What Is Bust Enhancement?
Bust enhancement, also known as breast augmentation mammoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery in which breast implants or fat grafts are used to increase the size of the breasts or to make them symmetrical. Breast enhancement surgery is performed as an elective cosmetic surgery to change the size, shape, and texture of normal, healthy breasts. It can also be used to correct congenital defects of the breasts and chest wall.
Using a saline or silicone gel breast implant, the surgical procedure performs a spherical enlargement of the breast hemisphere.
Bust enhancement is considered surgery after all, and one should be equipped with proper knowledge about the procedure and what it entails. If you are considering undergoing breast enhancement, this article can help you understand the general process, what the procedure entails, as well as some of the risks you should be aware of.
Who Should Consider Breast Enhancement Surgery?
Breast enhancement may help:
- Those who want to increase the size of their breasts for cosmetic reasons.
- Those who have lost breast tissue due to trauma, breast disease, breast cancer, or developmental abnormalities.
- For the reconstruction of asymmetric breasts following previous breast surgery.
- Individuals in whom the breasts did not develop as expected.
A prerequisite for breast enhancement surgery is that the individuals must have fully developed breasts before the procedure.
Types Of Implants
2 types of breast implants are used: saline or silicone gel implants. Both of these are available in different shapes and textures and both have their advantages and disadvantages, so they are recommended according to the patient’s needs and requirements.
Saline implants are made up of silicone shells that contain sterile saltwater. Although the texture of saline implants may feel softer, they can be more problematic should they burst.
Silicone Gel Implants
Silicone gel implants are also made up of silicone shells that are filled with cohesive gel. New generation cohesive gel implants are much preferred as they can retain their shape even if the implant ruptures, making them a safe option for breast enhancement surgery.
What To Expect Before The Procedure
Before the surgery, the patient will discuss with the surgeon regarding their preferences for the post-operative appearance of their breasts. The surgeon will counsel the patient about different types of implants and surgical techniques and help the patient choose what matches their needs. The patient should carefully review information about the manufacturer of the implant they will be receiving and also keep copies of their patient records.
Things To Consider Before Having Breast Enhancement Surgery:
- Lift vs Upsizing: Breast enhancement with implants can help to lift breasts with mild sagging along with cup size increment benefits. However, for more severe sagging, individuals may require breast lifting as well.
- The Longevity of Breast Implants: Breast implants do not last forever, and their average life span is about 10 years. Problems may arise due to implant rupture or factors like changes in breast due to age, weight gain, or weight loss. This may lead to the need for additional surgery. However, there are also cases where the implants last beyond the 10-year mark and may only require replacement much later.
- Monitoring Your Implants Yearly: Yearly mammograms and checks are recommended after your procedure. Breast implants may pose some challenges during routine mammograms. However, alternative imaging techniques such as ultrasound can help to overcome some of these challenges.
- Breastfeeding Possibilities: Breast implants may interfere with breastfeeding in some women. Hence, for individuals who may wish to conceive and breastfeed, it is important to make that known to your breast surgeon. Alternative surgical plans or techniques can be used for your procedure should you wish to preserve the milk ducts.
The patient will need baseline investigations or mammography before the surgery. As a part of the pre-op preparation, the breast surgeon will recommend that to avoid certain medications, such as aspirin, that may increase bleeding during the surgery. It is also advised to stop smoking for some time before the surgical procedure.
The patient can usually go home on the same day after surgery and only rarely requires staying at the hospital. The procedure is mostly done under general anaesthesia and sometimes using local anaesthesia to numb the breast area. Thus, the patient should arrange for someone to take them home after the procedure or to stay with them at the hospital after the surgery if required.
During breast enhancement surgery, implants are surgically placed behind each breast. The implant may be positioned behind the chest muscles or the above the normal breast tissue. Depending on the amount of breast tissue available to conceal the implant, the surgeon will suggest the placement of the implants.
Breast enhancement surgery is usually performed in an outpatient surgical center. The surgery involves the use of one of three kinds of incisions. These include:
- Inframammary incision (below the breast)
- Axillary incision (in the underarm area)
- Periareolar incision (in the tissue around the nipples)
After the incision, the surgeon forms a pocket by separating the breast tissue from the muscles and tissues of the chest. The implants are inserted inside these pockets and in the center of the breast. After successful insertion of implants, the surgeon closes the incisions using stitches and then the area is bandaged with surgical tape and glue. The patient is monitored after the surgery and then discharged when the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off.
What To Expect After The Procedure
Post-operative soreness, bruising, and swelling usually resolves after a few weeks. The scars heal in approximately 6 weeks after the surgery and will continue to fade in months to come. During the recovery period, the breast surgeon may advise the patient to wear a compression bandage or a sports bra for support and proper positioning of the implants. The breast surgeon may also prescribe analgesics if there is any pain.
If the job is not physically demanding the patient is usually able to return to their job after a week of rest and recovery. The patient should avoid strenuous activity for 2-6 weeks after the procedure.
If non-absorbable sutures were used during the procedure or drainage tubes were inserted, the patient will need a follow-up review at the clinic for removal.
The patient should look out for postoperative warmth, redness, or fever as it might indicate an infection. In such cases, the patient should contact the breast surgeon immediately.
The following risk factors may occur after breast enhancement surgery:
- Anaesthetic complications
- Scar formation that may deform the implant (capsular contracture)
- Breast pain
- Bleeding or bruising
- Infection may occur in the breast
- Stretching or rippling of skin over the implant
- Incorrect positioning of the implant
- Accumulation of fluid around the implant
- Discharge from the site of incision
- Alteration of breast and nipple sensation
- Chest pain or shortness of breath is another rare complication
- Nocturnal sweating
For the treatment of these complications, the patient may need to undergo more surgery to remove or change the implants.
Cost And Efficacy
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the procedure of breast enhancement procedures can cost a minimum of $12,000. However, the cost is variable depending on different factors, such as the location, surgeon, and type of implant. The previously mentioned cost is just for the procedure and does not include the cost of:
- The implant
- Facility fee
- Lab tests or investigations performed before the surgery
- Postoperative supportive treatment
Breast enhancement or augmentation surgery is a procedure mostly performed for cosmetic reasons to increase the size or change the contours of the breasts. This can be done effectively using breast implants. The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia and most patients can go home on the same day. During recovery, the patient may have to wear sports bras or compression bandages to support and properly position the breasts. The patient should avoid strenuous activity for at least a month after the surgery.