The breast is the most important organ emphasizing the sexual identity of a woman. In a female body, shoulder width, waist and hip ratio significantly contributes to body aesthetics and self-esteem. When the breasts are small, the body contour appears inadequate. As a result, it is not surprising that this situation will cause psycho-sexual issues in a healthy woman. Fortunately today, by means of technological advancements breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) surgeries became considerably safer procedures yielding very pleasing results.
Breasts can be small due to structural or genetic reasons. Today, the most notable and healthy way of breast augmentation is a breast augmentation surgery using prostheses / breast implants. Although a certain degree of breast enhancement is possible with the patient’s own fat tissue (lipofilling) or with new generation fillers (hyaluronic acid), the obtained volume is not satisfactory and the results are not permanent.
The main component of breast prostheses is silicone and silicone derivative gels. Modern prostheses are composed of an outer silicone shell filled with silicone gel or physiological serum (saline or saltwater). Another type of prosthesis is inflated with physiological serum to reach the desired size during the operation. Although they are not harmful to the body, they are known for leaking over time, thus causing loss of volume. From this point of view, pre-filled prostheses are safer. The texture of silicone gel implants is closer to natural breast tissue. This material, although used since the 1960’s, has been examined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the 1990’s and became available for use again in 2006. Studies found no association between breast cancer or connective tissue diseases and silicone breast implants. Used in many areas of medicine, silicone is scientifically considered harmless to human health.
Breast prostheses are mainly designed in round and anatomical (teardrop) shapes. They have various heights (projection) and their surfaces can be smooth, or textured.
Breast implants can be placed through incisions located either under the breast, around the areola or in the armpits. Their placement can be under the muscle (subpectoral), or under the mammary gland (subglandular) or biplane (dual plane). For a successful surgery from an aesthetic point of view, choice of the right size of implant and an appropriate plan are crucial. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages, which should be discussed with the patient. Talk to your doctor about your expectations and desires.
Before the operation, a breast ultrasound and a mammogram may be requested for patients over 40. The surgery is performed in hospital environment, under general anesthesia and takes approximately 1 hour. In normal conditions, no drain is needed and sutures are not removed. A one night stay in the hospital is suggested. Breast pain may be experienced for 2 – 3 days following the operation. Swelling (edema) during the first days is considered normal. The patient can generally return to work 4 – 5 days later. Infections and hematomas (collection of clotted blood) are observed very rarely.
The implant being a foreign body, the body will form a thin membrane called a capsule around it. This condition is normal and is observed in every patient. When the capsule is excessively thick, it may cause deformities that can be visible to the naked eye. This situation may occur mostly when smooth-surfaced implants are placed underneath the mammary gland (breast tissue.) Today, this situation is encountered very rarely.
Breast sensitivity or loss of sensation may occur in early stages. Both of these conditions are temporary. Studies and publications confirm a link between permanent loss of sensation and very tightly placed large implants.
When planned and performed correctly, breast implant procedure is one of the most pleasing plastic surgery operations. It increases self-esteem of the patients, who feel at peace with themselves and enjoy life.