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A breast augmentation provides the patient with an improved 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 and 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 you 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 some decisions about the type of implant you would prefer, including the shape, texture, size and projection. 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.
Implant placement can be performed through three ways:
- Peri-areolar (incision around the nipple)
- Trans-axillary (through the armpit)
- Infra-mammary fold (in the breast crease)
Each of these approaches has their own benefits and drawbacks. The reason for choosing one approach over another can be due to surgeon preference, type of implant, and patient preference. The most common approach is infra-mammary (in the breast crease), which is also Dr Perron’s preferred approach.
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 behind the muscle and part is 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 can vary but it usually takes about 1-2 weeks before you feel ‘back to normal’. Returning to full physical activity (gym work/heavy lifting) should be avoided for 2-3 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 6 weeks.
There are risks with any procedure. The general risks, as with any surgical procedure, include the following:
- Blood clots
Specific risks associated with a 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
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that women choose when they are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts, particularly when the breasts are considered to be too small. This may make someone feel self-conscious when wearing certain clothes. Women may also choose breast implants following pregnancy and childbirth or weight loss, which can alter the shape and size of the breasts.
Patients need to be in good physical health to be considered for this procedure. You should also not be pregnant or breastfeeding and the breasts should be fully developed. It is important for all patients to have realistic expectations about what breast augmentation can achieve.
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 recovery. Dr Perron will be able to advise you on how pain and discomfort can be minimised after surgery.
The scarring that a patient experiences after breast augmentation will depend on the incision method that is used. For example, an infra-mammary fold incision means that a scar will be present in the breast crease, which means it’s not very visible. If the trans axillary method is used, the scar will be under the armpit, which means it won’t stand out. 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.
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 next few weeks. 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.