Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a commonly performed surgical procedure which involves the placement of an implant behind the breasts to enhance their size and shape.

Breast augmentation is indicated for the following reasons -

  • small breasts - restoration of breast volume & shape after pregnancy
  • asymmetry of breast size - reconstruction of part, or all, of the breast following surgery

Type of Implants & Surgery

Breast implants are available in an extensive range of sizes, shapes and types of fill. All implants have an outer silicone rubber layer and are filled with either silicone gel or saline (salt water). There are round implants and anatomically (tear-drop) shaped implants. Your surgeon will give you more information so you can decide which implant best suits you. Despite some media reports long-term studies have not found any adverse effects from the use of silicone implants.

The method of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy and your surgeon´┐Żs recommendations. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) or in the armpit. Every effort will be made to ensure that the scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. The implant can be placed directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your chest wall muscle (the pectoral muscle).

Planning Your Surgery

At your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on the condition of your breasts and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, your doctor may also recommend a breast lift. Be sure to discuss your expectations openly with your surgeon who should be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke, and if you're taking any medications or other drugs. Your surgeon should also explain the type of anaesthesia to be used, the facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved. Because health funds do not consider breast augmentation to be medically necessary, they do not cover the cost of this procedure.

Risks, Complications & Considerations

Breast augmentation is a relatively straightforward procedure with a low risk profile. However, as with all surgery there are general risks and potential specific complications related to the type of procedure itself. These will be explained in detail during your consultation.

Current smokers should be advised that nicotine can delay healing, resulting in more conspicuous scars and prolonged recovery. Less than 5% of women will develop a significant post-operative complication. Prompt treatment of any complication reduces the chance of long-term problems.

Getting Back to Normal

You should be able to return to work within one to two weeks, depending on the level of activity required for your job. Your breasts will probably be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so you should avoid excessive physical contact. Aerobics and vigorous physical exercise should be avoided for six weeks. Routine mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are in the appropriate age group, and the mammographic technician will use a special technique to ensure that you get a reliable examination. Breast ultrasound may also be recommended to increase the imaging sensitivity.

Your Next Step

Please contact the breast care nurse for a no obligation, cost free consultation to discuss the procedure in more detail & to view representative photographs.