Nowadays, plastic surgery has made it possible for anyone to transform just about every part of their body to suit their preference. Even though sports and a healthy diet are still the most popular ways to get the desired body shape, plastic surgery often comes up as a quick solution.
Breast augmentation is a procedure done by a plastic surgeon to alter the look of the breast, mostly with regards to size – firmer and fuller breasts can be achieved after the procedure. Women who have small breasts, or whose breasts have lost their suppleness after pregnancy or weight loss, are candidates for breast implants. A prospective patient’s health and physical condition is also a defining factor in deciding if breast augmentation is possible. Some studies have reported that plastic surgery may have psychological effects on the patient as well as the more obvious physical changes, so it is important to also discuss these matters with the surgeon or a psychologist before making any decisions.
Regarding the breast augmentation procedure, the surgeon inserts an implant underneath the breast, the implant can be saline or silicone and it can be inserted underneath the muscle or underneath the glands. The plastic surgeon makes an incision as a point of entry for the implant, and the incision can be made under the breast, around the nipple, in the armpit, or the belly button. All of these options depend on the patient’s needs and the surgeon’s ability. The patient should discuss this with the surgeon prior to the procedure to decide which technique is best.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning that the patient will not feel any pain, or any other sensations, during the procedure. Thus, a check of the patient’s physical condition prior to the procedure is mandatory; the anesthesia doctor reviews the patient’s medical condition to decide the best technique of anesthesia. They might also order some laboratory tests to be conducted for examination purposes.
The plastic surgeon draws marks on the breast about half an hour before the surgery; taking measurements and marking are done in the preparation room prior to the procedure. The operation is done in an operating theatre with surgery standard sterilization. Usually, it takes approximately 1-2 hours to perform the procedure. Inside the operating theatre, the patient is introduced to the anesthesia doctor and nurses assisting the procedure – surgery is a serious and intimate process and meeting the professionals who will be performing the operation builds patient’s trust. The procedure starts when doctors are absolutely certain that the patient has been anesthetized and is fully unconscious.
After the procedure, there is usually a post-operation recovery period; the patient is recommended to stay in the hospital for a day, giving them time to fully recover from the effects of anesthesia, and to receive explanation from their doctor about post-operation care and maintenance, such as: types of activities to avoid, when a check-up is due, etc.
Some complications may occur after the procedure such as breast pain, changes in sensation on the nipple and breast, formation of scar tissue and hardening in the area around the implant (capsular contracture), scarring, bleeding, infection, and/or problems with the size or shape of the implants (for example, the breasts may not be symmetrical). It is also possible for implants to rupture and leak. If saline implants rupture, the saline will be safely absorbed by the body. A silicone leak may stay inside the implant shell or leak outside of the shell. A saline implant rupture is more noticeable because it will deflate when broken, but silicone breast implants may cause no obvious symptoms when they rupture. This is called a silent rupture.
Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. If the size and shape of the augmented breasts change over time, and if there are complications, the implants may have to be replaced. It is recommended to get regular check-ups after a surgery.