Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty)

Breast augmentation (technically termed augmentation mammoplasty), is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. Breast augmentation is ideal to enhance a woman’s contours and add proportional balance to her Figure.

Are you a candidate?

Breast augmentation can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Abuzeni. If you feel your breast size is too small, you may wish to undergo breast augmentation to achieve the desired appearance. You may want to restore breast volume lost as a result of pregnancy or to balance a difference in breast size. Restoring balance is rewarding to a woman’s self confidence and self esteem.

Are there different types of implants?

Breast implants are made of a silicone shell that is filled with either silicone gel or a saltwater solution known as saline. The silicone shell can be textured or smooth. The most commonly used implant in the United States is the smooth saline implant.

Are breast implants safe?

Yes. In 1992, the FDA decided that silicone gel implants would not be generally available for cosmetic breast augmentation pending further study to determine their safety. Saline-filled implants however, continue to be available to breast augmentation patients on an unrestricted basis.

How is the procedure performed?

One of the advantages of the saline-filled breast implant is that only a small incision is necessary. The incision is often less than one inch and is made in the areola where it is inconspicuous. Another possibility is an incision within the armpit or the belly button. The latter is referred to as the trans-umbilical breast augmentation (TUBA). After the incision, the surgeon will create a pocket in which the implant will be inserted, usually either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle. After the implant is secured, it can be inflated with saline and the incision closed with small sutures.

When the armpit or the belly button is used to introduce the implant, endoscopic equipment is usually required. The endoscope is a surgical camera device that helps facilitate inserting the implant in its proper position.

What are the risks of breast augmentation?

Complications from breast augmentation are relatively infrequent and usually minor. As with any operation, complications may occur. The most common problem, capsular contracture, occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This squeezing of the soft implant can cause the breast to feel hard. Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways; sometimes removal of some of the scar tissue is required.

As with any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be required to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.

Many women report that their nipples become oversensitive. This condition is normal and will usually subside after several weeks. Some women report that their nipples become undersensitive, or even numb. These symptoms usually disappear in time, but may be permanent in some patients. Breast implants do not interfere with your ability to become pregnant and to nurse.

Is there a risk if the implant should break?

Occasionally, breast implants break or leak. If a saline-filled implant breaks, the implant will deflate in a few hours and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. If a break occurs in a gel-filled implant, the gel may collect in the breast and cause a new scar to form around it. You may notice a change in the shape or firmness of your breast. A second operation is required to replace the leaking implant. In some cases, it may not be possible to remove all of the silicone gel in the breast tissue.

Will breast augmentation affect mammograms?

There is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, but they may change the way mammography is performed to detect cancer. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology center where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to obtain a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required. Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit to detect breast lumps or to evaluate breast tissue near the implant.

How do you prepare for breast augmentation?

You will receive specific instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications, and not smoking.

Where is the procedure performed?

Most patients choose to undergo surgery in an outpatient surgical center or an office-based facility; others prefer a hospital.

What will the recovery period be like?

A day or two after surgery you should be up and around. Dressing will be removed within several days and you may be instructed to wear a support bra. Within a week your stitches will be removed and you will be allowed to shower. Discoloration and swelling will occur initially but most swelling will resolve within a month. It will be possible to return to work within a few days, but vigorous activities, especially arm movement, will be restricted for two to three weeks.