There are few features of a woman’s body that receive more attention than her breasts. A woman’s breast size and shape also tends to determine much of a woman’s psychological, social, and medical well-being. Many women experience changes in their breasts as they age, after weight loss, or after pregnancy. Also known as Augmentation Mammaplasty, breast augmentation changes the shape and size of a woman’s underdeveloped, small, or imbalanced breasts by placing an implant of either silicone or saline behind the breast tissue. Only a qualified plastic surgeon can recommend the right implant for you as there are many features that must be taken into consideration, including but not limited to:
• Your body type
• The look and shape you would like to have
• Your desired cup size (post surgery)
Good plastic surgeons emphasize realistic results by helping you choose the shape and size of implant that is safe and healthy for your height and body type. This can only be done in a doctor’s office. Please schedule a consultation that is convenient for you.
BEFORE AND DURING THE SURGERY
A surgeon will become familiar with your current level of health by completing a medical history and a few routine blood tests. The surgeon will then assess the shape and structure of the patient’s breasts and determine the approach that will best provide the patient’s desired results. All options will be discussed, including the possibility of including a breast lift. Photographs that do not include the face may be taken before and after the procedure to help evaluate the extent of the improvement. The surgeon will discuss the procedure, realistic results, types of anesthesia to be used, and the expected risks of the surgery.
BEFORE AND AFTER
BEFORE AND DURING THE SURGERY
• Taking certain kinds of vitamins
• Eliminating certain drugs (like birth control pills, aspirin, other anti-inflammatory drugs, and certain herbal supplements) to minimize excess bleeding
• An antibiotic prescription to be taken before the procedure to minimize the possibility of an infection
Breast augmentations are usually performed on an outpatient basis (the patient is not admitted to a hospital and allowed to go home soon after the procedure is complete) under IV sedation and local anesthesia, and usually take one to three hours to complete. One of four types of incisions will be made: the inframammary incision (under the breast where it meets the chest), the transaxillary incision (in the armpit), or the periareolar incision (the dark skin around the nipple) or the transumbilical ( through the belly button). Then a pocket is made either under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. An empty silicone-shelled implant is then placed in the pocket and filled with saline to the desired size. The surgeon will check both breasts for symmetry before using small sutures to close the incisions.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE IS COMPLETE
After the surgery is complete, the patient is usually allowed to go home. Surgical dressings are placed over the incisions, and a supportive bra is usually required for the first three weeks or so. The breasts will be swollen and bruised for a few days and any pain can be treated with over-the-counter medication. The breasts and nipples will be numb until the swelling subsides, typically over the next six weeks. Breasts heal progressively. Light activity levels can be resumed within a few days; routine activities and vigorous exercise should be avoided for a while. Your surgeon will detail when normal activities can begin again. You must follow the directions your surgeon gives you in order to have successful results. Surgical incisions should not be exposed excessive force, abrasion, or motion while they are healing.
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual or irregular heartbeats, seek immediate medical attention. You may be hospitalized if any of these serious medical conditions occur.
The practice of medicine is not an exact science. Good results are always expected, but not guaranteed. Some situations may require multiple surgeries in order to achieve the best results. A similar procedure (like a breast lift, tummy tuck, or liposuction) may also be required.
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