Women world over desire the perfect body contours with firm and shapely breasts. In the past, the desired results were achieved with the help of body shaping undergarments such as corsets. However, with the advancement of technology, it is now possible for women to achieve fuller and perkier bosoms with the help of a number of medical procedures such as breast augmentation or breast implants
What is breast augmentation?
Also known as augmentation mammoplasty or simply a boob job, breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure that is extensively performed all around the world to enhance the size and volume of women’s breasts through the reconstruction of the breast tissue or placement of artificial implants. The desired results can be achieved by either transferring fat from the other parts of the body to the breast tissue or incorporating artificial implants or prosthetics to construct a natural-looking breast mound.
What are breast implants?
As aforementioned, breast implants are typically employed in the breast augmentation surgery for achieving fuller and shapelier breasts in women. There are typically two types of breast implants that are used in the breast augmentation surgery namely saline implants and silicone implants.
As the name suggests, saline implants are actually silicone shells that have been filled with sterile saline solution or salt water. While in some cases the saline implants come pre-filled, in the others the implants are injected with the saline solution during the breast augmentation surgery. The primary reason behind using empty implants for the procedure is to reduce the invasiveness of the procedure and enable the doctors to create a smaller incision in the breast tissue. The saline implants can be easily manipulated according to the individual’s requirements of size and shape by altering the amount of solution being filled inside them. In the event of an accidental leak, the saline implants collapse harmlessly and the saline solution from the inside is either absorbed by the body as natural salt water or expelled in the form of urine or perspiration.
Silicone gel implants
Inspired by a more recent breast augmentation technology, silicone gel implants are typically filled with plastic silicone (in a gel like consistency) and are extremely soft to touch on the outside. Experts say that silicone gel implants provide a more natural looking texture to the breasts and even feel like real breast tissue when touched. However, in the event of a leak, the silicone gel is not absorbed by the body and remains trapped within the implant shell. In some cases, the leaked silicone gel may also escape into the surrounding tissue pocket created for the implant. Women who get silicone gel implants are advised to visit their doctors regularly to get their implants examined for proper functioning. Your doctor can examine the health and well-being of your silicone gel implants by conducting an MRI or ultrasound screening test and ascertain that it hasn’t been damaged in any way.
How is the Breast Implant surgery performed?
Breast augmentation with implants is a surgical procedure wherein your doctor will typically administer either general anesthesia or intravenous sedatives to calm the nerves and reduce the discomfort of the operation.
Coming to the actual procedure, the doctor might choose to perform any of the following five types of incisions to create an implant pocket within your breast tissue.
- Inframammary Incision- which is made within the inframammary fold underneath the breast
- Periareolar Incision- which is made along the periphery of the areola
- Transaxillary Incision- which is made within the armpit or the axilla
- Transumbilical Incision- which is made at the navel
- Transabdominal Incision- which is made in the abdominal region
The choice of incision will be determined depending on your preference as well a few other procedural factors such as your anatomy, the level of augmentation desired and the type of implant being used. Generally, the type of incision is decided during the consultations preceding the actual surgery and the surgeons focus on minimizing the visibility of scarring by creating incisions within the natural folds of the human body.
The type of implant chosen for the surgery will largely be determined by several influential factors including the degree of enlargement required, the body type of the patient, the condition of the existing breast tissue and the elasticity of the skin. The positioning of the implants can also be discussed prior to the actual breast augmentation surgery procedure.
Depending upon your individual requirements, the implants will then be placed within the incised breast pocket in either of the following two positions:
- Under the pectoral muscle that is located between the chest wall and the breast tissue
- Above the pectoral muscle, beneath the breast tissue.
Once the implants have been positioned, the incisions are then closed by stitching up the wound with layered sutures or by placing surgical tape or skin adhesive to allow the incised breast tissue to recover.
What to expect after the surgery?
Given the fact that breast augmentation surgery using implants is typically an out-patient procedure, you will able to walk around and get back to work within a few hours of the surgery when the effect of the anesthesia fades out. Since it is an invasive procedure involving surgical intervention, you might feel a little sore in the wound for a couple of days after the operation.
Doctors typically recommend patients to refrain from indulging in any strenuous activity for 2 to 4 weeks post-surgery as it might interfere with the healing process of the incisions. Also, you will be required to wear a specially padded supportive garment such as surgical bra to avoid accumulation of any fluids within the operated breast tissue.
In the cases where the implants are positioned beneath the pectoral muscle, the patients might feel that the breasts are a little higher than usual on the chest. However, over a period of time, the implants will automatically settle in the right position and the patient can see the desired results within a few weeks.
Your doctor may also prescribe some over the counter anti-inflammatory medication or painkillers such as acetaminophen to alleviate any post-operative pain, swelling, redness, and discomfort. While you might experience some inflammation, and scarring in the first few days of the surgery, both the swelling as well as the scars will fade away and become less visible over time.
It is also recommended for the patients (especially in silicone gel implant surgery) to go for follow up checkups with their doctor to ensure that the implants are correctly positioned within the breast tissue and haven’t shifted or leaked. Since natural weight fluctuations can have a significant impact on the surgery results, you might have to go for a secondary surgery to maintain the look and texture of your implanted breast.
What are the benefits of Breast implant surgery?
There are a bunch of attractive benefits that a breast implant surgery will typically surprise you with.
Breast implants enhance the fullness and perkiness of your breasts, consequently restoring your youthful contours and providing you better confidence and higher self-esteem.
Breast implants are great for creating a more balanced hourglass figure and enhancing the overall aesthetics of your body.
Apart from cosmetic purposes, breast implants are also a blessing in disguise for women who have had a major chunk of their breast tissue removed post mastectomy (surgery for breast cancer treatment) and wish to restore their original body contours and lead a more content and fulfilling life.
Breast implant surgery can also help reconstruct damaged breast tissue and restore the natural shape of breasts that might have been injured in an accident.
How much will breast implant surgery cost?
While your breast implant surgery will cost anywhere between $5000 and $10,000, there are a number of factors such as the experience of the surgeon, the location of the medical practitioner and the type of implants that will typically determine the total investment that you might have to make for the purpose. Here is a list of a few important auxiliary costs that you might have to factor in while planning to get a breast implant surgery.
- The consultation fee of the doctor
- The hospital charges
- The anesthetics’ fee
- The cost of the implant
- Any medical test charges
- Post-surgery medication and supportive garments
Since the breast implant surgery falls under the category of cosmetic procedures, it is typically not included under health insurance cover. That being said, it is advisable to create an estimate of all the associated costs with the surgery and only then sign up for the procedure after making up your mind about the impending investment.
Provided that it is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon, the breast implant surgery can not only be an extremely safe and reliable procedure but also deliver excellent long-lasting results as desired by the patient. It is highly recommended to follow the post-surgical instructions advised by your surgeon to minimize any potential complications and accelerate the tissue repair process for safe and quick healing.