.... a personal choice of many women.
Breast augmentation continues to be a safe and commonly requested procedure, despite all the controversies we have read about. Whether you have always had smaller breasts, lost breast volume after weight loss or pregnancies, or simply desire larger breasts, breast implant surgery can create a sense of femininity and be very rewarding.
There is so much written about breast implants on the internet that we suggest reading the links provided below. Patients interested in implants have a full hour consultation solely with Dr Anna, who will help them understand which implant style, shape and size would be best for them, and what they can expect as far as realistic long term result. During the consultation different sized implants are tried on inside a sports bra, to determine the size the patient desires, and all before and after instructionsare reviewed.
How is the surgery done?
Breast augmentation surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. The surgery typically lasts 2 hours, and is undertaken by Dr. Anna at the Virginia Ambulatory Surgery Center under general anesthesia by a Board Certified anesthesiologist. The physician anesthesiologists work alongside a nurse anesthetist, both of whom are part of the group Atlantic Anesthesia.
There are different types of implants and surgical techniques for breast augmentation. Typically Dr Anna prefers saline implants for young women who are planning on having children in the future, and silicone gel implants for all other patients. Saline implants are most commonly placed through a one inch incision along the lower border of the areola, whereas gel implants are placed through a two inch incision in the crease underneath the breast. All decisions regarding type of implant, size and incision placement are made together with Dr Anna and the patient after a thorough explanation of all the possible surgical and breast implant variations.
Unequal breasts can be made more symmetrical if there is a size discrepancy before surgery. The reason for the asymmetry is determined (chest wall asymmetry versus soft tissue asymmetry) and the option of two different sized implants versus a small reduction on the larger side is reviewed.
What to expect after surgery…
After the surgery, prescription medications are given for control ofmoderate to significant pain (since in most cases the implants are placed under the muscle, the pain is due to the stretching of the muscle - not unlike a badly sprained muscle). Other means of decreasing the muscle pain is the application of ice and gentle stretching of the chest muscles. Most patients are able to return to work after 4-5 days. Strenuous and full activities are usually permitted after 3 weeks.
What are the possible complications?
All surgery runs the risk of bleeding, infection and scarring. Usually there is little blood loss with this surgery and infection is rare. Hardening of the pocket of scar tissue around the breast implants is termed "capsular contracture" - compressive sports bras as well as massaging of the implants post operatively helps to prevent this complication. Very rarelythe nipple will lose sensation temporarily or permanently. Breast feeding is also usually possible after breast augmentation. Although the results are rewarding and generally long-lasting, breast implants will not last a lifetime and will have to be replaced. It is important to review these and other complications with your plastic surgeon.
Information about breast augmentation can be obtained from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Further information can be obtained from the three FDA approved companies that manufacture breast implants - Allergan, Mentor and Sientra