will gladly discuss the financing options that are offered at Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology – we are always happy to accommodate each patient’s individual financial situation. If you are interested in learning more about financing, we suggest reading our financing page.
What Happens After the Surgery? Are There Any Side Effects?
Dr. Brian V. Heil will prescribe appropriate medications so as to minimize any pain and discomfort. Dr. Heil will also offer detailed instruction on how to care for your breasts post-surgery, including or how long you must refrain lifting heavy objects and how to minimize the risk of infection. Patients must wear a specially-designed support for 24/7 for several weeks after surgery, so as to ensure proper healing and support. The recovery time will vary from patient to patient, although most patients typically require 24 – 48 hours after surgery to recover and resume most daily activities, with several weeks post-surgery for swelling and soreness to disappear (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
As with any surgical procedure, breast augmentation is not a completely risk-free procedure. Patients may experience some breast pain, temporary changes in nipple and breast sensation, leaking or ruptured implants, and scar tissue that may affect the shape of the breast implant. The FDA notes that there may be a possible correlation between breast implants and a slightly increased risk for a rare form of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma. However, more research is required in order to understand this relationship (Mayo Clinic).
Why Should I Pick Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology?
We at Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology believe in providing the highest level of care possible to our patients. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian V. Heil received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of numerous professional medical societies, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Heil has also authored or co-authored numerous abstracts, papers, and presentations regarding plastic surgery during his career. Since opening Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in 2001, Dr. Heil and his team at Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology have successfully treated thousands of patients.
Patients who are looking to improve the volume and size of their breasts may elect to have breast augmentation surgery, in which implants or fat are inserted into one’s breasts. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian V. Heil or would like to know more about our services, we suggest calling us at 724-264-3608 or sending us an email.