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What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation also known as augmentation mammoplasty is the plastic surgery term for breast implants to enlarge the size, shape and fullness of women’s breasts. During the surgical procedure the surgeon places silicone, saline or other alternative composite breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles.
Breast augmentation surgery is usually performed on patients to enlarge naturally small breasts, restore breast shape and size after weight loss, pregnancy or breastfeeding, and restore the breasts after surgery as treatment for breast cancer and other conditions.
Types of Breast Augmentation
There are three major types of breast augmentation:
1. Saline breast implants: These breast implants are filled with a sterile saline solution that is contained within an elastometer silicone shell. The saline solution is biological concentration salt water 0.90% w/v of Nacl, ca. 300 mOsm/L. The amount of saline solution used to fill the implants affects the feel, shape and firmness of the breast.
In case of any leakage in implants, the solution is absorbed naturally by the body.
2. Silicone breast implants: These breast implants are filled with viscous silicone gel and is contained within an elastometer silicone shell.
In case of any leakage in implants, the gel either escapes into the pocket of the breast implant or stays inside the shell and may not collapse. Users of these implants are recommended to conduct regular check up with their medical doctor. The patients have to undertake either ultrasound or MRI to determine the condition of their implants.
3. Alternative composite breast implants: These composite breast implants can be filled with soy oil, polypropylene string or other material.
Procedures of Breast Augmentation
While undertaking breast augmentation, the patient has choice of local or general anesthesia. Most of the breast implants are done under general anasthesia. Under a local anesthesia only the surgical area is numbed and the patient remains awake.
The procedures of breast augmentations are as follows:
1. The incision: There are three incision options. The choice of incision depends on varied factors including the anatomy of the patient, degree of enlargement, type of implant and preference of the patient and surgeon.
•Inframmammary incision: This incision is done under the breast in the crease.
•Transaxillary incision: This incision is done in the axilla or the armpit.
•Periareolar incision: This incision is done around the nipple.
2. Inserting and placing the implant: After the incision process is complete, the breast implant is carefully inserted into the pocket. The implants can be placed either in the submuscular region or submammary region.
•Submuscular placement: In this type of placement the implant is inserted under the pectoral muscle. As compared to subglandular placement, submuscular placement takes longer time to recover for the patient.
•Submammary placement: In this type of placement, which is also known as the subglandular placement, the implant is placed behind the tissue of the breast just over the pectoral muscle.
3. Closing incision: With the aid of layered sutures or stitches the surgeon closes the incision in the breast tissue. The skin is closed using skin adhesives, surgical tape and sutures.
The incision lines are visible initially but fade away with time. Breast augmentation results are immediately evident. It is normal to notice swelling that is caused by surgery but it resolve within few weeks.