Breast augmentation or breast enhancement is a surgical procedure that’s performed to add volume to the natural breasts. This procedure is ideal for patients who are unhappy with their bust size or their overall physical proportions. Most commonly performed with either silicone or saline implants, it’s also capable of evening out and refining the natural breast shape, correcting disproportion between the breasts, and restoring breast structures to a natural, normal appearance following single or double mastectomies. If you lack confidence when wearing low-cut or revealing blouses and want to build your ideal physique, breast enhancement could be the right cosmetic procedure for you.
Different Options for Breast Augmentation
Although most augmentation procedures are performed with FDA-approved implant products, there is also the opportunity to enhance the size and shape of the natural breasts with the patient’s own donor tissues. This is known as breast enhancement through fat transfer. Procedures like these are ideal for people who want modest increases in their breast size, but who are not comfortable with the idea of getting actual implants. In many fat transfer procedures, enhancement or augmentation is paired with breast lift surgery to give the treated structure a perkier and more youthful appearance all-around. Following are some ways in which breast enhancement is currently being performed.
Saline Breast Implants
With saline breast implants, the shape and size of the breasts are augmented and enhanced through the insertion of expandable shells that have been filled with a sterile, water-based saline solution. Some people prefer these products over silicone implants due to their relatively natural composition. Should these shells ever leak or rupture, the body can easily absorb and process the fluids that they contain. These options provide uniform firmness and shape and a relatively natural feel. Best of all, the actual implant size can be determined once the plastic shell has already been positioned in the treatment area.
To achieve the most natural feel, breast augmentation can be performed with structured saline breast implants. These options have both sterile salt water at their interior and a natural-seeming inner structure. This inner structure makes the implants feel significantly more like natural breast tissues. Patients seeking augmentation with saline implants must be at least 18 years of age.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone implants are the top option among patients who are most concerned with obtaining breasts that have a totally natural feel. The consistency of the silicone solution inside of them is less firm and much more pliable than the average saline-filled shell. These options are designed to ensure optimum levels of safety as well. Should these products ever begin to leak, they’re built to prevent total collapse. When choosing saline implants, however, patients will need to commit to receiving regular breast examinations over the years. These are performed to ensure that the implants continue to function optimally and that no leaks or other problems exist. To receive silicone breast implants, patients must be at least 22 years of age.
Breast Augmentation Performed with Fat Transfer
Breast augmentation via fat transfer is known as autologous augmentation. With these procedures, excess fat is harvested from other areas of the body to increase or restore volume in the chest area. This type of augmentation is especially popular among those receiving “mommy makeovers” given that they provide a safe and natural way to restore the youthful appearance and feel of the breasts. With these procedures, there is obviously no risk of leaking or ruptured implants. Moreover, there is no need to get replacement implants after a decade or more has gone by.
Are You a Good Candidate for Breast Enhancement?
Breast enhancement procedures and other cosmetic treatments like them have become increasingly less invasive over the years. Notwithstanding this fact, this is still a surgical procedure and thus, all qualified candidates must be in good general health. This means that you should not have any chronic health issues such as hypertension or diabetes that have yet to be controlled via a doctor-managed treatment plan. Qualified candidates should not have issues with uncontrolled bleeding or a history of clotting issues. You may be perfect for this surgery if you’re unhappy with your breast shape and/or breast size, are in good general health, and have realistic expectations for your procedure, recovery, and outcome.
What to Expect During a Breast Enhancement Procedure
Breast enhancement is often performed as an outpatient procedure. After the anesthesia has been administered, the implants will be inserted using specialized techniques. While silicone implants are already filled and closed off prior to insertion, saline implants can be filled and closed after they’ve been put in. This allows the surgeon to create the perfect breast size for enhancing, beautifying, and balancing your physique. Once the implants have been inserted, you can begin the recovery process. You’ll be given detailed aftercare instructions.
In the past, these procedures required several weeks or even one full month of recovery. Now, however, most patients are able to return to their normal routines just days after their procedures. To alleviate post-treatment discomfort or complications, those with new implants are advised to minimize their participation in any strenuous or rigorous activities while additionally practicing all of the aftercare that the team has provided. Your willingness to diligently follow aftercare instructions will play a major role in determining both the length of your recovery and your overall outcome.
Tips for Expediting Your Recovery After Breast Augmentation
To expedite your recovery and ensure that the healing process is as comfortable and hassle-free as possible, try to have a trusted friend or family member on hand to assist you with basic tasks during the first day or so after the procedure. Keep in mind that raising your arms over your head and making other grand movements probably won’t be possible during the first several days. As such, you should pick out comfortable, easy-to-wear clothing that you’ll be able to put on without disturbing the treatment site. Ahead of the surgery, try to get all of your major housework done so that you don’t feel pressured to do a lot of unnecessary moving about. Moreover, if you’re responsible for small children or pets, make arrangements to have help with these duties before undergoing augmentation surgery.
Getting Ready for Your Procedure
One of the most important things to do when getting ready for breast enhancement is to talk with the doctor about any medications that you are currently taking. This includes all store-bought products and all natural health supplements. Certain drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known to thin the blood. Regular use of these products and others like them can result in problems during or after your procedure. Making sure that the surgeon is well-informed will allow the doctor to make recommendations early on for mitigating these issues. Any products that might negatively interfere with your surgery should be discontinued a set amount of time before your actual procedure.
Understanding the Psychological Benefits of Breast Augmentation
If you have excessively small breasts, you may have memories of being teased by your peers throughout your teen years and early adulthood. Smaller-than-average breasts can make people feel uncomfortable in all types of clothing. Moreover, disproportion in any area of the body can affect a person’s confidence. It can also lead to problems in intimate relationships as a result. With breast augmentation, you can finally get the bust size that you’ve been dreaming of. Your clothes will fit and feel better, and you’ll be more confident in a variety of settings.
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The benefits of breast enhancement are all the more significant for women who have recently undergone mastectomies for cancer treatment. In these instances, rebuilding the breasts and creating a more natural-looking chest doesn’t just boost a patient’s overall confidence. These procedures can actually create a greater sense of normalcy, and the resulting mood-enhancing benefits may additionally contribute to expedited physical healing as well. This just goes to show that when a woman feels good about her body, she can enjoy a higher quality of life overall.
What Issues Can a Breast Enhancement Procedure Correct?
In addition to enhancing small-sized breasts, breast augmentation can also correct noticeable differences between the shape and/or size of each breast. Whether one breast is smaller or larger than the other, or positioned higher or lower, this procedure can create greater levels of overall symmetry and balance.
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Get in touch with the team at Schaffer Plastic Surgery to learn more about how breast augmentation can help you reach your cosmetic goals. Contact us today to book a consultation at our office in Birmingham!