What is breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a procedure that enhances the size and shape of the breasts using silicone or saline implants. The purpose of this procedure is to increase fullness and make breasts appear more lifted.
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts, so patients who require more substantial lifting from sagging, may also require a breast lift.
A breast lift can often be done at the same time as your breast augmentation surgery or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
What is the difference between silicone and saline breast implants?
A breast implant is made up of a silicone shell containing either silicone or saline solutions. Each of these solutions offers a different feel and consistency.
Silicone is a rubber gel that mimics the feel of human fat. Many patients believe that the silicone implant is softer and feels similar to natural breast tissue.
Saline is a safe, sterile saltwater solution which is used for a variety of medical purposes. Saline implants tend to have a slightly firmer feel.
How does breast augmentation surgery work?
Breast augmentation surgery uses either silicone or saline implants to reconstruct the breasts based on the patient’s desired outcomes. During this procedure, the implants are placed under the muscle and breast tissue or just under the breast tissue itself.
Silicone implants are inserted into the breast pre-filled with silicone gel. Their volume is set prior to the procedure and they require a slightly larger incision to place under the breast muscle or tissue.
Saline implants are not pre-filled. Their empty silicone shell is placed under the breast muscle or tissue, then filled once it is in place. This procedure requires a smaller incision.
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?
his procedure is ideal for patients who are looking to:
- Enhance breast appearance by addressing size, shape, or asymmetry concerns
- Add or reduce the volume of their breasts after pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss
- Reconstruct breasts following surgery for breast cancer or other conditions
Is breast augmentation surgery safe and effective?
While the research is ongoing, both saline and silicone implants are considered safe and effective ways to enhance or reconstruct the breasts.
Some potential risks that can occur during or after breast augmentation can include scarring, breast pain, infection, changes in the sensation of the breasts, punctures and/or leakage of the implants.
How do I prepare for breast augmentation surgery?
With breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to plan ahead. This requires some preparation on the patient’s part. Preparing for the surgery and recovery should begin as early as two weeks before the procedure. Specific requirements can be discussed with your surgeon, but prior to breast augmentation procedures, all patients will require blood work.
Other things that patients need to consider when preparing for their surgery, can include:
Two Weeks Prior to Surgery:
- Arranging for someone to transport you to and from the clinic on the day of the surgery
- Arranging for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours following the surgery
- Arranging for child or pet care, as needed
- Avoid aspirin or other drugs that increase blood thinning
- Stop or pause taking certain supplements or medications
- Stop smoking, drinking or any recreational drug use
One Week Prior to Surgery:
- Stock up on low-sodium foods (to reduce fluid retention and swelling during recovery)
- Purchase a laxative to have on hand (anti-pain medication may cause constipation)
- Ensure you have a clean, comfortable space to relax in during recovery
- Have loose-fitting, comfortable clothes on hand
- Compile entertainment resources such as books, movies and other things you can do while resting after your surgery
Night Before the Surgery:
- Wash your hair and body thoroughly
- Do not eat or drink anything within 8 hours prior to your procedure
- Get plenty of rest
Day of the Surgery:
- Wear comfortable, dark, loose-fitting clothing - a top with a zipper is ideal
- Do not wear jewelry, make-up or contact lenses
These are general recommendations for all patients who undergo breast augmentation surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with any additional recommendations or requirements regarding specific things that you may need to consider prior to your own surgery.
What should I expect following the procedure?
Recovering from a breast augmentation surgery can take time. It is important to prepare for your recovery in advance so that you have the space to rest and heal following the procedure.
It is recommended that patients rest for at least 2 – 4 days following their surgery. Planning to take time away from work, family or other obligations during this time is important to ensure that this rest takes place.
Following a breast augmentation surgery, it is also recommended that patients:
- Not operate a vehicle or exercise for at least one week following your procedure
- Not soak in, or submerge the incision sites in water for at least 6 weeks
- Take pain or nausea medication prescribed by your doctor as needed
- Apply any topical antibiotics to your incisions sites as instructed to avoid infections
- Contact your surgeon if you have concerns about excessive pain or other symptoms
- Keep the compression garment on following the surgery. Keep it dry. Do not remove it unless your surgeon advises you to.
How long does a surgical breast augmentation last?
Silicone and saline implants don’t have a set expiration date. However, they tend to last on average from 10-20 years depending on the patient. At this point the patient usually chooses to remove or replace them, requiring another surgical procedure.
In some cases, patients choose to remove or replace their implants earlier due to complications or cosmetic concerns.
Is there a consultation fee for a breast augmentation surgery?
All cosmetic consultation fees at SIH Dermatology & Plastic surgery are $100.00, which is applied to the cost of surgery (if booked).