Breasts are an essential building block of female appearance. Besides their crucial role in biology, their appearance is fundamental aspect of female body. Breast enlargement or also known as breast augmentation, is a popular aesthetic procedure among women and widely known by public through celebrities, TV programs, social media, etc. Besides to its recognition as a safe and effective way of addressing female appearance, there is much speculation and curiosity ongoing to learn more about the procedure. This article will provide a complete guide to breast augmentation.
What is Breast Enlargement Surgery?
Breast enlargement surgery is performed to enhance the size and shape of the breasts by inserting implants under fat or muscle tissue. Saline or silicone-made implants are placed to make the breasts fuller.
Breast augmentation surgery is among the most popular aesthetic procedures in the world. It is due to the fact that there patient satisfaction rate is high in the breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation surgery is nothing but a booster in self-confidence and a definite way for better quality of life.
The surgery consists of placing an implant after making an incision. Saline implants are filled after the placement whereas silicone implants are pre-filled. But exterior part of both types of silicone is made of the same standard silicone.
Saline implants are filled with saltwater and they are implanted in empty form. The saltwater is filled in implants after they are firmly placed. Women who are 18 or older can receive this type of implant.
Silicone implants contain a sticky thick fluid, which resembles texture of human fat. Due to its natural feel, women generally prefer silicone implants.
In terms of durability, silicone implants are more vulnerable to tearing and rupture. In case of leakages due to ruptures, it cannot be detected from outside. Only through MRI scans, the status of implant can be viewed. It may sound as an advantage at the first glance, but it should be kept in mind that gel can penetrate in organs and they cannot be removed easily after long time of dissolving.
When it comes to costs, saline implants are more affordable than silicone alternatives. Silicone gels are expensive materials to produce. Sterile saline solutions are cheaper materials.
Both implants look natural but silicone implants have an edge over saline alternatives. The texture of silicone gel offers a natural-looking appearance. Whereas saline implants look heavier and firmer as they are designed against ruptures. So, it is up to patient’s preference for aesthetic look or durability.
In terms of eligibility for surgery, silicone implants are convenient for women over 22 years of age. Saline implants can be placed on women as young as 18 years old. The health factors don’t differ for both implant types.
Silicone implants offer variety of shapes than do saline implants. Silicone gel can be customized according to patient’s image in mind.
Consultation with Doctor for Breast Augmentation
Before deciding to have breast augmentation, patient will prepare for consultation with surgeon. Patient should think about her expectations from the surgery before the first meeting with doctor. Surgeon will also ask about your medical history, including:
· Past and current medications
· Allergies you have
· Smoking history
· Prior medical operations
· Previous mammograms and any previous issues with your breasts
· Family history of breast problems
Patient should ask surgeon below questions to be assured about his professionalism and expertise:
· What is your total experience in plastic surgery?
· What is the frequency of breast augmentations you perform?
· May I review before and after photos of previously performed breast enlargement surgeries?
· What is the suitable implant for me?
· What are the risks associated with breast enlargement surgery?
· In case of dissatisfaction with surgery results, what are the steps to be taken?
Preparation for Breast Augmentation Surgery
A pre-operative assessment will be scheduled to check patient’s general health before having surgery. After deciding to go with breast enlargement surgery, doctor may ask following things from you:
· Have a blood test
· Use certain medications
· Stop use of tobacco
· Refrain from eating certain foods and drinking some beverages
· Avoid having aspirin and particular anti-inflammatory drugs, as they may exacerbate bleeding
Doctor’s instructions should be followed carefully before the surgery. The operation and healing process will go smoothly if all instructions of surgeon are followed accordingly.
Eating or drinking is prohibited several hours before the surgery. Eating about six hours and drinking two hours prior to surgery is forbidden.
If patient will stay overnight at hospital, several belonging should be brought along. The essentials in the bag are as follows:
· Medications taken regularly
· Pyjamas and slippers
· Toiletries and personal hygiene products
· Post-operation support bra
Details on Breast Enlargement Procedure
The breast enlargement surgery lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. Doctor will check patient’s skin and draw a mark to designate cuts’ location. There are several steps taken in breast enlargement procedure. The operation is performed under general anesthesia. The incision will be made according to the decision made by patient and doctor together. The following incisions options are on the table before the surgery:
· Making incisions under breast, also known as inframammary fold. Scar might be more visible with this method
· Along the areola’s edge (colored area of skin around nipple). Scarring will be less noticeable with this method. But complication might arise when breastfeeding or such as loss of sensation.
· Through armpit. No scar will be left around the breast. But a small scar might be noticeable under arm.
A pocked inside the breast is created by doctor in surgery. Breast tissue will be separated from the muscles and connective tissue in chest.
Doctor can place the implants in three different ways. The first option is to insert the implant under breast tissue and in front of muscle. It is a simple method and preferred by doctor when breasts are slightly drooping.
The other option is to insert under chest muscle. Doctor prefers this method when the breast tissue is small. In this way, the implant’s edge would not be visible from outside.
The last option is called dual plane augmentation. This method is suitable for both drooping breasts and little breast tissue. The implant will be partly under chest muscle and partly beneath breast tissue.
The placement of implants also depends on the type of implant and target size of breasts. Doctors should be consulted about the benefits and risks of both insertion ways.
After the implants are inserted and fitted under breasts, the incisions sites will be closed through stitching. The stitches that are dissolvable will disappear in a week. The non-dissolvable stitches will be removed by doctor seven to ten days after surgery.
The doctor may also decide to utilize drainage tubes. Doctors’ instructions should be carefully followed to avoid complications during recovery period. The patient will be discharged after breasts will be covered with a gauze bandage.
It is normal to feel some pain and a tight sensation in chest for a while right after breast enlargement surgery. The medical team will give painkillers to relieve pain.
Aftercare of Breast Augmentation
After patient wakes up from the surgery, he will be taken to a room for observation. It takes around on hour to get stabilized. Before your discharge, doctor will provide you several instructions for recovery and schedule a follow-up appointment. Surgeon might prescribe painkiller to ensure comfort for patient. If drainage tubes are inserted, your doctor will inform you about a follow-up appointment for their and bandage removal.
Doctor will advise to rest for couple of days after the surgery. Patient should be watchful of abnormal symptoms to report to doctor. A close friend or relative should look after the patient during the rest period. It is also quite normal to have some side effects after surgery such as:
· Mild bruising in the region from where anesthesia was administered
· Confusion and loss of memory
· Difficulty in passing urine
· Feeling chilly
· Nausea and vomiting
Besides painkillers, doctor can prescribe other medication depending on the course of recovery process. First of all, nausea can be probable reaction to the surgery as it is performed under general anesthesia. Generally nausea will go away as soon as anesthesia wears off. In case patient still complain from nausea, doctor will prescribe relevant prescription to eliminate the complaint. For the first 48 hours after surgery, patient can take anti-nausea medication.
The recovery timeline of patients will differ. But the course of recovery is roughly described below:
· Same day – Patient will be discharged from hospital. One or two weeks off office leave is required. Stitches will be removed if they are non-dissolvable.
· One to two weeks – Patient will be able to return to work.
· Six weeks – Patient will resume normal activities including physical exercise
· Six to twelve weeks – Patient’s breasts will attain its natural look
· Up to twelve weeks – A support bra should be worn throughout the day
· Up to one year – Direct sunlight exposure to breast scars should be avoided.
Muscle cramping could be another post-surgery symptom. Patient should not be worried about this temporary symptom as it can be easily addressed. Doctor will prescribe muscle relaxants to eliminate muscle aches. The aching parts such as back, neck, chest or shoulders should be applied relaxants. There should be one hour interval between intake of painkiller and muscle relaxants as these drugs interact with each other when taken simultaneously.
Patients are also concerned about infection on wound site. To prevent occurrence of infection, doctor will prescribe antibiotics and give a sterilization routine to maintain hygiene in surgical site.
The stitches will be removed around one week after surgery. Patient should avoid lifting heavy object for a month after operation. It may take 1-2 months to return to strenuous activities. The full recovery will be achieved in three months after surgery.
Daily Life After Breast Enlargement Surgery
As elucidated before, patient needs to rest for several days after surgery. Patient should only do basic movements such as walking, standing, sittings or activities that doesn’t require much effort. Less strenuous activities support the recovery process by preventing blood clotting. Whereas strenuous activities will disrupt recovery of wound. Use of arm and muscles should be limited. Patient will be able to return to normal activities after the first week of recovery on the condition of following doctor instructions.
Patients will also be required to sleep on their back for a couple of weeks after surgery. Otherwise, patient will risk hampering recovery process.
Personal hygiene is another aspect of recovery process. One of the instructions after surgery is about handling of wound bandages, surgical bras and showering. Bandages can be removed by the patient on the second day. But the strip bandages placed on incisions will remain. When showering, patient should place dry bandages on incision sites. Hot showers and swimming pools will be avoided for several weeks in post-surgery period.
Patient is advised not to use alcohol, cigarettes and blood-thinning drugs for 10 days after surgery. The medications in the recovery period should not mix with alcohol. Blood thinners like aspirin would increase risk of hemorrhage. Tobacco use also hampers healing process.
Reversal of Breast Augmentation
In case patient changes her mind and decides to remove implants, it can be performed through a removal surgery. There is also obligatory need to renew implants as they can’t last lifetime. The removal and revisiting implants are performed for below reasons:
· Removing the original breast implants and replacing them with new ones
· Changing position of the existing breast implants
· Removing the breast implants without replacing them
Duration of Breast Implants
The breast implants will last in breast tissue for 10 to 20 years regardless of their origin material. So they don’t last for lifetime and are needed to be renewed.
Breastfeeding and Implants
Breast implants do not affect breastfeeding function of female body unless the incision is made around the areola. So in this particular case, there a risk to cause damage on the nerves and ducts within breast tissue that will lead to breastfeeding problems. In order to avoid breastfeeding issues and remain on safe side, the implants should be places under muscle. If patient has hesitation to go ahead with breast augmentation surgery due to concern breastfeeding problems, she should consult with the doctor about her fears over the outcome of surgery.
Cost of Breast Augmentation Surgery
Some countries have earned good reputation for breast augmentation surgery such as the UK, the US and major developed European countries. The downside of breast enlargement surgeries in these countries is the costs. People in the abovementioned countries look for affordable alternatives abroad. Considering the fact that an average breast augmentation costs around £4000-£7000, (which even does not include consultation and medication fees) an English citizen is chasing for cheaper but quality solutions in foreign countries. In other European countries, breast augmentation surgery costs between $5000 and $10000. Brazil has also emerged as a popular country for breast implants. The cost of surgery changes between $4700 and $5300. Turkey’s advantage when it comes to breast implants is its renowned medical technology and affordable prices. In Turkey, the price of breast augmentation surgery is around $3300 and $4500.
Thanks to lower cost of living in Turkey, the medical surgery is easier to afford for. The accommodation is also cheaper in Turkey compared to other countries. Cost of living in Turkey as well as other expenses in Turkey is also lower. There is also competition between clinics to attract potential patients to their side.
The attractive side of receiving medical treatment in Turkey is the up-to-date sophisticated technology and accumulation of long experience in the country. Thanks to the factors stated above, Turkey remains an attraction for best value for money.
All-inclusive breast augmentation surgery procedure package generally contains services below:
• Breast Implant surgery
• General anesthesia
• All medications utilized during stay in clinic
• All requisite pre-operative tests and examinations
• Hospital dresses, bandage and other materials (depending on operation requirements)
• Postoperative check-ups during the stay
• 24/7 open phone consultation