The most common scenario we see for breast augmentation (or augmentation mammoplasty) is that a woman’s breasts have deflated after childbirth and breastfeeding, and she simply wishes to restore the fullness that has been lost.
Another quite common reason for breast augmentation is for generally younger women who haven’t developed a significant breast. Regardless of their reason for choosing a breast augmentation, most women we see want a subtle and natural change, wishing to feel more comfortable and confident while wearing clothes.
Dr Avery has over a decade of experience in plastic surgery and has been performing breast augmentations in Newcastle since 2013.
Breast Augmentation Procedure
All of our breast augmentation procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained staff including the surgeon, support staff and anaesthetist. A breast augmentation surgery generally takes between 1-2 hours, with a further 1-2 hours for recovery before you can go home.
Not all breast augmentation procedures are the same. The techniques used in surgery will vary depending on:
The amount and shape of existing breast tissue
The size and type of implant
The incision area
Where the breast implant is being placed
There are three techniques for breast implant placement during the procedure.
Subglandular Placement (overs)
The implant is placed directly behind the glandular tissue but in front of the muscle.
Partial Submuscular Placement (partial unders)
The implant is placed partially behind the pectoralis muscle, with the lower part of the implant not covered by the muscle. Partial submuscular placement is performed using a ‘dual-plane’ technique to optimise the interaction between the breast tissue, chest muscle and implant.
Complete Submuscular Placement (full unders)
The implant is placed completely behind the pectoralis muscle and connective tissue.
Complete submuscular coverage is generally used in reconstructive cases only.
Taking the other variables into account, Dr Avery will help you determine the best implant placement technique that is right for you.
Breast Augmentation Consultation
During an initial consultation, Dr Avery will assess your relevant medical history and before going any further, ensure that a breast augmentation procedure is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
Next, we will discuss and decide on variables such as implant size, type, and placement, tailoring a surgery plan to align with your individual needs and requests.
Each breast has a unique shape, size and composition (even your left from your right) which is why every breast augmentation we do is customised to suit the existing breast tissue and the desired result.
After deciding on individual preferences and creating a plan, a second consultation before the surgery involves discussing things like recovery time, advice on returning to work, driving and exercise.
In addition to varying in size, there are a number of other options to consider when choosing breast implants. The implants may be round or have a contoured “tear drop” shape, with a smooth or textured silicone rubber shell, filled with either a silicone gel or a saline solution.
The texture and feel of silicone implants closely resembles that of a natural breast. Saline implants have the same salt concentration of the body and therefore pose fewer health risks, although they do not feel as natural as silicone implants.
For most patients, implants are expected to last at least 10 years before they should be removed and/or replaced. The longer a breast implant is inside the body after 10 years, the more likely it is to deteriorate and rupture.
Usually presenting as a slow leak, a breast implant rupture can cause the breast to become misshapen, lumpy or sore. If you notice consistent symptoms such as these, it is recommended that you come in for a consultation.
As with any foreign material placed within the body, breast implants do carry a risk of complications they may need the implant to be removed. Often when removing an old breast implant, the patient will choose a replacement of the same size, which is a relatively uncomplicated procedure.
Breast Augmentation Recovery
Generally a breast augmentation is a day surgery, with the patient free to go home on the day of the procedure. Some patients may choose to stay overnight in hospital for a number of reasons including additional pain relief or simply to enjoy a rest from the kids!
If a patient has undergone another procedure in addition to the breast augmentation, a longer stay in hospital might also be necessary for recovery. As with any operation, the patient will need to organise somebody to drive them home and it is recommended that they have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery.
The full recovery period for a breast augmentation is usually around six weeks, which can be broken down as follows:
The first 2 weeks after the procedure
It is recommended that you don’t put any unnecessary strain on your body. This includes exercise, picking up children or even driving, as any pain or discomfort experienced while driving could be dangerous.
Between 2 and 4 weeks after the procedure
You can begin to do some light exercises such as picking up children and driving, as long as you aren’t straining your body too much.
Between 4 and 6 weeks after the procedure
You can begin returning to normal activities with care, such as mild exercise. After 6 weeks’ recovery you should be able to resume a normal level of physical activity.
Patients recovering from a breast augmentation will be required to wear a compression garment for up to 6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for each patient and issued before leaving the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication can certainly be adjusted accordingly.
Breast Augmentation Scars
There isn’t a surgery in existence that doesn’t leave a scar, but a breast augmentation scar is very rarely a problem. Scar shape and size will depend on the size and type of the breast implant, yet they will generally fade to become minimally visible in a matter of months.
The incision for a breast augmentation is commonly made underneath the natural crease below the breast, allowing it to be very well-hidden. Other options include an incision around the edge of the areola, or under the armpit.
Breast Augmentation FAQ's
Do I need a referral for breast augmentation?
A referral is not required for a consultation or surgery for breast augmentation.
What is the difference between round and teardrop implants?
Teardrop or anatomic implants are fuller toward the lower pole of the implant and can be used to influence the breast shape differently to what a round implant may do. Teardrop implants may produce a more natural looking breast, particularly for women who have very little breast tissue and in those that may need some degree of breast ‘lift’.
Can I breastfeed after the operation?
Problems with breastfeeding are rarely due to surgery. Problems with milk supply can occur regardless of whether you have implants or not. Typically it is possible to breast fed following breast augmentation when it is performed with an incision in the lower breast fold. Dr Avery generally uses this technique.
It is possible to rupture a breast implant with physical activity or excessive pressure on my breasts?
Regular exercise including running, gym classes, strengthening activities, and weight programmes are possible with breast implants. Although highly unusual, it is possible to rupture an implant with intense physical activity that places stress or trauma on the implant. The extreme pressure exerted during a mammography can also cause implants to rupture.
What are the causes of implant rupture?
Intense physical pressure such as in a car accident or other trauma, or an aged implant may rupture; this is a risk with all implants. When a silicone gel implant ruptures the silicone gel stays in the body. The body tries to contain this rupture, which may cause inflammation, which may be associated with pain or a change in the breast appearance. Studies have not found that this results in any increase in risk of disease. When saline implants rupture all that leaks out is salt water, which is harmlessly absorbed into the body.
How will I know when my implant has failed or leaked?
You might notice a change in the size or shape of your breast. Or you might feel tenderness or pain in the breast. Some women do not notice any signs or symptoms. At any stage if there are concerns regarding implant rupture or a new lump in the breast an examination and possible ultrasound or MRI is advisable. It is also recommended to have a routine check and ultrasound of the breast approximately 10 years after breast implant surgery even without any change in the breast appearance.
What is silicone?
Silicone is a type of rubber or plastic made up of a combination primarily of the naturally occurring elements silicon and oxygen. Silicone gel is one of the possible substances breast implants are comprised of. Another type of breast implant is comprised of a saline (salty water) within a silicone outer shell.
Are silicone breast implants safe?
Silicone is an extremely common and useful substance that has a number of various uses, including the silicone gel used in breast implants for augmentation or reconstruction. Silicone has been used in breast implants for over 50 years. We are currently using 5th generation implants with silicone gel that has a consistency much like turkish delight or Jelly that generally holds its form and sticks to itself. In general, medical grade silicone for use in breast implants has been established as safe. However, there are risks associated with its use and a small number of women either do not tolerate the breast implants or may have problems related to the implants several years after insertion. Breast implants should not be considered as life time devices and anyone undergoing breast augmentation with an implant of any sort may require further surgery at some stage in their life.
After I've healed, can I suntan?
Sun exposure and solariums can adversely impact early wound healing and have an adverse effect on the pigmentation and long term quality of the scar. All scars should be protected from sun until they are mature, which may not be complete until one year post-surgery. A spray tan is fine after a few weeks once the wound is healed.
After the breast augmentation surgery, will my nipples lose sensation?
It is possible that your nipple and/or breast skin might lose sensation partially or completely after surgery. For most women any change in sensation will be temporary, but in some women there can be a permanent change in nipple sensation.
What happens when I'm pregnant?
Implants do not interfere with pregnancy. Breast size can increase with pregnancy so the skin of the breasts can have a looser appearance post-partum. However, this can occur regardless of whether you have breast implants or not.
Is there an increased risk of breast cancer after having breast augmentation?
There is no increased risk of breast cancer following breast augmentation with implants. A relatively new finding is a type of lymphoma known as BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma). This is a rare condition associated with some types of implants. This will be discussed at any consultation regarding breast augmentation with implants.
Avery Plastic Surgery
Suite1, Ground Floor
31-33 Watt Street, Newcastle 2300
Dr Gary Avery
FRACS (Plast Surg) Plastic, Cosmetic, and Reconstructive Surgeon
Call 02 4002 4150
Fax 02 4002 4160
Suite1, Ground Floor
31-33 Watt Street, Newcastle 2300
PO Box 625 Newcastle 2300