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Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that helps to balance the figure, increase fullness, as well as enhance self-image and self-confidence in many women. The procedure is also known as augmentation mammaplasty and involves the use of various types of implants to increase or restore breast volume diminished by injury, weight loss, deformities, and mastectomies.
Breast augmentation is performed by a plastic surgeon and does involve some risks. Most surgical procedures involve the use of anesthesia and contain certain risks and complications, so careful consideration is always recommended, especially in women younger than 18 years of age.
Women looking into breast augmentation should also realize that breast implants will not impair the health of breasts but that menopause, weight loss, and even pregnancy often alter the appearance of such procedures over time.
Women who are physically healthy and have fully developed breasts, even though one or both of them may have failed to develop normally are the best candidates for breast augmentation procedures. For this reason, women under 18 years of age are often counseled to wait a few years before undergoing breast augmentation procedures in order for the body to become fully developed. Women suffering from breasts that vary in size and shape are good candidates for this type of procedure.
Breast augmentation is an ideal solution for women who want larger breasts or those recovering from injury, mastectomies, and weight loss that lead to droopy breasts. However, doctors may suggest a breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation for women with severely droopy breasts for optimal results.
Prior to engaging in any surgical procedures, your physician should talk to you about expectations and outcomes. He or she will also discuss any medical conditions and use of current medications as well as history of previous surgical procedures. Your physician will also ask regarding your history and results of mammograms, biopsies, or breast cancer in your family.
Breast augmentation procedures may take place in a hospital, in an outpatient setting, or in an office-based surgical center. It is recommended that if the procedure is done on an outpatient basis that the patient arrange for someone else to drive them to and from the procedure.
Patients undergoing breast augmentation surgical procedures are generally given a general anesthesia. Incisions to insert implants are generally made in the crease immediately under the breast or in the armpit to minimize scarring. Your physician will discuss such options with you prior to surgery.
Your physician will also discuss your choice of saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water while silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel.
After the incision is made, a breast implant is placed either under the pectoral muscle or directly behind breast tissues over the pectoral muscle. Methods of insertion will depend upon which type of implant have been chosen, body type, and your surgeon's recommendation.
Incisions are closed with surgical tape, sutures, and skin adhesives that will minimize scarring. Over time, incision scars will fade and hardly be noticeable.
Results of breast augmentation surgical procedures are visible immediately. Patients should expect some swelling and discomfort for several days following the procedure, but recovery is generally prompt and proceeds without complications. In most cases, women may return to normal activities when soreness and swelling has decided, usually within a week to a month following the procedure.
In the United States, a plastic surgeon performing breast augmentation surgery should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or Surgeons or belong to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Potential patients should determine whether the surgeon of their choice has been specially trained in breast augmentation procedures.
Patients obtaining breast augmentation internationally should verify that a surgeon belongs to a society, organization, or association of certified plastic surgeons in their country of origin.
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