Breast Implant

Breast augmentation, i.e. mammaplasty (also colloquially known as silicone breast surgery), is a surgical procedure intended to increase breast size by placing a breast implant.

Things to consider before surgery...

For a woman considering breast augmentation, the first step is to consult a plastic surgeon. With your physician, you should discuss openly your expectations about the breast size and contours that you want to have after the surgery.
Whether you are emotionally in a balanced state before having any plastic surgery is one of the most important factors affecting the surgical results. Augmentation mammaplasty will reshape of your breasts. Plastic surgery will improve your appearance and refresh your self-confidence.

After the examination, your surgeon will discuss with you the other factors that will affect the decisions, such as the condition of the breast in the chest wall cavity and the skin.  For patients with saggy breasts, the surgeon may also recommend mastopexy (breast lift), i.e. reduction and reshaping of the breast skin, in addition to augmentation mammaplasty.

During the first consultation, your surgeon will explain you the specific details about the surgical technique to be used, the type of anesthesia, the hospital where the surgery will be performed, and what you must expect from the surgical operation realistically. During the consultation, you should also discuss with your surgeon the other factors such as the risks and costs, which should be considered before deciding on augmentation mammaplasty.

Every year thousands of women undergo successful breast augmentation surgery. Sometimes a second surgical operation may be required for eliminating the condition characterized by the hardening of the breast implant called ‘capsular contracture’, which is caused by hypertrophic scar formation, i.e. a surgical operation intended for softening the implant. However, such undesirable conditions are rarely experienced after surgical procedures performed by experienced hands. The risk of complications is minimal as long as the surgeon’s recommendations regarding postoperative care are followed during the recovery period.The cost of augmentation mammaplasty and the related material costs vary considerably depending on the technique used and the type of the implant placed. The price you will pay may vary depending on the duration of the surgery, the quality of the implant to be placed and other details.

Breast Augmentation

Breast Implant Surgery

Breast augmentation surgery typically performed to enlarge small breasts is suitable for enlarging underdeveloped breasts or breasts that have shrunk or sagged after childbirth. It is also performed with intent to make a new breast to correct asymmetries resulted from surgical removal of the breasts called mastectomy (figure 1). The extent of the procedure depends on the changes demanded by the patient and what your surgeon deems suitable for you.

 Breast Augmentation Surgery

Figure 1: Preoperative appearance of the patient who will have breast augmentation surgery: underdeveloped or flat breasts.

The surgery should be performed under operating room conditions in a hospital.

Breast augmentation surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Before anesthesia, sedation (administration of sedative drugs) is performed to alleviate psychological tension. Sedatives and local anesthetic drugs will enable you to feel comfortable during the surgical operation.

There are many surgical approaches intended for breast augmentation. The most commonly used incision techniques are inframammary incisions made just below where the breast touches, and crescent-shaped incisions made along the lower border of the brown area (areola). Another less common approach is the axillary incision made in the armpit area (Figure 2). The surgical technique to be used depends on the surgeon's preference.

 Breast Augmentation Surgery

Figure 2: The incisions follow the natural contour lines of the breast. It is made in the inframammary fold where the breast meets the chest, along the lower border of the aerola, or in the armpit area.

The surgeon creates a pouch by pulling the breast tissue up and the skin down. This pouch is created directly under the breast tissue or under the chest wall muscles, depending on the technique used by the surgeon and the patient's anatomy (Figure 3). The surgeon places a breast implant in the pouch (Figure 4). The implant that contains silicone gel or saline solution is covered with a thin layer of flexible plastic. The surgeon then closes the incision line with a few sutures.

Breast Augmentation Surgery

Figure 3: To place the implant, a pouch is created in the dark-colored area in the figure, using surgical retractors, i.e. expanders.

 Breast Augmentation Surgery

Figure 4: Side section view of the breast with the implant placed: The implant is placed directly under the breast tissue (left) or under the pectoral muscle (right).

After the surgery, the breasts are wrapped in a soft bandage or the patient is given a supportive surgical bra.

Postoperative recovery of mammaplasty...

The postoperative pain can be controlled with drug therapy and will completely disappear in a day or two. If you are in the hospital, you can be discharged the day after the surgery.

Although your surgeon will do his/her best to make the scars as less noticeable as possible, scars are the inevitable consequences of the surgical procedure. In many cases, the scars gradually fade and become barely noticeable. Slight swelling and discoloration in your breasts will disappear in a short time. Breast augmentation surgery is intended to give the breasts a fuller, natural appearance.

Your breasts may harden weeks or even months after the surgery. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend breast massage to support the softening of the breast. If the surgery is performed at a wrong address, patients may experience a loss of sensation in the nipple, but considerable recovery is achieved in most of such cases, 

You will be able to stand up on the first or second postoperative day, but your plastic surgeon will recommend you to follow a program based on your condition, for returning to normal. To ensure proper recovery, you should avoid intensive activities and heavy lifting for several weeks. How quickly you recover and how you feel will be the factors determining the time for returning to work and normal activities.

This website is intended only to provide information about breast augmentation surgery. When you consider breast augmentation surgery, you should not hesitate to ask your surgeon questions about the subjects mentioned in this website and any other subjects that you may want to get information about.

Prof.Dr. Serdar Öztürk