Breast augmentation, augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to enhance the size and shape of a woman's breast. The procedure is performed on women who wish to increase breast size for cosmetic reasons and for reconstructive purposes.

Breast augmentation, like any surgical procedure, carries certain potential risks and complication. The most common problem, capsular contracture, occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This squeezing of the soft implant can cause the breast to feel hard. Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways, and sometimes requires either removal of the scar tissue, or perhaps removal or replacement of the implant.

Other possible complications include infection or bleeding. If these occur, additional treatment with antibiotics or implant removal may be required. Some women report changes in nipple sensitivity. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients.

Occasionally, breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of injury or even from the normal compression and movement of your breast and implant, causing the shell to leak. This complication is very uncommon. If a saline-filled implant breaks, the implant will deflate in a few hours and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body.

There is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer. Special radiologic studies may be required for those women with breast implants who need routine screening for breast lesions. This should be discussed in detail with your radiologist.

During your initial consultation with Dr. Bromley a thorough examination will be performed in addition to a comprehensive history. All of the above factors will be discussed at that time.

The surgery is commonly done on an outpatient basis. It can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.

The most common type of implant in use today is filled with saline (salt water), however, silicone gel implants are becoming increasingly popular.  There are a variety of shapes and sizes available, depending upon the specific needs of each patient.

In most cases, an incision will be made either in the fold under the breast or around the areola (darkened skin around the nipple). Both of these methods should result in scars that are hardly visible.

A pocket is then created, either under the breast tissue, or the underlying muscle. Once a sufficient size pocket has been created, the implant is placed inside. The incisions are then closed. In some cases a small drainage tube may be inserted to prevent blood from accumulating around the implant. This drain is usually removed in one day.

A surgical bra is then placed for additional support. Sutures are removed approximately ten days after surgery. There is some discomfort and soreness following the procedure, but this is easily controlled with oral pain medication.

Most patient resume light activities in several days. You can expect to return to all daily activities approximately one week after the surgery. Strenuous activity and exercise can usually be started two to four weeks after surgery.

Your scars will be somewhat firm and pink for at least six weeks. They will slowly begin to fade and soften. There are a variety of treatments available that will speed in this scar maturation process. These will be discussed during your post-operative visits.

If you have any questions regarding breast augmentation, or any other plastic surgical procedure, please contact out office.  Photo  galleries, in addition to 3D animation of this procedure can be found at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.

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