Date Added : November 3, 2009 Views : 22017
As one of the most performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the world, breast enlargement (breast augmentation) is not the cure-all for all ills that may befall your bosom.
Please note that we are not involved in any way with cosmetic surgery, or any procedures like breast enlargement, but are manufacturers of skin care products, but include these information pages on our website for the interest of our visitors, since it also deals with looking good in the broadest context.
On this page
• A fuller bust line
• Options of placement of breast enlargement implants
• Types of breast implants used
• Notes on breast enlargement procedures
• Other cosmetic surgery articles
• Other articles of interest
A fuller bust line
If you want a fuller bust line, or want to enlarge one breast to mirror the other, or want to increase the bust volume after weight loss, childbirth or simply because of the aging process - them breast augmentation is for you. It will however not lift droopy breasts, nor will it remove stretch marks or move breasts closer together.
For more on mastopexy (fixing droopy breasts) please click here.
The first option that must be considered is where the operation incision should be made, since there are three sites that can be used - that being under the breast, around the nipple or under the arm.
The option of choice is normally under the breast, since it heals well, the scar is well hidden in the shadow of the normal breast crease and is also the area that will be used if revision surgery is called for at a later stage.
Doing the incision around the nipple may increase the risk of nipple numbness and since it is the focal point of the breast any irregular scar tissue would be most noticeable. Numbness of the nipple, through general surgical procedure happens to some patients and is a risk to be considered when having breast enlargement surgery.
The ability to breastfeed is not generally influenced by breast augmentation.
Cutting under the arm can yield good results and is favored by people that do not want any surgical mark on their breasts, but here too, scar tissue may be obvious. Although all three of these sites have their negative and positive points, it is best to discuss this in detail with your cosmetic surgeon, since each case should be assessed individually.
Options of placement of breast enlargement implants
The placement of the breast implant is also important, and there are two options open to women - that the implant be placed above or below the pectoralis muscle. If placed under the muscle it is referred to as subpectoral augmentation while placement above it is called subglandular augmentation.
Placement of the implant above the muscle may translate to less post-operative discomfort, swelling and a lower probability of distorted breast movement when doing exercises, yet placement under the muscle is advantageous in the sense that less "rippling" or "wrinkling" may be visible (the appearance of the skin over your implant - especially the top half of the breast) since the muscle forms a cushion between the implant and the skin.
Breast enlargement has also generated discussion regarding the increased risk of breast cancer - but there is no evidence to substantiate or indicate this - yet the placement of the implant may make reading mammograms technically more difficult where placement of the implant under the pectoral muscle may interfere less with mammography examinations.
Should there be a problem with mammography x-rays, you could always have different types of examinations to your breast, which would include ultrasound as well as magnetic resonance imaging.
It is best to discuss the placement options in full detail with your plastic surgeon to understand all the pros and cons of each placement site.
Types of breast implants used
The implants used for breast enlargements in the United States are a saline (salt water) based device, since silicone implants are currently regulated by the FDA and are only available for use in clinical studies. A a moratorium was placed on the use of silicone gel breast implants until their safety could be reviewed by an advisory panel.
Yet paradoxically, on June 21, 1999, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, tabled their report, a report requested by the United States Congress, and found that silicone implants played no role in systemic or connective tissue diseases.
Presently, only saline based implants, which consist of a silicone shell filled with salt water, are used in the USA, while Europe and other countries still continue to use silicone as the implant of choice, and given time, the silicone implant may return to the USA cosmetic market if the FDA grants approval for the use thereof.
Saline implants come in two types - rounded and teardrop shaped, and while at first glance it would seem to be a better idea to use the teardrop-shaped implant, most cosmetic surgeons prefer to use the round implants since the teardrop implants may rotate, giving unnatural contours. But again, the choice of shape should be discussed with your cosmetic surgeon.
A plus point in using saline implants is the fact that the incision made is very small, since the implant is only filled after it has been inserted and placed in position.
The size of the implant is very important, and here some careful thought needs to be expended since a too large implant will give you an unbalanced look, while a too small implant may not satisfy the required results. Should you be thinking of losing weight, first do so before contemplating the size of the implant to be used, as it can impact on your breast size.
The size of implants varies from 200 - 600 cc (that is 200 - 600 ml) - and your required result will determine the size of implant required. Your plastic surgeon should have "sizers" available and you could use them during your first consultation to determine what you require. At your first consultation you could then place sizers in your bra, and dress again and see if that is your required result.
When you have decided on the size of the implant required, discuss with your plastic surgeon the implant fill - that is the capacity to which the implant is filled with saline solution.
Saline implants should be overfilled with about 25 cc when implanted since it reduces rippling, sloshing and deflation. In practical terms it would mean that if you decided on a 250 cc implant when using the sizers, the surgeon should then place a 225 cc implant and overfill it with 25 cc to make up the volume of 250 cc.
A problem that can be experienced with breast enlargement is that the saline implant may deflate, and it must be remembered that breast implants do not have an unlimited life-span.
This normally happens if the implant is under-filled and the rupture will be the result of the folding action that appears on under-filled implants. Trauma to the breast area may also result in rupture of the implants.
When this happens the saline solution will harmlessly be absorbed by the body, but the breast size will rapidly decrease to pre-op dimension. This will need to be surgically corrected by implanting a new device.
• Notes on breast enlargement procedures
o During the healing process, capsular contraction may appear (it happens in about 10 - 50% of cases), making the breast firmer as it tightens and compresses the implant, as scar tissue forms around the implanted device. This is not a problem if capsulation is mild, but in severe cases it may call for corrective surgery to remove excess scar tissue, and in some cases may call for the removal of the implant.
o The rippling side effect is mostly negated when the implant is overfilled, and if smooth implants are used versus textured implants.
o Other potential risks are those of infection and hematomas forming (blood accumulating that will need to be drained) and this will need to be discussed with your cosmetic surgeon.
o Another point to keep in mind it that of symmetry - no woman has 100% symmetrical breasts and while your surgeon will endeavor to form near-perfect symmetrical breasts, it must be remembered that he or she will be working with living tissue and implants and that it cannot be equated to an engineering project.
o Bruising after the operation is not always present but if so present will normally improve within 7 - 10 days. Recovery after the operation will depend on if the implant placement was done under or over the pectoral muscle.
o There will normally be less discomfort, and swelling will improve within 10 days when placement is done over the muscle whereas more discomfort and pain will be experienced when placement is done under the muscle and swelling can take up to 10 weeks to improve.
o If non-dissolving stitches are used, they would need to be removed after 5 - 8 days after surgery and bandages may have to be worn for up to a week.
o You should be able to return to work within 7 - 10 days after surgery if you have a sedentary job, but should you be required to lift items you may have to wait 4 weeks - the same waiting period before returning to an exercise program.
o Sexual activity should be curtailed for at least 10 days after surgery and great care, and extreme gentleness should be observed for at least 5 weeks after that.
o Final results can be normally judged after 3 weeks if over-muscle placement was done and 7 weeks if placement was done under the muscle.
o Medical insurance (also called medical aid schemes in some countries) does not normally cover the cost of breast enlargement.