Breast augmentation is enlargement of the breast by placing a breast implant behind the breast tissue. Many women undergo breast augmentation as they feel their breasts are too small or they want to improve their body contour. Sometimes after pregnancy or large weight loss, breast volume is lost and augmentation surgery can correct this. Breast augmentation is also used to treat congenital problems where breasts fail to develop properly or develop asymmetrically. Women who have undergone breast surgery as part of their cancer treatment sometimes undergo breast augmentation.
Sometimes augmentation alone will not be sufficient to restore shape to the breast. If there is a significant amount of loose skin and drooping of the breast, a breast lift or mastopexy may be needed as well as or instead of breast augmentation. In general, you should be aged 18 or over before having this surgery.
Implants consist of a silicone shell and are filled with either silicone gel (silicone implants) or saline (saline implants). I use silicone implants as standard. Implants can be round or tear-drop shaped (anatomical) and come in a large variety of sizes and shapes (width, height, projection). The size and shape implant you will have for your surgery will be determined by how large an augmentation you want, how large an augmentation you can have (this depends on the skin of your breast, the volume of your breast tissue and the measurements of your breasts) and the shape you wish to achieve. I have never used PIP implants in any of my surgeries.
Breast augmentation involves a general anaesthetic and the implants are inserted through small incisions usually in the crease beneath the breasts. The implant will be placed either underneath the pectoralis muscle or directly under the breast tissue.
Afterwards, you will have some swelling and bruising around the breasts and the skin may feel quite tight. You will have dressings or tape over the surgical wound. Breast augmentation can be done as a day case or with one night stay in hospital. You should not wear an underwired bra until your wounds are well healed.