Breast Augmentation


Why is breast augmentation done?
When is breast augmentation done?
What types of implants are used in breast augmentation?
Who are the best candidates for breast augmentation?
What are the risks and complications associated with breast augmentation?
What are the preoperative procedures involved in breast augmentation?
How is breast augmentation done?
What are the post operative symptoms and procedures in breast augmentation?
What are the recuperative guidelines to be followed?
Glossary


Why is breast augmentation done?
Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast by inserting an implant behind each breast.

When is breast augmentation done?
        • When there is a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy
        • To balance a difference in breast size
        • For reconstruction after breast surgery
        • When the breast size is too small and there is a personal desire to increase the size, for improvement in appearance and body contour

What types of implants are used in breast augmentation?
The implants that are used for breast augmentation may be either
        • A silicone shell filled with either silicone gel or
        • A silicone shell filled a salt-water solution known as saline implant

Who are the best candidates for breast augmentation?
        • Candidates who are physically healthy, psychologically healthy and have realistic expectations from the procedure
        • Candidates who seek improvement rather than perfection

What are the risks and complications associated with breast augmentation?
Though risks of complications occur in very rare cases, they may include
        • Capsular contracture - the formation of scar tissue around the implant, which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard; it can be treated either by removal of the scar tissue or removal/ replacement of the implant
        • Bleeding or infection
        • Increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, occasionally permanent
        • Rupture of the implants


What are the preoperative procedures involved in breast augmentation?
        • During the initial consultation, a thorough discussion on the expectations of the patient is understood
        • The patient may seek a copy of the manufacturer’s brochure for the implant
        • Photographs are taken for further comparison after procedure.
        • The doctor discusses and advises on options of anaesthesia, implants, type of facilities and cost with the patient.
        • The doctor provides guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications
        • The patient must arrange for transportation and assistance to leave for home after the surgery.

How is breast augmentation done?
        • The patient is given either a local or general anaesthesia before the surgery. If local anaesthesia is to be given, the patient is given a sedative to relax through an intravenous line after which the local anaesthesia is injected to numb the area.
        • An incision is made either 
                - in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola or 
                - in the armpit, where the resulting scars would be inconspicuous.
        • The breast tissue and skin is lifted to create a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue or under the chest wall muscle. The implants are inserted in the pocket and centred beneath the nipples.
        • Drainage pipes are inserted to drain any fluid accumulated and may be removed only after a few days.
        • Finally the incisions are sutured, and the breast bandaged to aid healing.
The surgery usually takes 30 minutes to one hour to complete

What are the post operative symptoms and procedures in breast augmentation?
The surgery is mostly done on an outpatient basis except for rare complex cases where a short stay in hospital is required after surgery.
        • The patient feels tired and sore for a few days following the surgery though she will regain normalcy in 24 to 48 hours. Medication is prescribed to provide relief from any discomfort.
        • The patient may experience a burning sensation in the nipples for about two weeks that will subside gradually as the bruising fades.
        • After a few days, the gauze dressings are removed and the patient is instructed to wear a surgical bra by the surgeon.
        • The stitches are removed after 7- to 10 days
        • The swelling in the breasts may take three to five weeks to disappear.

What are the recuperative guidelines to be followed?
        • The patient may be able to return to work within a few days
        • The patient is given guidelines regarding exercises and normal activities.
        • The patient must avoid any physical contact for three to four weeks as the breasts may be sensitive to direct stimulation. 
        • The patient must visit the doctor for routine examinations.
        • Routine mammograms if done previously must be continued.
The scars though firm and pink for the first six weeks may gradually fade away after several months.

Glossary
Areola - The dark skin surrounding the nipple



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