Breast augmentation is a type of breast surgery for enhancing the shape and appearance of a women’s breasts. The most common method used is inserting breast implants. The implants add to the volume of the breast, which gives the desired effect. Alternatively, breast fat grafting may be used in place of artificial implants.
Type of implants
Breast implants come in many different shapes, each having different qualities. The 2 most common shapes include:
- Round: round implants give the breasts a “fuller” shape. But can look unnatural in certain circumstances
- Teardrop: These implants are designed to mimic the natural contours of a woman's body and gives a more natural look compared to the round implants. These are however, slightly more difficult for the surgeon to work with.
We utilise Premium Motiva implants in our breast augmentation procedures. Compared to traditional saline or medical-grade silicone gel implants, Motiva implants are much more viscous. This allows them to flow naturally with a woman’s movements, giving the most natural look possible. This improved viscosity and elasticity also makes Motiva implants easier for the surgeon to work with, reducing the risk of the surgery. Motiva implants are also
made to be durable, greatly reducing the risk of complications.
The implants can be inserted via 3 main ways:
- Under the muscle: The incision in made under the breast, within the folds. This is the most commonly used technique as scars are not very visible, causes the least damage to the milk glands and other breast muscles, and is a relatively easier procedure for the surgeon to perform.
- Above the muscle/Through the nipple: This method is typically not used for breast implants as there is a high chance of damaging the milk glands. However, some patients claim to feel less pain post-surgery for this method
- Through the armpit: This method is the most difficult for the surgeon as the incision point is the furthest from the breast. On the other hand, the scar is relatively well hidden under the armpit and may not be associated with a breast surgery even if noticed. Also, most surgeons will only choose round implants for this method due to the difficulty of the procedure.
As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks involved, some of which may require immediate follow-up surgery. Depending on the individual, possible risks and complications of breast augmentation surgery include:
- Asymmetrical or unnatural looking breasts, depending on how the body adjusts to the implants
- Poor healing, leading to inflammation and infection of surgery wounds
- Deep and thick scarring that does not fade
- Damaged breast tissue and milk glands
- Damaged nerves, leading to reduced or loss of sensation in the breasts and nipples
- Ruptured and leaking implants
Is the procedure painful?
Local or general anaesthesia will be administered so any pain and discomfort will be minimal during the surgery. Mild to moderate bruising and soreness should be expected for several days post-surgery while the wounds heal and the body adjusts. The doctor will usually prescribe medication to ease these effects.
What is the downtime?
You are expected to rest for 2 or more days post-surgery as recommended by your doctor to reduce complications. After which, light activities can resume even though there might be some discomfort. Strenuous activities should be avoided for up to 4 weeks.
What should I take note of before the procedure?
Before the surgery, please inform the doctor of the following:
- Your medical history
- Any drug allergies, especially to any anaesthesia
- If you are on any medication, especially aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Your smoking habits. If you are a smoker, please refrain from doing so starting 2 weeks before the surgery.
- If you are currently pregnant, have recently given birth, had an abortion, or is currently breastfeeding.
What should I take note of after the procedure?
The breast and chest are expected to feel slight to moderate tightness and soreness for up to 3 months post-surgery as the body is adjusting to the weight of the implants. After which the implants should have settled down naturally.
The doctor will teach you some light chest and arm muscle exercises to aid recovery and help your body adjust to the implants. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise for up to 4 weeks as advised by the doctor.
Depending on your condition, you might be asked to not wear a bra for up to several weeks. This allows the implants to settle naturally without distortion, and helps your body adjust to them.
Please do keep in contact with your surgeon, as some complications may arise even years after the surgery without prior signs and symptoms.
Am I suitable for breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation and implants are suitable for anyone who wish to enhance their breasts as long as you are in good general health. However, if you fall into any of these categories, breast implants may not be recommended.
- You are pregnant, or experiencing signs of pregnancy
- You have recently given birth, or have had an abortion
- You are currently breastfeeding
Also, please inform the doctor/surgeon if you have previously used breast fillers or undergone any form of breast enhancement treatments/surgeries, as these may cause complications depending on individual conditions.
I do not wish to use implants. Are there any other ways which can improve the appearance of my breasts?
You can consider using breast fat grafting, which involves grafting fat from other parts of your body to increase the volume of your breasts
Advances in medicine and modern techniques have greatly reduced the odds of developing these complications. Still, it is important for both surgeon and patient to communicate and keep these risks in mind.