Breast Augmentation

Explaining Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is defined as “the surgical placement of breast implants to increase the fullness and projection of the breasts or to improve the symmetry of the breasts”. Breast augmentations are performed for a few reasons:

  • To enlarge a small breast, due to heredity
  • Restore breast volume from pregnancy
  • Achieve better symmetry
Breast augmentation is mainly a procedure that covers the enlargement of the breast. It should be noted that augmentation does not correct drooping breasts, and a breast lift should be considered. Lifts can be performed at the same time as augmentation or it may require a separate operation.

The first breast implant was performed in 1895 by Vincnez Czerny, who experimented with placing adipose tissue from the lumbar to repair asymmetries in the breast. He also experimented with paraffin injections which had disastrous results. For the first half of the twentieth century physicians used various substances as breast implants: ivory, glass balls, ground rubber, ox cartridge, terylene wool, polyethylene chips, polyester, silastic rubber, and many other things.

However today there are two main type of breast implants which are both FDA approved: saline and silicone. Saline implants are filled with sterile saline solution. The early models were prone to failure and leakage. Modern implants are fitted with stronger shells that are made from a silicon elastomer. Most women feel that silicone breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue. However if either one of these types of implants were to rupture the differences are made clear. The sterile saline solution will be absorbed by the body while the silicone may cause discomfort. Checkups may be involved with silicone breast implants to make sure they are function correctly. Routine MRI screenings may be an option.  Ultimately the decision to choose one or the other should be a decision that you and your physician discuss together. The average cost of breast augmentation surgeon’s fees in 2011 was approximately $3,694 for silicone breast implants while for saline breast implants it was $3,308. These averages do not include additional surgery related expenses such as: hospital fees, anesthesia fees, medical tests, etc.

There are four main steps involved with breast augmentation:

  1. 1. Anethesia – Intravenous and General Anesthesia
  2. 2. Incision – Incisions are made in inconspicuous area to minimize scarring. These can be placed: under the breast, under the armpit, or below the nipples. These incisions are also made based on the breast augmentation you are seeking
  3. 3. Placement of the Implant – The breast implant will be placed in one of two places: under the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissue.
  4. 4. Closing the Incision

Following this recovery from breast augmentation can take a few weeks. In the first 24 to 48 hours there will be a post-surgical recovery period in addition to a reduced activity period of a few days. You may experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Over time the swelling will decrease and the incision lines will fade.

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