What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a popular plastic surgery operation designed to both increase the size of the breasts and also improve the shape. It’s performed under general anesthetic, and the majority of patients go home on the same day. In the operation, a little incision is made underneath the breast in the natural breast fold. The implant is inserted either above the muscle or just below the muscle. The incisions are closed with dissolving absorbable sutures, and a simple tape is applied to the incision. There are a big variety in size and shape of breast implants. Your goals for surgery like what sort of look you are hoping for and also your natural anatomy are matched with the type of breast implant . At the end, a support bra is used to support the breasts, but there are no other dressings and no drains. The patients often go home on the day of surgery, and it is recommended that they take a week off work.
What are some of the risks of Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a routine procedure, and the vast majority of patients come through without any problems whatsoever. However, there are some complications you need to be aware of, and these include general things such as infection or bleeding. These are very rare in breast augmentation surgery occurring in about 1 in a hundred patients, but they may be a reason why you have to return to the clinic. There are complications relating to the implant. The implants we use nowadays are very durable and robust, but in a minority of cases, they may rupture or get scar tissue formation around them that deforms the breast. That is termed capsular contracture and is one of the more common reasons why patients undergo a revision. Some things are common to all patients like having some degree of nipple numbness of the skin around the breast. That usually improves over six weeks to six months. There will also be swelling, and this takes several weeks and months to settle down. Also, breast implants often sit quite high early on, and they take some time to settle down into their natural position. This process is called fluff and drop. In a minority of patients, bleeding after the procedure may result in swelling in the breast pocket around the implant and require a further operation to remove the blood clot.
How long does Breast Augmentation take to recover?
About 15% of patients who have breast augmentation surgery will have a revision within 10 to 15 years. The scar is minimal, around 4cm or so, and it is placed directly in the fold underneath the breast. After some time the scar fades, and because of its location becomes very inconspicuous. Pain is very subjective, and it changes from patient to patient. The majority require regular pain killers for the first four or five days. Then, after four or five days most patients are relatively pain-free, moving comfortably, and not requiring any further analgesia. The implants often sit high, and it takes time for them to settle into a more natural position. This process takes around six months. It is usually recommended that patients take a week off work and four or five weeks before returning to strenuous exercise like lifting weights, running, and swimming.
Does Breast Augmentation need to be redone?
Usually, patients have to expect to have another operation at some stage in their life. However, if there are no issues with the implants and the patient is pleased with the shape of the breasts, then there is no need for revision or to have the surgery redone. About 15 to 20% of patients will have a revision procedure within 10 to 15 years. The most common reason for this is scar tissue around the implant, which can deform the breast shape and make it hard. That is called capsular contracture. Another but a less common reason is that the implant may rupture. Some other times patients want a change in the size of their implant or a further breast reshaping procedure such as a lift.