Breast augmentation, commonly known as boob job, is a surgical procedure that aims at enhancing the size, shape, or fullness of the breast by placing silicone or saline implants under the chest muscles or breast tissue. It may also involve fat transfer , but this option is less common.
WHY OPT FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY?
Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
- Restore breast size and shape after pregnancy, weight loss or breastfeeding
- Restore symmetry when the breasts are asymmetrical
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION?
You may be a candidate for breast augmentation if:
- You are in good general health
- You are in good mental health
- You are not pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have fully developed breasts
- You are unhappy with your breast shape, size, and volume
- Your breasts are asymmetrical
- You have realistic expectations for the procedure
- You are non-smoker, and if you are a smoker, you should quit for at least four weeks before and after surgery
WHAT ARE BREAST IMPLANTS?
A breast implant is a medical prosthesis that is placed inside the breast to enhance, reconstruct, or restore the physical form of the breast.
There are two main types of breast implants:
Saline implants (sterile salt water): Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They are inserted empty, and then filled once they are in place. These implants have the consistency of water so they can be filled with different amounts of saline solution. This affects the feel, firmness, and shape of the breast.
If a saline implant leaks, the solution will be absorbed and expelled by the body naturally without health risks, but you will probably need surgery to remove the silicone shell. Saline implants are available to all women for breast augmentation over the age of 18 and to women of any age for breast reconstruction.
Silicone implants: silicone gel-filled implants consist of a silicone outer shell filled with a silicone gel with no known human allergies, sensitivities or reactions. In contrast to saline implant, silicone implant flows differently within its shell and can often create a more natural look and feel to the breast, like breast tissue.
If the silicone implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel will not collapse. If a silicone breast implant ruptures, your doctor will likely recommend surgical removal of the implant because it might eventually cause breast thickening, breast pain, or changes in the contour or shape of the breast. Silicone breast implants are available to women 22 years of age and older for breast augmentation and to women of any age for breast reconstruction.
BREAST AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE
The surgery is normally performed under general anesthesia and requires one night stay in hospital, but sometimes, it can be done under local anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
There are four incision options in breast augmentation surgery, which include:
- Transaxillary incision (in the armpit)
- Periareolar incision (around the nipple)
- Inframmammary incision (in the fold under the breast)
- Transumblical incision (around the belly button approach)
Depending on the degree of enlargement, type of breast implant, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference, your surgeon will choose one of incision options. So you and your surgeon should discuss which incision option is appropriate for your desired outcome.
Types of breast implant placement:
- A submuscular placement (under the pectoral muscle): in this type of placement, recovery may take longer and there may be more pain after surgery.
- A submammary/ subglandular placement (directly behind the breast tissue and over the pectoral muscle): this placement requires the least complicated surgery and allows the shortened recovery time.
The method for inserting and positioning breast implants depends on the size of the implant, degree of enlargement desired, your anatomy, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
After inserting implants, the surgeon closes the incisions with layered sutures in the breast tissue and keeps the skin closed with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF BREAST IMPLANTS
Every surgical procedure has risks and nearly 50 percent of those having breast augmentation experience some kind of complication. The decision to have this surgery is personal. You should weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the potential complications and risks of breast augmentation and address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon prior to your surgery.
Some of risks and complications associated with breast implants are:
- Breast pains
- Changes in nipple and breast sensation (often temporary)
- capsular contracture
- Rupturing or leaking of the implant
- After breast augmentation, regular examinations of your breasts’ health and evaluating the condition of your breast implants are required.
- Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and you may need to undergo another surgery in the future to replace one or both implants.
- Weight loss, pregnancy, and menopause may influence the appearance of your augmented breasts.
- Breast implants won’t prevent your breasts from sagging.
- Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding in some cases.