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Breast augmentation techniques and methods
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Breast augmentation techniques and methods

25th Jun 2021

Introduction

Breast augmentation is one of the most performed plastic surgeries in the world because it is not a very complicated surgery and has become quite affordable. Breasts are one thing that most women want to change in the way they look, and plastic surgery offers them this choice. 

Nowadays, access to the information is easy and at everyone’s fingertips. That is why those who decide to have breast augmentation can read and research what such an operation entails. It is important to get yourself prepared with all the necessary information before going with the surgeon of your choice. You will then be able to ask the right questions and evaluate the answers from an informed point of view.

The internet is flooded with various ways you can use to augment your breasts. The first thing you need to know is that there are only two methods known to be able to effectively enhance your breasts: fat transfer or breast implants. No other advertised method is going to work; no pills, creams, bras, or whatever device or solution someone claims to have found. These two are the only methods that are medically and scientifically proven to be working.

Fat transfer

Breast augmentation with fat transfer or autologous fat injections is one of the newest methods of breast augmentation. This type of procedure was initially used only for breast reconstruction or for revision surgery in case of issues with an initial breast implant surgery.

This method for augmentation implies two steps: liposuction and fat injection in the breasts. First, the doctor will perform liposuction to extract fat from problematic areas of your body, usually the tummy, hips or the flanks. After extracting the fat, this will be then injected into your breasts to enlarge them.

After the fat is harvested, it undergoes a process of filtration that will only leave fat cells and stem cells. This filtered and processed substance will have a high concentration of stem cells, cells that have the unique ability to develop into various types of tissue. Fat and stem cells are together injected into your breasts. There will be no need for an incision, and the injection will be made using a medical device called a cannula. The filtered fat will be injected slowly and in droplets. Sometimes this procedure might be done in more stages. This technique is used because it tries to prevent bleeding of the nearby small vessels, bleeding that leads to the death of the injected fat cells. 

The main advantages of this method are rather evident: natural because it uses components of your body, and no incision on your breasts. But there are some downsides to it. This method cannot be used to enlarge your breasts for more than just a cup, in the fortunate case in which almost all the cells survive. Also, it is possible that in a relatively short time you will need to have some more fat injections because the fat cells might be absorbed by your body. If you are a thin person, you will most probably not be a good candidate for this procedure. In order to have enough fat to inject in your breasts, the surgeon will need at least 1000 ml of filtered fat, so much more will have to be extracted during liposuction.

For this kind of procedure to be successful, you will need to use a BRAVA device for three to five weeks before the surgery and then three months after. This is a suction device that helps to enlarge the breast tissue for it to be able to accommodate the injected fat. It should be worn 10 hours a day and 1 week before the surgery, and you will need to wear it non-stop. This is a burdensome thing to do especially if you have a job and children, so you will need to be a very committed individual in order to be able to take up such a task.

In the first weeks after the injection, at least 30% of the fat cells injected into your breasts will be absorbed by your body, so you might need to be ready to lose some of your acquired volume. Women who undergo this operation might develop calcifications of the transferred fat. This can interfere in the annual screening of your breasts for possible lumps or problematic cysts.  

Breast augmentation with implants

This method is the classic one used for breast augmentation. It is backed up by years of research and practical experience, and it can seriously augment your breasts. It doesn’t really mean that you can go from an A to a D cup because that will be impossible and dangerous to do. The size of your implants needs to be related to your body structure: weight, natural breast tissue, chest weight, height, etc. A bigger implant will make you look unnatural and can cause a lot of health issues.

There are several techniques that are used during breast implant surgery. All kind of techniques follow the same goal, that of making a space for the implant and then inserting it in. The doctor will make an incision and then separate tissue and muscle or just tissue to create a pocket. In this pocket, they will insert that implant and then suture the wound.

During this procedure, surgeons might choose various techniques in terms of incision site and/or implant placement.

Incisions

The incision can be made in various locations of your body: inframammary, periareolar, transaxillary or transumbilical. The inframammary incision is one of the most common incision techniques, and it is preferred by both patients and surgeons. It is made in the crease between your breast and your chest. This has the advantage of having little visibility to none since it might be only visible when you raise your arms, but most surgeons know how to do it in order not to be seen at all. It is also very good for your doctor because this kind of incision allows him or her to have a direct view of the operating site. This will allow them to position the implant correctly and to be able to move it around in order to find the perfect setting without any issues.

The periareolar incision is made on the outer area of the areola around your nipple. This incision heals quite quickly and it has minimum visibility, but it has some downsides associated with it. If your surgeon is not experienced enough, then you might lose sensation in your nipple due to severed nerves and/or you will not be able to breastfeed anymore. Also, the chosen implant needs to be a rather small one because the space allowed by this type of incision is small.

The transaxillary incision is made in the armpit, and it is also one of the favorites of patients. It has the obvious advantage of being hidden most of the time to any prying eyes. The location of the incision is rather close to the breast, so it allows easy access to the operating site, but it will not be easily seen. The surgeon will need a special camera and special instruments to make sure the implant will be placed in a good position.

The transumbilical incision is made above the navel. This is the least used technique, and the reason is obvious since it is a long way from your breasts. It is used mainly because it does not leave any scar on the breasts themselves, but it makes the whole procedure very complicated and long. The implants are inserted through here and moved up to the breast pockets and then positioned. This also needs special instruments and a small camera to make sure the implant is properly positioned.

Implant placement

There are only three techniques used for implant placement: sub-glandular placement, sub-muscular placement, and dual-plane placement.

Sub-glandular placement is when the implant is placed under the glandular tissue and above the pectoralis muscle. This kind of placement results in a shorter recovery period and less pain. It is advisable for those who have enough glandular tissue and slightly droopy breasts.

The sub-muscular placement supposes that the implant is placed under the glandular tissue and under the muscle. This will result in more pain for the patients, but it is a good choice for those who have small breasts or are very thin. It also provides more protection for the implant, since there will be two layers between it and the outside world.

The dual-plane placement is a combination of the two other types of placements. Women who are thin and have droopy breasts are usually advised to go with this technique. The implant will be placed under the glandular tissue and partially under the muscle. The muscle is parted into two, and the implant is placed between these two parts. It is said to provide a more natural look and a lower risk for capsular contraction.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various options you will need to consider before the surgery. You need to study all these facts beforehand, but this doesn’t mean you will know everything. You will just be correctly informed, and you will be able to accept your surgeon’s suggestion. This way, you will not be set on getting the impossible, but rather the best method and technique for your body.


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