Breast enlargement or breast enhancement is a very common cosmetic surgery to augment the shape or size of the breasts. There are two types of implants that are used for breast enlargement namely saline and silicon. Saline implants are placed through a small incision and are composed of silicone elastomer filled with saline water once placed in a correct position. They give a more natural look and feel after enlargement. There could be many reasons for a breast implant like breasts being disproportionate to the size of the body, loss in the breast shape after pregnancy and asymmetry in breast sizes.
Procedure for Breast Enlargement
The consultation process starts with a thorough examination of the breasts wherein our Pittsburgh plastic surgeon and patient discuss various options of implant sizes to achieve the desired goal most efficiently. The surgeon would also discuss the technicalities of the surgery to inform patients about the position of incisions and the advantages and disadvantages of the surgery. It is an outpatient procedure and usually takes about an hour or two. The procedure of the surgery depends on the different types of incisions discussed as follows:
- Inframammary incision is made in the folds between the breast and the torso. It gives direct access to pockets for implants and it may potentially leave scars.
- Periareolar incision placed around and along the areola. With this type of incision nipple asymmetry can be corrected and breast lift can be performed. Since incision is mostly at the junction of two different skin colors, the scar is camouflaged and not visible.
- Transaxillary incision is the one done in the armpit. The scars, if any, are not visible due the location of the incision in the armpit.
- Transumbilical (TUBA) approach includes making an incision in the naval and then moving towards the breasts. A camera is used in this procedure to make sure that the implants are placed correctly. Saline implants are performed with this approach usually.
- Transabdominolasty incision is placed in the abdomen and is most apt when the patient also chooses to go for an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.
The above incisions are followed by implant pocket placement and silicone or saline implants are used depending upon what has been decided for the patient. There are two kinds of implant placements namely subglandular, subpectoral, subfascial and submuscular. Subglandular is the placement of the implants underneath the breast tissue and gives more projected results. Subpectoral is performed at the upper portion of the breast facilitating maximal implant coverage. Subfascial is a position under the large pectoralis muscle.
The recovery process usually takes about one week and any kind of strenuous activity should be avoided for up to six weeks. The most uncomfortable and painful period lasts only until 72 hours of the surgery. Sometimes with subglandular placement of the implants the breasts may look projected but they settle down within a couple of weeks. The scars from a surgery may take up to one year to fade away and become inconspicuous. If an armpit incision is performed then the scar is hidden and is mostly counted as a scar free surgery.
Women who have malformed breasts and are conscious about the looks of their body mostly go for a breast enlargement process. Even after pregnancy a lot of women wish to fix the changes after childbirth that make the breast appear awkward. A lot of times women observe asymmetry in their breasts. These asymmetries can be very little to be observed or highly pronounced. Depending on the extent of asymmetry, women may decide to go for a corrective surgery.
Side Effects and Risks
Breast enlargement has minimum risks as compared to other surgeries and the surgeon informs the patients of all the risks during the consultation performed before the surgery. Implant rupture and capsular contracture are the potential risks relevant to breast implants and these may cause wrinkling or rippling. Other risks include the ones that accompany any surgical procedure like bleeding, infection or change in skin color and scarring. It may also affect the breastfeeding potential of a woman. When performed with expert surgeons, these risks can be greatly reduced.