Breast augmentation – also known as augmentation mammoplasty – is surgery to increase breast size. It involves placing breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles. Fat-graft mammoplasty can also be used. This procedure can also be performed to change the shape or texture of the breast. Breast augmentation is done by some women to change their body image and for them to feel more confident. For others it is part of rebuilding the breast for various conditions. If you are considering breast augmentation talk to a plastic surgeon. Make sure you understand what surgery involves including possible risks complications and follow-up care


During consultation you and your surgeon will discuss your preferences in size feel and appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will describe specific types of implants as well as
options for surgical techniques. Carefully review written information such as the patient information from the manufacturer of the implant that you will be given and keep copies for your records.


• Breast implants will not prevent your breasts from sagging. To correct sagging breasts you might need a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.
• Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. The average lifespan of an implant is 10 years.
• Implant rupture is a possibility.
• Breasts will continue to age and factors such as weight gain or weight loss might change the way your breasts
look. These issues will likely lead to more surgery.
• Mammograms might be more complicated. In addition to routine mammograms you will require additional specialised views.
• Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others however breast-feeding is a challenge.

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• Medical aid does not cover breast augmentation unless it is medically necessary - such as after a mastectomy. Be prepared to cover the expenses including related surgeries or future imaging tests.
• You might need additional surgery after breast implant removal. If you decide to have your implants removed you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help restore your breasts’ appearance.
• You might need an MRI scan. It is recommended that an MRI is done after three years. However recent studies show that there is little data to support routine screening unless you have symptoms.
• You might need a baseline mammogram before your surgery.
• Some medications may be adjusted before the surgery as well. For example, it is important to avoid aspirin or other medications that can increase bleeding.
• If you smoke your surgeon will ask you to stop smoking for some time before the surgery.
• Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night.



• You will see breast augmentation incision sites.
• You will receive illustrations showing placement of breast implants.
• You will know the placement of breast implants.
• Breast augmentation can be done in a surgical centre or hospital outpatient facility. You will probably go home the same day. The procedure rarely requires a hospital stay.
• Sometimes, breast augmentation is done under local anaesthesia. You will be awake and your breast area is numbed. Often, though, breast augmentation is done under general anaesthesia, in which you are asleep for the surgery



To insert the breast implant your surgeon will make a single cut (incision) in one of three places:

• In the crease under your breast (inframammary).
• Under your arm (axillary).
• Around your nipple (periareolar).

After making an incision the surgeon will separate your breast tissue from the muscles and connective tissue of your chest. This creates a pocket either behind or in front of the outermost muscle of the chest wall (pectoral muscle). The surgeon will insert the implant into this pocket and centre it behind your nipple.
When the implant is in place the surgeon will close the incision - typically with stitches (sutures) and bandage it with skin adhesive and surgical tape.



You may experience pain swelling and bruising for a few weeks after surgery. Scarring fades over time but does not disappear completely.

Your surgeon might prescribe pain medication as well
While you are healing it might help to wear a compression bandage or sports bra for extra support and positioning of the breast implants. Follow your surgeon’s instructions about returning to regular activities. If you don’t have a physically demanding job you might be able to return to work within a few weeks. You should avoid strenuous activities that could raise your pulse or blood pressure for at least two weeks. While you are healing remember that your breasts will be sensitive to physical contact or jarring movements. If your surgeon used sutures that do not dissolve on their own, or placed drainage tubes near your breasts, you will need a follow-up appointment for their removal. Contact your surgeon if you notice warmth and redness in your breast or run a fever, have shortness of breath or chest pains

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Keep your expectations realistic and do not expect perfection. Your breasts will continue to age after augmentation. Weight gain or weight loss might change the way your breasts look. You might need more surgery to correct these issues should you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts.



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