What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is the surgical placement of breast implants to increase fullness and projection of the breasts.
This procedure is used cosmetically to:
- Enlarge naturally small breasts;
- Restore breast volume lost as a result of breast-feeding, or weight loss;
- Achieve better symmetry when breasts are disproportionate in size and shape.
Implants also may be used to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy or injury.
What it won't do
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. To make the breasts look fuller and higher, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
The procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia.
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring and will vary based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, and your anatomy.
Silicone or saline breast implants?
Implant type and size will be determined based not just on your desired increase in size, but on your breast anatomy, skin elasticity and body type. Breast implants fall into two categories:
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness and feel of the breast. Should the implant shell leak, a saline breast implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
Silicone breast implants are filled with an elastic gel. The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. Silicone implants are approved by Health Canada and you can find more information about breast implant safety on the Health Canada website.
Placing the breast implant
After the incision is made, the breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
- under the pectoral muscle, or
- directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, and your body type. Dr. Thomson will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
Recovery and results
This procedure is a day surgery. This means that after you have awakened completely and can follow directions you will be discharged from the surgical facility. Dr. Thomson will see you again the next day.
You will likely feel tired and sore after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes in a few days and you may return to light activities at 2-4 weeks. Post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks.
Scars will begin to fade and the breast will continue to take on its new shape over the next year. It’s important to know that results may not be permanent and implants may require replacement or alteration during your lifetime.