February 8, 2011
Breast augmentation surgery is a procedure that plastic surgeons use for breast enhancement or to obtain more symmetry. Every day, women all over the world decide to undergo breast augmentation surgery for a variety of reasons. It is important to research and understand the surgery and examine your reasons for considering it when deciding whether breast augmentation is the right procedure for you
Women are impacted by the pressure from society to look perfect from a young age. Compound that with a spouse or partner that prefers larger breasts and it is reason enough for many women to decide to undergo breast augmentation surgery. There are plenty of women that decide to proceed with breast enhancement for the right reasons, based solely on their own wants and needs. To ensure a successful outcome, it is important to take a close look at what is behind your desire for enhanced breasts.
Although breast augmentation surgery is a quick and efficient procedure, it is still serious and it is important to know what to expect during and after, in terms of pain and recovery. A breast enhancement is performed as an outpatient procedure, usually under a general anesthetic and takes about one hour. There is mild to moderate soreness that improves significantly two to three days after breast augmentation surgery and most patients are back to work three to four days after surgery. Low impact activities can resume immediately but there are some restrictions on strenuous activity for three to six weeks. Six weeks after the surgery there are no restrictions.
Short term side effects of breast augmentation surgery include soreness, swelling, change in nipple sensation (increased or decreased sensation), and bruising. Most of these resolve completely within a few weeks to a few months. Some potential long term problems include deflation, leaking, rupture, capsular contracture, and rippling. Capsular contracture is abnormal scar tissue around the implant. All implants develop a capsule around them but some can become hard or painful and may require a procedure to remove the scar tissue. An MRI can confirm leakage of a silicone implant if suspected and saline implants usually deflate entirely when there is a leak or rupture.
When considering breast augmentation surgery, do your homework on the options available for types of implants. In November of last year, the FDA approved use of silicone implants for all women over twenty-two years old, which ended a thirteen year restriction on silicone implants. Plastic surgeons can now use silicone or saline implants for breast enhancement, depending upon patient preference and anatomy.
If silicone implants are used during breast augmentation surgery, the implants can be placed above or below the chest muscle. If saline implants are used for breast enhancement, most plastic surgeons will place them under the muscle. There are pros and cons to placing them above and under the muscle. Placing the implants above the muscle decreases post-operative pain and may decrease distortion during heavy chest muscle activity—important for body builders or weight lifting enthusiasts. Placing the implants below the muscle hides the upper portion of the implants and offers slightly more tissue coverage if tissue in this area was very deficient.
Breast enhancement is a valuable option for women who want to enhance their appearance, with realistic expectations in mind. In order to ensure a successful outcome from breast augmentation surgery, it is important to understand your own motives and to do your homework to learn about all the risks and potential side effects that could result from the procedure in the short and long-term.