Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty)
Breast augmentation surgery, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is the surgical placement of breast implants to increase fullness and improve symmetry of the breasts, or to restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.
What is breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation is the surgical placement of breast implants to increase fullness and projection of the breasts or to improve symmetry of the breasts.
Clinically referred to as augmentation mammaplasty, a breast augmentation procedure is used cosmetically to:
- Enlarge a naturally small breast, most commonly the result of heredity
- Restore breast volume lost following pregnancy, as a result of breast-feeding or due to weight loss
- Achieve better symmetry when breasts are moderately disproportionate in size and shape
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence
- If you are dissatisfied with your breast size, breast augmentation surgery (either breast enhancement or breast enlargement) is a choice to consider.
- Breast implants also may be used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury.
What breast augmentation surgery won’t do
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
Why It Is Done ?
Breast enlargement surgery is done to increase the size of the breasts and enhance their shape. You may decide to get breast implants to:
- Enhance breasts you consider too small. The definition of what is “too small” (or too large, for that matter) varies from woman to woman. There is no universal standard below which breasts are considered too small. If you are content with the size of your breasts, then they are not too small.
- Restore the size or shape of the breasts after significant weight loss or pregnancy. A breast lift may be done at the same time as the enlargement in these cases.
- Make the breasts more evenly proportioned. In many women, one breast may be larger or sit higher than the other.
Breast implants may also be used to reconstruct breasts after surgery for breast cancer (mastectomy).
How Well It Works
Breast enlargement surgery can increase your breast size by one or more bra cup sizes. It can also reduce differences in size and shape between your breasts.
Breast implants will not prevent the breasts from sagging as a result of future pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or aging.
Most women who have breast implants will need at least one more implant surgery in their lives.
What To Think About
Newer silicone implants contain a gel-like material instead of a liquid. These types of implants do not leak if they are punctured or cut.
Most women who get breast implants are satisfied with the results. You are likely to be happy with the results if you have clear, realistic expectations about the surgery and share these with your doctor. Implants will make your breasts larger and perhaps give them a shape you are more pleased with, but no surgeon can guarantee perfection.
Also keep in mind that:
- Breast enlargements and lifts do not prevent changes in the breast that occur as a result of future pregnancies, weight gain or loss, or the force of gravity over time.
- Implants may later need to be surgically removed or replaced if they leak, rupture, wrinkle, change shape, or develop other problems. It is likely that you will have to have a second surgery at some point. Saline implants rupture at a rate of 1 out of 100 each year.1
- Some of the changes in the breast tissue and skin caused by implants are permanent. If you later have the implants removed, the breasts may have permanent wrinkles, dimples, or other changes.
Insurance will not cover the cost of breast implants unless they are being used as part of breast reconstruction after surgery for breast cancer. Likewise, insurance may not cover the costs of treatment for complications that arise during or after surgery or for future surgeries to remove or replace the implants. Check with your insurance company to find out whether getting breast implants will affect how much you pay for your insurance and what you are covered for.
Sources: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation.html; http://www.webmd.com/beauty/breast-implants/breast-enlargement