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