What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that alters the shape and/or size of a woman’s breasts. Healthcare professionals perform mammoplasty (the technical term for breast augmentation) during a two-hour surgical procedure. Under local or general anesthetic, silicon shell implants are inserted behind each breast. The silicon shell is filled with either gel or salt water (saline). During the breast augmentation procedure, surgeons place implants behind the chest wall or pectoral muscle. This placement does not interfere with future breast examinations (mammograms), while areola and armpit implants require special techniques, such as ultrasound scan or MRI screening.
Healthcare Prior to Breast Augmentation Procedures
In planning breast augmentation, your healthcare regime begins long before the surgery takes place. The surgeon’s healthcare guidelines on smoking, drinking, and medication will help you prepare for surgery. A mammogram may also be suggested prior to the procedure, to provide a basis for future comparison. Ideally, the best candidates for breast augmentation are physically healthy women with realistic expectations of the final outcome – women seeking physical improvement and not perfection.
Possible Complications in Breast Augmentation
While breast augmentation is a relatively simple procedure, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with augmentation mammoplasty. The most common problems are that:
- the scar around the implant may tighten causing the breast to feel hard
- nipples might become sensitive or numb
- breast implants may break.
- there might be excessive bleeding
- an infection may develop around an implant
Most women do not experience complications, but these risks should be discussed and understood prior to surgery. Normal activity can be resumed within a few days of the procedure.