It is a surgery to increase breast size. At the same time, it can be combined with other procedures like breast lift (mastopexy) for improving breast shape. Patients can have breast augmentation surgery for various reasons including changes in breast shape and size after weight loss or birth, loss of volume after aging or desire to augment natural breast size.
What is done before the breast augmentation surgery?
Before breast augmentation surgery, your medical examination will be made plastic surgery specialist. At the same time, as well as your medical history, your expectations and desired results will be discussed. Your doctor will tell about surgery plan and inform about type and size of the implant to be used. During examination of your breasts, its size, skin quality and nipple position is taken for surgical plan. Preoperative photos will be taken for surgical plan.
How is breast augmentation surgery done? Where will be cuts and scars?
Breast augmentation is an operation with general anesthesia and takes around 1 or 2 hours. Three different cuts may be used for placing breast prosthesis.
Periareolar approach: A small cut is made under colorful area around nipple. This can be preferred for the patients with less obvious under breast fold. Additionally, the size of implant which can be put in this cut can be limited. After this approach, there may be problems about breast sense or breastfeeding as nipple, tissue under the colorful area contain many nerves and breast glands that produce milk.
Under breast fold cut: This is the most popular cut used for breast augmentation surgery. A small cut is made under the under-breast fold. This provides easy access for placing prosthesis under breast tissue or pectoral muscle.
Transaxillary incision: A cut is made under armpit and prosthesis is placed to the desired position through this tunnel. This is only suitable for prosthesis to be put under muscle. There are limits for the sizes of prosthesis to be placed in this way.
All cuts are made as small as possible to minimize the scar size and visibility. However, each person’s injury heals in different ways and there will be differences between patients in terms of scar final result. Generally, the scars are red at the beginning and later they fade away.
Placement of the prosthesis
There are two different ways of placing the prosthesis depending on its position with pectoralis muscle. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages and may bring about different aesthetic results. At subglandular placement, pocket for breast prosthesis is opened on pectoralis muscles and under fat and gland tissues of breast. This method generally provides more fullness at upper breast as well as a more circular breast. If the patient’s breast tissue is excessive, this can be a better option. Advantages of this method is less painful healing and having a more obviously circular appearance. However, in patients with small breast tissue, prosthesis may be more visible under skin and may cause problems like a wavy appearance.
At submuscular placement, pocket for breast prosthesis is opened under pectoralis muscle. In this method, a more natural upper contour may be gotten. Other benefit is the prosthesis’ being less visible under the skin. Disadvantages of this method is prosthesis’ having a moving appearance with pectoralis muscle contraction.
Each method’s benefits and risks will be taken into consideration in details before the operation and your surgeon will help you to choose best method for you depending on your individual body type and desired result.
Which breast prosthesis is suitable for me?
There are 2 types of prosthesis: Prosthesis with physiological saline solution and silicon prosthesis.
Prosthesis with physiological saline solution are filled with serum. Prosthesis size can be changed by adding serum in desired levels. This prosthesis may give a less natural feeling to breast after surgery and it may cause a wavy appearance for the patients with small breasts.
Silicon prosthesis are filled with silicone gel. With these prostheses, a more natural breast appearance is gotten.
Apart from this, better aesthetic results may be gotten by changing the prosthesis’ size (volume), height, width, projection (front back length) and shape (circular or anatomic (drop) shaped).
During your medical examination, in order to reach your desired results, prosthesis’ shape, size and other characteristics will be considered in details and suitable prosthesis for you will be chosen.
Choosing the size of prosthesis
Size of prosthesis is a very personal decision. During the examination, your surgeon will give you information about prosthesis sizes that you may chose according to the desired result as well as your breast sizes. In first evaluation, you will be provided with the possibility to have an idea with different-sized trial prosthesis to be put inside bra and photos. Additionally, size of prosthesis to be used depends on your body sizes and current shape of your breasts.
How is the recovery period? How long resting is needed? When can you continue exercising?
After anesthesia effect goes down, it will be possible for you to go home. For a comfortable post-surgery period and good results, it would be better to rest after the procedure. There can be ache and swelling responding to medicine during first couple of days after the surgery. It is required to wear a supportive bra during recovery period. Many patients can go back to work within 3-5 days. During the recovery period, tiring physical activities such as heavy lifting and pulling should be avoided for 2 weeks after the surgery.
What are the complications of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is usually a safe procedure. Risks are infection (requires or does not require removal of prosthesis), bleeding, embolus, pain, liquid accumulation in prosthesis pocket and complications related to anesthesia. Sometimes there may be breastfeeding problems or nipple sense loss in patients. After the surgery, during recovery period, a structure called capsule around prosthesis emerges. There may be stiffness and tightening in the capsule and this situation is called capsule contracture. Breast stiffness may cause pain and abnormal appearance. Sometimes the capsule or prosthesis may need to be removed.
When will we see the absolute results of the surgery?
The results of the surgery will be seen right after the procedure. As the swellings are reduced, recovery will continue. Small amount of swelling in unnoticeable amounts may continue for 3-6 months after the surgery. Final contour and scar results continues at least 6 months after the surgery.