Description

Technically referred to as “breast augmentation”, breast enlargement involves the use of saline or silicone-gel implants to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. This procedure can be performed either for cosmetic reasons or for breast reconstruction, following cancer treatment. Various factors may determine the type of breast implants that are utilized for each patient such as the patient’s goals, anatomy, and cost.

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Length

Typically takes 1 hour or more; may be increased if the breast augmentation surgery includes other procedures.

Side Effects

Temporary soreness, swelling, scarring, and bruising. Patients should not resume any kind of activity that may raise blood pressure for at least two weeks. More rigorous activity, such as exercise, is not recommended until recovery is complete, which is usually 3 to 4 weeks for most women.

Recovery

The initial recovery period for breast enhancement with saline or silicone gel breast implants should last 3 to 7 days, and most women may resume normal activity within one week. Strenuous activity should be avoided for 2 weeks or more, depending upon instructions from your surgeon. Swelling and bruising may last for a longer period of time. Patients are typically advised to refrain from smoking at least 2 weeks both before and after surgery; not doing so will complicate the healing process.

Risks

Potential risks range from the moderate (diminished nipple sensation, scarring) to the severe (capsular contraction, characterized by hardness of the breasts; deflation of the implants themselves; or bleeding/infection). In these cases, breast implant revision surgery can correct these conditions. Depending on the location of incision and placement choice, future breastfeeding and a mammography may be affected. These factors can be discussed with your surgeon prior to the procedure. For more details, see Breast Reduction Risks and Side Effects.

Results

Permanent; recipients typically receive their desired results of a more enhanced and balanced shape.

 

Technology

Various surgical techniques may be utilized to reduce the risk of scarring and other complications, such as: through the armpit (“axillary incision”), the areola (“periareolar incision”), or where the bottom of the breast meets the chest (“inframammary incision”). There is also the transumbilical (TUBA) method, through the navel, which allows breast implants to be inserted endoscopically; however, those who wish to undergo this procedure should consult with a breast enlargement surgeon who has significant experience offering endoscopic surgery. Of these four incision sites, the navel and the areola offer the least chance of scarring. Read more about these incisions explained in Breast Implants 101.

Patient Status

Outpatient -

Anesthesia

Local
Local with Sedation
General

 

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