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Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation or augmentation mammaplasty is the surgical procedure to enhance and enlarge a woman's breasts with the use of breast implants. Saline and Silicone Gel implants are used most commonly for breast augmentation.

Ideal Candidates

The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who desire to enhance their body contour and feel their breast size is too small. Breast augmentation may help a woman to feel more self-confident about her body image. Breast augmentation can also correct slightly sagging breasts or breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy. The goal of surgery usually is to create natural and fuller breasts. Women that have a breast asymmetry, congenital abnormalities or have undergone a previous mastectomy may also be good candidates for breast augmentation.

The Preoperative visit

Consultation for breast augmentation consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's expectations and concerns. An examination and evaluation of the patient's breasts will be performed. Patient’s history regarding breast cancer including the family history is reviewed. The available surgical options, including a description of various procedures, will be reviewed. The results one can expect, including the limitations and risks of surgery, will be discussed. The types and shapes of the available breast implants will also be reviewed. Presently, most breast implants used for breast augmentation are salt-water (saline) filled. Patients must be aware of the potential risks associated with breast augmentation surgery. These risks will be reviewed with the patient at the time of the consultation. Certain group of patients may require a mammogram before breast augmentation.

The Procedure

Breast augmentation is performed as an outpatient at the hospital. General anesthesia is usually used. The location of the incision depends on the patient's anatomy and desires. Every effort will be made to assure that the incision is placed so the resulting scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. The most common incisions are usually located underneath the breast in the natural crease or under the arm. Through these incisions a pocket is created behind the breast, the implant is placed either behind or in front of the chest muscle, depending on the patient's anatomy and the type of implant selected. In most cases dissolvable sutures are used. Drains are not felt to be necessary. The procedure usually takes less than two hours. There is also the possibility to use an incision around the areola to introduce the implant. The pros and cons of each approach are discussed with the patient during the preoperative consultation.

The Recovery

Patients may be sore for a period of time after surgery. Bruising is usually minimal. Swelling may last for several weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within one week after surgery. Patients may be required to wear a surgical bra and limit their activities for a few weeks following surgery.


For most women, the result of breast augmentation is extremely satisfying, even exhilarating, as they learn to appreciate their fuller appearance. Regular examination and routine mammograms for those in the appropriate age groups at prescribed intervals will help assure that any complications, if they occur, can be detected early and treated (Pictures).

Further procedures such as breast lift or implant replacement may be necessary in the years after breast augmentation.




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