Breast Enlargement (Breast Augmentation)
If you wish to enhance your breasts’ size and improve the shape, breast enlargement may help you. This surgery is used for multiple reasons — enlarging a woman’s bustline, restoring the appearance of breasts after multiple pregnancies, and providing balance to uneven breasts. However, be aware that breast implants may interfere with
mammography screening tests. You may need additional views of the breast with a breast implant. Also, if you are planning to breastfeed, you should make your plastic surgeon aware of this.
The Procedure: There are several types of breast enlargement surgery — an incision can be made either via the crease under your breast, the nipple, or the armpit. There is also a newer, lesser-used method that involves the belly button. Your surgeon will discuss all the possible methods with you so you can determine which best suits your needs.
There are different types of implants as well, including saline-filled or silicone gel-filled breast implants. Your plastic surgeon will discuss these options with you. Breast implants are typically done as an outpatient procedure.
Common Side Effects: Side effects can include soreness and increased or decreased sensitivity in the nipple region, bruising or swelling. The swelling may last for several weeks.
Complications: In rare instances, you may have:
- Scar tissue
- Sagging of implants
- Implants settling toward the middle of the chest, giving the appearance of one continuous breast
- Rupture or deflation of implants
- Blood or fluid collecting around the implant
Recovery: You may have drainage tubes and gauze bandages. You will have stitches that will be removed in about one or two weeks. If you are physically active in sports, it may take up to six weeks before you can return to those. You should be able to return to work within a few days after surgery.
Results: Revision may be required to change the size or shape. On average, implants will last 10 to 12 years, but this is extremely variable. In some women, implants may last a lifetime. In other women, the implants may sag with age and require replacement or an additional procedure such as a breast lift (mastopexy).
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