Breast Augmentation: Basics to Know

Overview

Breast augmentation, also called augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgery that can make women’s breast bigger and fuller. This procedure will place breast implants under breast tissue or chest muscle. Breast augmentation can be done for various purposes, such as:

  • To enhance appearance
  • To adjust for a reduction in the size of breast after pregnancy
  • To correct uneven breast after breast surgery
  • To improve self-confidence

Since breasts don’t stop developing until a woman reaches her late teens or early 20s, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that women be at least 18 years old to get breast augmentation with saline-filled implants and at least 22 years old to receive silicone implants.

Risks

Breast augmentation can have some risks, including:

  • Breast pain
  • Scar tissue that distorts the shape of the breast implant
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Changes in nipple and breast sensation
  • Implant leakage and rupture

If you have these complications, you may require more surgeries to remove or replace the implants.

Moreover, according to the report from The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), breast implants are related to a rare cancer of the immune system, known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Women with breast implants may have risk of developing this disease. But the risk is very low, and more researches are needed to fully understand their relationship.

Costs

Typically, the cost of breast augmentation ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. But the exact cost depends on the location, doctor, and the type of implant used.

Preparation

Before you have a breast augmentation, you should consult with your surgeon about your preferences for size, feel and appearance of your breasts. And the surgeon will describe specific types of implants as well as options for surgical techniques. In addition to these, you may need to know the following things:

  • Breast implants won’t prevent your breast from sagging
  • Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime
  • Mammograms might be more complicated
  • Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding
  • Insurance does not cover breast implants
  • Additional surgery might be needed after breast implant removal
  • An MRI scan might be needed

How it is Done

Before the procedure, your surgeon will ask you to have a medical evaluation and stop taking certain medications.

To perform the procedure, you may be given general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a cut under your breast, your arms, or around your nipples, according to your condition. After that, the breast implant will be put into a pocket above or below your chest muscle. When it’s done, the cuts will be closed with sutures or surgical tape.

Recovery

After the procedure, your breast will be covered with gauze. You may also need to wear a surgical bra and have drainage tubes that will be removed in a few days.

You should take it easy for a few days to help recover. What’s more, the doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain reliever to help you relieve discomfort.

Swelling in the area where the surgery was done may occur. But it will ease over time.


Keywords: breast augmentation; breast implant.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.