A breast implant is a prosthesis used to enlarge the size of a woman’s breasts (known as breast augmentation, breast enlargement, mammoplasty enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty or the common slang term boob job) for cosmetic reasons; to reconstruct the breast (e.g. after a mastectomy; or to correct genetic deformities), or as an aspect of male-to-female sex reassignment surgery
Breast implant surgery is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States, and across the world. It is also known as breast augmentation, or mammoplasty. Women may choose to undergo breast implant surgery for various reasons. These personal reasons may center around breasts that are perceived to be under developed or because of differences in the sizes of the breasts or from changes after pregnancy or breast feeding.
Some women may be happy with their breasts but just want them made fuller. This is usually after significant weight loss, aging or childbirth in which case a woman’s breast volume and shape may change.
Breast implant surgery performed by cosmetic cosmetic surgeons is the most popular way to improve breast shape and size. Breast enhancement using breast implants can give a woman more proportional shape and may improve self esteem. Having breast implant surgery usually involves either enlarging your breasts, or changing their shape.
Women who have had one, or both, breasts removed (mastectomy), as part of their treatment for breast cancer, may also consider having breast implants fitted.
Having breast implants fitted is not a decision that you should make in a hurry. It is important that you make an informed decision – one which takes into account the potential risks and side effects.
It is important that you have realistic expectations about the results of your breast implants. You should also find out the details of the procedure, the recovery period, and the possible complications. This way you are less likely to be disappointed with the outcome of your breast implants.
Breast implants can either be made from natural tissue, or synthetic (man-made) materials. Natural tissue implants are usually only used as part of reconstructive breast surgery following a mastectomy.
It is important for you to be aware that women rarely go through their entire lives with the same implants. There is no specific length of time that your implants will last for – it will depend on your individual circumstances.
Implant removal is often necessary at some point for various reasons. Some implants break down over time, or complications may develop.
If breast implant removal is necessary, you will need to decide whether to have further implant surgery, or to treat the removal as permanent.
You must also be prepared financially for the cost of having further surgery. Most women have breast implant surgery on a private basis.
Insertion of a saline or a silicone-filled implant behind natural breast tissue to enhance breast size
1-2 hours (depending on procedure and implanst chosen)
General or local
Once, but breast implant revision can be used to revive older implants
Infection, numbness, implant rupture (particularly dangerous with silicone implants), anesthesia complications
Long-lasting, though breast implant revision may be required after 10 years or so. Gravity and age may eventually alter breast shape.
Breast implant costs can vary widely. Factors that contribute to the price include the type of breast implant used, where you live, surgery-related expenses (like anesthesia), and your cosmetic surgeon’s fees.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons quoted the national average cost for breast implants was $3,400; this is normally just the surgeon’s fees for breast implant surgery. However a surgeon’s cost for a breast implant operation may vary based on his or her experience.
It is likely that the actual cost of the entire breast implants surgical procedure will be more than the estimated $3,400 figure.
Additional breast augmentation fees may include:
When choosing a cosmetic surgeon for breast implant surgery, remember that the experience of the surgeon with breast implant operations and your comfort with him or her and the rest of the staff are all equally as important as the final cost of the surgery. It is impossible to place a set price on peace of mind, trust, and meeting your expectations.
Most cosmetic surgeons and surgical clinics offer flexible Breast implant financing and payment options, some of which allow staggered payments or loans from VARIOUS FINANCING COMPANIES.
If you are considering breast implant surgery, the first step and one of the most important steps in the whole process, is to locate a reputable board certified cosmetic surgeon at Perfect Yourself, who will be able to answer your questions in more detail, and provide you with all the information that you need to make a final decision.
Breast implants should only be considered by women who have taken medical advice from a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Breast implant operations are normally performed using general anesthetic and carry the same risks as other surgical operations.
You should only have breast implants once you are satisfied that it is the best option for you.
Take the time to make an informed decision, weigh up the pros and cons, and talk through your thoughts with a trusted friend, partner, or family member.
It is also important that you are not pressured into having breast implants. It is your body, and your own personal decision to make.
One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:
Not everyone may be eligible for breast implant surgery. This is why your breast implant surgeon will need to take a detailed look at your medical history and your overall health.
You may not be able to have breast implant surgery if:
Your breast implant surgeon will discuss how to prepare for your operation. For example, if you smoke you may be asked to quit as smoking will increase your risk of getting a chest or wound infection and slow your recovery.
A breast implant operation is usually done as a day case, but sometimes an overnight stay is needed.
Breast implant procedures are usually carried out under a general anesthetic. This means you will be asleep during the operation. You will be asked not to eat or drink for about six hours before a general anesthetic. However, some anesthetists’ allow occasional sips of water until two hours beforehand.
You may be asked to bring in a soft, supportive bra without under wiring to wear after your breast implant surgery. Your surgeon will advise you about the most suitable type of bra beforehand.
At the hospital, your nurse will explain how you will be cared for during your stay, and may do 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 understand breast implants risks; breast implants side effects, as well as benefits and possible alternatives to the procedure.
Signing a consent form indicates that you have given your permission for a breast implant operation on yourself to ahead.
Your surgeon will measure your breasts and assess their shape and the position of your nipples. Your surgeon may mark the position of the surgical cuts on your breasts. Photographs may be taken, so that the results of surgery can be compared with your original appearance and you may have a mammogram.
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).
The following is a general guide to how a breast implant operation takes place, although individual surgical practice may vary.
Step 1 – Anesthetic
Your breast implant operation will usually be carried out while you are under general anesthetic. However, in some cases, your surgeon may choose to use local anesthetic to numb your chest area, and you may be given a sedative to help you relax. Your surgeon will discuss this with you before your operation.
Sometimes, the breast implant procedure is carried out as day surgery (you will be able to go home the same day). However, you will usually need to stay in hospital overnight. The breast implant procedure itself will normally take between 1-2 hours.
Step 2 – Types of incision
The first stage of the surgery is to make an incision (cut) in either one of three places.
The position of your incision will again be something that your surgeon discusses with you prior to your operation. It will depend on the shape and size of your existing breasts, and where you would like your scars to be.
The different types of incision that you may have are listed below.
Once the incision has been made, the breast implants can be fitted. An implant can either be positioned between your breast tissue and your chest muscle (subglandular), or behind your chest muscle (submuscular).
Your surgeon will advise you about what position is best for your individual circumstances.
Once the implants are in place, the incisions can be sealed using stitches. They will then usually be covered with a dressing.
After your surgery, you may have some fine plastic tubes coming from your breasts. These help drain away any excess fluid, and may have to be left in for up to 48 hours.
Breast implant surgery for reconstructive purposes is slightly different than implant surgery for cosmetic reasons.
For reconstructive surgery, your surgeon may decide that a natural breast implant tissue is most suitable for you (see ‘natural breast tissue implants’ above).
Alternatively, your surgeon may use a tissue expander as part of your reconstructive surgery. This is a silicone outer shell that is inserted under your chest tissue and is gradually inflated using injections of saline (sterile salt-water solution) over the period of a few months.
Once the expander has stretched the skin and muscle enough to create healthy new tissue it is replaced with a permanent implant.
Step 3 – Results
At the conclusion of your breast implants procedure, you may be placed in a surgical dressing that may include a support bra or garment. You should follow your cosmetic surgeon’s directions as prescribed. Prior to your discharge, you and your caregiver will be given detailed instructions about your post-surgical care including drains if they have been placed, the normal symptoms you will experience, and any potential signs of complication.
The results of Breast implant surgery are immediately visible. Over time post-surgical swelling will subside and resolve, and incision lines will gradually refine in appearance. Patients experience an immediate satisfaction at their results, and experience fulfillment in self-confidence and personal body image in achieving their goal for fuller breasts.
Step 4 – Going home
Following your operation, you may either be allowed home the same day, or you may require an overnight stay in the hospital, or clinic. Once you are allowed home, you will need to rest to give your body time to recover. Avoid using your arms, or chest area, excessively following your operation because doing so may cause irritation and bleeding.
To maximise your breast implant recovery, you should avoid:
Some surgeons may also recommend that you wear a tight fitting support bra for between 2-6 weeks following your operation.
Depending on your job, you will usually be able to return to work between 2-4 weeks after your breast implants are fitted.
Breast implant recovery times vary from individual to individual. You will almost certainly have some swelling and bruising immediately after your operation and will need to take some time off work to rest and recover. Your breasts may feel hard to the touch, and you may experience some painful twinges, or general discomfort. It is not unusual for these symptoms to last for a few weeks.
In order to get the best results, it is important for you to follow the aftercare advice that your surgeon gives you. You will normally need to attend a series of post-operative appointments to check your recovery.
When to get help
If you experience any symptoms that you were not expecting, or you are in significant pain, you should contact your or surgeon and nursing staff immediately.
Some possible warning signs include:
Immediately after your breast implant operation, you will experience some swelling, pain, and bruising. Your chest may also feel tight, and you may feel that your breathing is restricted. This is normal, and your symptoms will start to improve over the next few weeks.
While you are recovering from your surgery at the hospital, or clinic, you will usually rest in a semi-upright position, as this will help to minimise any swelling, and should also help you to feel more comfortable. If you are in pain, you may be given painkilling medicine to help ease your symptoms.
You can continue to take over-the-counter (OTC) painkilling medicines or medications as prescribed or instructed by your breast implant surgeon or nurse.
Breast implant procedures are commonly performed and generally safe. However, in order to make an informed decision and give your consent, you need to be aware of the possible side-effects and the risk of complications.
These are the unwanted, but mostly temporary effects of a successful treatment, for example, feeling sick as a result of the general anesthetic.
For a few weeks after surgery, your breasts will feel sore, swollen and hard, and you will feel a burning sensation in your nipples. Using extra pillows when sleeping can help reduce the swelling around your breasts. You will have scars, they will be pink and noticeable at first, but they should fade gradually.
This is when problems occur during or after the operation. Most women are not affected. The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Specific complications of breast implant operations are rare, but can include:
It’s possible that you still won’t be satisfied with your appearance after the operation.
The exact breast implant risks are specific to you and will differ for every person. Ask your breast implant surgeon during your consultations to explain how these risks apply to you.
Breast implants are made with either a smooth or a textured surface. Silicone shelled implants were once said to last a life time, although new reports have concluded that a silicone filled implant’s life is averaged at 18 years and saline implants are said to last approximately 12-14 years.
The following types of Breast implants are available in the US
There are various types of breast implants to choose from. The surface of an implant is either smooth or textured. A smooth implant is as smooth as the surface of a balloon and a textured implant feels a little like sandpaper. Textured breast implants were made because it was said that they would reduce the risk of capsular contracture. (Capsular contracture occurs when the scar or capsule around the implant tightens, squeezing the implant, and causing the breast to harden.) However, there has been no hard evidence to support this theory.
Depending on the desired shape you wish to achieve, you and your cosmetic surgeon may choose a round or shaped breast implant for your surgery. It is advisable that you discuss which implant type is best for you during you consultation with your breast implant surgeon, this way you are fully aware of the choice you are making for your breast implants. It is also suggested that you ask your surgeon if you can see breast implant photos and also breast implant before and after photos so you can see the different results and looks of various implant types.
Knowledge is power so arm yourself with the facts before making any decision about Breast Implants Surgery; here is an essential check list to help you find the right Perfect Yourself Surgeon.