Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures and is one of Dr. Yau’s most popular services. It can give your figure more balance and enhance your natural curves. Patients with small or asymmetric breasts can have fuller, firmer and better-proportioned breasts. Candidates include women who desire breast augmentation for aesthetic reasons, such as addressing breast deflation following pregnancy or weight loss, balancing breast size or treating congenital breast defects.
Implant Type, Scar Placement and Location of the Implant
Breast implants are made of either silicone or saline, and both have a silicone shell. They are very safe and are approved by Health Canada as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Silicone implants have evolved over time and have a much softer and more natural feel than saline-filled implants. They are also made of cohesive gel so that if they rupture, the gel does not leak and migrate. Conversely, saline implants are filled with salt water so if they rupture, the body will naturally absorb the saline.
Scars from the surgery will be located in inconspicuous areas on the breast to minimize scar visibility. Dr. Yau prefers making the incision on the underside of the breast in the breast crease (inframammary) or on the bottom half of the areola, which is the pigmented area around the nipple (periareolar). Each incision has its advantages, and Dr. Yau will discuss which is best for you based on your individualized pre-operative
Breast implants can be placed behind the chest-wall muscle (sub-muscular) or on top of the chest-wall muscle underneath the breast tissue (sub-glandular). Advantages of implant placement behind the chest-wall muscle include a possible reduced risk of capsular contracture (hardening of scar tissue around the implant), and less interference during mammograms. There is also the added benefit of a more natural look, especially in thinner patients with small breasts. Implant placement on top of the muscle has different advantages, including no movement of the implants with chest-wall muscle use and a less painful recovery. However, there is a greater risk of capsular contracture and of increased implant visibility. This position is typically not recommended for thinner patients.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia with no overnight stay required. Surgery takes approximately 2 hours. After the appropriate incision is made (inframammary or periareolar), the breast tissue is lifted and a pocket is created either beneath the chest-wall muscle (subpectoral) or above it, just underneath the breast tissue (subglandular). The appropriate implant is then placed into the pocket ensuring it is in the optimal position for the best possible breast appearance. The incisions are then closed with dissolvable stitches.
Recovery From Breast Augmentation
Most patients feel tired and sore for the first few days after surgery, but many return to work within 7 to 10 days. A surgical bra will be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts. Post-operative pain, swelling, and sensitivity diminish during the first few weeks. Scars begin to fade in a few months and will continue to do so over the following year.