What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast implant surgery, also known as augmentation mammaplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to enlarge the size and enhance the shape of a woman’s breast. Women seek to enlarge their breasts for many reasons. Women with small breasts, women who have lost breast volume after pregnancy, after weight loss or as they age, or women who have differences in size between the right and left breasts may be candidates for breast augmentation. Breast sagging can be treated at the same time with a breast lift.
Types of Breast Implants, Incisions, and Placement
This type of plastic surgery uses breast implants to produce the results. Salt-water solution implants, known as saline implants and silicone gel-filled implants can be used. A woman must be at least 22 years old to undergo augmentation with silicone gel. Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Wiener uses round, smooth moderate profile implants for both saline and silicone gel. The decision for size is done through a combination of trying on actual breast implants in a bra at the time of the consultation along with comparing the implant diameter to the breast diameter. An implant that is excessively large or small in comparison to the breast can create problems. The incisions used by Dr. Wiener are the inframammary (in the breast crease) or periareolar (at the lower border of the nipple-areola) and Dr. Wiener, based on his published research, strongly recommends the incision in the breast crease because of a decreased risk of capsular contracture or abnormal hardening of the scar tissue around the implant. The implant is placed either above or below the chest muscle, and Dr. Wiener recommends a below the muscle placement. It is important to realize that when the breasts are enlarged, certain differences from one breast to the other will also be increased, such as differences in the height or sideways pointing of the nipple and breast. Although Dr. Wiener may place somewhat different volumes from one breast to the other, decided upon at the time of surgery, the different volumes placed will not necessarily give the appearance of same size breasts due to other anatomic differences that are present.
Breast Implant Surgery Risks
Breast augmentation is a relatively safe procedure. However, like any surgical procedure, there are certain risks and specific complications associated with this procedure that Dr. Wiener will discuss with you. You can help minimize risks by a complete disclosure of your medical history and medications at the time of consultation.
Breast augmentation may make it technically more difficult to get or read mammograms, and special mammogram views or extra examinations by ultrasound may be needed for patients with breast implants.
Your Day of Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation is performed in Dr. Wiener’s AAAASF accredited in-office operating room. Intravenous anesthesia is used for this type of plastic surgery and is administered by a physician anesthesiologist. The incision will be made in such a way to make it as inconspicuous as possible, around the areola, or, as recommended by Dr. Wiener, in the crease where the breast meets the chest.
The surgery usually takes 1 hour to complete. Most patients will be able to return to work within a few days, depending on the nature of their job.