The Ultimate Guide to Breast Augmentation: Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re considering breast augmentation for cosmetic reasons or as part of reconstruction after mastectomy, it’s important to understand what the procedure involves. Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that increases the size, changes the shape, or improves the fullness of the breasts using implants or fat transfer. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about breast augmentation.

Why Choose Breast Augmentation?

There are several reasons why women choose to undergo breast augmentation. Some of these include:

  • Enhancing the body contour for those who believe their breasts are too small
  • Correcting a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy
  • Balancing a difference in breast size
  • Reconstructing the breast(s) after a mastectomy or injury

Types of Breast Augmentation

There are two main types of breast augmentation: saline implants and silicone gel implants. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Saline Implants

Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness, and feel of the breast. If the implant shell leaks, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.

Silicone Gel Implants

Silicone gel implants are filled with a plastic gel (silicone). Many women feel that silicone breast implants feel more like natural breast tissue than saline implants. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket.

Procedure and Recovery

Breast augmentation is typically performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The method of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy, your surgeon’s recommendations, and your personal preference.

After the procedure, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. You may feel sore the first week or so, and you will need to limit physical activity for at least a couple of weeks.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with breast augmentation. These include infection, changes in nipple or breast sensation, poor scarring, implant leakage or rupture, and more. It’s important to discuss these potential risks with your doctor.

In conclusion, breast augmentation is a deeply personal procedure, and it’s important that you’re doing it for yourself and not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. If you’re considering breast augmentation, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options and expectations.