Breast Augmentation (saline and silicone)
Breast augmentation or enlargement is accomplished by placing either saline or silicone implants under the pectoralis muscle.
TYPES OF IMPLANTS
A breast implant is a silicone shell, filled with either silicone gel or a salt-water solution, known as saline. The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved silicone implants for use on an unrestricted basis; saline-filled implants continue to be available.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
Dr. Ciano will evaluate your breasts’ size, condition, skin elasticity, and position. He will explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you.
The incisions are placed in the crease under the breast, or around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), so the scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. The breast tissue is lifted and a pocket is created underneath the pectoralis muscle. The implants are then inserted into the pocket, and centered beneath the breast tissue and nipples. Absorbable sutures are used to close the incisions.
In the vast majority of cases it is not necessary to use a general anesthesia. We use a conscious sedation (type of twilight sedation) whereby you are up and ready to go home after your procedure.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
You’re likely to feel tired and sore for a few days, but you’ll be expected to be up and about within twenty-four hours. Most of your discomfort will be controlled by the medication prescribed. After several days, the gauze dressing will be removed, and you will be allowed to wear a sports-bra. Your scars will be firm and pink, for at least six weeks, but after several months of healing, they will begin to fade.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
For four days following surgery, you are encouraged to be out of bed, but remain housebound. By the end of the first week, you will be able to drive a car short distances and do light activities, and depending on the level of activity required to do your job, you should be able to return to work. After two weeks, you can do everything but strenuous activity. Aerobic exercise can usually begin between four to six weeks after surgery.
Routine mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are in the appropriate age group; at the prescribed intervals. The mammographic technician will use a special technique to be sure you get a reliable reading. Regular examinations by Dr. Ciano and routine mammography will help assure that any complications, if they occur, can be detected early, and treated promptly.
YOUR NEW LOOK
For many women, breast augmentation is a satisfying, even exhilarating experience. Your decision to have breast augmentation is a highly personal one; not one that everyone will understand. The important thing is how you feel about it. If you’ve met your goals, then your surgery is a success.
ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY AND RISKS
Breast augmentation is relatively straightforward but, as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery, and specific complications associated with this procedure.
A small percentage of patients develop capsular contracture; if this should occur, it can be treated in several ways.
After any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding may cause swelling and pain. If this occurs, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.
A small percentage of women develop an infection around the implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within a week after surgery. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed, for several months, until the infection resolves; then a new implant can be inserted.
Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, under sensitive, or even numb. There may also be small patches of numbness near your incisions, but these symptoms usually disappear with time.
Occasionally, breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of an injury, or from the normal compression and movement of the implant and surrounding tissues. If a saline-filled implant breaks, the implant deflates in a few hours and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. If a break occurs in a gel-filled implant, it can be detected by MRI.