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Breast Augmentation

Know more about Breast Augmentation

Many women are dissatisfied with the size of their breasts or complain they have lost volume in the region after a pregnancy. With a breast augmentation, small breasts, (hipomastias) within aesthetic limits, may be increased. The placement of silicone breast prosthesis is also indicated in cases of congenital breast asymmetry where one breast differs in size from the other, creating uniform asymmetrical breasts.

The breasts can increase in volume through surgery, improving their consistency and shape. Silicone implants have several sizes that can be chosen, however it is important to keep the proportion balanced between the volume of the new breasts and the patient’s chest size in order to obtain a better aesthetic harmony.

In cases where there breasts have excessive laxity, a breast lift or mastopexy can be performed along with a breast augmentation, resulting in firmer, larger breasts.

Indication

A breast augmentation is recommended for an increase in size for small breasts or breasts that have lost volume due to a pregnancy or trauma.

Anesthesia

General anesthesia, epidural or local, depending on the case.

Where are the scars located?

Some surgeons designate the scars of a breast augmentation in the lower region of the breast and in the crease between the breast and the chest. Others can be located in the area of the areola and even the armpit. From the earliest days of the postoperative period, a breast augmentation produces a “very generous neckline”, because the scars were hidden so well. Over time, scars become less visible.

Surgical time

On average, the breast implant surgery can last from 90 to 120 minutes. However, the time of surgery should not be confused with the patient’s length of stay in the operating environment, as this includes the period of preparation for anesthesia and postoperative recovery. Your doctor will inform you about the total time.

Length of hospital stay

12 to 24 hours.

Recovery time

The patient can resume their daily activities within a week after a breast augmentation. Physical exercises involving the lower limbs may be resumed within 10 to 15 days, avoiding “high impact” activities. Physical activities involving the chest are usually only allowed after 30 to 45 days.

Final result

Although the immediate result is very good, the breasts will reach their final form only after about three months.

How are the scars?

Fortunately, this surgery allows the scars to be hidden quite well, which is very convenient during the early months. Here is a better understanding of the healing evolution:

A – IMMEDIATE PERIOD: Up to the 30th day with not much visible change. Some cases have a mild reaction to the stitches or bandages.

B – INTERMEDIATE PERIOD: From the 30th day until the 12th month. During this period, there is a natural thickening of the scar and color change, starting with a darker tone (red to brown) that will gradually clear up. This period is the least favorable point of healing because is what worries the patients most. As we can’t rush the natural healing process, we recommend that patients not worry, since the late period begins healing the scar remains.

C – LATE PERIOD: From the 12th to 18th month. During this period, the scar begins to become clearer and less consistent, reaching its final appearance. Any assessment of the final outcome of surgery, as regards the scar, should be made after this period.

Recommendations for a Breast Augmentation

PREOPERATIVE

– Communicate with us until the day before surgery, in case of flu, sickness or anticipation of the menstrual period;

– Attend a surgical site (hospital, clinic) on schedule according to your surgical plan;

– Avoid alcohol or very hearty meals the day before surgery;

– Avoid any slimming drugs, which eventually are used for a period of 10 days before surgery. This also includes certain diuretics;

– Schedule your social, domestic, professional or school activities, so as not to become indispensable to others for a period of approximately 4 days.

POSTOPERATIVE

– Avoid strenuous activity in the first 8 days;

– Do not move your arms excessively. Obey the instructions that will be given at the time of discharge, regarding upper limb movement or massage;

– Avoid wetting the dressing until you are authorized to do so;

– Do not expose yourself to the sun until the 2nd day;

– Obey the prescription;

– Eat a normal diet (except in specific cases where you receive proper guidance), on the second day, focus mainly on proteins (meat, milk, eggs) and vitamins (fruits);

– Return to the office for dressing maintenance in subsequent days and times set;

– Probably you will be feeling so well that you were operated on recently. Caution! This euphoria may cause you to behave unsafely, which can result in certain disorders;

– Do not worry about the intermediate phases. Speak with your plastic surgeon, and only with him, about any doubts you may have.

Learn more about Breast Augmentation.

I heard that some patients are left with very visible scars. Is it true?

Some patients tend to experience hypertrophic scarring or keloids after the placement of silicone breast prostheses. This trend, however, can be assessed to some extent, during the initial consultation, when you are asked a series of questions about your medical history as well as an analysis of family characteristics that can help us greatly with the prognosis of scars. Generally, fair-skinned people tend to not to experience this complication. Dark-skinned people are more predisposed to keloids or hypertrophic scars. This, however, is not an absolute truth. The background analysis will help us predict the healing prognosis, as well as allow us to take a closer look at any previous scars.

Is there a way to correct hypertrophic scars and keloids?

There are several medical and surgical means of improving unsightly scars, at the appropriate time. This is not to be confused, however, with the natural evolution of the healing period. Any questions about scar evolution should be discussed with your surgeon who will assess the state and location of them.

What will my new breasts be like in regards to size and consistency?

The breasts will have increased in volume with the implantation of silicone breast prostheses, improving the consistency and shape. The size will be decided by the patient and the surgeon, taking into consideration various factors discussed during the initial consultation. The breasts will pass through several stages of evolution after the operation:

A – IMMEDIATE PERIOD: Up to the 30th day. In this period, even if the breasts present an improved aspect, they still will not have reached their final size and volume. Remember that no breast is “perfect” during the immediate postoperative period.

B – INTERMEDIATE PERIOD: From the 30th day until the 3rd month – During this period, the breast begins to present an evolution that leads to their final form. Some characteristics of this period are a greater or lesser degree of “swelling” of the breasts. Additionally, the scarring is in full transition. Despite the euphoria of most patients at this time, we remind them them that final results will be even better.

C – LATE PERIOD: From the 3rd to the 18th month. This period is when the breasts reach their final appearance (scar, shape, texture, volume, sensitivity, etc.). During this period we usually compare the breasts with the preoperative aspect of each patient. The final result should produce a great degree of skin elasticity and volume from the prosthesis.

If I get pregnant, will the results of the breast augmentation be affected?

The result of a breast augmentation can be preserved, since you control your weight gain during the new pregnancy. The breasts undergo changes during pregnancy regardless of the presence of a retro-glandular prostheses.

Is the postoperative period of this surgery painful?

Generally not. The silicone breast implantation surgery is quite comfortable as long as you follow the medical instructions, especially with regards to arm movements during the first few days. Eventually, pain may occur, which can be easily controlled with the painkillers prescribed by your doctor. Avoid self-medication.

Is this operation dangerous?

Breast augmentation surgery rarely causes serious complications. This is due to the fact that each patient is properly prepared, and all considerations of the use of silicone implants are factored into account..

Are bandages used?

Yes, elastic bandages are used after a breast augmentation, specially adapted to each type of breast and bra fitting.

When are the stitches removed?

Generally, stitches that are used are removed on the 8th day after surgery.

When can I take a bath?

Depending on the case, the following day after surgery. Everything will depend on the evolution of the surgery, as well as the type of dressings used. All the special postoperative care will be explained by your doctor.

What is the postoperative outcome?

You should not forget that, until your breasts reach their desired results, they will go through several stages after the breast augmentation. If you are concerned about “achieving the desired final result ahead of schedule,” do not worry. The proper care and patience for your body’s healing ability will resolve any and all issues during the healing evolution process. Clearly any concern on your part can be addressed by your doctor who will give all the necessary information for your well being.

What about the hardening of the breasts (retraction of the capsule)?

An exaggerated retraction of the fibrous capsule is normal (that forms around the implant), which determines the degree of hardening in the region after a breast augmentation. Some cases are subject to such retraction, however, if this occurs, the prosthesis can and should be taken out through the same scars. Subsequently, both surgeon and patient may weigh in on the desirability or otherwise of the reintroduction of another prostheses, through a different introduction plan or conduct that best fits the case. The retraction of the capsule never reflects malpractice of the surgeon, but an atypical reactive behavior of the patient’s organism due to the presence of silicone implants.

The surgeon is not liable for any future expenses associated with any re-interventions that may be needed following a capsular shrinkage, hardening of the breasts or prosthesis leaks (which are rare). Currently, the number of capsule retractions have decreased significantly due to the advent of technical innovations introduced in plastic surgery.

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