Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, producing a very high degree of patient satisfaction. Most often the goal is larger and fuller breasts, but augmentation is also done to balance breasts that aren’t quite the same size or shape, or to reconstruct breasts following a mastectomy.
The aim of any breast enhancement procedure is to create breasts that look and feel natural, with results that are long lasting. Usually this is done by surgically inserting silicone or saline breast implants. In recent years, fat transfer from other parts of the body is gaining attention as another form of breast enlargement. A consultation with the surgeon will help you decide what approach for breast augmentation is right for you.
Implants are inserted through incisions made in the fold below the breast (the most common choice), under the armpit, or just below the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple). The incisions are usually between ¾ and 1½ inches long—just enough to create a pocket for inserting the breast implant. The implant is placed either just behind the breast tissue or under the pectoral (chest) muscle. Go to Types of Breast Implants to learn about the different kinds of implants that are available.
Implant surgery is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
For those who aren’t seeking a dramatic increase, fat transfer breast augmentation uses the patient’s own fat tissue to enlarge her breasts. Droplets of fat are extracted by liposuction from another area—most often the abdomen or buttocks—and grafted into the breasts. Because the fat comes from the same body it’s being used to enhance, there’s no danger of rejection.
Breast Augmentation Recovery and Results
The results of breast augmentation surgery are visible right away, and most patients can return to work or their regular routines after taking it easy for a few days or a week. Pain medication may be prescribed for the initial discomfort during breast augmentation recovery. Some soreness and swelling can be expected to continue for a few weeks, and you should avoid any heavy lifting or aerobic-type exercise for several weeks.
Breast Augmentation Recovery Bras
The surgeon may recommend that you wear a special surgical recovery bra to support the breasts while you are healing. It’s important to follow the guidelines you are given for post-operative care in order to achieve optimal results. The Mark H Jensen Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery professionals can help guide you through the process.