What Does Breast Implantation Involve?
Breast augmentation defines breast implantation as the use of a prosthesis or artificial material to alter the contour, size or shape of a woman’s breast. Since this is a surgical operation involving the insertion of silicone materials, an anesthesia is used. The surgical team either uses general anesthesia or intravenous sedation depending on the situation. An incision is made at an inconspicuous location to ensure that the scar is not visible. Doctors deliberate the location of the incision with their patients. This ensures that the desired outcome is achieved. Beyond the discussion with the doctor, the type of implant or augmentation expectations will determine the position of incision. There are three incision options.
- Perialeolar incision: A circular incision is made at the tit. The degree or length will depend on the enlargement expected.
- Inframammary incision: The incision is made at the base of your breasts. It is usually longer but easily concealed.
- Transaxillary incision: The incision in this case is made below the armpits. It is preferred because it leaves the breasts looking untouched. It does not damage the mammary glands as well, allowing women to still breast feed whenever they will want to have children.
What Is The Purpose Of Breast Augmentation?
Breast implants are meant to change the size, orientation, texture and shape of a woman’s breast. This happens by increasing the fullness of the breasts. It may also be done to make breasts appear more symmetrical. Some women undergo the procedure with the aim of restoring the volume especially after pregnancy or weight reduction. It is a perfect way to counter the effects of aging. This surgery is also aimed at elongating breasts that appear to have failed to develop normally. For women who have undergone other surgical or treatment procedures that involved breasts, this is a way to restore your body to its appearance before the operation or procedure.
The result is an incredible boost in self image and esteem. It gives a woman the shape and size she has always desired. It allows you to put on some clothes or take photos that accentuate your boobs. It makes a woman more comfortable and confident to interact with people.
What Situations Call For Breast Implant Surgery?
Breast implant is largely a personal decision. In fact, it is classified among cosmetic surgery procedures. However, there are situations that necessitate surgery. They include:
- Where breasts are affected by other surgical operations like mastectomy
- When their size is not symmetrical
- If you are not comfortable with the shape
- When you wish to accomplish a particular orientation
The reason behind the operation should be discussed with your surgeon before the operation. It allows you to explore the options available.
What Are The Precautions That One Should Take Before Undergoing Surgery?
While the envisaged results of breast augmentation are desirable, there are vital considerations that need to be made before confirming the decision. Here are precautionary measures to take:
- The risks associated with anesthesia
- The possibility of bleeding
- Exposure to infections during the procedure and afterwards
- Changes or loss of sensitivity of the nipple and entire breast
- Faulty or wrong positioning of the implant
- The possibility of rapture or leakage of the implant
- Seroma or accumulation of fluid around the implant
- Persistent pain after the procedure
- Wrinkled skin over the silicone implant
You should also consider alternative ways of achieving desired results. There are patients who reduced the sizes of their breasts only for the breasts to grow again. This means that it is possible to carry on with the procedure and still not achieve desired results.
Are You A Good Candidate For Breast Augmentation?
While your decision qualifies you for augmentation, surgeons have to ensure that you meet the minimum qualification. You qualify if:
- Your expectations are realistic
- The doctor approves that you are physically healthy
- You have fully developed breasts
- You are uncomfortable with the size, shape or orientation of your breasts
- The breasts are not symmetrical
- A person of sound psychological status
The assessment and confirmation are made before any surgical procedure commences.
How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
The average cost of an ordinary breast augmentation procedure to be $3,000-12,000 (based on ABCS national survey). However, each woman has different demands. Further, the procedures vary depending on expected results. When calculating the cost, here are items to consider.
- Fees for the surgeon
- Cost of the surgical facility or hospital
- Medical prescriptions after surgery
- Accompanying medical tests
- Post surgery garments and care
The fees for the surgeon are largely determined by his experience and geographical location of the clinic. The nature and cost of implant will also affect the overall cost. Surgeons organize financing packages for their patients, this offers great relief. Check the procedures covered by your health insurance provider as well. Choose a surgeon who is certified and with no malpractice charge hanging over him. Here are excellent resources to guide you through costing.
Breast Implants Surgery Procedures
Preparation for Breast Implantation
Upon expressing willingness to have breast surgery performed, the surgeon makes necessary preparations. You will need to prepare for the procedure at personal level. Preparation involves:
- Certain blood tests for confirmation and monitoring
- You will be on medication to prepare the body for the surgery and post surgery situation. In case you are on drugs, the surgeon makes adjustments to accommodate the current situation.
- Smokers are requested to stop smoking.
- You will be required to stop taking aspirin or any other anti-inflammation drug. These drugs have the potential of escalating bleeding.
- If it is performed as an outpatient procedure, you should request someone to drive you to and from the facility.
Step by Step Breast Implantation
This gives the following step-by-step procedure for augmentation.
Step 1: Administration of Anesthesia
Anesthesia is administered to ensure that you are comfortable during the procedure. The anesthesia is determined by your health condition and assessment by the surgeon.
Step 2: Making the Incision
An incision is made at an area where it will be least visible. The options are discussed before hand but also influenced by expected results.
Step 3: Inserting the Implant
There are two options when inserting an implant. One is sub-muscular placement where the plant is placed under pectoral muscles while the other is sub-glandular or sub-mammary where the implant is placed over the pectoral muscles or directly behind breast tissues. The type of implant chosen and expected results determine the action to be taken.
Step 4: Closing the Incision
A surgical tape, skin adhesive or suture is used alongside breast tissues to close the incision. The positioning and effect of method used will determine the closing technique. The incision line fades over time in most cases. Medication will be administered and prescribed to support healing.
Step 5: Review of Results
You do not have to wait until the wound is healed to view the results. Using a mirror, you can see the impact of the surgery and whether it met your expectations.
Breast Augmentation Techniques
There are four main incision techniques used in breast augmentation. The effects and results of each make each technique preferable depending on expectations of the patient.
The implant is inserted at a fold on the lower side where the breast meets the chest. This technique has several advantages. It does not leave behind a visible scar. Furthermore, it does not interfere with milk production because the glandular tissue and innervations are not affected. The only risk is placing the implant over pectoral muscle. This affects the glands and duct which may reduce milk production.
The surgeon makes an incision on the upper outer region of the breasts. This reduces the visibility of scars. The incision is near the junction where the arm meets the torso. Unless the arm is raised, the incision remains invisible. Placing the implants below the muscle means that glandular tissues remain undisturbed. This will also safeguard milk production.
The incision is made at the navel or umbilicus. The implant is inserted and pushed to its desired position. The aim is to preserve the appearance of the breast. The implant goes above the muscles and has little impact on milk production.
This is the most intrusive technique but the scar is easily concealed. The incision is made around the areola. The nerves, duct and glandular are considerably damaged. Further, placing the implant on top of the duct affects milk production.
Breast Implantation Materials
Women seeking breast augmentation have an option of two common materials. Silicone and saline breast augmentation materials. For both materials, the outer shell is always silicone. It is the inside materials and consistency that makes the difference.
1] Saline Breast Implant
They are filled with saline or sterile water to acquire the desired shape. These implants are inserted first and later filled with the liquid. They are available if a woman is 18 years and above. They are perfect for enlargement and augmentation.
2] Silicone Implants
The implants are filled with silicone gel before positioning. Silicone gel is a sticky and thick fluid that resembles human fat. It is designed to feel as natural as possible. It enables a woman to maintain the natural feel and texture. These implants are for women 22 years and above. They are used for both reconstruction and augmentation.
Which materials have the least side effects?
All implants have side effects. There have been disastrous results as women seek breast surgery. However, some are easier to handle and do not present consequences as grave as others. The common risks involving the use of implants are:
- They all result in scars on one part of the body or the other. It is you to make a decision on where the scar will be.
- You may experience persistent pain and discomfort around your breasts.
- The possibility of infections around the incision or the implant being regarded as a foreign body.
- Loss or change in nipple and breast sensitivity.
- Rupture or leakage of the implant.
Does The Process Of Breast Augmentation Involve Harmful Materials?
Saline is considered a safe liquid in the body. In case there is a rupture, the implant depletes. The shape and size of the affected breast change. Since saline liquid is safe for the body, it is gradually absorbed and does not pose any health risk. The only worry you will deal with is the silicone shell that held the liquid. You may require surgery to remove it with the option of having another implant inserted.
Silicone implants also rupture for different reasons. However they tend to remain in position with little or no alteration on the size and contour of your breasts. In fact, most women do not notice the rupture. Only an MRI scan can detect the rapture. There are no known side effects of leaked silicone gel to the body. You may however, experience pain and discomfort because of the rupture. The shell is removed and another inserted.
There are no known risky materials or side effects like cancer, arthritis, connective tissue diseases or other long term health effects involving breast implants and materials used.
What Are The Side Effects Of Breast Augmentation?
Every woman expects a flawless process of breast augmentation. However, it pays to be prepared to face particular side effects. The risks or side effects as follows:
- Possibility of infections arising from contaminated implants. The risk lies in the presence of bacteria and mold on the silicone surface.
- Risks associated with surgical procedures
- Some people are affected by anesthesia used
- Possibility of chronic breast pains
- Numbness of the nipples and entire breast
- Scars on tissues
- Misshaped or hardened breasts
- Leakages or breakage of the implant
- Necrosis or skin death around the affected area
- The need for repeat or enhancement surgical procedures
- Poisoning from platinum found in the silicone implant
- Autoimmune diseases that could be debilitating like dermatomyositis fibromyalgia, and polymyositis, among others.
- In very rare cases, there have been reports of death due to much complications.
Are The Effects Harmful To Your General Health?
A professionally conducted procedure will have little to no side effects. Prior tests will reveal the dangers you are exposed to and allow the surgeon to take necessary precautionary measures. Regular monitoring is recommended to allow the doctors to arrest any undesirable consequence before it escalates. When the side effects are detected in good time, necessary intervention takes place. This will restore your normal health before the situation gets worse.
Are there any drugs that can suppress adverse side effects?
Some side effects like pain or rupture are easy to deal with. Pain relieving medication is used in such a case. After surgery, all patients are put under medication to hasten healing and recovery. However, in case of a complication, the doctor recommends certain treatment procedures. There procedures will be accompanied by drugs. The drugs include pain killers and antibiotics to prevent infections.
What Should You Do When You Experience Extreme Side Effects?
Regular monitoring allows your doctor to detect anomalies as early as possible. However, it is not always possible to detect them unless you alert him of discomfort or pain. Upon alerting the doctor, necessary tests and scans will be conducted on the implant. The interventions may include administration of drugs, follow-up surgery or removal of the implant. Whichever the case, it is recommended early intervention regardless of the severity of the problem. You should avoid exposure to certain conditions which would have adverse effects on the implant. They include high pressure on the breasts and intake of non-prescription drugs.
Time – How Long Does It Take To Perform A Complete Breast Implantation Surgery?
The main breast augmentation surgery procedure takes between one and three hours. This is for ordinary cases where there are no complications or other procedures required. However, you will not pop into the clinic and leave three hours later to take a selfie. There are pre-surgery procedures that also take time. Further more, after the surgery is completed, you must provide time for recovery and monitoring.
There are cases where the process of augmentation is complex. In case you require simultaneous breast lifts, the procedure will take longer. Preparation might take several months, weeks or days. Your body must be prepared through medication or stoppage. There are tests to be carried out to determine your health status and whether you can go through surgery. All these preparations could be considered under the duration it takes to complete a procedure.
Once the actual surgery is completed, the scars have to heal. This takes time. Because of the introduction of a foreign element in your body in the form of silicone, you might experience pain and discomfort. As the body takes time to acclimatize, the pain might persist. Follow up procedures are required to ensure that desired results were achieved.
How Long Does It Take To Heal Naturally?
Since breast implantation is largely considered an outpatient procedure, healing takes a very short time. Furthermore, the nature of incision and its positioning will determine the time taken to heal. Within three to four days, you should feel better and ready to resume normal duties. However, the incisions are yet to full heal. To that to avoid tearing, you are to refrain from all exercises involving the arms or stretching affected areas.
The area that was cut will appear pink for several weeks before it begins to fade. The doctor will issue instructions to hasten recovery and resume normal duties. A support bra may be recommended to avoid stretching the breasts and allow them to take the desired shape. Swelling is common with your breasts feeling hard and unnatural. Within a month or so, full recovery should be on course. The doctor monitors the situation and makes adjustments based on the results.
Are There Any Drugs That Can Assist In Quick Recovery?
You may desire quick recovery, for instance to resume work and other ordinary duties. The level of recovery varies including sealing of the wound, dropping of stitches, removal of tape, etc. Discuss these concerns with your doctor before hand. The doctor will advise you on activities you can engage and those to avoid during recovery. Drugs like pain killers or accessories like tapes may be used to reduce pain or conceal the wound. However, ensure that they are recommended by the doctor.
It is disastrous to hasten recovery through unwarranted means. Some measures taken may lead to anomalies during recovery. The wound may reopen or the implant fails to fall into place. Follow the instructions given by the doctor and make follow-up appointment for assessment purposes.
POST SURGERY – What Should You Do To Enhance Quick Recovery?
The surgeon assesses each patient at personal level and makes necessary recovery recommendations. To hasten recovery, follow medication and care instructions given by your surgeon. Take care of the wounded area to avoid infection. Where support bras are recommended, use them. Follow-up checks and scans should also be obeyed to assess the rate and manner of recovery.
What Measures Should You Undertake To Ensure That You Heal Naturally?
Post-surgery procedures involve injections, medication and therapy. You should avoid interfering with the wound until the incision heals. Be careful as you take a shower because the water may affect the wound. In fact, it is recommended that you wipe the area around instead of allowing water to flow. This should happen until the wound is completely sealed.
Are There Any Scars After Surgery?
Since surgery involves incision, scars are inevitable. With advancement in technology, the appearance and size of scars is greatly reduced. In other cases, the positioning ensures that they are invisible. There are procedures that reduce the size and feel of scars as well. With time, the scars disappear allowing you to feel normal once more.
What Solutions Are Available To Remove Scars?
It is possible to minimize and remove scars caused by incisions. Discuss with your doctor on the best approach among the options below.
- Silicone sheeting- this is a product used to reduce the size of the scar. By reducing the size, the scar becomes less visible.
- Cortisone cream- the cream is applied on the surface to stimulate production of collagen. This is a substance that hastens the healing process.
- Vitamin E- it is applied directly. It reduces the formation and appearance of scars giving you comfort in your appearance.
- Pressure bandages- they are used to reduce the size of scar which makes it less visible.
The instructions issued by your doctor must be followed to minimize scaring.
What Diet Should Your Take After Surgery?
Natural and effective healing is vital to prevent complications. An ordinary healthy and balanced diet will help you heal. According research, there are items that should be avoided as much as you can including herbal remedies, food and medication that lead to blood thinning. You may need to take a vitamin supplements and a lot of fluids. During pre-surgery consultation, your health status will dictate the foods to take. Further, upon completion of surgery, certain foods like fruits and foods with laxative qualities will be recommended. Pain killers have a tendency of hardening your stool. Narcotics and alcohol are to be avoided because they cause excessive bleeding. Soup, toast and crackers are recommended immediately after the operation. Within three days you should resume normal diet.
Is The Process Reversible?
While you may desire breast augmentation, the results might not be pleasing in the end. Placing an implant definitely stretches the skin. This means that its removal will leave some loose skin where the implant was. One is tempted to conclude that it is not reversible. However, two other factors affect the ability to reverse the procedure.
Original Size: Breasts that were smaller and thus enlarged during surgery will be challenging to return to normal after removing the implant. However, the skin may be stretched from other points in your body to achieve desired results.
Genetics: There are people with skins and muscles that return to normal easily despite prolonged stretching. In such a case, the breasts will naturally return to normal.
In case you are not happy with implants, you may opt for fat transfer process which is a bit more invasive and leaves more and wider scars. Support bras may also be used to maintain the desired shape.
There are temporary and permanent aspects of breast augmentation that should be considered. Augmentation will never stop your breasts from sagging. The implants will never last a lifetime. Research suggests that they last between seven and twelve years. This means more operations. Routine MRI scans are required to monitor positions and behavior of implants. In case you desire to breastfeed in future, surgery may not be preferred. It affects milk production. Expect loss of sensitivity on your breasts and especially the nipples.
People with a family history of breast cancer, those who are obese and those who smoke are likely to have their surgery requests declined. You have a big say on the kind of implant and the place you would like to have the incision. After surgery, you will be restricted from exercises especially those that involve bouncing. Expect to have your posture and general gait affected by implants. They hold weight like any other foreign body. When all is said and done, consider the risks you are exposed to and make the right decision.