Breast Enhancement Surgery
Breast enhancement is carried out to increase the size of a woman’s breasts through the use of breast implants or fat tissues. The procedure is otherwise known as augmentation mammoplasty. It is a reconstructive procedure that also aims to repair and/or restore the defects of the chest area, thereby improving its shape, texture, and overall aesthetics. Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures not just in the United States, but in other parts of the world as well.
Breast enhancement may be done on patients with naturally small breasts or on patients who want to restore lost breast volume as a result of aging, weight loss, or pregnancy. It is also performed on breast cancer patients who have undergone mastectomy of one or both breasts, or to correct asymmetry and congenital defects of the breasts. It helps improve the balance of the patient’s figure leading to enhanced self-confidence. Patients who have sagging breasts may also undergo breast augmentation, as long as the procedure is done in conjunction with a breast lift. Breast augmentation alone is not designed to correct excessively droopy breasts. The combination of breast augmentation and breast lift may be done simultaneously, or on separate operations. This decision is best determined by your licensed plastic surgeon.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of breast augmentation surgery is between $3,700 and $10,000. This price does not yet include fees for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and surgical facilities. The surgeon’s fee varies greatly, and is primarily based on experience, type of implants to be used, as well as geographic location. Additional costs that may be incurred are fees for medical tests, prescription medications, and post-surgery garments. Majority of health insurance plans do not cover cosmetic breasts operations like an augmentation surgery.
Breast enhancement may be done using either implants or live fat tissue. Fat transfer or fat grafting breast augmentation basically involves injecting the patient’s own fat into the breast area. The fats are gathered from other parts of the body through liposuction. Breast implant augmentation, on the other hand, makes use of breast implants which comes in two types –saline and silicone implants. A saline implant is filled with salt water, while a silicone implant contains silicone gel. Silicone implants, also known as the gummy bear breast implants, contains thicker silicone gel and therefore feels much firmer than traditional implants. The FDA recommends saline implants for patients at least 18 years of age and silicone implants for those aged 22 and above. Implants may be placed above or underneath the pectoral muscles, which is the main muscle that makes up the chest area.
Before deciding to undergo breast enhancement, patients will have to be educated about the potential risks and complications that come with the procedure. Together with your surgeon, you must determine if the benefits of the operation outweigh the risks. Possible risks associated with breast augmentation surgery include anesthesia-related complications, bleeding, bruising, swelling, infection, pain, and scarring. Other more serious but rare complications include changes in breast or nipple sensation, capsular contracture, fluid accumulation on the surgical site. Revision surgery can be used to treat these side effects. You must discuss these risks to your surgeon prior to the operation.
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for monitoring. Your breasts will be wrapped in dressing and bandaged to minimize swelling and provide support during healing. After a few hours, you will be sent home and given a set of instructions to reduce the risks of complications. These instructions include which medications to take or apply, how to minimize the risk of infection, and when to come back to the plastic surgeon for follow-up appointments. In general, patients will be advised to wear a support garment for the first two weeks. You will also be asked to avoid doing strenuous activities and in the next few days, particularly in the first 24 to 48 hours. The instructions provided by the surgeon must be followed carefully in order to avoid any serious complications.
Finding the Right Doctor
Once you decide that you want to undergo cosmetic breast surgery, the first choice that you have to make is finding the right surgeon to do the procedure. It is extremely important that the surgeon is one you can trust and a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. By selecting a member of the ABPS, you can be sure that you are going to a certified, highly-trained surgeon.