Breast augmentation / enlargement is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure. There are many variables that would need to be addressed to get the best result. Following are some useful questions to help you make the right choice.
Why do women choose breast enlargement?
Some women seek this procedure after loss of volume following pregnancy / breast feeding / massive weight loss. Some may be troubled by lack of proper development from young age. Few women with normally developed breast may want to have a ‘larger’ volume – so, choosing this procedure.
What is the implant made of?
Breast enlargement is usually done using a silicone gel implant. It is less common to use saline (salt water filled) implant for cosmetic enlargement. In both types, the outer shell is made of silicone. The difference is in the inner, filling material only.
What are the types of implants?
There are 2 main types of breast implants in the market – ‘round’ and ‘anatomical’ shaped. Within this broad category, there are many subtle variations produced by many companies – but the choice of implant is usually based on patient situation and the surgeon’s experience.
Is it kept in ‘front’ or ‘behind’ the muscle?
In some women with very little breast tissue, it is better to keep the implant ‘behind’ the muscle. This will help to give a smoother surface; may avoid the so-called ‘rippling’ being seen on the upper part of the breast. But, many women will notice sideways movement of the implant when the muscle is tightened.
If there is enough breast tissue to ‘hide’ the implant and the breast skin is relatively tight –then, keeping the implant ‘in front’ of the muscle will be useful. This will give a better cleavage and may look more ‘natural’. However, with time, the skin may stretch and may start showing some ‘rippling’ – particularly at the upper half of the breast.
A popular technique called ‘dual plane’ technique may be useful to get the best of both these options – by keeping the upper part of the implant ‘behind’ the muscle.
What are the main problems of breast enlargement?
Initially, there will be some tightness of the skin. The implant may look too ‘top heavy’.
Infection / Delay in healing
Nipple sensation being disturbed – either numb or over sensitive
Stretch marks around the nipples
Discomfort – particularly, if the implant is kept behind the muscle
What is the ‘capsule’?
All women who have a breast implant will form a thin scar tissue between the breast tissue and the implant – as part of normal healing. In some, this scar tissue, ‘capsule’, can become thicker / harder, over a period of years. If this thickening, (‘capsular contracture’) is severe enough to cause problems, it will need further operation.
Can the women breast feed after breast enlargement?
Yes. However, it is worth remembering that some women may not be able to breast feed even if they did not have an operation.