Cosmetic breast surgery

Definition

Breast augmentation is a procedure to change the size or shape of the breasts.

Alternative Names

Breast augmentation; Breast implants; Implants - breast; Mammaplasty

Description

Cosmetic breast surgery is done at an outpatient surgery clinic or in a hospital.

There are many different ways to place breast implants:

Breast implants may be placed either directly behind the breast tissue (subglandular) or behind the outer layer of chest wall muscles (submuscular). The type of implant and implant surgery can affect:

Your surgeon can help you decide which procedure is best for you.

Breast lift

Watch this video about:
Breast lift

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Breast augmentation is done to increase the size of your breasts.

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is usually done to lift sagging, loose breasts. The size of the areola can also be reduced.

Talk with a plastic surgeon if you are considering cosmetic breast surgery. Discuss how you expect to look and feel better. Keep in mind the desired result is improvement, not perfection.

Risks

Risks of any surgery are:

Risks of anesthesia are:

Risks of breast surgery are:

It is normal for your body to create a “capsule” made up of scar tissue around your new breast implant. This helps keep the implant in place. Sometimes, this capsule becomes thickened and larger and may cause a change in the shape of your breast, hardening of breast tissue, or some pain.

Emotional risks of this surgery may include feeling that your breasts do not look perfect. Or you may be disappointed with people's reactions to your “new” breasts.

Before the Procedure

Tell your doctor or nurse:

During the days before your surgery:

On the day of the surgery:

After the Procedure

You will likely go home when the anesthesia wears off and you can walk, drink water, get to the bathroom safely.

After breast augmentation surgery, a bulky gauze dressing will be wrapped around your breasts and chest. Or you might wear a surgical bra. Drainage tubes may be attached to your breasts. These will be removed within 3 days.

The surgeon may also recommend massaging the breasts starting 5 days after surgery. Massaging helps reduce hardening of the capsule that surrounds the implant. Ask your doctor first before massaging over your implants.

Outlook (Prognosis)

You are likely to have a very good outcome from breast surgery. You may feel better about your appearance and yourself. Also, any pain or skin symptoms due to the surgery will likely disappear. You may need to wear a special supportive bra for a few months to reshape your breasts.

Scars are permanent and are often more visible in the year after surgery. They may fade after this. Your surgeon will try to place the incisions so that your scars are as hidden as possible.

References

Bengtson BP. Complications, reoperations, and revisions in breast augmentation. Clin Plast Surg. 2009;36:139-156.

Handel N. Transumbilical breast augmentation. Clin Plast Surg. 2009;36:63-74

McGrath MH, Pomerantz J. Plastic surgery. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 69.

Sarwer DB. The psychological aspects of cosmetic breast augmentation. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;120(7 Suppl 1):110S-117S. 

Strock LL. Transaxillary endoscopic silicone gel breast augmentation. Aesthet Surg J. 2010;30:745-755.