Breast augmentation

A breast augmentation is performed by means of an implant, an autologous fat transplantation or a combination. Both the shape and the form of the breast can be adapted. A good plastic surgeon always considers the shape of the thorax.

How does a breast augmentation work?

If an implant is considered, there is a choice between saline-filled and silicone-filled implants. Both however have a silicone shell. Because of a sometimes less natural feel of saline-filled implants if placed directly beneath the skin or the breast gland, their use has been replaced by silicone implants. The silicone gel has a more natural feel, and provides a stable form and projection over time. Moreover, the gel nowadays is cohesive, so in the unlikely case of a shell leak, the gel always remains in one piece. Long-term follow-up scientific studies have proven that the current generation of silicone implants have no negative influence on the general health. Cohesive gel implants exist in both round and anatomical forms. Saline-filled implants only exist in round forms. However, since they can be inserted through small incisions, excellent results can be obtained in selected cases where there is opted for retro-muscular placement. All implant used have life-long warranty.

In addition, autologous fat transplantation or lipofilling can be used. Fat tissue can be harvested on regions of the body where depots exist, such as the thighs, the belly and the hips, in a real liposculpture procedure. After processing the fat, it can be used for lipofilling. This is performed by placing tiny deposits of healthy fat throughout the tissues that needs to be augmented. In certain cases, a natural life-long augmentation without scars can be performed. In other cases, lipofilling can be used as an adjunct to placement of a smaller implant to obtain a more natural and long-lasting result.

Who is a good candidate for a breast augmentation?

This technique is suitable for everybody. If you already have some breast volume, and you wish to add one or two cup sizes, lipofilling might be a good solution. If you want more elaborate changes in volume or shape, an implant, or a combination of implants with lipofilling is possible.

How to prepare for a breast augmentation?

  • For natural females: a recent mammography is needed if you are over 30 years old
  • Quit smoking
  • If lipofilling is indicated, a lipo-panty should be ordered (by us or by the patient)
  • Special breast bandages for post-operative use are comfortable and improve the result, and can be ordered (by us or by the patient)

How is a breast augmentation performed?

For breast augmentation, a one-day stay in the hospital is sufficient. If you have to travel a long way, it is advisable to stay one night in the vicinity. Depending on your medical history, and the addition of lipofilling, the procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia with sedation, or under general anaesthesia.

Time investment/recovery/aftercare:

  • You have to wear the supportive breast bandage for two to three weeks, which may then be replaced by a sports bra.
  • After six weeks, a brace-bra is allowed again
  • Liposculpture pants should be worn for six weeks.
  • No heavy lifting or sports for three weeks
  • You might experience a heavy (pressure) feel in the operated region after the procedure, which is normal. If the implant is placed beneath the muscle, more postoperative pain is normal.

What are the risks of a breast augmentation?

Short-term

The first 24 hours after the operation, a bleeding or hematoma can occur. After that, like with any operation, a wound infection can occur. An infection of the implant that requires removal is very rare.

Long-term

The silicone shell of the implant is constructed with a special surface to allow the surrounding tissues to attach firmly to the implant (capsulation). This is a normal reaction and keeps the implant in the right position. On the long term however, this capsula can start to contract as a scar tissue (capsular contraction), causing the shape of the breast to change, and sometimes resulting in pain or discomfort. The smaller the implant compared to the present tissues, the better the odds this will not happen.

With implants placed behind the muscle, an upward displacement of the implant can occur, especially when the muscle is used too much immediately after the operation.

Nipple and areola sensitivity can be reduced temporarily after the operation, because there is a variation in innervation that cannot be anticipated.

Chronic pain: a very small number of patients experiences atypical chronic pains, without obvious clinical signs, mostly on one side only.

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