Breast enlargement or augmentation, as it's also known increases breast size, shape and fullness. Surgeons insert an implant filled with silicone under the breast tissue or under chest muscle to create the impression of a fuller bust. There are three possibilities for the incision: underneath the breast, underneath the nipple and in the armpit. The 4-5 cm long scars are hardly visible. Even the up-to-date improved implants don’t last forever, they have to be changed every 10-15 years. Prophylactic cancer checks (ultrasound, mammography) can be performed normally.
Inserting and placing the implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
- Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
- Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular placement)
- In Dual Plane position: upper part under muscle, lower part subglandular
The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, body type, and the surgeon’s recommendations.
Breast implants do not impair breast health. Careful review of scientific research conducted by independent groups has found no proven link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
Anaesthetic: general anaesthetic; Duration of the procedure: 1 - 2 hours
Hospital stay: 1 day and proposed stay in Cyprus: 3 days after surgery
Stitch removal: 10-14 days after surgery or absorbable stitches
The implants used are high quality manufactured implants, filled with cohesiv silicone gel.
What should I expect during the post-operative period?
Depending on the level of activity required, patients are generally able to return to work or school in approximately one week time. You will have pain, swelling and bruising from the procedure. You will not be able to perform any strenuous activity for several weeks.
Scars from the breast augmentation surgery will last six weeks or longer. The scars begin to fade several months after surgery. The majority of patients will have drains placed in the operating room which generally will be removed before discharge.
On the first visit, typically 2-3 days after surgery, you will have the dressings removed. After that You are advised to wear special elastic bra for 4-6 weeks. You will have stitches removed 7-10 days after surgery.You will be able to shower after these are removed. You will not be able to drive while you are on pain medications.
About 2 weeks after surgery you may be instructed on breast exercises. As the incisions heal you may experience itching. This is normal. Breasts implants will "settle" about 2-3 months after surgery.
What are the risks and complications of this procedure?
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with breast augmentation. Although the majority of patients do not experience the following complications, you should understand all possible consequences of breast enlargement surgery.
Breast Augmentation Risks
- Bleeding- Exceptionally unusual after breast enlargement procedure
- Infection- Breast implant infection is also exceptionally unusual after breast augmentation.
- Capsular contracture-A scar tissue layer forms around the breast implants. This scar tissue layer is called the breast implant capsule.
- Change in nipple and skin sensation
- Skin scarring- Excessive scarring is uncommon after breast augmentation.
- Skin wrinkling and rippling- Visible and palpable wrinkling of breast implants can occur. Some wrinkling is normal and expected. This may be more pronounced in patients who have saline-filled breast implants or thin breast tissue.
- Breast Implants- Breast implants, similar to other medical devices, can fail. Breast implants can break or leak. Breast implants cannot be expected to last forever.
- Degradation of breast implants- It is possible that small pieces of the breast implant material may separate from the outer surface of breast implants. This is of unknown significance.
- Implant extrusion- Lack of adequate breast tissue coverage or breast infection may result in exposure and extrusion of the breast implant. Smoking may interfere with the healing process after breast augmentation.
- Mammography- While there is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, they may change the way mammography is done to detect cancer. When you request a routin mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology center where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Ultrasound investigations or MRI may be of benefit in some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant.
- Pregnancy and breast feeding- Only very limited research has been conducted in this area and at this time there is no scientific evidence that this is a problem.
- Calcification- Calcium deposits can form very rarely in the scar tissue surrounding the breast implants and may cause pain, firmness, and be visible on mammography.
- Implant displacement- Displacement or migration of a breast implant may occur accompanied by discomfort and/or distortion in breast shape. Difficult techniques of implant placement may increase the risk
- Surgical anesthesia- Both local and general anesthesia of breast augmentation involve risk. There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation.
- Unusual activities and occupations- Activities and occupations which have the potential for trauma to the breast could potentially break or damage breast implants, or cause bleeding after breast augmentation.
- Seroma- Fluid may accumulate around the implant following breast enlargement surgery, trauma or vigorous exercise.
- Breast disease- Current medical information does not demonstrate an increased risk of breast disease or breast cancer in women who have breast implant surgery for either cosmetic or reconstructive purposes. Breast disease can occur independently of breast implants. It is recommended that all women perform periodic self examination of their breasts, have mammography according to their national medical guidelines, and seek professional care should they notice a breast lump.
- Thrombosed veins- Thrombosed veins, which resemble cords occasionally develop in the area of the breast and resolve without medical or surgical treatment.
- Allergic reactions- In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported. Systemic reactions which are more serious may result from drugs used during surgery and prescription medicines.
- Silicone gel breast implants and immune system diseases and unknown risks- A connection between implanted silicone and connective tissue disorders has been reported in the medical literature. To date, there is no scientific evidence that women with either silicone gel-filled or saline-filled breast implants have an increased risk of these diseases.
- Breast augmentation result- Subsequent alterations in breast shape may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or other circumstances not related to breast implants. Breast sagginess may normally occur. You may be disappointed with the results of breast augmentation surgery. Asymmetry in breast implant placement, breast shape and breast size may occur after breast augmentation. Unsatisfactory surgical scar location or displacement may occur. Pain may occur following breast augmentation. It may be necessary to perform additional breast implant surgery to improve your results.
Fortunately, major complications from breast enlargement surgery are uncommon. Every year, hundred thousands of women undergo breast enlargement surgery and experience no significant problems.