What is breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants or fat, referred to as fat transfer breast augmentation, to increase the size of your breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
Breast augmentation is clinically referred to as augmentation mammaplasty.
Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
- Improve the balance of your figure
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
Breast implants may also be used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury.
What breast augmentation surgery won’t do
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
Breast augmentation risks and safety
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The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast augmentation are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Possible breast augmentation surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Poor scarring of skin
- Wrong or faulty position of the implant
- Implant leakage or rupture
- The formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Pain, which may persist
- Possibility of revisional surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Breast implant safety
Breast implants do not impair breast health.
Careful reviews of scientific research by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine have found no link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
Other important considerations:
- Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants
- Pregnancy, weight loss, and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime
- Breast augmentation requires regular examinations of your breasts’ health and to evaluate the condition of your breast implants
Preparing for breast augmentation surgery
In preparing for breast augmentation surgery, you may be asked:
- Get a blood test
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs as they can increase bleeding
Breast augmentation surgery may be performed in an accredited outpatient or ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
If your breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.