Following your consultation with your surgical team, and having decided on your procedure and implants, you will be advised on your pre-operative requirements and booked for the surgery. The surgery will be performed under general anaesthesia in the operating room and is usually a day case, however, depending on the extent of the surgery the surgeon may require you stay overnight in the hospital or medical facility. The placement of the implant will depend on your anatomy, and if the surgeon thinks it should come under the pectoral muscle or sub-pectoral.
There are various techniques for inserting the implants; sometimes an incision is made around the areola edge or in the armpit, other times an incision is made in the fold under the breast. If the surgeon decides on a breast lift at the same time, the surgery will take longer and be more complicated; you can read more about the breast lift under mastopexy.
Following the procedure, you will wake up with your breasts bandaged or with a pressure garment which must be worn for several weeks after surgery. Aching, swelling and bruising will subside over the coming weeks. You will leave the hospital with medication and postoperative care instructions. Don't do any lifting or exercise until cleared by your surgical team.
You will need to sleep on your back during the recovery period and change your dressings regularly making sure your incisions are kept clean and dry, sutures will be removed when during one of your postoperative checkups and you will be advised on when you should start applying silicone scar healing gel.
Although it can take several months to see the final result, most people are happy to go back to work after about a week, some sooner.
Mastopexy procedure (breast lift)
Mastopexy is a procedure that lifts and firms a woman's breasts to create a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance. During the process, redundant or sagging skin is removed, and the surrounding tissue is tightened to support the new uplifted and contoured breast. In some instances, the areola surrounding the nipple is resized or repositioned at the same time.
When done as an independent surgery, mastopexy does not increase the size of the breast; however, the new shape can create a better profile. To add the volume, you can opt for breast implants (breast augmentation as above). In some cases, a patient may opt for breast reduction with an uplift.
The postoperative care and recovery is more or less the same as breast augmentation (As above)
Fat transfer Breast augmentation
Some women prefer to use their own fat to increase their breast size, but the procedure may not be suitable for everyone. To achieve the fullness required to the breast, the patient needs a significant amount of fat which will be taken from other parts of the body by liposuction. Very slim women may not have enough fat to harvest.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, (2011), new pre-expansion techniques in fat transfer breast augmentation can achieve volumes of up to 300cc. The pre-expansion process requires the patient to wear a device not dissimilar to a bra for several weeks before surgery. The device creates negative pressure to expand the breast, creating a space in the breast that is later backfilled with the harvested fat.
All surgeons may not use the pre-expansion technique, and you will need to ask the professional advice of your chosen surgeon to ascertain your suitability for breast fat grafting. In the event, a patient undergoes this procedure the results are permanent, providing you maintain your weight. As with all fat cells in the body, if you lose weight, the fat cells shrink in size, and if you gain weight, they expand. In some instances, a patient may need a second procedure to increase the size further.
Surgery is usually done under general anaesthesia due to the liposuction procedure, although some surgeons may offer local anaesthesia with sedation depending on the volume of fat being removed.
The recovery time for the procedure depends on the extent of the initial liposuction, the amount of fat inserted into the breast and individual healing ability. There will most certainly be swelling and some bruising for the first week or two, and the breasts may feel a little heavy or achy this is perfectly normal.
Your surgeon may ask you to wear a sports bra day and night for the first three months, supporting the newly shaped breasts and helping to control swelling. As with other types of surgery, you should avoid any exercise or strenuous activity until given the go-ahead by your surgical team. Most people will go back to work within the first few weeks of surgery. Final results can be seen after a few months when all the swelling has subsided.
Article by Lynda Naji RHH Kuwait.