Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breast Augmentation

As most people know very well, breast implants or augmentation mammoplasty is a procedure used in cosmetic surgery to remodel the shape of the breast. Most of the time, the surgery is performed to increase breast size, however, the treatment can also be performed for breast reconstruction, like for example, in the correction of genetic deformities or after a mastectomy.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the third most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. Hence, it comes as no surprise for this surgery to be in the top five most asked for procedures at Better Looks. Due to this cosmetic boom, it is becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica because of its low cost and rehabilitation facilities. Naturally, the beauty of this small country cannot be discarded when it comes to making the decision of travelling abroad to get cosmetic surgery performed.

So, everyone knows what breast augmentation surgery does and that it’s amazingly popular. But what does the procedure imply exactly? If I want to get increase my breast size through surgery, what do I need to consider? Well, to start off, you need to be aware of the various options available since the surgery can be performed in various ways. Additionally, you need to be aware that there are two different kinds of implants (many different shapes and textures) from which to choose from:

Saline breast implants - these have a silicone rubber shell filled with sterile saline liquid. Saline implants are the most commonly used implants in the United States. They differ in shell surface (i.e. smooth or textured) and thickness, volume, profile, shape (round or anatomical) and can be expandable as well. The majority of saline implants are single lumen and are filled at the time of surgery.

Silicone gel implants - which have a silicone shell filled with a silicone gel. In the 60 countries where silicone implants are available, they are used in approximately 90-95% of implant operations. These breast implants come pre-filled, meaning that there is no fill to be added when they are placed. The only real downside to a pre-filled implant is that the incision your Better Looks doctor makes will have to be a bit longer, depending on the size of the implant to be inserted. This is especially the case for textured silicone, which is a somewhat firmer than smooth silicone, due to the thickness of the shell.

A breast augmentation surgery generally takes one to two hours to complete. The whole technique of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy as well as on your surgeon's suggestions. Keep in mind that different doctors work with different types of incisions/techniques; therefore, it’s recommended you discuss these with your doctor thoroughly before making any decisions. Technically, the incisions available are:

Peri-Areolar - a semicircular incision around the lower half of the areola. This is presently one of the most widely used incisions. The incision is made just beyond the areola (the darker area of skin surrounding the nipple). Your surgeon makes the incision at the very edge of the areola where the dark tissue meets the lighter breast tissue, aiding the scar when it comes to "blending it in".

Infra-Mammary - a transverse incision following the line of the infra-mammary fold. Also known as the crease incision, this is probably the most frequent incision currently used for breast augmentation. The incision is made in the infra-mammary fold, commonly known as the crease. If the incision is performed correctly, the scar should not be visible (except when being in a horizontal position).

Axillary - an incision in the armpit with a tunnel made through to the breast. This particular incision offers a scar-less breast after the procedure. The incision site is in the armpit, in the natural "folds" of skin, hiding it very well.

TUBA - an incision at the rim of the navel, the implant is rolled up subcutaneously behind the breast. This is the most recent incision developed by plastic surgeons. Due to this, very few surgeons out there actually have training when it comes to making this incision.
The doctors at Better Looks will make every effort to assure that the incision made so resulting scars will be as unremarkable as possible.

Once the incision is made, your surgeon will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket. This can be located either directly behind the breast tissue (submammary or subglandular placement) or beneath the pectoral muscle and on top of the chest wall (submuscular placement).

As we just mentioned, there are several techniques used in the insertion of breast implants. The choice of technique may depend on the surgeon's personal preferences as much as the patient's relevant anatomy. Here’s some information concerning each:

  • Sub-Glandular - sub-glandular implants are placed in a pocket between the pectoralis major muscle and the breast tissue and subcutaneous fat. A surgeon may select this technique in a patient with a moderate amount of pre-existing breast tissue.
  • Sub-Fascial - in this technique the implant is placed into a pocket between the pectoralis major and its covering.
  • Sub-Muscular – with this technique the implant is placed entirely or partially beneath the pectoralis major muscle, lying on the ribcage.

Once the implant is placed within this pocket and the desired look is obtained, the incisions are closed using sutures. A gauze bandage may be applied over your breasts to help with the healing.
In regards to your recovery period, when the bandage is removed a surgical bra may be supplied by your surgeon and stitches may be removed approximately a week later. Usually, after the initial 7 days, you may go back to your daily routine without any problems. By the end of the first four weeks, swelling will reduce 75%. Additionally, it may also take around this long for direct physical contact of the breasts to be permitted. Keep in mind that scarring goes through various stages and may finish anywhere from a couple of months to a year after.

If you’re interested in getting a breast augmentation performed, don’t hesitate to contact us now! We’ll help you get on track to achieving the amazing bustline you’ve always dreamed of.

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