Breast Surgery

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Breast Augmentation

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation, also referred to as breast enlargement, is an aesthetic treatment that utilises breast implants to increase the volume and improve the contour of the breasts. In addition to these enhancements, breast augmentation can also correct noticeable breast asymmetry, as well as enhance one’s overall body proportions. Breast enlargement is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in Australia, and the end result can 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.

Attaining an optimal breast augmentation outcome requires an individualised approach that takes into account each patient’s specific needs and cosmetic goals—there is not a universal technique that is ideal for all women. After carefully listening to your concerns and desires, our experienced plastic surgeons will guide you through the implant selection process and formulate a personalised surgical plan that can create the look you are envisioning. With this customised approach to augmentation, you can expect to achieve improved breast shape and fullness with beautiful, natural-looking results.

What Are the Benefits of Breast Augmentation?

Breast enlargement (“augmentation”) enhances the size and shape of your breasts, using breast implants, making your breasts larger and fuller. Benefits for you may include:

  • Improved breast appearance due to small, under developed or volume loss following pregnancy, weight loss or aging
  • Improved breast symmetry and body proportions
  • Improved self-image and body confidence, increasing femininity

Am I a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

There are many factors that go into deciding who is a good candidate for breast enlargement surgery. Your reasons for wanting to undergo the procedure are important, and it is critical that you are honest with the surgeon who will be performing your plastic surgery. Some of the most common reasons for wanting breast implants include breasts that are small, flat, asymmetrical, or sagging. In many cases women with these concerns report feeling self-conscious when wearing a swimsuit or other clothing that places a focus on the breast area. Implants are also often used during breast reconstruction after a mastectomy to remove cancer of the breast.

Who Is a Good Breast Augmentation Candidate?

  • You are in good health
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You want this plastic surgery for the right reasons
  • You are aware of the risks involved with a breast augmentation
  • You can follow instructions and handle care requirements after surgery
  • You can take the required recovery time off from work or household duties

Who Should Not Have Breast Augmentation?

  • You currently have any type of infection
  • You are currently or were very recently pregnant
  • You are currently breastfeeding
  • You have cancer or precancerous cell changes and you have not been treated
  • You are in poor health
  • You are at risk for excessive bleeding
  • Your ability to heal has been compromised in any way

What Can I Expect in the Breast Augmentation Consultation?

During the initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will talk with you about what you hope to achieve with breast augmentation. It is important to note that this procedure, as with any aesthetic surgery, is intended to enhance one’s appearance, not provide perfect results. To determine if you are eligible for the procedure, your surgeon will ask about your expectations as well as go over your medical history. Since this procedure is performed in the operating room and general anaesthesia is required, you need to be in good physical and mental health. If you have any medical conditions or have ever had any adverse reactions to general anaesthesia, this should be discussed with your doctor.

The first consultation is the time to talk in detail about the new shape and size of your breasts. It can be helpful to bring in pictures of breasts that you admire, as this can give your surgeon a better idea of your desired outcome. During this visit, your surgeon will perform a physical examination, taking a variety of measurements of your breasts. Since breast augmentation goes beyond just an increase in size, these measurements will assist your surgeon in the planning process. From the slope of the upper breast and lower breast, to the placement of your nipple on the enlarged breast, your surgeon will consider how each detail factors into the final look. Our surgeons believe the best breast augmentation is one that is correctly proportioned to your body and is natural in appearance. They will help you understand which breast implant size, shape and type will work best with your chest size, body frame type, personal preferences, and chest tissue thickness.

You and your surgeon will go through pictures of past patients, allowing you to point out qualities you like and those you don’t. You may also wish to try different implants by placing them inside your bra, helping you see them on your body frame. Your surgeon will go over your different options and offer recommendations based on your ideal outcome. They will also explain what you can expect in the recovery process and possible complications that can occur. You are encouraged to ask questions at any point.

As the date of your surgery gets closer, you will return for a second consultation with your surgeon to make any final decisions about your procedure.

Crisalix 3D Imaging

With Crisalix 3D breast simulation software, our breast augmentation patients are able to virtually “try on” their results ahead of time. This is an extremely valuable tool our team uses during the initial consultation process, which helps patients visualize their results and allows our surgeons to better understand their aesthetic goals.

When suitable, we 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.

To see your simulated results, the process requires you to create your profile, send a series of three pictures, and request a consultation.

What Are My Breast Implant Options?

Types of Breast Implants

Our Pure Aesthetics surgeons routinely perform breast augmentation using cohesive or highly cohesive silicone gel implants, and are 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 silicone gel implants have a more natural feel, are less likely to ripple than saline breast implants and do not deflate.

Silicone Gel Implants

Pros

  • Feel most like normal breast tissue
  • A lower risk of rippling
  • Look and feel natural

Cons

  • The incision required is longer, making some placement methods impossible because the implant is pre-filled
  • Ruptures can be difficult to detect
  • Only come in round shape; teardrop shape is not available
  • Periodic screenings and diagnostic tests are required to ensure proper function

Saline Implants

Pros

  • Implants are adjustable.
  • The most projection and upper pole fullness possible
  • Incision required is smaller
  • Rupture is easily detected because the breast implant will deflate and the rupture is noticeable
  • Less expensive than silicone implant types

Cons

  • Less natural feel, the implants are firmer than your natural tissue
  • Higher risk of rippling and rupturing than silicone breast implants
  • Heavier which can cause bottoming out over time

Anatomic vs. Round Breast Implants

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. Thin breast tissue combined with round implants may give an unnatural look with breasts protruding extensively. On the other hand, thinner tissue with a teardrop implant may be the best choice when wanting to achieve natural-looking breasts due to the tapered top half of the implant. Both types of implants can look excellent, and both can look more or less natural, depending on how they are used.

Breast Implant Profiles

When plastic surgeons talk about the profile of breast implants, they are discussing the way the implant projects forward from the chest wall, as compared to the width of the implant base. Think of the profile as the intended distance that the new breasts will project outward in the front. If the patient wants a more obvious silhouette after surgery, a higher profile implant may be used. The implant profile for a breast augmentation can be ultra high, high, moderate plus, or moderate.

Ultra High: This implant will have the smallest width at the base and the highest level of projection from the chest wall. This gives a more centred breast with less side fullness and may be better for women who have a smaller chest wall width who want to achieve a fuller outcome. This profile option may, however, look less “natural” than lesser projecting implants.

High: The base width will be wider than the ultra high profile, and the projection will be less pronounced.

Moderate Plus: This implant profile will have a moderate width at the base of the implant and less projection than a high profile choice.

Moderate: This implant profile has the widest base width and the least amount of projection out of all the breast implant profiles. This may give more cleavage and upper fullness, whilst keeping the overall size lower.

Placing Breast Implants Above vs. Under the Muscle

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.

How Do I Choose the Right Breast Implant Size?

The size of your new breasts after breast augmentation is just one of the important considerations, and you need to determine how much projection you are looking for and whether you want subtle and natural-looking results or less natural breasts that are more obviously the result of plastic surgery. You should always be aware, however, that oversized breast implants have higher risks and more problems than implants that are more moderately sized, and your body type and frame size will also play a role in the right size as well.

If you choose large implants for breast augmentation then you may have to face higher risks and more problems over time. This may be especially true if you are small and have a thinner frame. If the size you want is too large for your actual frame then you could experience stretch marks, rippling or wrinkling in the skin, thinning of the breast tissues including fat and muscle, and a number of other risks as well.

Projection is another aspect that should be considered before breast augmentation. How far do you want your new breasts to project out from the chest wall? A tiny woman who chooses a large implant size may find that the implants cause her breasts to project too far, giving them an unnatural and fake appearance. Narrow shoulders may also indicate that a smaller implant size is called for, and each case is different and unique because each woman is an individual.

When you consult with a qualified plastic surgeon about breast augmentation, this professional will evaluate your body type and frame size, and then make suggestions about the right size to get the results that you are hoping for. Breast implant sizes are measured either by volume or weight; a larger number means a larger breast augmentation implant. Your plastic surgeon will measure the width of your chest to evaluate possible sizes for your procedure and then discuss your options with you.

The same size breast implant may look very different on various body types, so all of the factors involved in each case need to be considered before a final implant size can be chosen. Our surgeons partner with each patient to look at all of the factors, evaluate the possible sizes that may be the right fit, and then make recommendations based on these considerations.

How Should I Prepare for My Breast Augmentation?

Our surgeons recommend that patients start preparing for their breast augmentation as far in advance as possible. There are several things that you will need to consider so that you are fully prepared after you have breast implant surgery and leave the hospital.

For at least 24 hours after your surgery, you will need someone to stay with you. It is also important that a friend or relative drives you to the hospital and back home after your procedure. You should also arrange for care for any children or pets for the first few days. You will be provided with the prescriptions for any needed medicines ahead of time so these can be filled before your procedure as well.

We advise patients to avoid smoking, alcohol use, and certain other activities for at least a few weeks before breast augmentation. Smoking can impact any plastic surgery procedures because it impairs healing, and alcohol use can also cause problems or contribute to complications with breast implant surgery. Try to follow a healthy diet in the weeks before the plastic surgery procedures so that your body has all the nutrients needed for proper healing.

What Can I Expect During Breast Augmentation Surgery?

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.

Immediately after your breast augmentation, you may feel tired as the anaesthetic gradually wears off. You may also be slightly sore and experience discomfort, but this is typically well-tolerated. Since breast augmentation is considered a “day surgery,” you will be able to return home within a few hours of your operation.

What Is the Breast Augmentation Recovery Like?

The time needed to recover from breast augmentation will vary with each individual; however, there is some care that can be taken to ensure a speedy recovery. The first 48 hours will require lots of rest and taking it easy. Pain medication can be utilised to control the pain. Swelling and bruising is also common; however, this usually subsides within a week or two.

You may notice that your chest feels tight or that you have pressure on your chest. This is normal and should go away as the chest muscles stretch out over the implants; the feeling is similar to a pulled muscle or a heavy weight sitting on the chest.

The initial recovery period usually lasts from 7 to 14 days, depending on where the breast implants are placed and other relevant factors. You will need to avoid any lifting or excessive movement that involves the affected tissues for at least a few days.

At the beginning of your recovery you will be wrapped in surgical tape. This will be replaced after the first week with a special compression bra, to be worn during the day and at night for 3 to 6 weeks. The stitches used during surgery are typically dissolving, eliminating the need to have them removed later on. Should your surgeon choose to place traditional sutures, these are typically removed after two weeks.

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.

When Can I See My Breast Augmentation Results?

Swelling is typically mild following breast augmentation, but you may experience some fullness soon after your procedure. Over the course of the next 4 to 6 weeks, however, you should notice this fading. At about 8 weeks into your recovery, you should begin to see how your results will look. As your body continues to heal, final results can often be noticed at 3 months.

What Complications Can Arise from Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Although our plastic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced, every surgery comes with risks and can potentially lead to complications. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Anaesthetic problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Scarring

The risks more specific to breast augmentation, which will be covered in detail during your consultation, include:

  • Capsular contracture  – hardening of the implants
  • Wound breakdown, implant infection requiring removal
  • Seroma – fluid collections around the implant
  • Implant deflation, rupture or leak of silicone material
  • Uneven results
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Breast Implant Related Lymphoma (ALCL)
    • this is a newly recognised and rare type of cancer related to the capsule that forms around the implant. It is similar to some blood cancers (lymphomas) and is seen very rarely in certain types of textured-surface breast implants. This condition will be discussed with you in detail at your consultation.

To learn how to identify and respond to these possible complications, should they arise, please listen to your surgeon’s advice and ask any questions you have.

Will I Have Breast Augmentation Scars?

As with any surgery, scars cannot be avoided after breast augmentation. However, our surgeons are experienced with performing advanced surgical techniques to minimise the appearance of scarring. Over time, the incision lines from your surgery should gradually lighten and become less noticeable.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

The standard breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure, as such there are no rebates from Medicare or health insurance, except in special circumstances, such as major breast asymmetry, and constricted or tuberous breasts. In these situations, Medicare and Health insurance may be applicable. Out-of-pocket expenses start at $9,500 including Surgeon, Anaesthetist, Implant and hospital fees.

Cost should never be the most important consideration, but it is a factor that needs to be looked at. Some breast implants are more costly than others, and adding a breast lift to the procedure can make it even more expensive.

The cost of round implants is typically lower, while anatomical implants are up to twice as much—although different brands vary somewhat. It is the cost of the implants that varies, not the doctors’ fees. For an accurate price, please contact us for an appointment today.

Additional Breast Augmentation FAQs

What Should I Know Before Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Although breast augmentation has given many women a boost in their self-confidence, it is important to understand the surgery is an aesthetic procedure—it cannot offer a new life or a quick “fix” for unrelated problems. Your emotional stability and having realistic expectations are necessary for achieving a successful outcome.

In addition to understanding the benefits and limitations of the procedure, you may want to arrange for help throughout the beginning of your recovery. Knowing what complications can arise, and how to respond to them should they occur, can also ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

Why Should I Stop Smoking Before My Breast Augmentation?

If you smoke then your ability to heal is affected, and you may take longer to recover from breast enlargement surgery or even develop complications from the implants. It is recommended that you quit smoking at least 4-6 weeks before you plan on undergoing a breast augmentation surgery.

Will I Need to Be Hospitalised for My Breast Augmentation Surgery?

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.

Can I Get a Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation at the Same Time?

It is certainly possible to do both breast augmentation and tummy tuck at the same time, and our surgeons do this combination frequently, such as in a comprehensive mummy makeover. Tummy tuck, or “abdominoplasty” has a Medicare Item number, so there are rebates for this surgery, and if you have health insurance, your hospital fees may also be covered. When we are doing combinations of procedures, there is usually some cost benefit because of time savings in these settings.

Will I Need a Breast Lift in Addition to Getting Implants?

In some cases breast implants alone may not give you the desired results, and your surgeon may recommend a breast lift in addition to the breast augmentation procedure. Breast lift surgery is a common procedure following breastfeeding or significant weight loss where breast tissue has loosened and drooped, and skin has sagged. Depending on your specific needs, your surgeon can determine whether a combination breast lift with implants is necessary to achieve your aesthetic goals.

Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation?

In most cases breast enlargement will not prevent you from breastfeeding any child that you have in the future. If this is a big concern then talk to your surgeon to ensure that you have the right information for your situation. The breast implants should not affect breast milk, and the infant should not be affected in any way.

How Long Does It Take for the Implants to Settle?

Most women do not realize that their new breasts must go through a period of settling in, and initially the breasts may look larger and fuller than the final result. Do not be alarmed, this is normal and will go away over time. As healing takes place the implants will position correctly and the appearance of the breasts will usually become what you were hoping for.

Will My Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced in the Future?

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, revision breast implant surgery should not be necessary before this time.

What Happens if my Plastic Surgery Implants Sag or Rupture?

If you undergo breast augmentation surgery and your implants start to sag or rupture, then you may need an additional plastic surgery to correct the problem or replace the ruptured implant.

How Will Implants Affect My Ongoing Breast Care?

New breast health baselines need to be established by you and your doctor post breast augmentation. Breasts with implants will feel different during self and professional examinations. Your doctor can equip you with the tools needed to undertake a self-assessment and what to look for. It is important to get a professional examination every year and that you let the doctor know you have had implants.

How Do I Choose the Best Surgeon for My Breast Augmentation?

Before you make any decision to have breast augmentation surgery, there are many important factors that need to be considered and weighed carefully. An experienced cosmetic surgeon can help you weigh the pros and cons of this type of surgery, so that you can make an informed decision and get the best possible results. Any plastic surgeon that is in a rush or does not make sure that you fully understand this cosmetic surgery you will be having should be avoided.

Only a qualified plastic surgeon can help you identify the right breast implants for your specific situation and the desired results. Make sure that the plastic surgery expert that you choose is well qualified to handle this type of plastic surgery procedure, and that they are licensed and certified by the proper authorities and organisations. Experience is also a top consideration, so ensure your plastic surgeon has plenty of before and after photos of their prior patients to show you.

Look at plastic surgeon reviews, ask friends who have had plastic surgery if they would recommend their doctor, and look for lists of plastic surgeons in the phone book or your local medical association. When you spend the time needed to evaluate and compare cosmetic plastic surgeons you should be able to identify the top practitioners in this field.

If you have any further questions about breast augmentation and implants, please contact Pure Aesthetics, and one of our team members will be happy to help you.