Breast Augmentation (Breast Enlargement, Augmentation Mammoplasty)
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast enlargement is a procedure in which breast implants are used to increase the fullness of the breasts. Some women feel that their small breasts limit their ability to wear desired clothing and in general they are conscious of their appearance. Breast enlargement improves their body image and self-confidence.
Augmentation mammoplasty provides the following:
- Enlarges a small breast
- Provides volume to the breast which is lost as a result of previous pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight fluctuations
- Provides symmetry to asymmetrical breasts
- Provides volume to a breast in which breast lift is contemplated but the volume is still inadequate.
This procedure is highly individualized. It should be done only because a woman desires it, not because somebody else desires it ie. husband, boyfriend, etc. This procedure can be considered in any woman of any age if the breasts are small and the patient is healthy otherwise. We do recommend however that it be considered when the breasts have reached their full maturity first. This procedure does not interfere with the ability to breastfeed in the future.
Good candidates for breast enlargement are:
- Women who are medically healthy.
- Women who are non-smokers. If they are smokers they must be willing to stop smoking three months before the surgery.
- Women who have realistic expectations and positive attitude about the procedure.
Where do I start?
An initial consultation with Dr. Thoma is a good point to start. In this consultation, you will be informed about the procedure, and how this will enhance your breasts and body image.
There will be:
- a frank discussion about your goals and expectations
- the various techniques and options of breast enlargement
- the types of implants that can be used
- the expected results and possible complications
- the general plan for the surgery
At this consult, you will be given the opportunity to ask any relevant questions regarding the procedure.
The Evaluation Process
The success of the surgery will depend to a great degree on your outlook in life and your physical health. These will be assessed during the initial consultation and in subsequent visits. The overall success of the surgery will also depend on the following:
- expressing your expectations honestly
- you fully disclose your physical and mental medical history, any prescribed or “off the shelf” medications you take including herbal or vitamin supplements, alcohol, smoking or other drugs
- your commitment to listen and follow Dr. Thoma’s recommendations and advice
Safety in Augmentation Mammoplasty
If you follow Dr. Thoma’s instructions then you will have taken an important step to ensure a safe procedure. Dr. Thoma is a certified plastic surgeon by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This certification designates surgeons who have trained in plastic and cosmetic surgery.
My Breast Augmentation (Breast Enlargement)
Dr. Thoma will discuss with you the types of implants used for breast enlargement; the saline implants and the gel implants. He will inform you of their benefits and disadvantages. He will also discuss with you the position of the implants: the subglandular position (implant placed under the breast tissue) and the subpectoral position (implant placed under the muscle).
You will be informed which implant and in which placement position you will have the best cosmetic result. The scar location will also be discussed at this visit.
You need to be aware that the implants are not guaranteed to last permanently and future surgeries may be necessary to replace deflated implants or to release the capsular contractures which may occur around the implants. The capsular contracture is the abnormal result of normally occurring scar around breast implants. On some occasions, this scar is excessive and it deforms the breast giving it a hard “rock-like” consistency leading to some discomfort. The treatment of this is to release the internal scar to soften the consistency of the breast.
When mammograms are performed after breast enlargement, it is important to alert the appropriate personnel of the presence of the implants so that special views are taken as the implants may obscure part of the breast tissue.
Weight fluctuations or future pregnancies may alter the appearance of augmented breasts. Some regular evaluation of the implants is probably a sensible approach.
Preparation for Breast Enlargement
Dr. Thoma will explain the operation to you, and you will come to an agreement as to which type of augmentation will provide you with the best cosmetic result. You will be given a prescription of antibiotics and pain medications so you don’t have to worry about it on the day of the surgery. You will be told which activities are permissible and which are not after the surgery and for how long. You will also be educated on the care of your dressings and breasts until you recover. Instructions will be given to you on what to do in the event of an unlikely complication, such as infection, bleeding, deflation of the implant, or capsular contracture.
After surgery there will be a dressing on the breasts. A sports bra will be applied on top of the dressing. You will be asked to keep it in place for at least the first 72 hours for protection. You will be accompanied home by one of your relatives or friends. You will be given an appointment for your next office visit, usually within one week. You will be instructed again on how to protect your breasts until they heal.
The recovery and healing process are gradual. You are expected to be up walking around the same day as the surgery. You need to avoid strenuous activities until you recover. Unrestricted sport activities usually resume 4 – 6 weeks after the surgery.
It is anticipated that you will notice immediate improvement in your breast size after the surgery. The final result will be evident to you about one month after the surgery once the swelling has subsided. The small scars will start fading after one month. Eventually, they become inconspicuous.
These are photos of Dr. Thoma’s patients. Written consent has been obtained to use them.