What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a procedure which involves placing an implant either behind the breast tissue or under the muscle on the chest wall.
Who does this procedure suit?
Those who have smaller than desired full breasts as well as women who have experienced shrinkage of the breast tissue after pregnancy and breastfeeding. This may be negatively impacting on their self-esteem and body image.
What results can I expect?
Breast augmentation provides breast size and shape that the individual woman desires. Whichever you choose, you will benefit from the changes of breast augmentation forever, however gravity and aging may still effect the breast shape, and this varies between patients. The implant has a lifetime guarantee, however we advise checking whether you need implants after 10 to 12 years.
What’s the first step to take?
During your first breast augmentation consultation, your surgeon will discuss what you’d like to achieve, any expectations you have, various options available including type and size of implant and the location of incision. Information about your breast history, mammograms, ultrasounds or biopsies, questions about the procedure, medical history and current medication will also be discussed.
Please bring any relevant information to this consultation. We will provide as much information as possible so that you feel comfortable and informed, and if you feel overwhelmed in any way we encourage you to make a second consultation so that you feel confident with your decision.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Please ensure you have arranged someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out at home for a few days. To reduce risk of bleeding and bruising please make sure to:
- Avoid pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Voltaren and Nurofen) and Vitamin E two weeks before surgery. Panadol, and vitamins B and C are safe to use. Alcohol is best kept to a minimum also.
- Inform your surgeon if you take any herbal medicines such as garlic, ginkgo, ginseng or St John’s Wort. These can affect clotting and the anaesthetic.
- Avoid smoking 6 weeks before and after surgery so as not to restrict circulation to the skin and delay healing. Giving up altogether is best.
- Inform us immediately if you’ve had any infection (cold or flu) the week before your surgery.
What happens on the day of my surgery?
We will guide you to prepare for surgery so that your procedure and recovery go smoothly. On the day bring your toiletries, any medication needed and loose clothing.
- If your procedure is in the morning – do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
- If your procedure is in the afternoon – do not eat or drink anything after 8.00am.
What should I expect during surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery is performed under general anaesthetic so that you will be completely unaware of the surgery or any pain, and sleep comfortably through the procedure.
During the surgery, an incision is made under each breast, a pocket is created and the chosen implant is inserted into the area. The incision is stitched with dissolvable sutures that are placed under the skin to minimise scarring. The scar is taped for support and a pressure dressing placed on your chest area. This procedure usually takes up to 90 minutes.
What should I expect after surgery?
- You may have drain tubes under the arm, which allow removal of any fluid that has formed around the implants. These are removed in the first few days.
- As with all surgeries, there will be some pain experienced for a few days. To ease discomfort, your surgeon will pass local anaesthetic down the drain tubes at the end of your surgery. You may then be given prescription pain relief and antibiotics.
- A follow up appointment for you will be made the day after surgery and if needed, your drain tubes will be removed. Then you will be fitted into a support bra which will provide support and assist in gaining shape. Elasticised support may also be fitted over the top of the bra.
- There will be some swelling, however you will still be able to see the initial results of your augmentation. If your drain tubes have been removed you may carefully shower and pat dry the tapes placed over your scar-line before placing the bra on. Apart from bathing, staying in your bra day and night for 6 weeks will help with recovery.
- Our nurses will instruct you with a scar management program involving taping the scar and massaging the area with a moisturising cream.
At least 2 weeks off work to recover is needed and no heavy lifting for 6 weeks.
What are the risks and complications with this procedure?
- Excessive accumulation of blood within the newly shaped breast may occur. This requires removal of stitches and washing out the bruising beneath the skin.
- Capsule contracture – this is when the scar around the implant becomes thick and contracts so that the breast shape distorts and can be painful to touch, therefore it is best to reinsert a new implant.
- Increased or decreased nipple sensation may occur, and can persist for 2-3 months.
- Infection is rare however antibiotics help to minimise risk.
- Blood clots in the body are extremely rare but can be life-threatening. Inform staff immediately if you experience any leg pain, swelling or chest pain after surgery.