Breast enlargement (“augmentation”) is a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, using breast implants. As well as making your breast larger and fuller, breast enlargement can improve the appearance of your breasts by improving symmetry and body proportions. Breast enlargement is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in Australia and the end result will improve your self-image and confidence.
In recent years, there has been much advancement in breast enlargement surgery. Procedures are easier than ever, achieving wonderful results with minimal scarring and reduced downtime.
Finding out what you hope to achieve with breast augmentation is the key to getting the best possible result, and as such, our breast augmentation procedures are based on your individual needs and unique situation. By individualising the process, and careful selection of the appropriate implant with you, specific deficiencies and your concerns can be addressed. There is no one technique or breast implant that is best for all women and our specialist plastic surgeons will tailor the surgical choices to offer you the optimal results.
How can this procedure help me?
Breast enlargement (“augmentation”) enhances the size and shape of your breasts, using breast implants, making your breasts larger and fuller. Benefits for you include:
- Improved breast appearance due to small, under developed or volume loss post pregnancy, weight loss or aging
- Improved breast symmetry and body proportions
- Improved self-image and body confidence, increasing femininity
The Consultation Process: What to Expect
A consultation with Dr. Merten is the first step when you are considering surgery and will take approximately 45 minutes. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations about looking and feeling better after surgery. You should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
During the consultation, Dr. Merten will ask you a variety of questions covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments.
It is very important to spend enough time in the first consultation to establish what you consider to be your ideal breast size and shape. We encourage you to bring in any pictures of breasts that you like. Dr. Merten will carefully examine your breasts and take measurements. There is more to breast augmentation than just a change in size. While planning the procedure, Dr. Merten will consider all the features of a beautiful breast, such as the slope down to the nipple, the curve from the nipple to the base of the breast, placement of the nipple, and the overall proportions of your body. This is done by studying your own physique and going through photographs of previous patients, talking over what you do and don’t like about each one. Trying the look of different implants inside your bra can also help show us what you hope to achieve.
Dr. Merten will also closely go over your options and his recommendations.
When suitable, Dr. Merten will take a series of photos to do 3D morphing simulations using Crisalix technology, which can then be used to show you what breast implants of different size and shape will look like on you. The key is to determine the breast shape and size for your body and how to achieve the desired results with minimal scarring.
The recovery process and any potential complications that could arise will also be discussed. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.
A second consultation is then performed closer to the date of your surgery to ensure that you are satisfied with the choices that have been made. All breast augmentations are performed in fully accredited hospitals with the assistance of a consulting anaesthetist. The surgery is usually done as “day surgery;” this means you can go home within a few hours of the procedure.
What Breast Implants Should I Choose?
Silicone or Saline?
Dr. Merten routinely performs breast augmentation using cohesive gel silicone implants, and he is actively involved in clinical research in improving the long term outcome in breast implant surgery. Although saline-filled breast implants are available, they are infrequently used in Australia, and most plastic surgeons and patients find that the cohesive silicone gel implants have a more natural feel, are less likely to rippling than saline breast implants and do not deflate.
Anatomic or Round?
Breast implants come in different shapes and profiles. Anatomic or “teardrop” shaped implants were created with a more natural shape and are fuller in the lower half, similar to a natural breast. Round implants are more centrally full, and tend to provide more fullness in the upper breast. Both types of implants come in a range of “projections”, which is how much they push forward. Equally as important as the shape of the implant is the shape, tissue thickness and skin quality of the patient. Both types of implants can look excellent, and both can look more or less natural, depending on how they are used.
Dr, Merten individualises the implant choice to each patient, depending on her breast characteristics and desired outcome.
What are My Options for Where the Implant is Placed?
Breast implants may be placed either in front of the chest muscle (pectoralis muscle) or behind it.
The choice depends on a number of factors, particularly how much of your own tissues are present as there needs to be enough thickness to create a natural, subtle result. Most women having breast augmentation are either naturally thin, or have lost breast tissue thickness after pregnancy and breast feeding, so placement behind the muscle is more common. This location also has additional benefits, including a lower rate of capsular contracture and better visibility of the breast tissues for breast cancer screening.
The Procedure: What Does it Involve?
The implant is inserted through a small incision either under the breast, around the nipple or in the armpit. Please watch our video animation to see what happens in a Breast Enlargement procedure
Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?
Breast Augmentation is performed as a “day surgery” procedure and usually takes 1-2 hours. You get to go home that same day. All surgeries are performed in fully accredited facilities ensuring your safety.
What is recovery like?
Advancements in anaesthesia over recent years has meant more comfort for patients – less pain with minimal post operative sedation and nausea and a quick recovery to “feeling normal.” The anaesthetists in my team are highly skilled and experienced in modern techniques and devoted to keeping you comfortable.
Initially you may feel “woozy” as the anaesthetic wears off. You may feel some soreness, swelling or discomfort, but this is usually easily manageable. You may also feel tired after surgery, but this and the soreness is normal and will last only a short while.
Initially you will have surgical tape after the surgery. During the second week, this is usually changed to a stretch-type bra, worn day and night, for between 3 and 6 weeks. In the long term it is beneficial to wear good bra support to reduce the degree of sagging.
Stitches used are usually dissolving, and will not have to be removed. Rarely, non-dissolving sutures are used, and if so need removal, and this is done at about two weeks after surgery.
Results: What and When?
Although swelling is usually minimal after breast augmentation, there will be some fullness early after the surgery. You can expect this to be gone after 4 to 6 weeks.
In most cases, you will get a good idea of the final result after around 8 weeks, with full settling to occur at around 3 months.
When can I resume day-to-day activities?
For the average woman doing non-strenuous clerical-type work, it is generally three to five days after surgery before you may be able to return to work. For other types of jobs, however, which may require heavy lifting, it may be longer.
What complications can arise from the procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:
- Bruising, bleeding, heamotoma formation
- Anaesthetic problems
- Deep Vein thrombosis
Risks and complications specific to Breast Augmentation include:
- Capsular Contracture
- Loss of Nipple Sensation
- Wound Breakdown
- Implant Deflation
- Asymmetry, Discomfort and Firmness
The potential risks and complications of the surgery will be discussed with you in detail at your preoperative consultations.
Will Breast Augmentation leave scars?
Although scars are the inevitable result of any surgery, we make every effort to keep them as inconspicuous as possible. The scars fade over time and are located in such a way as to become less noticeable as they fade.
What else should I consider before having Breast Augmentation surgery?
Emotional stability is the primary factor to be considered before any aesthetic surgery is performed. A “bigger bust” does not guarantee a new life or an end to all personal problems. It is mostly your mental attitude and realistic expectations that determines a successful outcome. A breast augmentation can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; the rest is entirely up to you.
Before deciding to have this procedure, you may want to consider your planning for the healing period. Will you need help or assistance from others? Also if you do encounter complications, it is a good idea to understand how they are typically handled so that you are fully prepared.
Breast implants don’t last forever and all types will need replacing, on average, after 10 to 20 years. With careful treatment planning in the first instance, repeat breast implant surgery should not be necessary before this time.
Any more questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. Our team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.
Crisalix 3D Imaging
Dr. Merten has introduced a new tool to assist him and his patients when deciding on a breast augmentation. The 3D Breast Simulation software is an additional consultation tool Doctor Merten uses to visually show his patients how their augmentation would look and to assist with size and shape selection.
It’s as easy as filling in your profile, sending three photos and requesting a consultation where you will be shown your new you. Start now and you will already see your current body in 3D directly from home!