What is Breast augmentation, or augmentation Mammoplasty?
Breast augmentation — also known as augmentation Mammoplasty — is surgery to increase breast size. It involves placing breast implants under breast tissue or chest muscles.
For some women, breast augmentation is a way to feel more confident. For others, it’s part of rebuilding the breast for various conditions.
Breast augmentation poses various risks, including:
- Scar tissue that distorts the shape of the breast implant (capsular contracture)
- Breast pain
- Changes in nipple and breast sensation
- Implant leakage or rupture
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure (you’ll be able to return home the same day as surgery) that is typically completely in 2 hours, including anesthesia time.
The surgery can be done under general anesthesia,
How you prepare
You’ll consult with a plastic surgeon about your preferences for size, feel and appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will describe specific types of implants — smooth or textured, round or shaped like a teardrop, saline or silicone — as well as options for surgical techniques.
Before you decide to have surgery, consider the following:
- Breast implants won’t prevent your breasts from sagging. To correct sagging breasts, you might need a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.
- Breast implants aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. The average life span of an implant is 10 years. Implant rupture is a possibility. Also, your breasts will continue to age, and factors such as weight gain or weight loss might change the way your breasts look. These issues will likely lead to more surgery.
- Mammograms might be more complicated. If you have breast implants, in addition to routine mammograms, you’ll require additional, specialized views.
- Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others, however, breast-feeding is a challenge.
- Insurance does not cover breast implants. Unless it’s medically necessary — such as after a mastectomy — breast augmentation isn’t covered by insurance. Be prepared to handle the expenses, including related surgeries or future imaging tests.
- You might need additional surgery after breast implant removal. If you decide to have your implants removed, you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help restore your breasts’ appearance.
- You might need an MRI scan. The FDA recommends routine monitoring with MRI after three years. However, recent studies show that there’s little data to support routine screening unless you have symptoms.
After the procedure
Soreness and swelling are likely for a few weeks after surgery. Bruising is possible, too. Expect scars to fade over time but not disappear completely.
While you’re healing, it might help to wear a compression bandage or sports bra for extra support and positioning of the breast implants. Your surgeon might prescribe pain medication as well.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions about returning to regular activities. If you don’t have a physically demanding job, you might be able to return to work within a few weeks. Avoid strenuous activities — anything that could raise your pulse or blood pressure — for at least two weeks. While you’re healing, remember that your breasts will be sensitive to physical contact or jarring movements.
If your surgeon used sutures that don’t absorb on their own or placed drainage tubes near your breasts, you’ll need a follow-up appointment for removal.
If you notice warmth and redness in your breast or you run a fever, you might have an infection. Contact your surgeon as soon as possible. Also contact your surgeon if you have shortness of breath or chest pain.