Breast augmentation is a process in which the surgeon applies implants to give the breasts a full and symmetrical appearance. This surgical procedure is also known as mammoplasty but more colloquially as breast implants. Many women seek breast augmentation following pregnancy or tremendous weight loss to enhance the size and shape of the breasts.
Who is a Candidate?
Women who are dissatisfied with the size of their breasts and would like to make them larger are good candidates for the procedure. Women who have previously been injured or experienced a mastectomy will benefit from breast reconstruction through augmentation. Breast augmentation will help restore volume following a pregnancy, period of breastfeeding or extreme weight loss. Overall, women who feel that larger breasts that have been restored will enhance their sense of confidence and self-esteem will benefit from the procedure.
There are many factors patients and doctors should take into account before moving forward with the surgery. The doctor will examine the patient’s overall health, desired breast size and type of implant. The type of surgery will also affect the placement of the incisions. Many of these factors will determine whether or not a woman is a candidate for the augmentation.
Possible Risks and Complications
Many patients mistakenly believe that cosmetic procedures are without risk. This is simply not the case. Breast augmentation is typically performed in an outpatient center with fully-accredited staff members and skillful doctors. While these doctors do take every precaution imaginable to ensure that the patient has a safe and effective procedure, there are certainly risks associated with breast augmentation.
Many of the risks associated with breast augmentation are actually side effects of anesthesia; however, several complications may arise from the procedure itself. Breast pain and changes in sensation are common. Scar tissue may form around the implant. Bleeding and infection are also common among patients who experience complications.
In some cases, women find themselves unhappy with the size, shape and scarring caused by the implants. In fact, some women consider having the implants removed.
In the years following breast augmentation surgery it is possible for some implants to rupture or begin leaking without notice. The patient should have their breasts examined with an MRI regularly. Breast implants are not necessarily meant to last for the duration of one’s entire life. The patient may be required to replace them periodically, especially in the case of complications.
Of course, recovery works differently for each woman. While the surgery only takes about one hour and 30 minutes, full recovery may take up to six weeks. Most patients are able to return to work after one week of recovery, when the gauze and drainage tubes are removed. A surgical bra aids the healing process.
During recovery, it is essential that the patient receive plenty of rest. All patients should avoid bending over or raising their arms high for at least one week; however, heavy lifting is banned for six weeks.
Although the recovery process may seem long, the swelling and scars fade relatively quickly in comparison to other procedures. Ultimately, many women find that breast augmentation is the best choice they have ever made.