Breast Enlargement, (also referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation or commonly called a boob job) is the surgical procedure of inserting an implant (this is a prosthesis containing silicone or saline) behind the natural breast tissue to increase the size of the breast. The procedure may be undertaken for cosmetic reasons, to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy, or as part of sex reassignment surgery.
Breast enlargement cosmetic surgery is one of the most common procedures performed annually in the US and elsewhere. Women have many different reasons for choosing to undergo breast enlargement surgery. Perhaps they feel that their breasts have not fully developed, or they are unhappy with the shape of their breasts. Women who have suffered breast cancer can use breast implants for reconstructive purposes after mastectomy, or women with asymmetrical breasts may use a single breast implant to balance the difference in size. Following pregnancy, many women opt for breast implant surgery to correct reductions in breast size resulting from fluctuating hormones. Most people choosing to have breast enlargement operations want to improve their self-esteem and self-image, and a breast enlargement procedure can help to improve their appearance and increase their self-confidence.
The decision to undergo breast enlargement should always be a personal one, taken with the help of your breast enlargement surgeon, and you should not consider breast implant surgery to please someone else. It is important that you make an informed decision, and that you are aware of the potential breast enlargement risks and side effects. You should also be aware of the details of the procedure, the recovery time and possible complications.
Consulting a qualified cosmetic surgeon, who will take a detailed look at your medical history, your overall health and your suitability for surgery, is of utmost importance. Because state laws permit any licensed physician to call him – or herself a “plastic” or “cosmetic” surgeon – even if he or she has not been trained as a cosmetic surgeon or has had no surgical training at all – prospective patients must select their doctor carefully.
Follow the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s (ASAPS) guidelines to help you to find a reputable surgeon:
An evaluation for breast enlargement will include discussion about the type of breast implant that is most appropriate for you. There are many shapes, sizes and materials of breast implant from which to choose. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best choice for you based on your body type, contour and amount of change that you desire. A breast enlargement operation involves surgically inserting breast implants behind the natural breast tissues to increase the size of the breasts and breast enlargement procedures are performed to create better symmetry and make the breasts larger, firmer and fuller.
Breast enlargement implants are available in a variety of shapes, forms and sizes. A breast implant can be made of natural body tissue or synthetic (man-made) materials, such as saline breast implants or silicone breast implants. Natural tissue breast enlargement implants are usually only used on women having breast reconstruction surgery (after breast cancer treatment) and are rarely used for cosmetic purposes. The operation is carried out either under general or local anesthetic (sometimes as day surgery, but usually with an overnight stay in hospital) and the procedure takes around an hour. An incision (surgical cut) is made in or near the breast and the surgeon will create a pocket for the breast implant to lie in, either beneath the muscle or beneath the breast tissue (size and shape will determine the outcome of the position of the implant and the you should discuss this with your surgeon).
Following a breast enlargement operation, dissolvable stitches will need to be removed and a sports bra worn 24 hours a day for up to three months to make the patient feel more comfortable. The breasts will be firm and swollen at first and will take several weeks to settle into a natural position.
Breast implants generally do not tend to last a lifetime. If you decide to have a breast enlargement, you may well need at least one additional surgery on your breasts over your lifetime if the breast implants break down or rupture; other complications (for example breast pain); or if the breasts are asymmetrical, of an unsatisfactory size, or if there is wrinkling/rippling of the breasts. The possible future financial cost of further breast implant surgery (breast revision) must also be taken into account.
Insertion of a saline or silicone filled implant behind breast tissue to enhance breast size and /or shape
One to three hours (depending on type of breast implants and procedure)
General or local
One – two months
Once, but further surgery (breast implant revision) may be needed if original implants need to be removed or complications arise
Infection, loss of nipple sensation, hypersensitivity, rupture of implants, complications from general anesthetic
Implants can last around ten years, though age and the effects of gravity will eventually alter the appearance of the breasts
Although the national average of breast surgeons’ fees is between $3,000 and $4,000, this does not reflect the full amount a patient is likely to pay. Firstly, this figure includes the cost of breast implants themselves and their placement, but there can be many hidden costs when having a breast enlargement procedure. When you’re quoted a price for breast enlargement costs make sure it includes:
Make sure to ask about these fees because the surgeon’s fee may only be 65%-80% of the total cost of the surgery.
For an initial breast enlargement surgery you should plan to pay at least $5000 to $6500 for saline breast implants and at least $6000 to $8000 for silicone breast implants. If you find doctors or surgeons who are charging much less, be very careful. It’s imperative that you make sure the surgeon is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon.
If you are considering breast enlargement surgery, be sure to ask you surgeon what fees will be charged and what those fees cover. Although breast enlargement costs should not be the determining factor in choosing a surgeon, you should be well informed about the overall cost of your procedure before beginning the process, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
The surgeon’s fee and related charges will fluctuate not only from region to region, but also from practice to practice. Cosmetic surgeons, surgical facilities, and anesthesiologists in larger cities or more affluent neighborhoods are likely to charge more for their services. Finally, every breast enhancement procedure is unique and there are a variety of factors that will influence the breast augmentation surgery cost, including the type of breast implant chosen, the way it is placed, and the level of complexity presented by the particular case.
Make sure the procedure is being performed in an accredited hospital or accredited surgery center. Board-certified cosmetic surgeons complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including a cosmetic surgery residency program. In-depth training encompasses surgical procedures of the face and the entire body.
Don’t try to cut any costs by agreeing to a non-accredited facility for your safety’s sake. If you’re thinking about saving money by traveling to another country for breast implants from doctors who are not board-certified cosmetic surgeons, it will cost you more in the long run to find a surgeon who will fix your problems should health problems arise. Your health and safety is worth far more than saving a few dollars, and having a cheap breast enlargement could cost you more than just cash.
Most cosmetic surgeons and surgical clinics offer flexible Breast enlargement financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.
Before you take the decision to undergo breast enlargement surgery, it is essential that you find a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, which will talk through the procedure with you, answer all your questions, and help you to make an informed decision. As with any invasive procedure which requires a general anesthetic, breast enlargement surgery carries risks.
Undergoing a breast enlargement operation is a personal decision, but you may benefit from talking to your family and friends about it, or even someone who has had a breast enlargement procedure themselves. It is unwise to have breast implants to please someone else, and you must be happy that your decision is based upon your own needs.
If the following applies to you, then you may be a suitable candidate for a breast enlargement procedure:
Whether you are a candidate for breast enlargement surgery is a question that can only be answered after a full consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Your age and health are also important determining factors. If you have malignant, or pre-malignant breast cancer that has not been treated, or if you have an infection, then the procedure is not suitable for you.
If you can answer yes to the following, then breast enlargement surgery may be suitable for you:
The following demonstrates how breast enlargement operations are usually carried out, though individual surgical practice may vary.
Step 1 – Anesthetic
Breast implant operations are usually carried out under general anesthetic, though sometimes your doctor will use intravenous sedation. Your surgeon will recommend the best choice for you. It is possible to have a breast enlargement operation as day surgery, though you will normally need to stay in hospital overnight. Breast enlargement usually takes about one to three hours to complete. The length of the procedure varies according to the technique used, the placement of the implants, the patient’s anatomy, and type of anesthesia used.
Step 2 – Types of incision
Your doctor will first make an incision, or cut, in an inconspicuous area to minimize visible scarring. You will be able to discuss these options with your doctor before your operation to decide on the one that is best for you. Incisions vary based on the type of breast implant, degree of enlargement desired, your anatomy, and where you would like the scars to be.
Incision options include:
After the incision has been made, the implant is inserted either beneath the breast tissue (sub-mammary/sub-glandular) or under the pectoral muscle (sub-muscular). Again, your surgeon will advise you on the best option. The cuts are then closed using fine stitches which may be dissolvable, and your breasts are wrapped in a special supportive dressing or support bra. You may also need to have drainage tubes fitted for up to 48 hours, to help drain away excess fluids.
Step 3 – Results
The results of your breast enlargement procedure will be immediately obvious. While most women are pleased with how they look, they are not always as happy with how their breasts feel. You may have numbness in your nipple area which is a common complication, or your breasts may feel supersensitive and painful to the touch. Your breasts may remain swollen and sensitive to physical contact for a month or longer, though over time the swelling subsides and the incision lines will refine and fade.
When you wake up you will feel tired, sore, and stiff and you will be advised to take pain killers. Post-operative care may involve the use of a post-operative bra, compression bandage, or jog bra for extra support and positioning while you heal.
Your breasts will be wrapped with gauze bandages as well as a tighter bandage for protection and support after your breast implant surgery. Someone will need to drive you home, and you may need assistance over the next couple of days. Before you leave the hospital, you and whoever is caring for you post-op will be given instructions on the symptoms you may experience, and the possible complications of which to be aware. It is very important to take the medication prescribed to you by your doctor.
Breast enlargement surgery is usually carried out under general anesthetic and therefore has the same risks as other invasive surgical procedures; any kind of surgical procedure carries a small risk of infection.
It takes a few months for the breasts to settle after breast enlargement surgery and in the short term patients might experience some swelling, hardness and discomfort with some bruising, twinges and pains possibly over the first few weeks. The combination of increased volume from the breast implant and swelling from surgery may cause your breasts to feel large, heavy, and tight. While in the hospital, you will be encouraged to rest in an upright position, to help reduce swelling.
Depending on the size of the breast implant and the way it was placed during surgery, some mild bruising may occur. Rarely, this bruising can extend down to the abdomen. While this is uncommon, it is not considered a complication. However, if you have any large, firm, painful areas of bruising, contact your doctor. This may be a hematoma, which is a more serious type of bruise and will need treatment. Normal bruising should subside in one to two weeks.
Post-surgery, you will be given pain relief if you are in pain. Your scars will be pink for several weeks, but after several months they will begin to fade.
You may need to stay in the hospital overnight, or you may be allowed home the same day. It is critical that you follow your doctor’s guidance and advice on post-operative care. You will normally need to attend a number of post-operative check-ups to ensure that you are recovering well.
Follow these steps to help to ensure a speedy and healthy breast implant recovery:
Breast enlargement recovery times vary for individuals it is a gradual process, you must be aware that you need to get help if any of the following occur to you:
If you suffer any of the following, tell your surgeon or nursing staff immediately.
Your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare for your surgery. If you smoke, you will be asked to stop in advance of the breast enlargement procedure. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your breast enlargement cosmetic surgeon may also recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months afterwards, which will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue.
The breast enlargement procedure is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, and you will be asleep during the operation. You will not be able to eat or drink for about six hours before a general anaesthetic; some anaesthetists allow occasional sips of water until two hours beforehand.
Bring in a soft, supportive bra without under wiring to wear after surgery. Your surgeon will advise you about the most suitable type of bra beforehand.
When you arrive at the hospital, your nurse will explain how you will be cared for during your stay, and may run some tests such as checking your heart rate and blood pressure, and testing your urine.
Your surgeon will usually visit you to discuss the operation and you will be asked to sign a consent form. This confirms that you are fully informed about your breast enlargement procedure and that you understand the breast implant risks, benefits, breast implant side effects and possible alternatives to the procedure. By signing the form, you give your permission for the breast enlargement surgery to go ahead.
Your surgeon will measure your breasts, assess their shape and the position of your nipples, and may mark the position of the surgical cuts on your breasts. With your consent, photographs may be taken, so that the results of your breast enlargement before and after surgery can be compared with your original appearance.
Your nurse will prepare you for theatre. You may be asked to wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots forming in the veins in your legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Breast Enlargement Surgery; here is an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself Surgeon.