Are you thinking of a breast implant augmentation?
Breast can change over time, because of pregnancies, breast feeding and deceases. Sometimes breast need to be removed because of cancer. Plastic surgeons have from the beginning of plastic surgeries dealt with changing size and shapes of breasts, both for beautifying purposes or to rebuild them after abduction. For years, reduction or rebuilding sagged breasts (after extensive breast feeding) was the main subject for plastic surgeons when it came to breast repairs. It was not possible to enlarge breasts until silicon became available for such surgeries. The reaction of the body to silicon is usually very little or none at all so that problems are rare. The can occur however, as in all surgeries. The silicon jelly that is used in breast implant augmentations is processed from silica which is one of the most common material to be found on the surface of the earth. The silica is in the form of crystals that form regular sand for example. Silicon however is not to be found in nature but by connecting it to organic chemicals a special type of jelly, or a sort of oil, is formed. Because if its unique qualities silicon is used extensively in food processing, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and in therapeutic devices such as artificial limbs. The silicon pads that are used to enlarge breasts are usually made of silicon foam that is packed in resilient silicon bag. In so called saline fillings saline solution – salt water basically – is replaced for the silica foam
Is breast implant augmentation the right solution for you?
It is important that women receive as thorough information before surgery as possible before breast implant augmentation. Breast should only be enlarged when you have thought carefully about the whole process and what it involves. It is best for women to take a few weeks to think things over after the first appointment with the doctor before taking a final decision on breast enlargement. It is a special reason for women for young women, particularly under twenty to give themselves a good time for their decision. Women need to be physically and mentally prepared for the operation. Also their body need to be fully mature before such a decision. The operation usually takes place in the local operating room of the plastic surgeon and the patient is anaesthetized. The implant is placed through a little incision, either under the breast gland or deeper under the breast muscle. Silicon is never put into the breast gland itself. It depends on an agreement between the doctor and the patient which procedure is chosen. The outcome is quite in spite this difference. The operation time is about one to one and half hour. The woman goes home when the operation is finished when she has recovered after the general anesthetic. You could ache in your breasts for a few days after the operation and the breasts are quite hard and tender to begin with. It is right to take one to two day off from work depending on what you do and no sports or strenuous exercise should be practiced for about four to six weeks after breast implant augmentation.
Complications are quite rare as a result of breast implant augmentations. However, all surgical operations involve some risk. For example, a minor risk is involved in the general anaesthetic. Also, a there is a certain risk with bleeding or infection that is easily treatable (blood clots are released and antibiotics). Occasionally, the implant needs to be removed because of an infection that cannot be treated with antibiotics. Also, the nerves in the breast can be stretched during and after the operation so that the woman feels either increased or less sensation in her breasts or nipples for a while. In rare instances, a nerve can be damaged and that leads to a permanent numbness. Finally, it is possible but rare that the shape of breasts turn out differently than the woman expected. Wrinkles can appear in the skin, the breasts can be slightly different in size, the shape different than expected and the scar tissue can turn out bigger than usually. Such problems can never be completely avoided. That is why it is important that the woman understands entirely what alterations she is about have performed on her body, what she expects and what the possible side effects are.
To decide a breast implant augmentation
Discuss your expectation with your doctor. Every patient (and every doctor) has different opinions on what size for breasts is desirable. The doctor examines your breasts while you are standing upright. He discusses the effect of the operation, for example your age, the size and the shape of your breasts, the condition of your skin and more. You will discuss what changes are to be expected and whether they are likely to stand up to your expectations. The doctor describes the whole procedure and makes sure that you realize what it involves and the scars it leaves behind. Also, during the first visit to the doctor describes the anaesthetic method he prefers to us, where it takes place and how much it costs. . Top of page.
Preparation for the surgery
If your age or your family history gives the doctor a reason he will advise you to have a mammogram before the operation. He prepares you for the surgery, regarding food and drink, smoking and medicine. It usually applies to fasten from midnight before a breast implant augmentation. If you catch a cold or some kind of an infection the operation needs to be postponed. Make sure that somebody will pick you up at the clinic and can assist you for about one to two days after the operation. Top of page.
Operating room, anaesthetic and the operation
Before the operation you will have a intravenous sedative and then you are anaesthetised. A breast implant takes about one - two hours. The implant is placed through a small incision, either under the breast gland itself or a little deeper under the breast muscle. The implant is never placed in the breast gland itself. It depends on an agreement between the patient and the doctor which method is chosen, the outcome is quite similar in spite this difference. The patient goes home after the surgery, when she has recovered from the anesthesia. You could feel some pain in the breasts after the surgery and they might feel sore and hard to start with. It is advised to take a sick leave from work for one to two weeks depending on the job, and strenuous exercises should be avoided, although it is important to move about after the surgery. Top of page.
After the surgery
You need to wear bandages, straps or a special bra after the surgery over the bandages. The breasts will be bruised, swollen and tender for one or two days but you shouldn´t feel much pain. After a few days, the bandages are replaced for a soft support or a sport bra. You need to wear it night and day over the bandages for about three to four weeks. The stitches will disintegrate. If you feel that the skin of your breasts is very dry you use a hydrating cream every now and then. Be careful not to pull the skin or touch the incisions.
It is likely that you will have less sensation in the nipples and breasts after the operation because of the swelling. This numbness usually disappears in the next weeks while the swelling is reduced but it can last for over a year and in a few cases the numbness is permanent. It is recommended to apply a healing salve regularly. The doctor will recommend a good brand. Top of page.
You need to be patient when it comes to full recovery. You should take it easy the first days after the surgery and stay away from work in a week or longer, depending on how you feel. Do not lift anything heavy for about three to four weeks. If you feel anything that you suspect to be abnormal, you should contact the doctor immediately.
The doctor will give you specific instruction on when you should start moving about and exercising and how. It is advisable to avoid sex for at least a week and strenuous work-out for about an month. Then start slowly. If you get pregnant, the operation should not affect breast feed, as milk mammary glands and nipples are intact .Top of page.
The new look
The doctor makes sure that the scars are as little visible as possible. Still, you need to keep in mind that a breast implant leaves scars behind that are visible for the rest of your life. They may seem uneven and red for months but they will get paler in time and eventually turn into white thin lines. The scars are situated so that a bra hides them and you can wear low necked tops and dresses. Keep in mind that a breast lift doesn´t make the breast firm forever; the effects of aging, pregnancies and swelling will take its toll.
Your satisfaction with the breast lift surgery will be more when you fully understand what it is about and if you have realistic expectations.
Websites on breast implants - general information:
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. (UK)
US Food and Drug Administration on Breast Implants