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.
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:
1. Subglandular Placement (overs)
The implant is placed directly behind the glandular tissue but in front of the muscle.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.