Your online guide to breast augmentation Introduction The aesthetic features of the female breasts have remained one of the hotly discussed topics since time immemorial. Modern society is extremely obsessed with the size and shape of the female breasts. Your breasts define your femininity and aesthetic appearance. There is no doubt that smaller breasts are associated with less femininity, whereas women with bigger and shapelier breasts are considered to be more feminine and aesthetically welcoming. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. It can effectively enhance your breasts by making them bigger, projected, fuller, and shapelier. If you are considering getting breast enhancement surgery, you need to do your research and get a complete understanding of the procedure before deciding to go under the knife. Here’s your online guide to breast augmentation. Breast augmentation options There are two plastic surgery options to augment the breasts: via implants or fat transfer. During breast implant surgery, the plastic surgeon will insert and place artificial implants into the breasts. Breast implants are available in two types: silicone and saline. The silicone implant is made of a silicone shell that is filled with silicone gel after putting it inside the breasts. On the other hand, the saline implant is made of a silicone shell that comes pre-filled with saline solution after being inserted into the beasts. Breast implants also come in different sizes and profiles. The implant size and pattern best for you will be determined during the pre-operative consultation. The plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and ask about your aesthetic goals. He will also measure your breast dimensions and then recommend you a suitable breast implant size and profile. During the surgery, often performed under general anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will make incisions and then insert the implants into the breasts. There are two options to place the implants: under the breast muscle or over the breast muscle. In most cases, implants are placed under the breast muscle to get maximum tissue coverage. On the other hand, fat transfer uses your own body fat to enhance your breasts. This surgery is recommended for patients who desire to get mild projection instead of getting large breasts. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will use liposuction to extract the excess fat from your body areas like the abdomen, upper back, and love handles. The fat is then processed for purification purposes and then injected into the breasts. Choosing a plastic surgeon Breast augmentation is a major procedure. As such, the patient must select her plastic surgeon very carefully. Be sure to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon as they undergo extensive training in general surgery and plastic surgery. In the US, all licensed doctors are legally allowed to perform plastic surgery. However, not all doctors can deliver the desired outcomes safely. The patient should also make sure that the plastic surgeon is experienced in performing breast augmentation. During the pre-operative consultation, the patient should ask about the procedure and ask him to show pre- and post-surgery pictures of patients that he has treated for breast augmentation in the past. Doing so will give you a clear picture of what to expect and whether the surgeon is experienced in breast augmentation. Candidacy for the surgery and consultation Breast augmentation surgery is not suitable for every person. You have to meet specific eligibility criteria to undergo the operation. The plastic surgeon will assess your candidacy during the pre-operative consultation. He will examine your breasts, understand your expectations, evaluate your health, and take precise measurements before telling you whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. To qualify for the surgery, you need to be in good health. If you are suffering from health issues like diabetes, heart disease, a blood disorder, or pulmonary problems, you must discuss it with the plastic surgeon. Also, your goals and expectations must be realistic and reasonable for you to be a good candidate for the operation. If you are a smoker, you must be ready to stop smoking two weeks before the surgery and remain a non-smoker throughout the recovery period. How is breast augmentation surgery performed? Breast implant surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will place incisions and then insert and place the implants into the breasts. The type and size of the incisions depend on your aesthetic goals and the size of the implant. After making the incision, the doctor will carefully insert the implant inside the breast. The implant is then placed under or over the pectoral muscle. Most plastic surgeons prefer placing the implants under the pectoral muscle because it provides maximum tissue coverage to the implants, preventing complications like capsular contracture, implant rupture or displacement, and rippling. After placing the implants in the predetermined place, the surgeon will suture and close the incisions. On the other hand, fat transfer surgery is performed under IV sedation with local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Since the procedure involves the use of your body fat to enhance your breasts, the doctor will use liposuction to remove the excess fat from different areas of your body. After removing the fat, the surgeon will process it in a centrifuge. The purified fat is then carefully injected into the breasts. This procedure does not involve incisions. Recovery after breast augmentation Your recovery will begin right after the surgery. Keep in mind that the recovery process plays a critical role in defining the results and preventing complications. The primary recovery period comprises the first two weeks following the procedure, whereas complete recovery can take six weeks. It is essential for the patient to follow the surgeon’s instructions for a safe and smooth recovery. Be sure to wear the surgical compression bras recommended by the surgeon for the recommended time. Also, avoid strenuous activities for six weeks following the operation. Physical movements should be avoided for two weeks. Take sufficient rest so that your body can work to heal the incisions and reduce the post-operative swelling. Expected results The results will take many weeks and even months to become visible, no matter if you’ve gotten implants or fat transfer. After breast implant surgery, the breasts will be swollen and the incisions need time to heal. If you have undergone fat transfer, the fat cells need blood supply to nurture and expand. Your body can take two weeks to vascularize the fat cells. The results will gradually transpire as your breasts heal, the post-operative swelling subsides, the implants drop into the intended place and position, and the incisions heal. After some weeks or months, you will start to see the aesthetic improvements. When the results of breast implant surgery emerge, your breasts will appear bigger and shapelier. In case of fat transfer surgery, the breasts will appear projected and shapelier. Risks Breast augmentation surgery is invasive, which means that like any other invasive procedures, there are risks. The common risks include infection, abnormal scarring, death of the fat cells, breast asymmetry, seroma and hematoma, loss of nipple sensitivity, reduction or loss of milk production, and general dissatisfaction with the results. The patient should discuss the risks with the doctor in advance of the operation. Keep in mind that the risks are higher for patients who have health problems. You should undergo the procedure only when the benefits are higher than the risks. Conclusion Breast augmentation is a useful but major procedure that is used to increase the size of the breasts or improve their shape. In this guide, I have explained the types of breast augmentation, your candidacy for the operation, how to choose your plastic surgeon, how each procedure is performed, the recovery period, and the risks. After breast augmentation, you can expect to get bigger and shapelier breasts. However, choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. Also, keep in mind that breast implants involve incisions that will become scars in the months and years following the procedure.