Breast Augmentation is a surgery designed to enlarge the breasts. This surgery is frequently sought by women who are unhappy with the small size of their breasts, sometimes after pregnancy or weight loss.

What are the benefits?

Breast augmentation makes the breasts larger and fuller. The results may not look exactly like 'natural' larger breasts. Implanted breasts tend to be a bit more round and less saggy than natural breasts of the same size. Most women find these differences to be an improvement.

What will happen at the consultation?

During the consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. Because this is a highly personal decision, you'll want to take time to discuss all of your concerns and desires, including how large you want your breasts to be. Show your doctor pictures of breast sizes you like. He will be able to determine which size implants will achieve your preferred size.

He will also explain the different options available to you, including incision type, location of the implant, type of implant, and whether a breast lift might also be beneficial. You should tell him about any medications you currently are taking, and any health conditions you have.

How is the procedure performed?

Breast augmentation consists of making an incision, lifting the breast tissue, creating a pocket in the chest/breast area, and placing an envelope containing a soft, natural feeling implant material underneath. An incision is made in the crease below the breast. The implants can be placed either under the chest muscle or directly under the breast tissue.

Placement considerations include the anatomy of your breasts, soreness after surgery, exercise activities (upper body strength and conditioning sports such as weightlifting, tennis, volleyball and others) and type of implant.

How long does the operation take?

Breast augmentation surgery usually takes about one to two hours to complete. The length of the procedure varies according to the technique used, the placement of the implants, and the patient's anatomy.

How long do I have to stay in the hospital for?

Most breast augmentation surgery requires an overnight stay.

What can I expect afterwards?

Breast augmentation stretches the tissues, but is not usually too painful. It is more painful when the implants are placed under the muscle and in young women who have never had children. The pain is greatest within the first 48 hours, but improves with each day and is somewhat relieved by pain medications. In spite of the initial discomfort, most women report that they are very satisfied with the results of the surgery. When you wake up you will feel tired, sore, and stiff. It is important to take the medication prescribed to you by your doctor. Someone will need to drive you home, and you may need assistance at home over the next couple of days. After surgery, your breast will have a small dressing over the wounds.

What are the long-term results?

Breast augmentation makes the breasts larger for the life of the implant. Remember, also that larger breasts sag faster than smaller breasts, and augmented breasts do this as well. It is possible that you may require surgery in later years to correct sagging if you choose to have large implants. It is recommended that you have an ultrasound scan after 10-15 years to check the integrity of the implant or if you have any change in size or shape of the breasts.

What are the risks?

Some of the more common possible complications include postoperative infection, bleeding, haematoma (a blood clot in the breast tissue requiring evacuation of the blood clot during a subsequent surgical procedure); implant rupture, deflation or leakage; capsular contracture - causing hardening of the implant, changes in nipple or breast sensation, shifting of the implant, rippling and asymmetry.