Dr. Lohner sees patients from Bryn Mawr, Main Line, Rosemont, Philadelphia, and other cities throughout Pennsylvania for breast augmentation.
Breast implants are prosthetic devices that are surgically inserted to change the size or shape of the breasts. This procedure, also known as breast augmentation, breast enlargement, or augmentation mammoplasty, is the most popular elective cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States.
Breast augmentation using artificial implants is mostly used for
- Reconstruction to replace breast tissue removed during a mastectomy or to replace missing tissue caused by a genetic or developmental abnormality.
- Revision-reconstruction, which aims to correct less than optimal results of a breast reconstruction surgery.
- Augmentation to enhance the overall volume of a patient’s natural breasts, to even out breast asymmetry for a more balanced look, or to restore volume lost through significant weight reduction or other causes.
- Revision-augmentation, which is sometimes necessary to modify or improve the results of a previous breast augmentation operation.
What Are Breast Implants Made Of?
The vast majority of implants in use today are constructed of a silicone elastomer shell that is filled with either saline or silicone gel. Both types are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cosmetic or reconstructive applications.
Aside from the filler used, implants are offered in a variety of shapes, sizes, profiles, and textures. When you are discussing your objectives for the surgery with your surgeon; he or she should be able to recommend the style and size that are most appropriate to meet your needs. Breast implant size is measured in cubic centimeters (cc), and available sizes vary from around 100 cc to over 800 cc.
The Breast Augmentation Procedure
There are two main variables inherent in augmentation surgery. The first is the location of the incision, which can be under the breast (inframammary), around the areola (periareolar), in the armpit (transaxillary), or in the navel (transumbilical). The other variable is the location where the implant is placed, either subglandular (beneath the breast tissue), submuscular (beneath the pectoral muscle), or a combination of both where only the top portion of the implant is under the muscle.
Breast augmentation surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. After making the initial incision, the surgeon creates a pocket in the desired location and inserts the implants. Sutures are used to rejoin the layers of muscle, tissue, and skin.
Consult your surgeon to decide what technique and placement are best for you. Whether you choose saline or silicone-filled devices can also affect where the incisions and resultant scarring are located. For example, silicone implants cannot be inserted through a navel incision because they are too large.
Recovering From Breast Implant Surgery
After a breast augmentation or reconstruction procedure, you will experience tenderness, sensitivity, and swelling in the breast tissue. Follow your physician’s instructions regarding a schedule for resuming activities. Most patients have a day or two of recovery, followed by a week of reduced activity, and then they slowly increase their levels of activity to pre-operative intensity.
Potential Breast Implant Complications
In addition to the risks that any surgery involves, breast implant complications can include the following:
- Reduced sensitivity in the breast or nipple, while usually temporary, can be long term or permanent.
- Undesirable scarring.
- Capsular contracture, an immune response that results in a capsule of collagen fibers forming tightly around the implant. Symptoms may include pain and a distorted breast appearance.
- Implant ruptures, which can require revision surgery to replace the damaged devices.
- External wrinkling over the area of the implant or other cosmetically adverse result.
- More difficulty in obtaining accurate mammogram results. Special techniques and equipment may be required.
- Problems with nursing if milk ducts or glands have been damaged or displaced during the implant procedure. Nerve damage can also have a detrimental effect on nursing.
- Bleeding, infection, and fluid buildup.
Some types of augmentation procedure carry less risk of certain complications than others, so be sure and discuss the particular risks inherent in your chosen technique. Potential risks may affect your decision making concerning what procedure or implant to use to get the results you desire.
Living With Your New Breasts
Breast augmentation normally provides long-term positive effects, but the changes in appearance you receive from implants are not expected to be permanent. Implants may need to be replaced or moved due to complications, or you may become less satisfied with the results over time and choose to have another enhancement procedure performed.
The level of satisfaction you receive from a breast augmentation procedure relies on having realistic expectations and clear, open communication with your surgeon about your goals and anticipated outcome. Many patients are highly pleased with their fuller bust line, better proportioned body and increased self-confidence.
The content of this Web site is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or instruction. If you have more questions about Philadelphia or Bryn Mawr breast implant surgery, other cosmetic treatments, or plastic surgery procedures, please call Dr. Lohner’s Main Line Pennsylvania office and we’ll be happy to schedule a consultation.
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