Breast Enhancement Basics

by Wendy Travis

Breast Enhancement Basics

Breast enhancement surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures done today. The wealth of options available allows a doctor and patient to customize the procedure to the patient's unique needs and expectations. At Plastic Surgery Portal, we have the basics of breast enhancement surgery to help you determine if it is the right choice for you.

What is Breast Enhancement Surgery?
Breast enhancement surgery, also known as breast augmentation, is a procedure that uses implants to increase breast size, even out asymmetrical breasts or provide a more youthful contour to breasts that have changed shape due to pregnancy or the aging process. The implants may be constructed of silicone or saline and may be placed behind breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle, depending on the patient's specific needs and desired outcome.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Enhancement Surgery?
Those wishing to improve the size and contour of their breasts may consider breast enhancement surgery. The best candidates will be in reasonably good health, over the age of 18 and have realistic expectations for the results of the surgery. It is also important that the patient is emotionally well adjusted and understands what the procedure will involve. Like any cosmetic procedure, breast enhancement surgery requires a recovery period where activities may be restricted.

How is Breast Enhancement Performed?
Most breast enhancement surgeries are done in an outpatient facility and often can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation. However, some doctors prefer to perform the procedure in a hospital setting with a general anesthesia. You and your doctor can discuss which method will be best for you. The procedure usually takes about one to three hours, and the patient spends some time in recovery afterward. Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas so scarring is kept to a minimum. Many patients go home the day of the procedure, so it is important to have someone at home with you for at least 24 hours after surgery to assist with your care and immediate recovery.

What are the Implant Choices?
Patients can choose from two different types of implants:

  • Saline – These implants are filled with a saline solution after they are placed within the breast. Saline implants require a smaller incision and can be easily adjusted after surgery if necessary. They also tend to be cheaper than silicone. The main disadvantage to saline implants is that they don't feel as natural as silicone implants.
  • Silicone – Silicone implants are constructed of a silicone gel that provides a more natural look and feel than saline. However, the implants come pre-filled and require a larger incision for insertion. Silicone implants were removed from the market for a period of time while the FDA researched their safety in the event of a rupture or leak. They were placed back on the market by the FDA in 2005, after undergoing rigorous safety testing.

You and your doctor will choose the best implant for your needs, based on your body type, skin elasticity and current breast anatomy. However, it is important to find a doctor who is well experienced in the specific implant you want before you schedule breast enhancement surgery, to ensure the best results.

What is the Recovery Like?
The initial 24-48 hours after breast enhancement surgery is often characterized by some discomfort and swelling. Your doctor will give you medication for the pain. Activity is generally restricted for a number of days, to allow your body time to heal. Patients who carefully follow post-operative instructions usually experience fewer complications and a faster recovery time.

Breast enhancement surgery is an effective way to change the appearance of your breasts, for a more attractive size and contour. To learn more, contact us today and arrange for your own private consultation with a breast enhancement specialist in your area.

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