Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to increase the size, fullness, and shape of a woman's breasts. It may be done for cosmetic purposes or after surgery. This is also known as augmentation mammoplasty.
This procedure is done to enlarge breasts that are naturally small, to restore breast size and shape after weight loss or breastfeeding, to restore symmetry in asymmetrical breasts or after mastectomy.
Breast augmentation is done by placing implants behind the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. An implant is a sac filled with either sterile salt water (saline) or a material called silicone.
Pre-procedure, the surgeon should help the patient choose the size of the implant. This may be done by placing different sized implants in the bra for correct assessment.
The surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia at a hospital. Sometimes when it is performed under regional anesthesia, the patient is awake. To insert the implant, a single incision in either one of the three mentioned sites are made.
After the incision is made, breast tissue is separated from the muscles and connective tissue. This creates a pocket either behind or in front of the outermost muscle of the chest wall. The implant is placed in this pocket and centered beneath the nipple. Once positioned, the incision is sutured and bandaged.
Breast augmentation enhances the body image and self-esteem of the patient. But it is important to keep the expectations realistic and do not expect perfection as breasts continue to age even. Also, weight gain or loss post-procedure might change the look of the augmented breasts.