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Plastic Surgery Review: Breast Augmentation

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In 2015 according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery nearly 305,856 women and teenagers underwent surgery to have their breasts enlarged; 15% of these procedures used saline implants and 85% used silicone implants.

The majority of these women who underwent cosmetic breast augmentation were not satisfied with the fit of their undergarments and clothes prior to the procedure.

For these unhappy women, shopping for clothing was a discouraging and stressful experience. Finding flattering bathing suits, brassieres, and shirts often seemed nigh unto impossible, and many simply opted to avoid the shopping experience altogether.

With this backdrop it is hard to question the rising popularity of breast augmentation procedure.

Breast augmentation, clinically referred to as augmentation mammaplasty is a surgical procedure to increase the size, shape or fullness of a woman’s breasts using silicone, saline or alternative composite breast implants or fat, to increase the size of a woman’s breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.

Nonetheless some reasons for its popularity ranges from self-esteem and self image issues to congenital defects and deformities.

At any rate breast augmentation can increase the fullness and projection of a woman’s breasts, improve the balance of a woman’s figure. Enhance a woman’s self-image and self-confidence and in reconstructive plastic surgery, breast implants can be placed to restore a natural looking breast mound for post–mastectomy breast reconstruction patients or to correct congenital defects and deformities of the chest wall.

However, breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. Women who want their breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, may require undergoing a breast lift in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation.

Breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. Despite its popularity there are some risks which I believe should be properly weighed before women decide to go ahead with the procedure.

Possible breast augmentation surgery risks include: Anesthesia risks,

Bleeding, infection (bacteria and mold which can be released from the implant into the body), chronic breast pain, hardened and misshapen breasts, silicone breakage and leakage, the formation of tight scar tissue around the implant etc.

At any rate there also exists the possibility of revisional surgery.

Because of one or more local complications, as many as 20 percent of women who receive breast implants for augmentation have to have their implants removed within 8 to 10 years. In summary, there are several important things to consider before deciding to undergo breast implant surgery, including understanding your own expectations and reasons for having the surgery.

Below are some things the FDA thinks you should consider before undergoing breast augmentation, reconstruction or revision surgery:

i. Breast implants are not lifetime devices; the longer you have your implants, the more likely it will be for you to have them removed.

ii. The longer you have breast implants, the more likely you are to experience local complications and adverse outcomes.

iii. The most common local complications and adverse outcomes are the formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture), reoperation and implant removal. Other complications include rupture or deflation, wrinkling, assymetry, scarring, pain, and infection at the incision site.

Finally it is imperative for a patient to do their research before choosing a plastic surgeon to perform this procedure. Secondly she should assume that she will need to have additional surgeries (reoperations). In addition to that many of the changes to her breast following implantation may be cosmetically undesirable and irreversible.

If she eventually has her implants removed but not replaced, she may experience changes to her natural breasts such as dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, breast tissue loss, or other undesirable cosmetic changes.

Lastly she will need to monitor her breasts for the rest of her life. And if any abnormal changes are noticed in her breasts, she will need to see a doctor promptly.

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