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Breast augmentation improves the appearance of the breasts. This surgery may be chosen for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Generally, breast augmentation surgery is conducted purely for aesthetic reasons.
However, breast augmentation surgery has many functional benefits too, including the correction of deformities. It’s also a reconstructive option for women who have experienced breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for breast augmentation surgery.
Dr Perron highly recommends extensively researching the procedure prior to making the decision to undergo surgery.
During your initial consultation, Dr Perron will also discuss your specific circumstances and expectations and help decide what is best for you.
The goal of breast augmentation is to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. Prior to your surgery, Dr Perron will help you make a decision regarding the type of implant you would prefer. Decisions on the shape, texture, size and projection of the implants will also need to be made. You will also need to decide on the type of incision you would prefer and whether you would like to place the implant over or under the muscles of the chest – Dr Perron will take you through the pros and cons of all your options.
A breast augmentation operation takes approximately 60-90 minutes, and is performed under a general anaesthetic.
Breast implants can be placed using one of three types of incisions:
- Peri-areolar (incision around the nipple)
- Trans-axillary (through the armpit)
- Infra-mammary fold (in the breast crease)
Each of these approaches has its own benefits and drawbacks. The reason for choosing one approach over another can be due to surgeon preference, type of implant, as well as patient preference. The most common approach is infra-mammary (in the breast crease), which is also Dr Perron’s preferred approach. The infra-mammary incision is popular because it provides your surgeon with the most unobstructed view and any scarring can easily be hidden underneath swimwear or underwear. It’s also one of the most flexible type of incisions, meaning that it meets the requirements of most patients.
The location or placement of an implant is most commonly behind the chest muscle (pectoralis major, or ‘pec’ muscle). Typically, part of the implant is placed behind the muscle, and part behind the breast tissue (dual plane). There are variations to this technique and they are used in various ways. The technique used depends on a patient’s individual anatomy and the type and size of the implant.
Recovery times can vary, but it usually takes about one to two weeks before you feel more like yourself again. Returning to full physical activity (gym work/heavy lifting) should be avoided for two to three months, depending on the type of implant. Breast swelling can persist for several months before a final result is seen.
Although uncommon, like all surgical procedures, complications can potentially occur. This will result in a longer recovery time. However, most patients recover effectively during the first two weeks. After these two weeks, you will generally be able to return to social activities and office-based work. Swelling will largely be resolved and you may start to feel more comfortable with your new figure. More strenuous physical activity should be limited for six weeks.
There are risks with any type of cosmetic surgery procedure. The general risks include the following:
- Blood clots
Specific risks associated with breast augmentation include the following:
- Capsular contracture
- Collection of fluid around the implant
- Change of sensation to the breast and nipple
- Sore shoulders
- Implant rupture
In our Brisbane clinic, Dr Perron will take you through all of the potential risks during your consultation and explain how you can reduce the likelihood of these complications occurring. Unfortunately, not all complications can be avoided, capsular contracture being one of them. In the event that an implant ruptures or the breast hardens, a second procedure will be required. During this, patients can either choose to replace the implant or remove both implants completely.
Breast Augmentation FAQs
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that women choose when they are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts. In most cases, patients feel their breasts are too small. Women may also choose breast implants following pregnancy and childbirth, or weight loss, which can alter the shape and size of the breasts. Overall, patients want to feel more comfortable in their own skin and their favourite clothing.
Patients need to be in good physical health to be considered for this procedure. You should also not be pregnant or breastfeeding and your breasts should be fully developed. It is important for all patients to have realistic expectations about what breast augmentation can achieve before pursuing this procedure.
This surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means patients won’t be in pain during the procedure. However, there can be some discomfort during the recovery period. Dr Perron will be able to advise you on how pain and discomfort can be minimised after surgery. Most of the discomfort will have subsided after the first week.
The scarring that a patient experiences after breast augmentation will depend on the incision method used. For example, an infra-mammary incision results in scarring in the breast crease, which isn’t as visible as other placements. If the trans axillary method is used, the scar will be under the armpit, which won’t stand out either. With the peri-areolar incision method, the scar will be around the nipple, but it won’t be obvious. It is important to remember that scars will fade over time. Most scars will disappear completely after 12 months. Dr Perron will also provide you with tips on how you can keep scarring to a minimum.
It is normal to experience swelling and some minor bruising on the breasts – the skin may also feel tight. These after effects will fade over the weeks following surgery. It is also possible that you may lose sensation in your nipples after your surgery. This often subsides over time and the nipples will return to normal. Dr Perron may ask you to wear a special support bra after your surgery and during your recovery. This helps reduce swelling and ensures the best results after your procedure. You will be able to start wearing normal bras again after six weeks, which gives the breast implants enough time to settle and the swelling to subside.
It is recommended that patients sleep on their backs after breast implant surgery. This places less pressure on the breasts after surgery. Not only will this help you achieve the best results, but it will keep you more comfortable during your recovery. Dr Perron recommends sleeping on your back for at least six weeks or longer if required. You can use pillows to prop you up if you are worried about rolling onto your side.
The cost of breast augmentation varies between patients, however average augmentation costs start at $6,000 and can go up to about $12,000. Along with taking surgeon, hospital and anaesthetist fees into account, the size and type of implant will also need to be considered. Since this is purely a cosmetic procedure, it won’t be covered by private health insurance or Medicare.
Patients can choose between silicone and saline breast implants, each of which has their own pros and cons. While saline implants are seen as safer in the event of a rupture, they don’t produce the same natural end result that silicone implants do. On the plus side, because saline implants are only filled after they’ve been inserted, a smaller incision can be used. Gummy implants are a type of silicone implant that won’t leak if a rupture occurs because the contents are solid. With this being said, the implant will still need to be replaced if it ruptures. It is typically very easy to tell when a saline implant ruptures, however can be a little harder with silicone, because it retains its shape for longer.
Absolutely. Many women choose to insert implants when they undergo a breast lift because they not only want to reshape and reposition the breasts, but increase the volume too. You can speak to Dr Perron about this option during your consultation. Just keep in mind that this could affect the cost as well as surgery time.
Breast implant manufacturers state that implants are designed to last 10 years. However, many patients go much longer without needing to replace them. It’s all a case of monitoring the shape and appearance of your breasts and scheduling regular check-ups.