Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast augmentation surgery involves using implants to fulfill your desire for fuller breasts or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Augmentation of the breast consists of insertion of a silicone bag (prosthesis) under the breast (submammary) or under the breast and chest muscle (subpectoral) and then filling the bag with saline (salt water). This prosthesis expands the breast area to give a fuller breast (increased cup size), give a better contour, and give more cleavage.
Currently, there are two types of breast implants available: saline breast implants and silicone breast implants. Both come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with varying designs. In the not-too-distant future, highly cohesive silicone gel, or “gummy bear” implants, may be available, too. Breast implants can be placed in different positions through a variety of incision patterns.
Another option, for women who are interested in a modest augmentation, is breast augmentation fat transfer. This procedure is also used to make cosmetic improvements after breast reconstruction or to fill in contour irregularities after breast augmentation with implants.
Your plastic surgeon may recommend that a breast lift and breast augmentation be performed at the same time. This helps treat the breast sagging (ptosis) that can result from changes after pregnancy, weight loss or advancing age. During this combined procedure, breast tissue is reshaped, your breast skin is tightened and lifted, and an implant is inserted. Both breast augmentation and/or breast lift may also be part of a mommy makeover.
How is the incision made?
The incision (cut) may be placed at various locations such as: under the breast at the breast fold; periareolar which is at the edge of the areola (brown area consisting of nipple and areola); within the areola; in the armpit (axillary); or in the umbilical area.
The thinnest scar is usually in the areola. The umbilical incision approach is used with an endoscope (tube with a light for visualization and placement of the breast implant).
Your breast augmentation surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing breast augmentation, although general anesthesia may be desirable in some instances.
When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings or a surgical bra.
You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, unless you and your plastic surgeon have determined that you will stay in the hospital or surgical facility overnight.